If only Howard Webb had refereed Wolves vs Spurs. It could have been oh-so-different. The West Midlands marvels might have won 5-3! But sadly England’s finest referee can’t be everywhere. Don’t believe propaganda from the Star Wars Universe...human cloning is not yet a reality, just a dream. Until that joyous day we will have to make do with just one Howard and I will have to wait to entertain Natalie Portman II and III.
Thankfully, Webb’s gleaming dome was nowhere to be seen at Molineux. While Howard was probably enjoying a selection of sliced meats at the Rotherham Harvester, 'less capable stand-in' Mark Halsey failed to send off two Tottenham players, allow a bundled Wolves goal or award a penalty when a ball struck Alan Hutton’s back. We can’t all be Howard, but don't worry, he'll get us in his next game!
Meanwhile, Spurs’ strikers embarked on a veritable goal orgy! Jermain Defoe lamped in two wonder goals (the first inexplicably labelled scrappy by Sky stooge Chris Coleman) and the under-appreciated Roman Pavlyuchenko scored his 11th under-the-radar strike of the season to give Tottenham a tantalising 3-2 lead in the second half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite hold on despite numerous second-half chances and another wonder show from Sandro in midfield, which went over the heads of the Sky commentators.
I don’t subscribe to the opinion that the press are against Tottenham (that’s just paranoia), but for two, odd hours Sky Sports morphed into Wolves TV. Every Wolves foray was greeted with breathless delight. Highlights included Martin Tyler’s moan of disappointment when Wanderers' ‘first 3-3 equaliser’ was disallowed and Coleman’s unerring ability to erase Tottenham’s superiority in possession (56%-44%) and 10 shots on target compared to 4 from his memory. I know a rather incendiary secret about Mr. Coleman, but I will keep my own counsel because everyone is entitled to an off-day, right?
Stearman’s ‘equaliser’ was interesting. Neither Tyler nor fellow cheerleader Coleman noticed referee Halsey immediately pointing for a Spurs free-kick and embarrassingly tried to make their oversight appear like a Halsey late decision. I’ve always rated Halsey and it’s wonderful see him officiating again after his serious health problems. There was a great tribute to former Spurs and Wolves star Dean Richards who sadly died, too young, at 36 last week. But it did seem ironic to me that the Wolves fans applauding Richards’ memory also abused recent cancer survivor Halsey for not siding with their team ('You're not fit to referee' and worse) on several crucial decisions. Humanity only stretches as far as your own team, it seems.
Gomes was perhaps fortunate on the disallowed 'goal' (he undoubtedly flapped), but the Wolves players were trying to rough him up; that they failed to make more significant contact probably reflects on their general lack of co-ordination. Ebanks-Blake certainly appears to own a pair of paper ankles.
The pitch was predictably dismal and I felt Spurs played far better than they were given credit for. It was still an away point gained where Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd have failed to pick up any this season. The return of 'Welsh Wonder' Gareth Bale provided welcome encouragement ahead of Wednesday’s crucial Champions League second leg clash with AC Milan. Another glory. glory night?