08 November, 2005

Cosmopolitan Bolton

A wet and windy Monday night in Bolton is still a wet and windy Monday night in Bolton. But, last night's Bolton-Spurs Premier League clash was indicative of how cosmopolitan English football has become. Fifteen years ago, to suggest Bolton were in the top flight might raise eyebrows. That they play in a modern all-seater stadium would surprise. Mention that they fielded an Israeli, Jamaican, Senegalese, Greek, Japanese and Mexican, well you might be told that you were bonkers.

Spurs, on the other hand, are the Cosmopolitans Extraordinaire. They were the first to capitalise on the relaxation on foreign players in the late 70s: Argentines Ardiles and Villa signed in 1978 and provided heaps of entertainment. Last night, apart from a foreign contingent from such footballing Canada, Egypt and Korea, Spurs were unusual in starting 6 Englishmen (5 of them internationals).

However, as I said before. It was wet and windy night in Bolton. Despite all the cosmopolitan feel, it took a goal from Bolton's man with a good engine, Kevin Nolan, and several bad offside decisions against Spurs to settle the fixture.

Martin Jol's Spurs revolution continues. The defeat, the first on the road this season, drops them to sixth. Bolton, now third, join Wigan in the top three. Makes for an interesting looking ladder. Spurs have a good run off games after the international break to consolidate their position. But.

But, a wet and windy night in Bolton should have brought points. Draws against Manchester United and Arsenal in previous weeks brought encouragement. Spurs just cannot seem to beat Bolton and that's a worry. So two is the form of Edgar Davids, who looks short of pace and ideas. Carrick too was subdued. One cannot help think that the too cancel each other out (c) Alan Hansen 2005. Jermaine Defoe is in a scoring slump, but was denied by the assistant referee's flag.

There'll be more wet and windy nights. Next time they have to yield points.


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