I think it’s fair to say one hasn’t seen as bad a performance at White Hart Lane since, well, the first half of the 2-1 win over Queen’s Park Rangers back in September. A Tottenham Hotspur display devoid of imagination and creativity saw them suffer their second successive home defeat, this time at the hands of Wigan Athletic.
The hosts may’ve started the brighter of the two sides, but the early loss of Sandro saw the team as a whole suffer allowing the Latics to really gain a stranglehold on the encounter. James McCarthy and Ben Watson harried in the midfield, Arouna Kone, Franco Di Santo and Shaun Maloney pressured from the front-line and Emerson Boyce and Jean Beausejour were both superb in stifling the threat of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
Many will argue that it was one of those days at the office for Spurs, and while that may the case; those days are becoming all too frequent. Bar the 2-0 win against Aston Villa, the North London side have looked far from comfortable when playing in front of their own crowd.
There was a time when White Hart Lane was a fortress, a place teams would visit expecting the worst and often seeing their fears recognised. However, many of those now making the trip to N17 be it from London, Wigan, Norwich; all arrive at Spurs with a sense of belief that a positive result is a possibility.
A Tottenham Hotspur display devoid of imagination and creativity saw them suffer their second successive home defeat, this time at the hands of Wigan Athletic
This is evident from the fact that, in six home games, Spurs have picked up just eight points from a possible 18, Chelsea along with Wigan the two teams to win at the Lane. West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City were, of course, the other two Premier League teams to come away from North London with a point apiece.
The homes wins came against teams with two wins between them this season and make up two of the current bottom four. While even the staunchest of football fans will tell you the club can only beat what is put in front of them, that’s all well and good when Spurs can’t muster a win in three home games dubbed ‘bankers’ by some - games against West Brom, Norwich and Wigan on Saturday.
You only have to look at Spurs’ away record this season to comprehend the added pressure that comes with playing at White Hart Lane this year. Andre Villas-Boas’ side have picked up nine points from a possible 12 away from home this year, in comparison to the eight from 18 in North London.
With the expectations of the players eased, Spurs can play the football that, although isn’t as pretty as that under Harry Redknapp, is certainly effective when utilised correctly. Unfortunately, the anxiety from the home fans appears to be taking its toll at this early stage.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side have picked up nine points from a possible 12 away from home this year, in comparison to the eight from 18 in North London
While it’s a sign of how far the club has come over the past decade, with the supporters now expectant of three points from every team that visits White Hart Lane, with a new manager and, more importantly, a new system, the wins won’t come thick and fast like some are anticipating.
Unfortunately, it now appears that unless Spurs are 1-0 up within 20 minutes, regardless of who the opponents are, the fans become restless and a rancid atmosphere begins to creep into the stadium. Watching yesterday, it was very much the case against the Latics.
A minor mistake by any player was quickly followed up with moans and groans, coupled with the booing at half-time, full-time and upon Jermain Defoe’s number being called when he was subbed off for Emmanuel Adebayor, didn’t help to ease the heavy burned placed upon the shoulders of the players.
It is setting a dangerous precedent for future home games, especially from the knee jerking fans who have already voiced their displeasure for Villas-Boas. One can understand the frustrations, but his arrival isn’t going to guarantee success overnight.
A minor mistake by any player was quickly followed up with moans and groans
Nevertheless, the only way he is going to sway the doubters onto his side is by performing at home. Any good team will pick up maximum points on their turf on a consistent basis, while adding to the total sporadically on the road.
Unfortunately, for those visiting White Hart Lane, it is the other way round at present and it’s up to Villas-Boas to turn that around, and quickly. It’s time to turn the Lane into a fortress once again and the sooner than happens, the better it is for Spurs.
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