against Wigan Athletic but a point was not what Spurs had been looking for..."/> against Wigan Athletic but a point was not what Spurs had been looking for..."/> against Wigan Athletic but a point was not what Spurs had been looking for..."/>

Tottenham Player Assessment Against Wigan Athletic In Premier League


Tottenham salvaged a draw with a late goal against Wigan Athletic but a point was not what Spurs had been looking for from the game against a team battling against relegation. The assessment of the players highlights Tottenham’s usual failings when faced with a disciplined, well-organised defence.

Tottenham Huddle [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Hugo Lloris: As in many of Tottenham’s games Lloris has had little to do but once again Spurs have conceded two goals and a team can’t expect to win when they’re having to score three in every game. Lloris was less sure of himself than he usually is – he was well beaten for both goals but had a couple of handing errors, having to grab a straightforward cross at the second attempt. Early in the second half he had to claw out a dangerous cross which was threatening to drop in over his head but later as Wigan counter-attacked he saved Spurs with a couple of saves when Kone was clean through – first standing his ground to collect the ball which just evaded the striker and then getting a foot to deny him a goal. He also punched clear late on from a difficult cross as Wigan looked for a late winner.

Kyle Walker: He was expected to provide width and pace on the right and was fully totally committed all afternoon and enjoyed early success in creating space behind the Wigan defence. As the game progressed and with Wigan a goal up, he again allowed his frustration to take over, giving away a number of unnecessary free-kicks which played into Wigan’s hands as they constantly disrupted the game and prevented Spurs from getting any tempo into their game.

Michael Dawson: Was less at ease with himself – as always he gave 100% effort but found Kone a handful and was caught out in one on one situations in the second half. Once he resorted to bringing the striker down and was booked and on the second occasion, Lloris rescued him with a crucial save to deny Wigan a third goal.

Jan Vertonghen: The central defender was caught out badly for Wigan’s equalising goal as Boyce got a run and out-jumped him from the corner. Tottenham have now conceded from corners in recent games against Basel and Everton which is becoming costly. Had few opportunities to get forward but defensively put in a vital clearance late on with Spurs defence stretched as both sides were looking for a winner.

Kyle Naughton: It was a strange selection to replace Benoit Assou-Ekotto after his performance last weekend. The full backs are expected to provide width but with Naughton being right footed, he tends to cut inside whenever he attacks, so bringing more congestion to an already packed central midfield area. Both goals came down his side, the early corner was conceded on the Wigan right and McManaman cut inside Naughton to fire home Wigan’s second.

Scott Parker: Parker did what he always does, he bustles about, picking up the ball, turns through a full circle and passes the ball ten yards. He worked hard and pushed forward, having a couple of shots in the first half which went wide and then just before the interval in an incident similar to the Basel match where his shot at an empty goal deflected off his own player, this time as he went for the loose ball in the area with the goalkeeper down and the home defence all over the place, he lost balance and was unable to reach the ball. Made less contribution in the second half as Wigan sat  back having scored their second goal. He was replaced by Aaron Lennon with fifteen minutes to play.

Tom Huddlestone: It was no surprise that Huddlestone started his first Premier League match since late November, following his performance as a substitute against Manchester City last week. He started where he left off against City and sitting deep, sprayed passes around the pitch to release Walker, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe behind the Wigan back four. In the second minute, he hit the post from a free-kick on the right. In the first half as Tottenham played a controlled, passing game Huddlestone was very effective with space to play in. After the interval he had less space to play the ball into with Wigan sitting deeper and waiting to pick off every pass. Tottenham’s play, as it always does in these situations became very slow and ponderous. It was from Huddlestone’s late free-kick when he again deceived everyone by playing a low ball in, which eventually came off Boyce for the equaliser. He had a chance to win the game, and have his hair cut, when from Bale’s last minute free-kick, the goalkeeper punched the ball out to him but his powerful shot was blocked and eventually cleared – the chance gone.

Mousa Dembele: He played further forward and was working hard but had to go off with injury five minutes before half-time. Tottenham missed his power and height in the second half and could have used his ability to take on defenders on the edge of their area when Wigan were sitting back for the last forty minutes of the game.

Gareth Bale: Bale had the quietest of games. He started on the right of midfield but roamed more centrally. He never had a chance to run with the ball as there were three defenders around him whenever he was in possession. After scoring so many spectacular goals through the season, his goal was one of Tottenham’s scruffiest of the season. Bale put the goalkeeper under pressure as Wigan passed the ball back towards goal and when Robles tried to chip it over him, Bale got an outstretched foot to it and it rebounded into the net to put Spurs ahead after nine minutes. His powerful free-kick in the dying minutes, caused panic in the Wigan defence but they managed to get it cleared at the third attempt to take a point.

Jermain Defoe: Again selected on the basis of a strong performance and a goal as a substitute last weekend. With Emmanuel Adebayor injured there was no alternative and Defoe looked busy in the opening half but when close to goal he took an extra touch allowing the goalkeeper or defenders to put in a clearance. His best opportunity to score was late in the first half when played into the area but when trying to go past the goalkeeper, Roubles got his hand to the ball to prevent Defoe getting in his shot. He had fewer opportunities in the second half, although it was his run in the final seconds which won the free-kick which caused Wigan a few anxious moments.

Clint Dempsey: After three goals in two games, Dempsey had a very quiet afternoon and had little involvement. His one contribution was in added time in the second half when he got into the area but his chipped cross was too far ahead of a stretching Bale.


Lewis Holtby: He replaced Dembele but never really got into the game. he played all over the pitch but his passing wasn’t as accurate as it should have been and when he tried to carry the ball he was easily dispossessed by the waiting Wigan defenders. Disappointing after a lively performance last week against City.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto: As has happened on a number of occasions, Andre Villas-Boas has started with Naughton at left back but when Tottenham aren’t performing too well, he introduces Assou-Ekotto. He brought more width to the left hand side of the pitch but by that time Wigan were well established in their defensive strategy so it was difficult to make an impact.

Aaron Lennon: Returning from injury, Lennon came on for the last fifteen minutes but Spurs were unable to get the ball to him. As with Assou-Ekotto, the Wigan defence was well set-up and Lennon had little opportunity to run at them. His one contribution in added time was a run at the centre of the defence which saw him find Dempsey whose cross just evaded Bale.

The players battled throughout – they controlled the first half without really stretching Wigan but after the interval they found it very difficult to unsettle Wigan once they had scored their second goal. As Tottenham pushed forward, Wigan had a number of opportunities to increase their lead and Spurs became more frustrated as time passed. Tottenham kept battling away and rescued a point which could make all the difference come the end of the season.