Wednesday 7th August 2002
|Tottenham 1 Celtic 1 (Half time: 1-1)|
|Wednesday 7th August 2002|
|Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Kick off : 8.00 p.m.|
|Weather : Rain earlier; warm and humid|
|Crowd : - 22, 352|
|Referee : D J Gallagher|
Tottenham - Iversen 10
Tottenham - None
Tottenham : Keller, Bunjevcevic, Perry, Ziege
18), Richards, Carr, Acimovic
73), Davies, Anderton, Iversen, Sheringham
Celtic : Hedman, S.
Crainey (Balde 59), Laursen, Valgaeren
76), McNamara, Maloney
71), Fernandez, Healy
Tottenham - White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks with blue turnover
Celtic - Yellow shirts, green shorts, yellow socks
The big expectation for Tottenham this season, despite the lack of a striker signing has yet to be justified. Yeah, sure we knock the ball around nicely, but this game exposed the need for a poacher all the more, as chances slipped away to change the score from the final 1-1 ending.
The three chances that fell to Teddy Sheringham in the second half would hopefully have been rewarded with at least a couple of goals from a goal-grabber, which, whatever you think of the England man, Teddy is not. His header against the post (to add to his collection including the one at Watford) was unlucky as he was a bit ahead of the ball, but his finish when put through the middle of the Celtic defence by Carr, was one which did not look convincing and lack the surprise of being taken early, thus allowing the keeper to throw an arm up and save it.
The game started well for the visitors and not just when Crainey hit the bar after 45 seconds !! His looping header left Keller standing and the following shot flew over the bar with no white shirt challenging. Celtic held the ball well and moved it around, giving Spurs problems with their movement. Tottenham found it hard to keep hold of the ball, but with almost the first meaningful attack (apart from a Carr shot that went way over) scored. A free kick on the right led to one on the left when Ziege was fouled. The German got up to take the place-kick himself and as he bent it into the centre of the goal with power, it fell off a Celtic defender into the six yard box. Luckily, it had also bounced off Iversen's face and he reacted quickly enough to slam it past Hedman from close range. He looked a bit embarrassed about it, but the taking of half chances like this is what has failed to happen in the past and has cost Tottenham dear.
The Celtic section was packed, but they did not fill the Park Lane and their choice of songs was odd. Why they continually sang "Argentina", I (nor anyone else really understood), so the response of "You'll never play in England" was aimed at their long felt want to play South of the border. While their fans turned out for the match, the response from the Spurs fans was not great. Perhaps the attendance on Sunday will be greater and reflect the sort of opposition we would rather see at the Lane on a regular basis.
With the ball being passed so much, there was a lot of running and turning, which is good for pre-season training for Tottenham, but not for Ziege, who turned his ankle and went off after 17 minutes, to be replaced in the midfield by Taricco. It was our Argentinian who brought down Smith crudely outside the box to give Maloney the chance to show that Keller needs to work on his keeping at free-kicks more than ever. It was a good strike, but the wall and the American's positioning left a space for the Celt to put the ball.
The rest of the half consisted of build-ups that didn't realise any final product or shots from way out. The only clear cut chance fell to Iversen's head, when Taricco picked him out with a cross, but the Norwegian lifted it way over the bar, with a clear sight of goal in front of him. It was a poor effort, as he should at least have made Hedman work to save the ball.
In the second half, there was further bad news for Tottenham as two penalty claims went unrewarded by Dermot Gallagher. Both were on Acimovic and it appears that the ref has pre-judged him as a "simulator". The first was probably a fair call, as Milo crumpled a way away from the challenge, but the second saw him perform a skillful turn on the dead ball-line and leave his marker struggling; so much so, that he just turned and pushed the Slovenian in the chest. It was a stone certain pen., but instead Gallagher decided to warn Acimovic for diving !! The incident arose because Hedman had failed to hold Teddy's rasping shot and Milo had seized on the rebound, although had to go wide. When the referee later failed to give a spot kick for a Fernandez tumble, he didn't bother to speak to him at all about the fall he took.
Tottenham were still having trouble picking up Maloney, but crosses either missed out the man in the middle or shots were across the face of goal. Only when Petrov came on did Keller get his hands warmed, when he tipped over a drive. Tottenham's substitute was Gary Doherty, who was asked to play in a forward role and his first chance saw a good move down the right fall to him near the penalty spot, but he sliced the ball backwards.
Taricco had a weak shot saved as he tried to curl it in from the edge of the box and Teddy's two late opportunities failed to make Celtic pay for their missed chances.
In truth, a draw was about the right result and little was learned by Spurs from this encounter. More could have been achieved if Hoddle had brought Bortolozzo and Blondel off the bench to see how they fared in a competitive atmosphere. I would not have thought he was holding them back and would hope that Rebrov gets a run out on Sunday to put him in the Italian shop window. It was also a surprise that Bo didn't play, as his trial was still ongoing, but then he had played the day before.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - SIMON DAVIES
|A PINT OR TWO OF HEAVY|
A heavy downpour before and a
thunderstorm afterwards gave the evening a dampener that the action tried
to shake off.
There was enough "competitive" tackles to give Hoddle and the Celtic management (minus Martin O'Neill) heart flurries, but the game was pretty good natured and there were no really bad tackles. The atmosphere was somewhat subdued, with the ground barely 2/3 full and although the Bhoys made a lot of noise, it was difficult to know what they were going on about. There were a few ejections from the East Stand just after Celtic scored, which was a bit unnecessary, because it was only a friendly and not really worth getting worried about.
The players looked fitter and the mass exodus at half-time is now a thing of the past ... until next pre-season. Injury struck again, with Ziege limping off, but Carr came through another full game and Iversen managed to struggle on despite getting a couple of knocks that required treatment ... standard medical rider for him, I suppose.
The only thing more spectacular than the thunder and lightning after the game, was Maloney's curled free-kick that left Keller grabbing air. Iversen's goal in comparison was not a thing of beauty. A good free-kick from Ziege, but a deflection, a lucky bounce and a shot he couldn't miss (could he ?) put us ahead for 20 minutes. Nothing that Ted could do could add to the tally, leaving a draw the right outcome to a decent match. Tottenham should stop trying to walk the ball into the net though and have a crack sometimes. No-one wants to take the responsibility !!
The fact that it was even easy to move around the Spurs store when raining outside must have meant the attendance was low !!
Here's how the players are shaping up ...
Kasey Keller : Not a lot to do apart from pick the ball out of the net. Must learn to line his wall up better, but his handling was sound and his shot stopping OK. Hard to know what Hod will do with the goalkeeping situation.
Mauricio Taricco : Came on, gave away the free-kick that was the equaliser, but otherwise he had a solid game. Got a shot on target and set up good chance for Steffen Iversen. Looked better defensively, although not the best at that part of his game.
Dean Richards : Deano was fresh back from injury, but looked slow and worried playing out of position. He did make two late tackles to stop Celtic getting the winner, but players were going past him too easily.
Chris Perry : Looked alright, but didn't pick up the man when they hit the bar. Made a couple of well timed interceptions in the box and passed the ball to a white shirt most of the time. Might drop out when Gardner and King return.
Goran Bunjevcevic : Didn't see too much of Bunjy's skills tonight, as he was involved in a fairly physical battle with Crainey. Tries to get his foot in front of players before the ball reaches them, but if it is nicked past him, he has sold himself. Needs to stand off his man sometimes, rather than dive in.
Stephen Carr : Another game under his belt without too much trouble. Got forward and nearly got on the scoresheet, but decided to set up a fellow Spur, but nothing came of it. Got back well to place himself goal-side of his opponent. A good performance.
Christian Ziege : Seventeen minutes of action and in that time, he showed that he was keen to break forward and supplied the cross for the goal. Leaving the field, he might now be out for the first League game. Bummer.
Milenko Acimovic : Went off to a good reception after showing some of his skills, but also gave a few balls away. Has the ability to play passes without even looking and this might be what Hoddle refers to when he talks about him being like Trevor Brooking ... it's those "pictures in his head". Might need to be stronger on the ball when the real thing starts.
Simon Davies : Another good game, being the only midfielder who wants to tackle and run between the boxes energetically. Mae some good chances with his movement on the right side and you would think he would be the first name in Hoddle's midfield now.
Darren Anderton : A game where he was involved, but made little memorable contribution. Must have linked play, but really slipped my attention throughout the 90 minutes.
Gary Doherty : Another game up front after two at the back. Gary soon won't know where he is, or perhaps that is the plan ... at least to not know who he is and then the coach can tell him he is Ronaldo !! Missed the one decent chance that came his way and looked out of place up front tonight, when coming off the bench. Needs to return to where he is comfortable.
Teddy Sheringham : Looked good at getting into positions tonight, but could not finish them off. Tried to be too clever in shooting with the outside of his wrong foot with the one-on-one and the chance was missed. Spurs could need to make sure all these chances count when the real stuff begins. He played well, linking the front and back though.
Steffen Iversen : Reacted quickly to take his goal well, but missed a later sitter. Seemed more full of running than usual and he did appear to know when to be in the box. Pulled out wide too to allow others to flood the area. Needs to be more clinical.
Tedburn St. Mary
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