Memos For Tottenham Ahead Of Wigan Athletic Premier League Match


Tottenham travel to Wigan on Saturday knowing that they must win if their ambition of Champions League football next season is to be realised. With Arsenal and Chelsea not playing until Sunday afternoon, Spurs have an opportunity to move above both clubs in the Premier League battle for third and fourth places.

Gareth Bale and Tottenham had a frustrating afternoon against Wigan at White Hart Lane [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Tottenham will be keen to overturn the result at White Hart Lane  in early November when Wigan surprised many with a disciplined performance which brought them victory. Wigan’s midfield five provided excellent cover for their three central defenders and completely nullified Tottenham’s threat from their wide players. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon had a very frustrating afternoon and once Wigan had taken the lead through Ben Watson, after 11 minutes of the second half, Wigan never looked like relinquishing the three points.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘Expect a battle and don’t take anything for granted.’

April into May is the time of year when Wigan start to perform their annual escape from relegation. From impossible situations in the past few season’s Wigan have managed to avoid the drop. Last season they lost at White Hart Lane at the end of January and were bottom of the league on 15 points, five points from safety. Over the next fifteen matches they performed a great escape to finish 15th with 43 points. The run included 8 wins with victory at Anfield and the Emirates plus a home win over Manchester United.

This season, Wigan are currently 18th on 31 points. They are three points adrift of Aston Villa and are one of six or seven teams hoping to avoid the final relegation place, assuming that Reading and QPR are beyond redemption. Wigan also have the FA Cup Final on their mind, having defeated Millwall in the semi-final. They will, however, want to avoid relegation accompanying a Cup Final appearance but as yet have failed to produce a run of results similar to those which have saved them in previous years.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘The Wigan revival must not start on Saturday!’

Wigan have not won in the League in April but their three matches have all been away from home. Last weekend, Wigan lost at West Ham, having lost to Manchester City in the midweek. At the start of the month they drew 1 – 1 with QPR. Their previous two games at the end of March were at home and they defeatedNorwich City 1 – 0 and Newcastle United 2 – 1. Those wins followed on from their FA Cup 6th Round success at Everton where they caused an upset with a 3 – 0 win. Prior to that they were comprehensively beaten 4 – 0 at home by Liverpool.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘Be warned – Wigan can produce unexpected results – at White Hart Lane, at Goodison Park but they can be beaten – Liverpool and Luis Suarez proved that.’

Wigan’s leading scorers are Arouna Kone with 12 and Jordi Gomez on 8. Shaun Maloney has 6 goals and scored the opening goal in the FA Cup semi-final as well as the 90th minute equaliser at Loftus Road. Wigan are making a habit of scoring late goals – it was Kone who scored the 81st minute winner against Norwich and also added a 90th minute winner against Newcastle.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘Wigan play for the full 90+ minutes.’

Last Season

Tottenham played Wigan in late September, 2012 and recorded a 2 – 1 win. They scored twice in the opening 23 minutes through Rafael Van der Vaart and Bale. Emmanuel Adebayor set up Van der Vaart for his third minute goal and twenty minutes later Bale glanced home a header from a Luka Modric corner. Tottenham controlled the first half but after the interval Wigan scored within five minutes and although the home side were reduced to ten men with thirty minutes remaining, Spurs were unable to take advantage of having an extra man.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘A repeat of last season’s result would do fine.’

Wigan Athletic are currently the youngest club in the Premier League having been formed in 1932. They were elected in to the Football League in the summer of 1978, replacing Southport and over the years eventually gained promotion to the top flight of English football in 2005. The first ever match between the two sides was the Premier League game in November, 2005. It is notable for the first, and only, goal scored for Spurs by the Dutch master, Edgar Davids, which ensured the victory.

Tottenham’s League Record at Wigan:

P  7  W  3  D  3  L  1  For  11  Ag  7

Nov. 2005  PL  (a)  Won 2 – 1  Keane, Davids

April, 2007 PL  (a) Draw 3 – 3 Keane (2, (1pen)) Berbatov

April, 2008  PL  (a)  Draw 1 – 1  Berbatov

Jan. 2009  PL  (a)  Lost 0 – 1

Feb. 2010  PL  (a)  Won 3 – 0  Defoe, Pavlyuchenko (2)

April, 2011  PL  (a)  Draw 0 – 0

Sept. 2011  PL  (a)  Won 2 – 1  Van der Vaart, Bale

Tottenham have drawn three of their seven matches at Wigan, worryingly, they have all been in the month of April.

Memo to Tottenham: ‘Must break the sequence of draws at Wigan in April with a win.’

Spurs need to build on last week’s win over Manchester City, any other result whatever the circumstances would be a huge disappointment. It will not be easy for Spurs to take all three points as Wigan will be determined and focused on their need for a win to improve their position in the fight against relegation. Spurs’ injury worries appear to be easing with Aaron Lennon probably available but they will need to match Wigan’s endeavour and ensure that they take whatever goal scoring opportunities present themselves. At this time of year, as the season draws to a close, every point is vital and Spurs want to end the day in third place, above Arsenal and Chelsea who are at home to Manchester United and Swansea City respectively on Sunday. This is Spurs’ first opportunity to put pressure on their rivals for a top 4 finish and they want to keep control of their own destiny and avoid falling at the first hurdle.