Arsenal seemingly wrapping games up in the first half by scoring three
goals, we will have to hope that they call a ceasefire at the interval
I must say, I only know
this from newspapers and from what people tell me as I can't bring
myself to watch them on a regular basis (it's why I have a Tottenham
season ticket you know).
The only times I have
seen them play this season was at White Hart Lane, when the match ended
all square and on TV when they crashed at home to Deportivo La Coruna.
What a laugh that was. We may not be as skillful as Depor, but
there will be a desire to do well against our North London rivals (and
South London etrangers).
Whether that will be
enough is doubtful. We have still not played well to win matches
on our own merits recently, even though we are three matches
unbeaten. Boro was perhaps the best attacking performance, with
Leeds the best defensive one. With it likely to be a backs to the
wall type of match, it might be the need for a Leeds style showing that
could help Spurs out most.
There is no doubt that
they are favourites for the title at the moment, with everyone else
slipping all over the place, but a few points dropping out of the Gooner
equation could let another side through.
suggestion in the Evening Standard that Tim Sherwood will be aware that
Vieira is one booking away from a two match ban was one that was most
cynical. There are usually enough sparks coming off these two
anyway, that such an intentional wind-up would surely be unnecessary.
All the blood and thunder
of a Spurs-Arsenal game will be in evidence, but there will be some
football played. If Teddy suddenly discovers his touch and Spurs
can conjure some passes from midfield they might be able to make a match
of it, but the reality (even though it hurts) is that we are unlikely to
come back down the Seven Sisters Road with very much at the end of the
day. The best that can happen is that we don't get mullered.
: - Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
Tottenham 1 (Half time score: 1-0)
|FA PREMIER LEAGUE
|Saturday 6th April 2002
|Venue : Highbury
|Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
|Weather : - Sunny
warm, but windy
|Crowd : - 38,186
- Mr. M. Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)
Scorers : - Arsenal - Ljungberg
24, Lauren (pen) 86
Tottenham - Sheringham (pen) 81
(foul) 14, Sheringham (foul) 26, Sherwood (foul) 37, Perry (foul) 70
: Seaman; Luzhny, Campbell, Adams, Lauren; Vieira, Ljungberg,
Edu (Kanu 83), Bergkamp (Parlour 72); Henry, Wiltord (Dixon 87)
Unused Subs : - Wright, Keown
Tottenham : Keller;
Perry, Gardner, Richards, King (Davies 46); Poyet, Anderton , Sherwood,
Ziege (Etherington 78); Sheringham, Iversen (Rebrov 53)
Unused Subs : - Hirschfeld, Thatcher
: Red shirts, white shorts, white socks
: White shirts,
navy blue shorts, navy blue socks
There are moments in a season when you believe
in the old adage that things even themselves out over a season. Then
Tommy Docherty's quote about as one door opens another slams you in the
face comes true !!
The penalty that put us level with ten
minutes to go looked like a fortunate one and then when out of touch Teddy
converted it, perhaps a point was on the cards. However, I should
have remembered who we were playing and that they are not known as
"Lucky Arsenal" for nothing. Another dodgy pen and another
slotted away, this time with less pace than Lee Dixon.
As for the rest of the game, there is
little to talk about as far as Spurs were concerned. One weak effort
from Poyet and Teddy's shot that roared over the bar, when he was given
offside and that's about it. Seaman must have wondered if he had
turned up a day too early.
The first half consisted of Tottenham
conceding possession and space to the home side, while failing
spectacularly to get out of their own half. Thankfully, they did a
little better in the second. One corner is the only indicator of the
attacking threat we posed !!
At least in the second we did pass the bal
a bit better and without causing any problems in their box, we managed to
push the game a bit higher up the pitch. In the first period, we had
frustrated them by closing them down and getting in the way, but they had
chances to score, which they didn't take. That was until Keller made
a good save from Pink and then the ball came back through to him and he
beat Kasey this time. Bit of a soft goal to give away, but that sort
of slackness of thought has caught us a few times this season
already. Keller did well to deny Bergkamp's curler and then there
was some stout defending to prevent any more opportunities.
The second half contained a farcical piece
of action, where the ball was played to Chris Perry, who went to clear,
but his standing foot touched the ball first and his striking foot took an
air shot at the ball. Perry ended up on his backside.
Unfortunately, it wasn't that funny, as Ljungberg got the ball presented
to him and he went for a shot into the far corner rather than the ball
across the face to Henry coming in at the back stick. Another one
that got away.
The match turned on the two refereeing
decisions in the box. Both perverse and both wrong, but they didn't
affect the final result in the end. The result was a decent one
considering what could have happened. As for the team, Keller did
well and Gardner was the pick of the bunch with his cool defending and
poise on the ball. If only he had a few more options about who to
pass to, he could look even better. Sherwood did OK playing in front
of the back four again, while Davies livened things up (as he usually
does) when he came on.
So, the performance was suitable to come
out of it without too much shame, but I would have liked to see us go at
them and see how they coped. At the moment, we just haven't got the
players to do that.
|MEHSTG TOP MAN :
- ANTHONY GARDNER
|So another pointless journey down
the Seven Sisters Road, just when it looked like we might take one from
And for that we have to thank Mr.
Halsey, the referee, who gave two penalties in the last ten minutes to
turn the game into on with an exciting finish, when it looked like
petering out into a 1-0 to Arsenal. In truth, Poyet's clash with
Seaman looked nothing more than that. The ball was running out of
play and it must have been some sort of angle that the officials were at
to give a penalty. Sheringham slammed it in despite Spunky
guessing the right way. Then when it looked like Spurs might steal
a draw, a ball into the box saw Henry go down under challenge from
Richards and the spot was pointed to again. It looked a clumsy
tackle, but if it was that bad, it surely must have prevented a
goal-scoring opportunity and therefore, should have resulted in a red
card for Deano. He stayed on, after going off for treatment and unfortunately
for Spurs, so did Henry, who had missed the last two penalties for his
side. If he had stayed on, he might have missed this one too
!! Lauren didn't though and now there is little to stop the
Championship heading to Highbury.
The game started off with
Richards giving the ball away and it was a theme that carried on
throughout the 90 minutes. Arsenal could have scored a few before
they got the first. Ljungberg and Henry had gone close before
Ljungberg's run went unnoticed by Spurs defenders and he slipped the
ball into the net via Keller's body. The Yank was unlucky to
concede, as he had closed the pink haired one down quickly, but the luck
went with the home side.
Spurs did have their chances,
with Sheringham firing over the bar from close in, but he a free-kick
was given for offside or handball or because he was a Spurs player or
something. Apart from that there was only the dubious decision,
when Ziege's corner was clutched under the crossbar by Seaman, with some
query about whether he then stepped back over his own line with the
ball. The ref hurriedly waved play on, so it probably did cross
Apart from this, it was pretty
much a run of the mill derby, as you would expect. Spurs players
getting booked for their first tackles, while Lauren is allowed to slice
Gardner in half without so much as a talking to. It looked as
though the Spurs players had targeted Vieira for special treatment, with
him being one booking away from a suspension, but there was not a decent
enough incident to allow the ref no option other than to book
Sheringham and Sherwood came
closest to getting sent off. Tim for protesting against the late
penalty against us, while Teddy's was much better - belting his boot
into their number 23's face as he stooped to head the ball. How
they got a free-kick for that one I will never understand.
Even the early afternoon's news
that Leicester got relegated could not help improve the mood and the
match only showed how far Tottenham have to catch up. But it won't
be easy, as we are not going to get into Europe again this season, so
will slip even further behind in monetary terms. As for the gap on
the field, we are still at least five years behind them and the need to
qualify for European competition is ever more pressing to ensure that
the rebuilding can carry on apace. With some commitment from ENIC,
then it might not be that far away.