Looking Forward

 

BOLTON WANDERERS

FA Cup 4th Round

Tuesday 5th February 2002

Our two sides are quite familiar with each other already this season ,with yet another League meeting to come at the Reebok in April.  However, which side Spurs will face is another question.  The home league match saw a full strength Bolton; the Worthington Cup tie a shadow side drawn from the reserves as they were not keen to qualify for Europe.  Allardyce's reasoning was that they needed to concentrate on the League, but then where does this leave the status of this game in the Wanderers' priorities ?  Rumours are already circulating that another weakened Bolton side will be fielded in this tie, so it could be another easy win for Spurs.  I think the Bolton boss is being a bit ingenuous and playing a mind game or two.  These are some of the players who might make it onto the pitch.

Finn Jussi Jaaskelainen is good in the air and a fine shot-stopper, but like all keepers, he is vulnerable to the low ball played in between him and the defenders.  Spurs have experience of sticking the ball past him ,so hopefully that will come in handy for our part.  In reserve, Kevin Poole is most likely to take a place on the bench or inexperienced Finnish loan keeper Jani Viander, as Steve Banks is on loan at Rochdale, may be called in.

Former Spurs defender Gudni Bergsson is the mainstay  of the Trotters defence, but he could get caught out by the fleet of foot in the Tottenham side.  As previously, Les Ferdinand's fitness will determine how Spurs line up and what trouble he can cause.  Iversen could provide different types of problems for the Bolton defence.  With Mike Whitlow likely to replace Simon Charlton, there will be a tough tackler in the defence, but Simon Davies proved a hadnful for him before and with the Welshman on top form, he could run him ragged this time too.  Having signed permanently, Bruno N'Gotty has improved and looks comfortable in the middle of the back four, while Anthony Barness may get a chance if injuries dictate.

The hard working Gareth Farrelly has a strong shot, as does Per Frandsen, but the Dane will be out injured for quite a while.  Kevin Nolan has been making a name for himself, but in the previous games against Spurs the only name he made was in the referee's notebook.  He likes to moan and although a strong youngster, he is a bit rash on occasion.  Now that Paul Warhurst has returned from suspension, he might be on the bench - depending on his fitness after taking a knock in the reserves, but for me, the outstanding midfielder for them is Ricardo Gardner, the Jamaican international, who is fast, has two good feet and, if he is given the support, could cause problems to the Tottenham defence.  Similarly, his countryman Jermaine Johnson is quick off the mark and very skillful too.  Probably on the bench, Nicky Southall is a dogged midfielder, who works the right side. Formerly a winger, he is a good crosser of the ball.

Rod Wallace and Dean Holdsworth are the two old hands up front, with Michael Ricketts providing the brawn and finishing ability.  The young forward has scored quite a few goals this season in the top flight and has impressed with his skill on the ball too.  Wallace is still quick despite his advancing years and as he showed in the League game, can still finish, if he gets a sight on goal.  Holdsworth plays for the foul quite often and Perry did a good job on him previously, so expect more of the same should he shake off a calf injury he picked up in midweek.  Bo Hansen and Henrik Pedersen are both fringe players, but they are capable of scoring, although they are not prolific.  One new name in the forward line is Fredi Bobic, the Borussia Dortmund striker who is on loan until the end of the season.  A regular scorer for club and country, he is probably a bit rusty, but needs to be watched as he is experienced and moves well off the ball.

Bolton prey on set-pieces, although with Frandsen out, this may limit their options and corners could be particularly dangerous for Spurs with our penchant for letting markers go.

I think that following on from their good win on Wednesday, Spurs will carry on their winning run, coming out on top ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham  2   Bolton Wanderers  1

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

 

 

Tottenham  4   Bolton Wanderers  0                                  (Half time score: 2-0)
FA CUP 4th ROUND
Tuesday 5th February 2002
Kick Off : 7.45 p.m.
Weather : -  Light rain at start, cold and then dry
Crowd : -   27,093
Referee : -   Mr. S. Dunn (Bristol)

Scorers : -  Tottenham   -   Anderton (pen) 21, Iversen 35, Etherington 56, Barness (o.g) 76
                  Bolton Wanderers  -  None

CARDS

Spurs :  None

Bolton Wanderers :  Whitlow (foul) 23, Nolan (foul) 59

TEAMS 

Spurs  Sullivan; Thatcher, Richards, King, Taricco (Leonhardsen 75); Anderton (Thelwell 75), Poyet, Sherwood, Etherington; Rebrov, Iversen
Unused Subs
: - Keller, Sheringham, Ferdinand

Bolton Wanderers Jaaskelainen; Southall, Whitlow (Buchannan 46), Bergsson, Barness; Farrelly, Nolan (Johnson 64), Gardiner, Hansen; Ricketts (Holdsworth 62), Pedersen
Unused Subs
: - Poole, Norris

COLOURS

Spurs  White Shirts, Navy Blue shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Bolton Wanderers : Dark Blue shirts, White shorts, Dark White socks with Dark Blue turnovers.

It is no lie to say that Tottenham could easily have reached double figures if they had taken all their chances and had not been denied by the athletic saves of Jaaskelainen.

Bolton came, not to praise Tottenham, but to let them go simply through to the next round of the Cup.  The few opportunities they had were a trickle against the flood that headed towards their own goal.  It must have been one of the poorest efforts in a Cup tie in a long time.  I fully realise that Bolton's priority lies elsewhere, but they were woeful.

From the off, Tottenham looked like ripping them apart every time they advanced.  Within the first ten minutes, Poyet had hit a shot too near the keeper, who did well to keep it out and he denied his fellow Scandinavian Iversen with a save low at his post.  Rebrov headed the resulting corner over the bar, when he was trying to get it back into the far corner of the net.  Iversen was looking for a goal as soon as he could get one and a drive from the edge of the box was well turned around by Jaaskelainen.

However, just when it looked like it might be one of those nights, Gus headed neatly into Anderton's path and as he collected the ball, was unceremoniously bundled over by Barness.  The ref pointed straight to the spot and Anderton himself drilled the ball past the keeper to open the scoring.

Both Anderton and Iversen went close again before Spurs notched a second goal.  Richards dinked a delicate ball into the right hand channel just inside the area and Anderton, running towards the line, managed to pull the ball back for Iversen to get a deft touch on the ball and steer it slowly past the goalie.  It was a well taken goal and one that might give Iversen some confidence, especially as it was his third in consecutive home games.

While Spurs were attacking almost non-stop, Bolton did break away and Pedersen got behind the Tottenham defence to head past Sullivan, but turned to find that he had been adjudged offside and the goal was wiped out.  Spurs finished the first period with a stunning display of passing, stringing together about 20 passes, before Gus Poyet was put in just inside the area and his shot bounced back off the post and was cleared.  What a goal that would have been !!

As it was, the half-time break brought only the change at the back for Bolton, but there was no change really, as they were soon under more pressure from the Spurs attack.  They soon succumbed to a third goal, when Taricco found Iversen in the box from a short free-kick.  Stef's touch put in Dazza and his low shot was sharply saved by Jaaskelainen, but racing on from the left corner of the box, Etherington struck the ball firmly past the Finn for his first Tottenham goal.  Bolton appealed in vain for offside against Anderton and their commitment cannot be questioned as Farrelly went absolutely ballistic at a linesman when he gave a throw-in to Tottenham that the Bolton man thought should have been his !!

Other chances came and went.  Rebrov failed to get a shot in when in the box and the ball wouldn't come down for him; Poyet missed the target when nicely set up on the edge of the box; Anderton played Etherington in and he looked as thought he was pulled back, but this time there was not a whistle from the ref.  Even Ledley King charged forward into the box after running with the ball from midfield, but the return pass to him was picked off.  Another fine save from a Iversen header denied the Norwegian, but when Matty ran at the right side of the their defence, his low cross caused panic and Barness just beat Gardiner to the ball and scored his second own goal at White Hart Lane this season.

Four-nil it ended, but it could have been many more. Spurs contented themselves with keeping the ball for long periods of the second half, and the game was finished as a contest when Allardyce took off Ricketts and Nolan, their two shining stars.  Saved for another day no doubt, but will they be saved from relegation ?  Not on this showing and you would hope that they put more effort into their League games.  But, losing becomes a habit and they have plummeted down the League recently.  They need to break that run soon.

As for Spurs, a Fifth Round tie at home to Tranmere Rovers awaits.  Not as straightforward as perhaps it might appear, with the Worthington Cup final seven days after and the team from the Wirral having nothing to lose.  Let's hope that the team can shine again on that day.

MEHSTG TOP MAN : -  MATTHEW ETHERINGTON

Peter O'Hanrahanrahan

 

UNLUCKY 13

 

What was the turning point in this game ?  The point when Bolton decided to put off the inevitable by wanting the original date moved because of the heavy rain. It might not have been a good match a couple of weeks previous, but they might have stood more of a chance standing up to their waists in water than the insipid performance they turned in tonight.

As for the hundred or so Trotters fans who made their way down for the re-arranged game, they must have been very disappointed that there was little sparkle from their side.  They did keep their spirits up by singing through the second half despite the pasting they were taking.

With few hopes and few grains of effort, Bolton went about their task barely going through the motions.  Apart from their disallowed goal in the first half, I can't recall Sullivan having a shot to save until half way through the second half.  And that was the story of the game.  Poor fare from the visitors, but Tottenham did manage to play all the football, even though they left players out of their line-up.  Ferdinand, Sheringham, Perry and Davies all failed to start ... mainly to preserve them from being booked, but some players needed the rest and really, this match was the ideal one to do so.  It is slightly questionable as to whether they would have been any less rested had they been on the pitch though !!

Spurs had already had two good chances by the time they scored goal number one.  The keeper displayed his agility as he had in the previous games against us and prevented a string of Spurs players from making the score embarrassing for Wanderers.

He was beaten though when Anderton powered his penalty past him, after Barness had bumped into him, in what looked like a harsh penalty decision.  However, it balanced up the one Spurs didn't get in the second half, when Etherington had his shirt pulled back as he broke into the box.

With Spurs passing and moving well, they opened up the Bolton defence as they wanted and Jaaskelainen saved very well from Poyet, Iversen and Anderton, before the latter latched onto a clever pass down the right from Richards and squared the ball for Iversen to flick past the keeper.  It was a nicely worked goal, but could have been knocked into a cocked hat by the passing sequence that lead to Poyet hitting the post, instead of directing it into the goal.

Into the second half and nothing changed.  Spurs continued to attack, Bolton continued to allow them to play and the keeper kept on keeping Tottenham out.  Ricketts had one moment of frustration in front of the East Stand, where he swore out loud to a team-mate and brought "oohs" from the Spurs fans !!  As did Ledley, when he powered forward, but couldn't get a shot in as he shaped up to fire in a drive from the edge of the area.  The third goal came from a ball into the box that Iversen laid on for Anderton, who's shot was saved and Matthew Etherington took the opportunity as it fell for him to score his first goal for the club.  He was also involved in the last goal, which his tantalising run down the left wing set up for Barness to score another own goal in a match against Spurs.  It might have come off Gardiner, who was there too and also Jaaskelainen, but it counted for Tottenham and that was al that mattered.

It was a professional performance by Spurs against a team who might rue their one chance of success this season.  Thatcher came in for Perry and did OK, without setting the world alight, but what he did he did well.  Etherington was a breath of fresh air and he now looks as though he has the belief to do well after his loan spell at Bradford.  He took players on and hopefully, he might get to keep his place on Saturday.  Rebrov came in for Teddy and his performance was not the best, although he did show some better examples of link play than perhaps he had done recently.  While it has been along time since they played a full game together, he seems to play best with Iversen and that was borne out today, as Steffen looked like he some spring back in his step too.  Richards did well against nothing much and King was passing and reading the game well.  Sullivan had a couple of late efforts to field, but apart from that it was nothing more than a light work-out for his injured calf.

Taricco played and did well in keeping out of trouble to avoid another booking and everything that Sherwood tried on Saturday that didn't work, today seemed to come off.  Leo came on and did some good running, while Thelwell looked a bit nervous when he replaced Anderton, who had sparked most of what was good about Tottenham tonight.  Gus had been quiet ... contributing in passing moves and getting forward, but lacking that clinical finish on a couple of occasions, but maybe he is saving it for Cardiff.

Spurs will hardly face an easier Cup tie, even against non-league opposition, so they made the most of it while they could.  Bolton will now be left with a battle against relegation and with young players who have no experience of that, they could find that hard.

Barness' own goal was the thirteenth that Bolton had conceded against Spurs so far this season ... and there is still one fixture to fulfill against them !!

Keith Mendament

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