olton 3 Tottenham 2: Are Spurs too good to go down? Harry’s not sure

02 February 2009 02:46
The last time Tottenham

and Bolton

played - a 2-0 win in Harry Redknapp's first game in charge - it started a run which gave cause for optimism regarding Spurs'Premier League survival.

Under Redknapp's guidance, Spurs were lifted off the bottom of the table, taking 16 points from a possible 24 compared to only two points from eight games under his predecessor Juande Ramos.

How that optimism has evaporated now that Tottenham have been sucked back into the relegation mire, defeat at the Reebok meaning they have taken only six points from their past eight games.

Kevin Davies heads in Bolton's late winner

The manner in which they threw away a precious point against fellow strugglers Bolton, having fought back from 2-0 down to look like the team most likely to grab a late winner, provides plenty of evidence to suggest Tottenham may not be destined to escape the drop after all.

It was enough to have Redknapp pacing the floor like a cat on a hot tin roof outside the away dressing room, turning the air blue while the men brought into help him plot yet another great escape, Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood, studied a replay of where it had all gone wrong.

 Bolton 3 Tottenham 2: All the action as it happened

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Redknapp's mood had not improved by the time he attended his post-match Press conference.

Surely Tottenham have enough quality in their squad to survive? 'I don't know,' he admitted.

'We weren't that far up the table when I arrived. I have brought two players in as well as Jermain Defoe and we have lost him, so it is pretty much the same group really that has been struggling for the past two years.

'They had a manager before who is now the manager of Real Madrid and they had two points from eight games. Something needs strengthening to make sure we get out of this situation and we don't get in it again.

'It ain't no good me standing here and saying I ain't worried about relegation. Everybody in the bottom half of the League is. We're all looking at the table, definitely. If I told you how upset I really was, you'd never f****** believe it. That is four games away from home that we have done that, conceded goals in the last two or three minutes.'

Darren Bent scores the second of his two goals to bring Spurs level at the Reebok Stadium

Redknapp leaves you with the distinct impression he is getting to the end of his tether with those players in the dressing-room who feel they are too good for the muck-and-bullets battle that lies ahead.

Although he has brought Defoe and Pascal Chimbonda back to the club, not to mention the possible return of Robbie Keane today, there are plenty of players who can expect to be shown the door come the summer whether Spurs survive or not.

Expect them to wait until 5pm this afternoon before announcing the full extent of Defoe's foot injury for fear of driving up the price of a replacement, Keane or otherwise.

Harry Redknapp couldn't hide his frustration after Tottenham's defeat at Bolton

Meanwhile, Redknapp was left to talk up the contribution of Darren Bent, upon whom he may now have to rely, after he came off the bench at half-time to grab two poacher's goals in two minutes to cancel out the efforts of Sebastien Puygrenier and Kevin Davies either side of the break.

Still making no apology for his 'my missus could have scored that' comments following Bent's miss against Portsmouth, Redknapp added: 'I thought Darren Bent was excellent. He worked his socks off, scored his goals. He was terrific. That's what we expect to see from him and he was outstanding.'

So, too, were Bolton's new captain Davies and his namesake Mark, the £1million capture from Wolves ensuring that Kevin Nolan's departure to Newcastle was not felt.

Skipper Davies fully deserved his late winner for his tireless work, even if it came courtesy of a third defensive lapse of the afternoon by Spurs.

'We spoke to seven of the senior players on Friday (about Nolan) and just asked them the question, “What does Kevin bring to the football club?”, said Bolton manager Gary Megson.

'The main things were his leadership and his character in the dressing room. We said we need to replace that with what we have got. I think Kevin Davies has done that with abundance and other people have got to step in because we need more from them.'

Redknapp certainly needs more from what he has already got. Next up is the small matter of a derby against eternal rivals Arsenal.

Last time it was Tottenham's turn to dish out some late pain to earn a stunning 4-4 draw at the Emirates.

On current evidence, do not expect anything similar at White Hart Lane next Sunday.

 Bolton 3 Tottenham 2: All the action as it happened

Patrick Collins: It's high time football closed Harry's window

BOLTON FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET

TOTTENHAM FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NET





 

Source: Daily_Mail