Wolves suffered their second consecutive defeat in London today, giving up a half time lead for the second game in a row.
Whilst Mick McCarthy later insinuated that the scoreline flattered Tottenham, Wolves might think a little differently once they review the video.
Tottenham had no less than twenty efforts at goal, and how they went in at half time a goal down was nearing absurd.
The home side spurned a host of chances, and based on this performance, Robbie Keane may as well have been wearing a Wolves scarf around his neck.
Wolves appeared a well organized unto from the the start but Tottenham caused havoc down the left with Bale in outstanding form, turning in an excellent performance.
Going forward, Matt Jarvis proved Wolves greatest threat in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello.
Both sides were operating predominantly through the left channels and soon enough Spurs were finding cracks in the Wolves defense. Marcus Hahnemann pulled off two exceptional saves that kept Wolves in the game, and if he did not make his saves look so easy, with his excellent positioning and reflexes, his saves may have drawn great praise.
Without suggesting Wolves backed out of any challenges, because they didn’t, the media storm appeared to have had some effect as they approached their tackling with greater restraint than we have been used to.
Wolves enjoyed some purple patches with some pleasant passing but Spurs were the side on the front foot and continued to threaten the rearguard. On the stroke of half time, David Jones, who was relatively ineffectual for most of the first half, cut a precise pass onto the overlapping Kevin Foley who’s pin point cross was steered into the net by record signing Stephen Fletcher who had stole half a yard to put himself in front of his marker.
Harry Redknapp later told BBC Sport that during his half time team talk, he told his players that if they continued playing as they had in the first they would go on to win, and whilst Wolves fans may have anticipated shutting up shop and scoring a third consecutive one nil win over the Champions League outfit, they were left with a bitter taste of reality by the time the game was over.
When Matt Jarvis hobbled off on 54 minutes, Wolves appeared to lose their shape and on several occasions Richard Stearman was three yards off his marking, allowing further efforts to stream through on goal, with Robbie Keane the culprit for missing some of Spurs best chances.
Jelle Van Damme brought some aggression into the game, yet whilst his tackling was effective, his distribution was poor and his misplaced passes left Wolves back peddling on several occasions. Dave Edwards replaced Fletcher just before the hour, and despite his industry, the change only appeared to further dissemble Wolves shape.
Tottenham continued to burst through and threaten but as the clock wore down the neutral would observe that possibly for Spurs it was going to be ‘one of those days.’
Full back Alan Hutton however, ran through several Wolves players unchallenged from the middle of the Wolves half, until he was hacked down inside the area by Stephen Ward. Wolves had several players who could have put in a tackle prior to Hutton’s advance, but the first one that came, crudely mistimed, came from Ward, for a clear as day penalty.
Van Der Vaart, another stand out exception, made no mistake from the spot and suddenly, the hosts were set to take the game by the neck and earn their just rewards.
Some poor defending led to Paulyuchencko steering home a second, and probable winner for Spurs, although into injury time, Richard Stearman dropped a clanger leaving the ball for an unprepared Marcus Hahnemann when he could and should have put the ball into the stand. Hutton happily stole in on the error to nail a third and end the afternoon.
New York City Wolf
Commands his box with absolute authority and pulled off three stunning saves.
Booked, and lucky not to get sent off following his silly challenge in the second half, but crossed for the winner and steadily eased Wolves out of several dangerous situations.
Gave Peter Crouch a game of it. Got caught a couple of times, but it is hard to imagine him losing his place in the side considering his continued form.
Was caught repeatedly through the game, often three yards off his marker. After being sent off against Wigan this was his first start since (in 22 games) and his late calamity may see him sit out the next 20. Did not take his opportunity.
Industrious throughout and held the line well. Links up great with Jarvis, but not so well with Van Damme- it will take time. Good going forward and strong in the tackle.
Will take time for him to find his feet. His anticipation and pace usually proves for a sterling holding position but he was caught on several occasions and seemed a good half yard behind the game.
Buzzed around the midfield and let his presence be known without anything spectacular. Held it together and put his tackles in. Little he could do to ensure the lead.
Mostly ineffective through the fist half until his precise pass found Foley down the line which led to the goal. As the anticipated play maker he found it difficult to cut through the Spurs back line for the remainder.
Can not have done his case for an England call up any harm in front of the national coach. Proved his menacing self in the first half, and the side significantly lost it’s balance after his unfortunate knock just into the second half.
Seemed to have done little through the first half before popping up to score a classic striker’s goal. Still does not look fit, and was replaced just before the hour.
Held the ball up tremendously and showed his typical vision that is sometimes a step ahead of the others? Was closely marked today which is most likely a pattern of the future.
Van Damme (7)- 54 mins
Great in the tackle. Distribution was generally poor for his first 15 minutes, but improved as the game wore on and his 25 yarder was not far off the mark.
Edwards (6)- 58 mins
Ran himself into the ground but with the tide strongly against them, was unable to stop Spurs through the middle. Good to see him back
What he was expected to achieve in a minute is beyond me.