Charlton Athletic (Home)
Saturday 6th November 2004
an appalling record in London derbies, this second one in two weeks
does not fill me with great hope. Especially with Charlton
having a good record against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
A side down on their luck always find Spurs in generous mood and without Sean Davis in midfield and Erik Edman in defence, Tottenham will have the depth of their squad tested. Charlton might have the same problem in finding the right mix to get them playing the way they have done under Alan Curbishley before ... and before he started getting booed for recent failure.
Keeper Dean Kiely will be the man with the gloves and is a good shot stopper and normally has a fine game against Spurs here ... perhaps it is time he didn't !! The defence in front of him is experienced and some players are coming to the end of their time now. Mark Fish is getting on a bit in Premiership terms and although he still has a presence in the middle of the defence, his pace is going. Luke Young is the right back who could have been still at Tottenham, but he didn't want to wait, so moved on and has only just established himself at the Valley as first choice. Alongside him, Chris Perry has been a pick in defence, with his good interceptions, but his distribution is still dodgy. It will be interesting to see how the Spurs attack play against him. Two tall defender in Herman Hreidarsson and Talal El Karkouri provide the aerial presence at the back and also at set pieces. They could both cause problems for Tottenham fro corners and free-kicks, so will need to be marked well by our tall players ... whoever they are !! Jonathan Fortune is a Dean Richards look-a-like and will vie for a place in the middle of the back four.
Paul Konchesky is another player known to us, but he moved back to the Valley and can play either midfield or in defence and has a fierce left foot shot from a moving or dead ball. Veteran Matt Holland will provide the energy in midfield along with "the man who didn't come to Spurs" Danny Murphy. both are mobile and can keep play ticking along, but neither will be shoved out of the play,. so the four selected in Tottenham's midfield will need to be willing to roll up their sleeves to get stuck in. Graham Stuart is another veteran, but he can get forward to support the front men and has always been a good finisher. Bulgarian Radostin Kishishev is a dynamic wide player and his stamina up and down the pitch causes problems for opposing wing backs or midfielders, while Jonatan Johansson is more of a player who plays just behind the front two and can pop up ion scoring positions quite naturally. Former Brum man Bryan Hughes came in during the summer to replace Scott Parker, along with Murphy, but he is a tricky former winger and another with a rocket shot. South African Shaun Bartlett is mow listed as a midfielder, but as a former forward he will be trying to add tot he firepower that includes Jason Euell, Kevin Lisbie, Franny Jeffers and Dennis Rmmendahl.
Euell is a very good player who stretches defence with his movement and he is strong on the ball too. Always a difficult opponent, he will need to be marked closely, probably by Ledley. Jeffers was a fox in the box, until he went to Highbury, where he became the invisible man. Leaving for Charlton probably with the intent of being a regular first choice just hasn't happened yet and he is still trying to rediscover his Everton form that brought him to the nation's attention. Another ex-Gooner, Jerome Thomas might feature after having a good game against our reserves, but he is a wide man and strongly built too, who will cause problems with his ability to run at players with the ball. Another who will do that is Rommendahl, but his final ball is often not up to it in the end, causing frustration among his team-mates and the crowd alike !!
With all things considered, Spurs should get something out of this game, but I do not think it will be anything more than a draw at the moment, with the recent run of losses and the injuries depriving us of a settled side. So, I will go for ...
PREDICTION : - Tottenham Hotspur 1 Charlton Athletic 1
For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
How do you think Charlton have played so far this season ?
Bloody awful. No spirit, no passion, no bite, almost no bloody hope. Apart from an occasional burst in each game our performances have been pretty dire. Seriously in need of getting some of the "Charlton spirit" back into the side.
Who do you think is your best player at the moment ?
Don't know if we have one any more.
Which player isn't playing as well in recent games ?
Danny Murphy. Unless he learns to pass to someone in the same coloured shirt as him pretty damn soon he is going to be one of the biggest wastes of money since Curbs took over.
Any exciting new additions or players in the squad that we should look out for ?
You're gonna hate this, but Jerome Thomas who we picked up for a six figure sum from your mates at Havinghell Road. Exciting winger who has only made a couple of appearances this season but someone who is willing to have a go at attacking defenders.
The booing of Curbishley shows that although his loyalty and success at the club are unquestioned, there is still the fickle fan. How widespread is the feeling that he should go now ?
Not very widespread. We question some of his tactics and a lot of his substitutions, but not really sure that there is anyone who could replace him and do as good a job on the budget he has had. What we really need to do is to bring someone in from Standard fireworks and stick a few rockets up a few arses.
How are ex-Spurs Luke Young and Chris Perry doing ?
Perry has been superb, especially since Richard Rufus and Mark Fish have respectively retired and succumbed to injury. Glad we picked him up for as little as we did as well. My player of the season last time out. Luke is still trying very hard, manages to get forward a bit but sometimes leaves himself badly out of position. Happy with him but not sure he was worth what you got out of us.
What is the Charlton line-up expected to be ?
Kiely in goal - can't expect to see any changes there although it might be about time giving the bad back he's likely to get if he keeps having to bend down to pick the ball out of the net so often.
Defence - Young, Perry, El-Kakouri, Hreidarsson
Midfield - Kishishev (prefer Rommedhal for a bit of pace and attacking flair), Euell, Holland, Thomas
Forwards - Bartlett - the target man for the two wingers and Kiely's long punts upfield and probably Lisbie.
What is your opinion of the new Tottenham set-up ?
Don't seem to be working to well at the moment does it.
Which Spurs player do you think will be the danger man ?
Got to be our ex-player Defoe. Our boo-boys will get into him and he'll shut them up. Will they ever learn?
What do you reckon the score will be ?
Judging by the lack of goals in the League for both teams I can't see this getting past 1-1.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Thimothee Atouba (ankle); Sean Davis (knee); Erik Edman (head);
CHARLTON ATHLETIC : - (-)
|Tottenham Hotspur 2 Charlton Athletic 3 (Half-time score : 0-2)|
|Premier League||Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Saturday 6th November 2004||Kick Off : 15.00 p.m.|
|Crowd : 35,423||Referee : N. Barry (Scunthorpe)|
|Weather : Chilly, some rain in the air|
|Teams : -|
Davies (Ziegler 46)
Johansson (Euell 82)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
Keane (pen) 70
|Cards : -|
Thomas (foul) 78
Bartlett (deliberate handball) 69
|Match Report : -|
When Spurs score two league goals in the same league match for the first time this season, you would have hoped that the previously water-tight defence might have ensured that it was three points for Tottenham, but not on this occasion. Not only was it a London derby, but there was also the small point that for one hour of the match, the Spurs players were running in treacle.
There were camera crews all around the Lane and they were all looking for Spurs fans to feed them with their stories. For once, I would wish that they would refuse to talk to the media. Then let them make up their own stories, which I was told that Rodney Marsh was doing well enough at anyway.
When the side lined up, it was the trusted XI, with three forwards and no place for Ziegler, who had done well previously on the left, nor for Carrick, who Jol rates very highly. Charlton were a rag bag of players, who Curbishley had been let down by in previous weeks. What would happen. Well, you could have guessed.
Tottenham's shooting, crossing, movement and passing was less than poor in the first hour of the game. Whacking shots over the bar from the off was Redknapp, followed by Kanoute and Defoe. Spurs had the possession and strung a few passes together, but were unable to find a killer pass. Fredi had a shot blocked after taking Pamarot's cross and then with players in the middle, Defoe struck a cross way over their heads.
On 17 minutes, Charlton showed how it should be done. A cross in from the left was low into the box and Bartlett got in front of his marker to slide a volley past Robinson from halfway inside the area. Robinson was furious with Pamarot for allowing the cross to come in at all and the side needed an early goal against them like they needed the search for another manager.
Spurs tried to hit back when Keane floated a free-kick in and Ledley King got his head to it first, glancing it away from the goal by a yard. Four minutes later, Charlton extended their lead with a good goal. The ball was played up towards Robbie Keane on the halfway line, but his attempt was unconvincing and the ball was taken by a red shirt. Playing some first time passes, they released Young on the right wing and his cross found Bartlett on the far post to head home his second goal on 38 minutes. It was a poor goal to let in even though it was well crafted. There was little closing down on our left flank and Naybet got sucked into the middle, leaving the South African striker to check out and find ample space to score.
It looked all over, as Spurs threatened little. A free-kick on the edge of the area was earned and taken by Defoe, but he squarely hit the wall with it and then as Keano went into the box, he appeared to have had a handful of his shirt tugged, but Barry gave nothing.
The half-time whistle was greeted by boos and then when the teams re-appeared, Davies had been replaced by Ziegler in an attempt to open up the left side of the pitch for Spurs, with the rest of the midfield all moving one place across the pitch. Straight away Holland burst forward and hit a shot way over, before Ziegler showed his intent with a volley that was too high too.
Some loose play by the Spurs defence let the visitors in for their third goal too. They stood off the red shirts as they approached the edge of the box and Thomas got a ricochet off a leg to take it through Naybet's legs and then got the return to hit it at goal, where it took a turn away from Robinson off King's heel. 0-3 down with 40 minutes still left meant that it was going to be a long afternoon.
Ziegler started to get some possession on our left wing and he fed Keane in, firing his shot low, but at Kiely. Then, with 54 minutes gone, Fredi showed what he does best by rifling an early shot along the ground that beat the Charlton keeper and bounced out into play off the foot of the post. Then came the change that almost altered the history of this game.
Michael Carrick came on to replace Redknapp, who left the field to boos. The armband passed to Ledley and the onus of our play switched to Carrick. Everything started to flow through him and his first action saw him run through three men to put in Defoe, who held off his man and shot over the angle. Bunjy, who had been booed in the first half, hit a shot from 25 yards, but a deflection took the pace off it and it flew nicely into Kiely's hands.
But on 68 minutes, a free-kick was awarded when Hreidarsson elbowed Mendes in the mouth on the right touchline. The official failed to take any action, but the high ball in saw Kiely jump for it, but he unconvincingly dropped the ball, King had a shot blocked and it fell to Ziegler, who drilled it towards the far corner of the goal and Bartlett dived to keep it out. On first viewing from where I was, it looked like he headed it, but the ref pointed straight to the spot for a penalty and he strode up to Bartlett to administer a red card and send off the man who was on a hat-trick. A delay took place while Charlton players tried to upset Keane, but Robbie kept his cool and put the shot away just past Kiely's dive to his right.
Charlton visibly started to panic. Every ball that was played forward caused confusion in the box and where Kanoute's headers had fallen harmlessly into no-man's land previously, they now made hurried clearances from the defenders or found team-mates. Naybet nodded a corner just over, Mendes had a rush of blood and fired high over the top, when well placed. Former Spur Chris Perry managed to throw himself in the way of Robbie Keane's rocket shot and some weak claims for a penalty were heard. But it was a Charlton mistake that opened the way for a thrilling finish after 80 minutes. Matt Holland thought he was passing back to a colleague to clear, but Robbie nipped in on the edge of the box to pick the ball up and lay a square ball to Jermain on the penalty spot. Letting the ball run across him, with his back to goal, he spun and arrowed a shot beyond Kiely's reach and into the top corner of the net.
Back in the game, it was a grandstand finish as they threw everything forward. Keane hit a volley into the ground that lost all it's pace and Kiely did his best to spill it, although no Spurs player was following up. Then Euell broke away at the other end, well offside, but waved on, he took the ball up to Robinson and the Spurs keeper spread himself well to make the former Wimbledon man poke it over him, but away past the post at the Park Lane end.
Ziegler drilled a shot into Kiely's midriff, Carrick took a high ball on the volley and could not keep it down, while Naybet was baulked when going for a return ball into the Charlton box. No penalty this time though. A half-chance came when a free-kick from Robinson was headed goalwards by Kanoute and Defoe, running in unmarked just failed to get a telling touch on it. With Mendes still probing forward, his cross fell to Defoe, who hit a powerful drive that just flicked off a Charlton defender and went narrowly wide, producing a corner that Robinson came up for but didn't manage to get on the end of as a free-kick was awarded for pushing by a Spurs player in the area.
And time ran out on the Spurs revival. Shame, but then they had left themselves too much to do to come back in half an hour. As Always with Spurs, it is never dull, but perhaps a little more attention nearer the start might have meant more in terms of points in the long run.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - MICHAEL CARRICK
|PICK CARRICK QUICK|
|With Santini having gone yesterday, the
prospect of Martin Jol staking a claim for the job full-time was on
everyone's lips. Well, all those who didn't think that at 6-1
favourite Gary Megson would not get the job !! I am getting sick
of all the speculation about who it might be. We know who it
will be and that is Jol.
Hopefully, he respected Jacques choice of team selection, which must have been made prior to him leaving the club, otherwise, I would question Jol's credentials for the post. Redknapp showed today why he can be a luxury that the current Tottenham team can ill afford, while the cameo appearance by Carrick brightened the future for Spurs with a showing that brought the team (and the crowd) to life. From having been singing "You're not fit to wear the shirt" to "Come on you Spurs", there was a turn around in the crowd's attitude once the team started going forward with more desire.
And the way that Spurs played in the second half showed that the defensive tactics employed earlier in the season have been twigged by teams or that without Edman, the side lacks something at the back. Not that Bunjy had too bad a game, but he became the scapegoat when the second goal came from his side of the pitch. It was a good goal and when he had little cover in front of him, he was unable to mark two players, so they played around him and Young's cross was well met by Bartlett, who had dropped off the shoulder of Naybet to earn a bit of room. Bartlett had also notched the first, when he met a cross from the right to glance a volley across Robinson to score. The Spurs keeper was furious with Pamarot for allowing the winger the time to put the ball in and it was great to see someone with the passion and the urgency, as he raged at defenders, raced after every ball that went dead in the second half and even tried to get a late equaliser with a charge upfield for a last minute corner.
The third goal came down the right with Thomas making Naybet look poor and then getting the ball back to fire in a shot that got the benefit of a deflection off King to take it past Robbo, who had the initial shot covered. At 0-2 down it was hard to get back into the game, but after this goal and the move to introduce Carrick, Spurs started to play.
The hopeful forward pass was replaced by the considered ball and the forward line started to gel. Fredi hit a skidding low shot that bounced out off the post, the full backs were pushing on to support the front men and Charlton were starting to feel under pressure. When a free-kick for a forearm in Mendes' face (which went unpunished by a card) was floated tot he back post, it dropped between King, Ziegler and some defenders. King had a shot blocked and Ziegler struck a fine left foot drive that was arrowing into the top corner until Charlton's goal-scorer Bartlett flung out a hand to stop it. Penalty. And a red card too. When Robbie stepped up, I was a bit worried as he was facing Kiely, his international team-mate, who might have had a bit of inside knowledge about his habits from the spot. However, Keano slid the ball to his right and just beyond his hand to bring Spurs back into the game.
This started a real panic in the Addicks defence and they cleared the ball anywhere whenever it got into their penalty box. Spurs played the ball into the box and built the pressure that finally paid off with Keane taking a poor pass from Holland and setting up Defoe with the chance to slam a second Tottenham goal. It was a complete turnaround from the way Spurs had been playing and maybe Jol's Spurs were now starting to be seen.
Shots were fired in on goal, corners were won and although there was but one chance for Charlton, when Euell looked dangerously offside but went through to dink the ball over Robinson, but wide, it was all Spurs at the end. There was to be no equaliser though and the valiant attempt was finally in vain, but the way that the team played, albeit in defeat, showed a determination to do well and even nearly coming back from 0-3 down is a feat that might not have been attempted in the recent past.
So, no points and another London derby without a win. Another one next week and perhaps a second half performance like this one, but from the start might make a good impression for the man who would be King.
|Other scores this weekend :|
|Norwich City||1||Blackburn Rovers||1||Saturday|
|SCBC||2||West Bromwich Albion||2||Saturday|
|Manchester United||0||Manchester City||0||Sunday|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||12||1||6||5||11||22||9||-11|
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