Spurs v Blackpool: Time to avenge ludicrous defeat at Bloomfield Road
WHEN Spurs look back on their season, there will be a number of injustices to bemoan.
Of course, Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ at Stamford Bridge is uppermost in the memory, but who can forget Nani’s goal at Old Trafford, when Heurelho Gomes put the ball down for a free kick that hadn’t been given, and the United winger put the ball into the open net?
These were big moments against two of the biggest teams in the Premier League, and at two of the most imposing grounds in the country.
However, the 3-1 defeat against lowly Blackpool at little old Bloomfield Road must rank highly when Tottenham are listing the matches when Lady Luck favoured the opposition.
Spurs had 25 shots on goal when the sides met in February, but only scored once. Blackpool had eight attempts and scored three, the second of which was offside.
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It was a ludicrous match with a ridiculous result. As a stunned Harry Redknapp said at the time, “you had to see it to believe it” – and unfortunately that defeat really did matter.
Spurs went into that game in arguably the best position of their season. They had beaten AC Milan at the San Siro in their previous match, and their league status was very healthy after back-to-back wins over Blackburn, Bolton and Sunderland.
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The Lilywhites kicked off at Bloomfield Road sitting two points behind Manchester City and two points ahead of Chelsea.
While it may be overstating the case to say that Spurs’ league campaign was defined by that night in Blackpool, it certainly had a profound impact.
After their mugging on the west coast, the Lilywhites drew with Wolves, West Ham and Wigan, taking three points from a possible 12.
In fact, since kicking off at Blackpool, Tottenham have won just one of their 11 games – the narrow 3-2 home win over Stoke.
And so, as Blackpool prepare for their trip to White Hart Lane, Spurs have a score to settle – and if there is any justice, the result will be something akin to last season’s 9-1 win over Wigan in N17.
That is, of course, unlikely – but then again, Ian Holloway’s side have conceded 70 goals in their 35 league games, giving them by far the worst defensive record in the top flight.
The result could well be relegation because, although the Tangerine army are currently above the drop zone, they are only ahead of 18th-placed Wigan on goal difference.
Meanwhile, their final three fixtures see them travel to White Hart Lane, host Bolton and then go away to Old Trafford on the final day.
Whether Blackpool are relegated or not, they are sure to lose their captain Charlie Adam in the summer.
The 25-year-old interested Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham in January, and Holloway has hinted that the pursuit of his skipper is largely responsible for their subsequent slide down the table.
Harry Redknapp suggested in the winter that Tottenham may return for the Scotland international, who was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.
However, the Lilywhites boss seems to have gone cool on the idea, shrugging off recent mentions of Adam by highlighting Sandro’s impact since the turn of the year.
The verdict: We keep predicting these routine home wins over supposedly inferior sides, and Spurs keep drawing them. However, we really think that Tottenham will triumph this time, and comfortably as well, in an open and entertaining affair.
Prediction: Spurs 3 Blackpool 1