OPPONENTS Crystal Palace 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 5th November 2017
VENUE Wembley
Crystal Palace SQUAD 1.  Julian SPERONI
2.  Joel WARD
3.  Patrick van AANHOLT
5.  James TOMPKINS
6.  Scott DANN
7.  Yohan CABAYE
10.  Andros TOWNSEND
11.  Wilfried ZAHA
12.  Mamadou SAKHO
13.  Wayne HENNESSEY
14.  LEE Chung-Yong
15.  Jeffrey SCHLUPP
17.  Christian BENTEKE
18.  James McARTHUR
19.  Freddie LADAPO
21.  Connor WICKHAM
22.  Jordan MUTCH
23.  Papa SOUARE
24.  Timothy FOSU-MENSAH
25.  Sullay KAIKAI
26.  Bakary SAKO
27.  Damien DELANEY
28.  Jason LOKILO
30.  Dion HENRY
32.  Levi LUMEKA
34.  Martin KELLY
35.  Michael PHILLIPS
42.  Jason PUNCHEON
44.  Jairo RIEDEWALD
PREVIEW So Tottenham go from the sublime to the ... .
From the royal to the Palace.

Turning up at Wembley the South London Eagles present with four goals and four points from ten games and two goals and one point of those were against West Ham United London.  The side are already on their second manager of the season with Frank de Boer being shown the door, for Roy Hodgson to take on the responsibility of trying to move them up the league.

Having spent a fair bit of money in the summer, you can only presume that the players didn't take to de Boer, who only lasted at Internazionale for 85 days and his five games make him the manager with the shortest tenure in history of the Premier League.  Taking on Hodgson is a bit of a risk, as his last club management appointments weren't entirely successful, spending an unhappy six months at Anfield, although, at the time he achieved WBA's highest finish in the Premier League in his time at the Hawthorns, having had to drag them out of the relegation mire when he first took over.

Trying to get a tune out of the assorted players in his squad is going to be a tough task, with little thought given to the shape of the team with the signings made.  Spearheaded by Christian Benteke, the Palace team need to create more chances and put some of them away.  With Townsend and Zaha, there is not always the end product to give the opportunities that there should be.  Both are skilful players, but they need to feed Benteke, who can be effective if serviced properly.  Other than the Belgian, there is Bakary Sako, formerly of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Connor Wickham, who joined from Sunderland.  Both are strong physically, but lack the finesse to be all-round strikers.

Creative players are lacking other than the two mentioned above.  I am not sure what Milijovecevic is supposed to be, as his last game against Spurs consisted of him running into white shirts with or without the ball, Jason Puncheon works hard, but has little support to find colleagues and James McArthur is another who is a trier and can put crosses in, but to who ?   With French international Yohan Cabaye signed from Paris St. Germain, it was hoped that this would be a major step forward for the club.  It was a coup, but what they did get was a player PSG were willing to get rid of.  He still has the ability, but has lost some of his ability to cover ground, so can be prone to the cynical foul.  Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been called into the England squad, but that is presumably what Southgate knows of him from the Under-21s. as he hasn't been pulling up trees this season.  One option would be Lee Cheung-Yong, who can be tricky on the wing, but lacks the strength to withstand the rigours of Premier League football.

On paper, defence looks to be their strongest area.  But as we know the game is not ... .  Jeffrey Schlupp was brought in at great expense and he can double up at wing-back, but has not shown the form he did with Leicester City before joining Palace, while Jairo Riedewald is an interesting signing, coming in from Ajax with a number of clubs interested in him, but choosing to link up with his former boss de Boer, but now he has gone, it may look like a bad move on his part.  With only four league games under his belt, he hasn't had time to settle, but his future might be unsure.  Scott Dann is an experienced central defender, but may be coming to the end of his effective life in the top flight, while summer signing from Liverpool, Mamadou Sakho was a major figure in their fight against relegation last season.  This season he has missed a lot through injury and if he starts against Spurs, he might be buoyed by a good performance for Liverpool against us at Anfield, but he might find Harry Kane more of a handful now.  While players such as Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Patrick van Aanholt (Chelsea/Sunderland) and James Tompkins (West Ham United London) have had time in first teams at their previous clubs, the quality is not quite from the top drawer and while Timothy Fosu-Mensah has joined on loan from Manchester United, at times he can still be quite raw in his play.  He's strong and can run with the ball, but his positional play needs attention.

Tottenham will still be missing Victor Wanyama and are doing well in his absence, but will also be without Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld, which are two big blows.  With them in the side, the defence is much more secure, but it gives Vorm a chance to prove his hard work on the training pitch can be translate dot the pitch and the back three will be shuffled, with a wing back brought in to shift Dier back.  There will be some other changes to the team from Wednesday night and the Real issue will be how Spurs can perform back in the bread and butter league.

With Mauricio Pochettino stressing this is equally as important as beating Real Madrid, the side need to have their heads right from the start.  That will ensure they don't get caught out and can take control of the game to dictate the tempo.  Hodgson tries to organise teams to stifle the opposition, so I expect that he has examined the videos of the games played here by Burnley and Swansea City, who came with a defensive plan.  Tottenham's plan to unpick that must be good enough to around or through the men in front of them to keep the points at Wembley.

I think that the guile and confidence in the side, allied with the hard work ethic Poch drills into the players will be enough to see off Palace and maintain the status quo between the two sides.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    3        Crystal Palace    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Crystal Palace

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Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                                                                       
Premier League
Sunday 5th November 2017
Crystal Palace  0 (0)

Kick off 12:00
Son  63m 27s None


Townsend (foul on Sissoko)  45+2
Schlupp  (foul on Aurier)  56


Crowd :   65,270 Weather :  Sunny, chilly
Referee :  Kevin Friend (Leicester) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Long; Mr. A. Holmes
Fourth Official :  Mike Jones  
Crystal Palace kicked off and played towards the West Stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Crystal Palace : kit

15  Eric DIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ

19  Mousa DEMBELE
29  Harry WINKS  (19  Mousa DEMBELE  46)

24  Serge AURIER
  7  Heung-Min SON 
7  Moussa SISSOKO
Christian ERIKSEN
  3  Danny ROSE  (33  Ben DAVIES  90+2)

10  Harry KANE (c)  (18  Fernando LLORENTE  77)

Unused subs: 
41  Alfie WHITEMAN

  2  Kieran TRIPPIER
21  Juan FOYTH
  Georges-Kevin N'KOUDOU

    1  Julian SPERONI

  2  Joel WARD  (26  Bakary SAKO  76)
  Scott DANN (c)
12  Mamadou SAKHO
24  Timothy FOSU-MENSAH

10  Andros TOWNSEND   
  7  Yohan CABAYE
15  Jeffrey SCHLUPP   

11  Wilfried ZAHA

Unused subs: 
  5  James TOMKINS
23  Papa SOUARE
18  James McARTHUR

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Roy Hodgson
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Mansion
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Macron
Match report

After the Lord Mayor's parade came Crystal Palace, who managed to do what Real Madrid could and stifle Tottenham's attacking instincts, but ultimately left without anything to show for their defensive efforts.  Heung-Min Son's expertly curled shot on 64 minutes handed Tottenham a narrow win and three points to go into international week with third place secured and the win cam with an under-strength team.

Dele Alli was ruled out late with a hamstring pull and Michel Vorm, the intended replacement for Hugo Lloris (pulled muscle), was taken ill or got a strain in training (depending on who you believe) and this left Paulo Gazzaniga making his debut at a days' notice.  With Toby Alderweireld also out with a pulled hamstring and Spurs still missing Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela, the depth of the squad was tested, if not stretched (thus risking another injury if it was).

Danny Rose returned to start his first league match of the season and Serge Aurier came in for Kieran Trippier, behind Mousa Dembele working alongside Winks in front of the back four.  Son replaced Dele and Harry Kane was in place at the top of the team.  Palace were missing Christian Benteke, who is the focus of their attack, playing Wilfried Zaha as their front man.

There was a weird lead up to the kick off when the crowd appeared to mis-read the announcement by the man on the PA and the whole stadium went quiet before the teams entered the pitch.  When they did and had the obligatory handshakes, they then gathered around the centre circle for the minute's silence for the Remembrance Day tribute.  It was well observed, with members of the services in attendance and the Last Post being played before the game soon got underway.

Within a minute of the kick-off, Gazzaniga had a nervy moment when he came for a Zaha cross into the area from the left corner of the box, but, in spreading himself with a star jump, he forgot about the ball, which fortunately  Sakho missed as he came in, but he did catch a clout on the head and needed treatment.  Set up with a 4-4-2, but with Townsend playing a midfield role rather than on forward one, Spurs found the centre of the pitch congested, with the flanks offering space for Aurier and Rose to attack through, but the crossing was not the best today.  Speroni was right behind a snap-shot from Kane, who took a pass forward from Vertonghen with his back to goal and spun to hit it first time from 20 yards out, while Son was just unable to gather in Dier's clipped pass into the box. 

When Zaha used his pace to chase a pass out of the Palace defence, on a couple of occasions he found Eric Dier sliding into  make sure his progress was halted, while Spurs had to suffer fouls on Winks and Kane, who both needed treatment before they could gingerly carry on.  During the middle period of the first half, Spurs managed a shot off target from Eriksen, but then on the half hour, Aurier put in a long cross to the far post, where Danny Rose came in unmarked and throwing himself at it, he managed to head the ball wide where the six yard box meets the dead ball line.  Getting it on target might have brought about a more productive outcome !  Kane instigated a move by playing the ball wide to Rose and his cross was headed up into the air by Sakho, with Harry winning the header, but with a shoulder in his back from a defender, he could only put it over the bar.

Zaha broke again and Dier slid in to concede a corner, which was crossed in from the right by Townsend and Dann jumped above Dier to head down towards goal, but the Spurs keeper got down quickly to his left to palm the ball as it looked to be heading in.  Jan was on hand to clear the ball away, with Kane having to take evasive action to avoid it hitting him.  It was a smart save and Spurs were there in numbers, as they were for set-pieces throughout the game, to get the ball out of the danger area.  Vertonghen was soon in action at the other end, hitting a shot at goal from 25 yards, which hit Dann and looked to be sending Speroni the wrong way, but it took most of the power out of the effort and the keeper gathered the ball, which was going wide, comfortably. 

Son got in on the left side of the penalty area and hit a shot that flew across the face of goal above head height and Winks scuffed a 20 yard shot wide, with Palace's only threat at the end of the half being Townsend's cynical tug back as Sissoko looked to break away from his own half.  It brought a yellow car on an afternoon that held more embarrassment for the former Spurs winger.

At half-time, Graham Roberts appeared to recall the tale of Chris Hughton kicking out his front teeth in the 1981 FA Cup final at Wembley and Spurs recalled Mousa Dembele from the warm-up to come on as a replacement for Harry Winks at the start of the second half.  It was a 45 minutes in which the Eagles had chances, many of which were of our own making, but failed to make the most of them and that might explain both their lack of goals and their current position in the table.  The first came when Aurier played a square ball inside him, under no pressure, allowing Townsend to run in on goal on the Spurs right, but his low shot heading for a point inside the far post was well-tipped wide by Gazzaniga at full stretch.

Spurs were moving the ball better now and freed Rose on the left.  He pulled a low ball back into the penalty box and Milijocevic slid in to intercept, luckily guiding the ball over the bar from his position on the floor six yards out.  Sanchez nearly scored an odd goal, when Danny Rose popped up on the right and ran through one challenge, charged down an attempted clearance and the ball ran for Davinson to lob the ball high at goal, forcing Speroni to try and grab the ball up by the angle, but he collided with the post and the ball went off.  Corners and free-kicks for both sides followed with no threat to either goal, before Schlupp was booked for a foul on Aurier,  who soon after handed the ball to Zaha, who ran left to right and went around Gazzaniga to the keeper's left.  Paulo had hesitated in coming out and then went back before closing the Palace man down and he screwed the ball slowly wide of the far post, with the goal at his mercy.  It was a great chance for the winger to give Palace the lead, but having spurned it, you wondered how many more good openings they would create. 

Townsend did put a low ball back in from Vertonghen's clearance, but Zaha couldn't reach it.  Spurs fans were becoming a little uneasy, as a corner came in and Dier got a touch to it with his head at the near post allowing Milijocevic to arrive at the far post and crash in a header from a couple of yards out.  Once more Gazzaniga was alert to it and saved the ball close to the far post and close to the line.   The Palace fans were howling for a goal and then booing Son, as play was stopped for him to receive treatment, with Palace on the attack.  Sakho had pole-axed the Spurs man with an elbow to the head at the near post, so it should have been a foul to Tottenham anyway.  The Selhurst Park supporters were very noisy all day, but as we have found with other clubs, a lot of noise does not a successful team make and so it was to prove.

For all the chances, Palace had not been clinical, so, minutes later, when Rose had a shot charged down and a ball played back into the heart of the area by Sissoko was played out by Cabaye, straight to Son in the D on the edge of the box, he lined up a shot.  From a point in the middle of that D, he shifted the ball from his right to his left foot and started his shot outside the keeper's right hand post, he curled it back inside the post and out of Speroni's reach to hit the net and put Tottenham ahead much to the ire of the Eagles fans.  It was a well taken goal and a little out of keeping with much of the game, but it is moments like this that we got o football for. 

Kane won a ball into the box, but two defenders behind him prevented him settling on the ball and from that the ball was played forward to Zaha, who once more got away on their left, but his slow shot across the face of goal was too far ahead of Loftus-Cheek.  Cabaye tried his luck from 20 yards out, but his shot was low and weak and ended up a yard wide, with Paulo having it covered.  Fosu-Mensah hit a shot way over the bar, before Palace went attacking by bringing on Sako for Ward, as Spurs replaced like for like as Llorente replaced Kane.

With 10 minutes left, Jan broke up a Palace move and broke forward.  He played the ball left to Son down the left hand channel.  He was away from the defence and this time went for it with his right foot.  Ten yards out, he managed to send Speroni the wrong way, but dragged the ball outside the near post to miss, with Vertonghen furious inside the box, where he would have been free and five yards out had a pass come his way.   He really is desperate to score and it has been a frustrating time for him on that front.  The game had opened and Palace tired, so Son came into his own.  Firstly, he got left and crossed for Llorente, with the ball hitting him in the midriff after Sakho missed his header, then the South Korean was sent away on the left again, but Sakho did better this time in nicking the ball away for a corner.

Gazzaniga had to be quick on his toes to get to the edge of the box to hold a ball intended for Loftus-Cheek and Paulo got there just before him, then a corner at the other end by Eriksen picked out Sanchez, but his header went down and then wide.   Dier denied a late charge by Townsend.  The ex-Spurs man was rinsed last season, when  Lamela nut-megged him mercilessly, with Danny Rose putting his hands to his head in astonishment.  Andros came in for some more treatment, with an attempted challenge on Sanchez seeing him going over the Colombian's back and ending up in a heap, while a later confrontation with Rose  allowed the Spurs full back to make Townsend look a little foolish, getting worked up over a throw-in.

A win was necessary after the victory over Real, but Palace were never going to make it easy by playing an open game.  Gazzaniga made some good saves and the defence was sound, but the loose passes need to be cut out of their game.  Son was a thorn in the Eagles' side, with Winks and Sissoko breaking a lot of Palace moves up.  Kane worked hard for the team, as he does when he isn't on the score-sheet, while Danny Rose seems to be picking up match fitness with each passing game.

So, a distinct lack of fireworks (apart from the banger that Palace fans seemed to throw into their own fans), but an explosive finish by Son lit the touch paper for an end to end last half hour.  Three points that were not prettily obtained, but sometimes, you can only win ugly when teams come to hold onto a 0-0.  On the day, it was lucky for Spurs that it was Palace, as other teams might have punished our mistakes,  but  it wasn't an a home win in front of a big crowd was just what we needed after Wednesday night and the players we had missing from the team today.

Sean, Stanstead Abbotts




With the club originally set up as  the old Dulwich & Sydenham Association Football and Athletic Club, the current club was formed as it was thought that all play and no work made Syd a Dulwich boy.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Huddersfield Town 1 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 0 AFC Bournemouth 1 Saturday
Southampton 0 Burnley 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Leicester City 2 Saturday
Swansea City 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Saturday
West Ham United London 1 Liverpool 4 Saturday
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0 Sunday
Manchester City 3 Arsenal 1 Sunday
Everton 3 Watford 2 Sunday


League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 11 10 1 0 38 7 31 +31
2 Manchester United 11 7 2 2 23 5 23 +18
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 11 7 2 2 20 7 23 +13
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 22 +9
5 Liverpool 11 5 4 2 21 17 19 +5
6 Arsenal 11 6 1 4 20 16 19 +4
7 Burnley 11 5 4 2 10 9 19 +1
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 11 4 3 4 11 11 15 0
9 Watford 11 4 3 4 17 21 15 -4
10 Huddersfield Town 11 4 3 4 8 13 15 -5
11 Newcastle United 11 4 2 5 10 10 14 0
12 Leicester City 11 3 4 4 16 15 13 +1
13 Southampton 11 3 4 4 9 11 13 -2
14 Stoke City 11 3 3 5 13 22 12 -9
19 Everton 11 3 2 7 10 22 11 -12
15 West Bromwich Albion 11 2 4 5 9 14 10 -5
16 AFC Bournemouth 11 3 1 7 7 14 10 -7
17 West Ham United London 11 2 3 6 11 23 9 -12
18 Swansea City 11 2 2 7 7 13 8 -6
20 Crystal Palace 11 1 1 9 4 22 4 -18

Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  3rd
Position after the weekend :  3rd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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