Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday January 31 2012
Vital Latics member centrelink1 provides us with, what he calls, an irate preview of tonights game at White Hart Lane between the Latics and Spurs, over to you centrelink1:
Not even really irate.
Anyway, I've watched a lot of spurs this year, desperately clinging to the barely tangible possibility that they might win the title. However, this barely tangible possibility is about to meet with the barely tangible possibility of Wigan's survival, as the two teams meet at White Hart Lane.
One of Tottenham's notable traits is the three rotating players that operate behind the striker, normally comprised of Bale, Van der Vaart and Lennon. This tactic stemmed from the success other teams were having by stocking the right side of defence to deal with Bale, and has garnered both praise and criticism throughout the course of the season, though mostly the former as a result of Spurs form.
What this has meant is that the best way to deal with Bale is actually to do nothing, as Swansea demonstrated when they held Spurs to a draw not too long ago. Instead of playing with 5 right backs, Swansea defended from the front as they usually do, and Spurs fluid system didn't create any significant trouble down the left side.
For my mind, Wigan need to do the same thing. To stand any hope of being competitive in this fixture, we must abandon our back 3 with two wing backs, and set out with a more robust back 4. Otherwise, the Tottenham trio mentioned earlier will have far too much success playing in between lines, and we'll be dangerously close to another 9-1 beating.
Having said that, we can't afford to leave Emmerson Boyce out there at right back. This would prove no more successful than Erik Edman did against Lennon on that dark day. Perhaps there are still fixtures where an aging Boyce can prove useful, but this isn't it. This task absolutely must fall to Ronnie Stam.
I think we should start with the following team:
Stam Caldwell Gohouri Figgy
___Watson McCarthy Gomez
Moses __Di Santo __Hugo
While Gomez might not offer us as much defensively as somebody like Jones or McArthur, his composure in working the ball out of defence cannot be underestimated here. Also, he's far better than both of those players.
The obvious omission here is Beausejour, but this could be too much of a baptism of fire for him. That, and I know little about him.
Additionally, Moses, Hugo and Di Santo will provide something of a dilemma for Tottenham on a break, or even as a goal threat. We can only hope.
Team we will probably see:
Boyce Gohouri Caldwell Figgy Beausejour
Moses Sammon Crusat
This leaves us with all the problems I said earlier, as well as Sammon up front. Crusat, though a decent winger and good defensive cover, won't give us the same goalscoring threat as Hugo in any capacity. Both midfielders are substandard, and Parker and Modric will have no problem working by them.
Ok, maybe now I'm a little irate.
I'll wait and see.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Tuesday January 31 2012
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