We Shall Fight Wigan on the Beaches…


Alright, hands up. Who had some pre-match jitters going into this one? I know I did.

I was all but ready to write the obituaries. Typical, we score eight in one half at home then can’t score once in ninety minutes at their place. These bloomin’ relegation strugglers, they keep doing us over with their 10-0-0 tactics…blah, blah Who was that keeper? Gordon Banks?…yadda, yadda… I knew those flash b*stard wouldn’t cope playing that in that swamp.

And so on.

Thankfully, we needn’t have worried. It appears we are made of sterner stuff than we might’ve thought. In a torrid afternoon in the Lancashire, sleeves were rolled up to the shoulder- revealing homemade tattoos of bulldogs and machine guns- and the game was taken by the jugular. The pitch, as to be expected of one moonlighting in rugby league, was a nightmare. I’ve seen meteor sites with fewer divots. But it didn’t stop our capable herd trying to do things the right way rather than opting for the ‘ping it to the tall one’ method that such an occasion might have called for. Defying the laws of physics, we passed it fairly proficiently. The ball bobbled, slowed, stuck, but it was Tottenham doing their darndest to keep it on the deck and make a game of it. At times it was ugly- hideous, even. But like all good Disney villains, there was some beauty in there somewhere.

Modric’s cameo was a delight. It was like watching someone do an oil painting in the eye of a hurricane. It’s a wonder they’d even managed to stretch the canvas let alone paint a masterpiece. A blistering shift from the Croatian; quick thinking, quick footed and quickly get his name back on the team sheet for next week. If not sooner.

Grumbles from Wigan? I’ll say. It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for the residents of the DW after Defoe’s conspicuous offside. I’m sure there’d be plenty of bile spewed over the internet’s forums and messages boards had we been on the receiving end. (Replay the game, find out where the linesman lives, take his family hostage, etc.) Lord knows, we’ve had our fair share of refereeing meltdowns. But, while it’s hard not to feel sympathy, it’s even harder not to be a little bit grateful when the decisions do go your way. In short. Stuff ‘em.

Super Roman Pavlyuchenko. He’s like a persistent ex-girlfriend. Despite all the hints- changing the locks, turning off all the lights and pretending we’re not at home- we just can’t get rid of him. He spends most of his time either moaning or, according to ‘Arry, yawning his way through training sessions, yet he garners more applause in twenty minutes than Darren Bent could in twenty orbits of Jupiter. Didn’t it just warm your innards to see Gomes, Modric and the like ambush him with bear hugs after the game; Defoe tore onto the pitch like an enamoured teenager. Then, as the crowd chanted his name, his fingers traced the symbol of his affection in front of the lingering Sky cameras.

Oh alright, then. We love you too.

A gritty away win, then. Perhaps even more significant than the nine goal trouncing at The Lane. Not only can we play some eye-catching stuff when we put our minds to it, we aren’t, as David Pleat once confirmed, a team of pansies. Well most of the time, anyway.

Back in the race.


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25 Responses to We Shall Fight Wigan on the Beaches…

  1. avatar KennYid says:

    Well. What can one say? A good win on a dreadful pitch. Defoe offside but getting away with it. Did feel temporarily and slightly embarrassed by that, as I think he did judging by his celebration but it often goes the other way and all credit to Kranjcar and Bale. Main feelings are of a slight smugness and a lot of delight re Pav and a bit of pride at a job very well done. Onward and upward……

  2. avatar Sam-i-am says:

    I thought it was telling how Defoe, who after all is a competitor in terms of team selection, made a bee line for Pav after the final whistle. It says something both in terms of team spirit (great) and Harry’s go-stand-in-the-corner treatment of the guy (not so good). Jury is still out on this one: was it a clever and necessary kick up the ar** to wake up a potential star or simple crass favouritism resulting in a want-away decent forward. Time (and the next few games) will tell.

  3. I really hope Harry and Pav can find some common ground now. Along the lines of Pav shutting his hole to the press and actually trying in training, and Harry giving him a fair crack if Pav does those things.

    We all know Harry has his favorites and this leads to persisting with off form players, but I think Harry has also shown that he will sit a player that isn’t delivering. Exhibit A: Jenas, an ever present previously, but mostly sitting these days. Exhibit B: PSB, Mr. Undroppable previously, but now plying his tinker’s trade in Scotchlandia.

    My point being that Harry has shown faith in 3MP because he has delivered in the past, but Pete has not been getting it done. Pav, meanwhile, has scored 3 in about a half of football. I think Harry will drop 3MP for Bolton.

  4. avatar Spiritual Advisor says:

    Thought it was to be a fairly shaky game from the pre-match hype, conjured images of ploughed field and motivated, resilient Wigan standing firm in the face of Tottenham’s glorious assult on fourth. I was suprised at our resurgent tenacity, something we have sorely missed in recent games against tail end opposition. Despite the slow football on an appalling pitch the one truly dismal spectacle for me was 3 m Peter, slow, dire first touch, worse second touch and poor positioning. Even if Pav hadn’t and scored two surely he’ll inherit that coveted starting position by default, the fact that he was truly outstanding can’t have come at a better time.

  5. avatar KayBee says:

    “sleeves were rolled up to the shoulder- revealing homemade tattoos of bulldogs and machine guns” – Ha! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. avatar DAVSPURS says:

    Harry and pav will mend there differences if we and the media dont turn this into a player power situation like Bellamy and Mancinci .I said a few blogs ago thta pav should stay and cement is place in our History and then if he still wants to go then he can like David Ginola and Klingsman Ossie and Villa always have a place in Spurs fans hearts .One thought worrying me is Lennon when he starred for England i thought is body language had changed and tis culminated in is walk of against Stoke and a lashing of Harry. My fear is has he bean tapped up by Man city and is he playing the injured star so he helps City get that fourth spot I hope not because somthing is not addingg up here a scan revealed he has a hernia so why is he having another scan dont Spurs belive is twitch is real we will have to keep our fingers crossed it is .

  7. avatar KennYid says:

    Watching MotD did Harry look less than delighted with Pav’s goals and the reaction of the rest of the team to him. I mean, no jumping up and down, no Yeaaaah!!!…as it were and as there was from myself in fact. Just a bemused and, I feel, not entirely joyful expression lingered on Harry’s face for a couple of seconds. Which is quite a long time for a single expression. Oh Well, as I have quoted elsewhere: “It’s a funny old game.”

  8. avatar Spooky says:

    Loved the reaction from both Pav and the rest of the players. All that was missing was tongues.

  9. avatar espyid says:

    I wont comment on this match as i feel everything in my lilywhite heart has already been said, but felt it was nessacery to thank ruel for a great read on the way to depressing work thanks.

  10. avatar sambo says:

    Cheers Mr Fox, another solid piece!

    It turns out that when Spurs play in the North West the squad stays in Manchester at the newly built Hilton Hotel, located in the fashionable Deansgate area of the city. Anybody who knows Manchester will tell you that; not only is Deansgate the main area for the North West bourgeoisie elite, it also has a thriving night life scene. The type of place where one would find soap star scrubbers that may or may not appear in Coronation Street and Holly Oaks.

    A cynical Spurs fan might find a positive correlation between accommodating a group of over paid, egotistical, 20-30 year old men in the heart of the North West’s most notorious and fashionable drinking quarter and the poor run of form when the aforementioned squad play any side in the North West.

    Not me, as a 3-0 rout of Wigan disproves this theory… doesn’t it?

  11. avatar KayBee says:

    I’d also like to big up J-O’H for murking that dirty fecker Michael Brown on the Pompey training ground.

    He’s had it coming a long time – good on ya, Jamie! 😀

  12. avatar sambo says:

    Its nice to see Jamie so happy, just look at his shiny coat and wet nose! I hope ‘Arry calls him back and dosen’t sell him in order to fund buying back another ex player.. that Samways could do a job for us!

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