Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 1st February 2003

You don't need to be Mystic Meg to guess the outcome of this match.  While Chelsea were sneaking a 3-2 win over Leeds courtesy of an own goal and coming from behind twice, Spurs slipped to a defeat at the death and an injury to their main goal threat.  With no transfer window forward arriving, that will be the end of the season for Spurs.

The Blues have been playing well and look a solid side from Cudicini in goal through to Gudjohnson and Hasselbaink up front.  The fact that the side has been fairly stable this season had helped and the renaissance that Zola is going through has been a boon for them.  With many teams picking points off each other, Chelsea have crept up the table after an undistinguished start.  However, the main thrust of their play comes from the midfield where Frank Lampost has proved more mobile that he was in his West Ham days, Petit is less histrionic and more dynamic and Gronkjaer is erratic, but can be tricky on his day.

The defence is built around the experience of Desailly, the youth of Terry and the attacking wing back play of Le Saux and Gallas.  Both can produce the service to the forwards and need to be shut down.  It is a game where we could use a midfielder of the likes of Toda to put in a lot of work in that area.  However, he is not ready for his Premiership introduction, but the inclusion of someone like Blondel might reproduce that effort and also surprise the Chelsea side, who would know little about him.

Our defence allowed Newcastle few chances on Wednesday, but they will have to be even more vigilant today as they try and shut out one of the more potent partnerships in the Premiership.  While both the Chelsea forwards can head the ball, it is on the floor that most of their threat will come and they will have to be closely marked to prevent them even thinking about putting a shot in.

Not having beaten Chelsea in 20 League meetings now, there is little hope of a role reversal today.  Keano faces a late fitness test and if he plays, I would hope that the Tottenham side would produce a tight performance in defence and that we might be able to sneak one in at the other end.  More realistically, we will put up a brave challenge, but ultimately fail.

PREDICTION : -   Chelsea  0   Tottenham  1 (with Keane)
                               Chelsea  2   Tottenham  1  (without Keane)

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.



Chelsea  1    Tottenham  1                  (Half-time score : 1-1)
Premier League
Saturday 1st February 2003
Venue : -  Stamford Bridge
Kick Off : -  15.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Cold, dry
Referee : -  Paul Durkin (Dorset)
Crowd : -  41,384
Teams : -  
Chelsea : - Cudicini; Gallas, Desailly, Terry, Le Saux (Hasselbaink 73); Lampard, Zenden (Melchiot 46), Petit, Gronkjaer (Cole 88); Gudjohnsen, Zola 
Unused subs.: - De Goey, Morris

Tottenham : - Keller; Carr, Taricco, King, Gardner (Doherty 38); Bunjevcevic, Anderton, Poyet, Davies; Sheringham, Iversen (Etherington 80)
Unused subs: - Sullivan, Freund, Acimovic

Colours : -  
Chelsea  - Blue shirts, blue shorts, white socks

Tottenham -  White shirts, navy blue shorts, navy blue socks with black turnover

Scorers : -  
Chelsea  -  Zola 41

Tottenham -  Sheringham 18

Cards : -  
Chelsea  -  Petit (foul) 22

Tottenham -  Taricco (foul) 20

A point from this match was probably the ,most we could have hoped for before the match, but after it, the three points would not have sat uncomfortably in our total after forcing Carlo Cudicini into a man of the match performance.

Tottenham suffered another injury blow before the match with Dean Richards missing out after picking up a knee injury against Newcastle.  This meant that Steffen Iversen came in to replace Robbie Keane and Mauricio Taricco (at the scene of his sending off last season) filled in the defensive place left by Deano.  

Following an amazing scramble when Cudicini made an amazing save from Davies and Desailly blocked Sheringham's attempt from the rebound, the resulting corner flew into the box, Anderton played it back in low and Sheringham got the final touch to divert it into the net to give Tottenham the lead.

It was the Italian keeper who kept the score down in the first half, whether it was rushing out to deny Davies and Iversen, or pulling out a breath-taking save from Poyet on the half hour.

Spurs had their fair share of defending to do though and goal-line clearances by Carr, King and Taricco made sure that the Spurs goal was well protected.  The Spurs defence was standing up well to the threat from Chelsea, but Anthony Gardner's bad luck with injury continued as he chased Gronkjaer and looked to have pulled a hamstring.  It gave Gary Doherty a chance to play in his more favoured position of defender, when he replaced the former Port Vale man.  However, a dodgy free-kick awarded against Davies ended up with the ball in the back of the Spurs net, when Gianfranco Zola struck a perfect dead ball past Keller and the wall.

The end of the half was no less exciting with Lampost hitting Keller with a drive and Iversen failing with an attempted lob - much as he always does from this type of effort on goal.  However, the scores stayed level at the break and there was only one change at the restart with Melchiot coming on for Zenden.

Lampost did a bit better after five minutes of the second half, as his powerful drive struck something and was deflected wide.  Luckily for Tottenham, it was one of his team-mates laying on the floor.  The next time there was a chance, it was Keller who got in the way of Gudjohnsen's shot, which he managed to push away.

The newly laid pitch wasn't playing too well, with Iversen and Lampost both suffering from nasty bobbles on the turf, just as they were poised to hit shots on goal.  Unfortunately, it didn't stop Gudjohnsen and Melchiot, when they both fired shots in and produced a double stop when Kasey and Taz combined to keep the ball out.

Zola was trying to pepper the Spurs goal but mainly got them off target and it was Tottenham who pressed at the end.  A rash foul by Desailly on Poyet earned Spurs a free-kick if not the Frenchman a booking.  Anderton's shot was blocked, but before the end there was another chance to win it, with Etherington, on as a sub, producing a poor shot straight at the keeper.

Maybe, it was the team that Chelsea put out that helped Tottenham.  Leaving our our bête noir Hasselbaink, made things psychologically easier, although Keller and the defence had to do enough work to show that Chelsea were still a force to be reckoned with.  Especially good at home, the draw was a good result considering the injuries and coming off the back of the defeat by Newcastle.  The Tottenham team played a lot more as a compact unit and broke well, threatening the home side on a number of occasions.

Despite the valuable pint we picked up we have now dropped to ninth position on goal difference behind Charlton and SCBC.  This is not where we want to be and hopefully, we will have an easier run-in than them, as we have only got Liverpool and Man U of the top sides to play.  Having failed to beat another one today, we will have to hope that we have our "right heads on" (© Glenn Hoddle) when we play the clubs further down the League.


Kirk Hammarton




Twice this season Carlo Cudicini has been the difference between the two sides and while Chelsea have failed to beat Spurs at least once in a season for the first time since 1995-96, the Tottenham defence also deserve a pat on the back for keeping the Blues out.

Chelsea have been rampant in recent weeks and therefore, coming into this game without Robbie Keane, I was filled with trepidation.  I shouldn't have worried - apart from that messianic they play prior to the teams coming out.  The classical music followed by that crap World Cup drum thing by someone French (Dario G ?).  How clichéd.  How 1998 !!

And then when the game started, we had to have Keller on his toes and Carr too, to head the ball over.  It was an early scare that Spurs soon recovered from.  Davies was set up by a fine pass from Iversen, but was denied by Cudicini being on top of him before he knew it.  Sheringham blasted the rebound against a Chelsea leg and then when the ball found it's way back into the Chelsea box next time, we scored !!  It was Simon Davies who slipped a cross in that found it's way to the far post, where Anderton blasted it low across the face of goal and Teddy slid in to put it over the line.  The Chelsea keeper was convinced Sheringham had been offside, but as he was facing the other way, I am not sure how he worked that out !!

Spurs were looking good going forward and the midfield was working well against Chelsea's, but the keeper was in inspired form, diving full length to keep out Poyet's shot when set up by Teddy.  It proved to be a harbinger of things to come, with Ledley having to dive in on the line to kick clear Zola's effort that Kasey got just enough on and then Keller being alert to stop two Lampard shots low down to his right.  He also denied Zenden, before the Dutchman went flying under challenge from Davies, who barely touched him.  The free kick was out on the left hand corner of the box and the two man wall always looked insufficient to stop Zola's vicious curler that ripped past Kasey into the top right hand corner of his net.

It wouldn't be a Chelsea - Spurs match without a bit of naughties.  For once Taricco wasn't involved, although he did pick up a booking for a late tackle on Gronkjaer.  Terry and Iversen had a bit of a push and shove, while Teddy and Desailly had a disagreement too.

Into the second half and Spurs were coping well with Doherty having replaced Gardner in the 36th minute, but Lampard hit a low shot that Gudjohnsen tried to head in ... while prostrate on the floor.  Kasey saved at his near post from the Icelander and then Spurs survived a shout for a penalty as King shepherded the ball back to the keeper.  It was never even remotely a foul, but the Chelsea fans were getting desperate now.

Zola had one shot dip just over Keller's crossbar, while another he failed to make contact with altogether !!  Spurs seemed content to let their 4-4-2 formation soak up the pressure that was produced as Chelsea came into more possession of the ball.  Bringing on Hasselbaink would have seemed to be the point when Spurs cracked, but he rarely troubled the back four.

In fact Tottenham broke away with Carr, who should have found a white shirt with his pull-back, but it was cleared by Gallas.  Even then, Spurs could have won it at the end.  A well-worked move, involving Poyet and Sheringham, pushed the ball out to the left and Matthew Etherington, on as a sub, came charging in, but failed to get sufficient force behind the ball to beat Cudicini.

Today, Hoddle got his tactics right, with limited resources.  King and Carr were very good in defence and Gardner looked comfortable until his hamstring ripped.  Davies and Anderton worked hard up and back in midfield, while Teddy looked sharper up front.  

Most of all the team worked hard for each other and whether it was defending or going into attack, players were available and we held the ball better than we have done some times this season.  It frustrated Chelsea and they were unable to get their game going properly.  That hard work will need to be put in every time between now and the end of the season to make sure we get something out of this campaign.  With our programme between now and then, we should get more points than we drop as long as the application is right.

Ray Mann



Other scores this weekend :


2 Fulham 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 3 Blackburn Rovers 0 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 4 Birmingham City 2 Saturday
Everton 2 Leeds United 0 Saturday
Manchester City 1 WBA 2 Saturday
Middlesbrough P Newcastle United P Saturday
SCBC 0 Manchester United 2 Saturday
Sunderland 1 Charlton Athletic 3 Saturday
West Ham United 0 Liverpool 3 Sunday
Birmingham City 0 Manchester United 1 Tuesday


League Table (after the above results)
  P W D L F A Pts
1 Arsenal 26 17 5 4 56 28 56
2 Manchester United 26 16 5 5 43 24 53
3 Newcastle United 25 15 3 7 41 31 48
4 Chelsea 26 12 9 5 45 26 45
5 Everton 26 13 6 7 34 30 45
6 Liverpool 26 11 9 6 37 25 42
7 SCBC 26 10 9 7 28 25 39
8 Charlton Athletic 26 11 6 9 34 33 39
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 26 11 6 9 36 36 39
10 Manchester City 26 11 4 11 37 37 37
11 Aston Villa 26 10 5 11 30 27 35
12 Blackburn Rovers 26 8 10 8 31 31 34
13 Leeds United 26 9 4 13 33 34 31
14 Middlesbrough 25 8 6 11 29 29 30
15 Fulham 25 7 6 12 26 33 27
16 Birmingham City 26 6 8 12 22 37 26
17 Bolton Wanderers 26 5 9 12 29 43 24
18 WBA 26 5 5 15 19 37 20
19 West Ham United 26 4 8 14 28 51 20
20 Sunderland 26 4 7 15 17 38 19


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