Looking Forward

 

Bolton Wanderers  (Away)

Premier League

Monday 7th November 2005

Having picked up their form in the last few weeks, Bolton come into this match fresh from a victory in the UEFA Cup, where they have reached the group stage.  Sam Allardyce's charges have played themselves into a good run with no goals conceded in 3 hours and sixteen minutes since they capitulated to Chelsea after having taken the lead and then having been reduced to ten men.

Spurs also come into the game on form, with a six match unbeaten record, with Chelsea also being the last team to beat them.  It is another coincidence that Spurs have not conceded more than two goals since their last game at the Reebok when a refereeing calamity handed Bolton a 3-1 win.  So, it is a meeting of two similarly performing teams and it might be a close game.

Bolton have two good keepers in tow now.  Jaaskelainen has earned a reputation of a more than decent goalie, with his good shot-stopping and reflex saves, but he still has moments of uncertainty, which might help Tottenham make the most of.  The key will be getting enough pressure on the home goal to bring out a slip.  Ex-Spurs keeper Ian Walker is on the bench as back-up and although he hasn't yet played, he is stepping back up to the Premier League after dropping down to play at Leicester.

The defence will be missing the experience of Spaniard Ivan Campo, who plays the ball out so well and they may also be without Nicky Hunt, who is coming back from a broken leg, having played only a handful of games.  Tunisian central defender Radhi Jaidi is very strong in the air, both at the back and at set-pieces.  This makes him a formidable opponent and this might leave Mido with a tough task to win the aerial challenges with him.  Another strapping centre-half is Bruno N'Gotty, so one big man might have to pick up one of our little 'uns, which might be interesting and could be given the runaround.  Full back Tal Ben Haim will play wide right, giving the side an option of getting forward up the flank.  Not blessed with the greatest speed, there is the possibility that he could get caught out of position.  With a few players ruled out, midfielder Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye has been slotted in at left back in Hunt's absence and he is a new arrival who I know little about.  He must have made a favourable impression, as Allardyce wants to make him a permanent signing.

One who has been taken on when he didn't have a club, former Fulham loan player Martin Djetou has been taken to the Reebok.  A strong player, he was injured a lot in his last visit tot he Premiership, but Allardyce is hoping that rescuing him from obscurity after leaving Nice will re-spark his career, which once saw him play for his country.  Scouser Ian Nolan has enjoyed a renaissance with a couple of goals lately and with the defence keeping clean sheets, the single goals have been enough.  He tries the unusual and has strength combined with a good touch, making him a player who needs to be picked up in midfield.  Veteran Gary Speed is adding appearances to his record Premier League total, but he provides a presence that sees him making well-timed runs into the box, but his age is catching up with him and with our younger legs in the middle of the pitch, we might get some joy with Jenas up against him.  Greek wide man Stelios Giannokopolous is always a problem, as he can hit a fine shot from anywhere he finds himself and he also gets wide to fling in crosses for the forwards or Nolan and Speed to move onto.  
Super-skillmeister Jay-Jay Okocha has not been a first pick of late and his skill has been missed, especially by the fans.  His tricks and flicks are relegated to the bench these days, but he ties up defenders while others find plenty of space.  His recent comments have indicated he might be off to Kuwait for a final payday, as he has dropped out of the elite at Wanderers.  Ricardo Gardner was sent off for an inexplicable handball, but puts in a lot of good work protecting the defence now that his attacking days are limited.  They have been taken over by former SCBC Frenchman Fabrice Fernandes.  He is a player who flatters to deceive sometimes, but if he gets a regular start, he can offer some guile on the right.
Unfortunately, the midfielder Khalilou Fadiga, who collapsed before our game there last season, is out again with an injury and newcomer Hidetoshi Nakata, the Japanese superstar, has come in to replace him.  It took a little while to fit in, but appears to have won over Allardyce with his spirited and skillful displays.  Another newcomer Joey O'Brien is a youngster brought into the side because of injuries.

Up front, Henrik Pedersen is a player who ahs always surprised me, as he has a heavy touch and runs like a chicken, but gets amongst the goals, as does Kevin Davies after all these years.  Having been at Chesterfield and SCBC, Davies is still going and still getting goals.  The old ability to pop up at the right time is still there, but he might need some good supply to make the most of his talents.  Mexican striker Jared Borghetti looks like a good signing, as he has taken some of his goals in great style.  He looks like one who will tuck away a half-chance, so Ledley and Dawson need to keep their eyes on him.  One who likes to use his speed is El Hadji Diouf, who has just been caught speeding on the road.  He is a slippery customer, but that might have something to do with all that flying spittle.  But seriously, he is a good player when he puts his mind to it.  He often gets distracted by peripheral matters and when he does, he loses a great deal of his effectiveness.

For Spurs, they will need to close down Bolton quickly and there might well be a stat for Robbie Keane to run at the Bolton back four.  If Spurs can soak up the early pressure Wanderers are sure to apply, then they can make the most of Jenas and Carrick in midfield, with Davids probably starting on the bench again.  Tottenham will have been made aware of the dangers Bolton possess by their win over Charlton and the closeness of this game makes me think it might end ...

PREDICTION : -   Bolton Wanderers  1   Tottenham Hotspur  1

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

PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

BOLTON WANDERERS :  Khalilou Fadiga (knee); Ivan Campo (broken foot); Stelios Giannokopolous (groin); Nicky Hunt (broken leg); - (-);

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Mounir El Hamdaoui (shoulder); Noe Pamarot (knee); Wayne Routledge (broken foot); Anthony Gardner (thigh); Dean Marney (Achilles); Goran Bunjevcevic (broken toe); Teemu Tainio (head injury)- (-)

Coverage

TV :
Sky Sports 1 - live coverage
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.
FOX Soccer Channel (US)    Nov 7 3pm ET/12noon PT  LIVE
FOX Sports World Canada  Nov 7 3pm ET/12noon PT  LIVE
FOX Sporst en Espanol   Nov 7 3pm ET/12noon PT  LIVE

Radio :  
BBC Five Live - 606/939 MW - Live coverage
BBC London 94.9FM, BBC London Digital Radio and Sky Channel 902 - Live coverage

If available on BBC radio, it can be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Syndey)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Carribean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
Planet football - http://play.www.planetfootball.servecast.net/downloads/sky/spurs-pl04-kean0.ram (free - only available when match is on)
BBC Five Live - live coverage (UK only) - http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/sport/commentaries.shtml

 

            Bo

Bolton Wanderers   1    Tottenham Hotspur   0      (Half-time score : 1-0)
Premier League Venue :   Reebok Stadium
Monday 7th November 2005 Kick Off :  20.00 p.m.
Crowd :   26,634 Referee :   Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)
Weather :  Cold, very windy
Teams : - 
Bolton Wanderers

Jaaskelainen

O'Brien
Ben Haim
Jaidi
Gardner

Nolan (c)
Faye
Speed

Giannakopoulos (Nakata 60)
Davies (Borgetti 50)
Diouf (N'Gotty 85)

Unused subs: 
Okocha
Walker

Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson

Stalteri
Dawson
King (c)
Lee (Keane 63)

Tainio
Jenas (Brown 85)
Carrick
Davids

Mido
Defoe

Unused subs: 
Cerny
Kelly
Reid

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Bolton Wanderers Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Bolton Wanderers

Nolan 32

Tottenham Hotspur

None

Cards : -  
Bolton Wanderers

   
None    

     

Tottenham Hotspur

   
Dawson (foul) 72    

     

Match Report : -  
Sometimes, just sometimes, it might be nice to get a decision or two go our way.  Hopeful, I know, but when you come to a place where you have to battle for anything, you need the officials to be on the ball.  Here, they certainly were not, as Bolton took three points, but Spurs deserved a share of the spoils at least.

With a howling gale, it was not easy to play and the way Bolton set about their game, when the ball was on the floor (which it was more rarely than Hadji-Diouf), the home side closed our players down so quickly, they had no time to play.

It was about eight minutes after the kick-off before Spurs relieved the siege on their goal, as Bolton put in the effort to pin Spurs back.  With their midfield biting into tackles and Tottenham not picking out their passes, the ball kept coming back.  However, once they weathered the initial onslaught, they got the ball down and started passing it around, which frustrated the Wanderers.  Few chances were created either way.  Diouf prodded a shot at Robinson, when he should have crossed and Jeans had a shot which he dragged across the box and had Mido been more alert, he might have capitalised on it.  

After half an hour, Bolton broke the deadlock with a cracking goal.  A throw-in was manouevred to Davies and he laid it back into the path of Nolan, who struck a rifled shot leaving Robbo no chance.  It was a well-constructed goal, but Tottenham could have closed down Nolan quicker, because, with his shot coming around a player, Robinson had a poor view of it coming.

Spurs hit back straight away with an equaliser through Jermain Defoe, who took a through pass from Tainio and struck his shot into the net, only to look up to see the linesman flagging for offside.  It didn't look like it at normal speed and on replay, it looked even more level when the ball was played.  Robbed doesn't come close to covering it !!  When the ball was played into Lee in a similar position, he completely fluffed his shot with the goal at his mercy.  If only that opportunity had fallen to Defoe ... and Lee looked no more onside than Defoe had looked offside, so the inconsistency continues.

The Bolton midfielder Nolan nearly gave his side a two goal lead when he side-footed a shot against the post with it being beyond Robinson's reach.

In truth, the first half was a bit boring, with Bolton having a great deal of possession, but not being able to create a great deal with it.  They are a side similar in performance to Everton of last season.  Short of goals, dogged in defence and energetic in midfield, I am glad I don't have to watch them week in, week out.  There are no stars in their side and you can see why.

The second half showed exactly what the Trotters are all about.  Dig in, don't try anything clever and if you get the opportunity, chuck in a long throw or a set-piece to try and get a flukey knock down.  The possession swung the other way in the second half, with Spurs dominating, but not making many clear-cut chances until late in the half.

Robbo dropped a corner and a Speed shot was blocked by King, who had an outstanding game, only to get booed by Bolton fans when he was pulled down by Stelios and landed a boot in the Greek midfielder's face as he tried to stay on his feet.  Dawson got a yellow when Diouf hit the turf more often than Tiger Wood's one iron and sat on the ball, leaving Michael no option but to kick at the ball, with the Senegalese striker in the way.

When he wasn't falling over, he gave the ball away regularly, as Bolton replicated the Spurs performance of the first half.  Tottenham pressed on and Carrick shimmied past two defenders on the edge of the box and fired a shot in that was blocked.  Mido did something similar and hit a goal-bound shot that Ben Haim threw himself in front of.

Mido came even closer in the 82nd minute, when Jenas hit a flying volley that was stopped by Ben Haim on the line and when the rebound fell to Mido, he knocked the ball forward and it bounced back off the post, with Ledley unable to get to the bouncing ball as it dropped.  

In between those two efforts by our Egyptian striker, Tainio hit two shots, one well wide as it dropped a little behind him at the far post and the second, from a quickly taken free-kick, was put wide as Jaaskelainen came out to close him down.

As the Bolton defence got more ragged and gave the ball ever more frequently, Spurs kept pressing, now with Robbie Keane on for Lee.  With time running out, Spurs threw Brown on for Jenas and the balls into the box were inaccurate, giving the home side some respite.  One such "cross" from Stalteri on the right caught the Finnish keeper ill-positioned and the ball smacked back off the bar and out to safety.

In the end, it wasn't the way that Bolton played that prevented Spurs getting points from this match, but the fact that they failed to create enough chances and the one that Bolton did was rewarded with a super goal.  The one we created was rewarded with a really poor piece of officiating.  We should be well used to this when we visit the North-West.  But I still find it difficult to come to terms with when other teams get the most outrageous decisions in their favour.  Perhaps to break this monopoly on bad refereeing, we need to take a "Chance" ??

MEHSTG TOP MAN : - EDGAR DAVIDS

Hugh Wood

                FL

REGENT STREET

 

I have just finished watching the Bolton-Spurs 'spectacle' and am left bewildered as to how we didn't at least grab a point.  

Bolton are the new Wimbledon and nothing more.  Granted, they work their b******s off more than any other side I've ever seen, but they should've been buried tonight.  Spurs had four clear cut chances and hit the post twice.  Bolton hit the post once, but didn't really create anything else, other than forcing us back in our half and sending in long throws. 

Spurs missed the pace of Lennon and Routledge, but still should've had too much for Bolton, who turned a disgusting display. 

Jol has a lot to think about over the international break.

Sean Jackson

As the disappointment from Monday nights defeat at Bolton slides away, I find myself asking the eternal question amongst many a Spurs fan:  are we to bounce back now or is it to be the same old story with regards to showing a lot of potential and promise but suffering yet another season of setback and mediocrity ?   

Iíve got to be honest; I really feel the former of the two points.  I just think thereís something different about Spurs this year.  Martin Jol has had time to start blending his style of play on our young squad and bring in his own players, the signing of Davids was a great bit of business, and the team really look like they respect him and want to play for him.  

I was as disappointed as anyone to lose our unbeaten away record but, the first 10 minutes aside, we didnít play badly and quite frankly, I canít remember the last time Spurs dominated the second half of a Premiership away game as convincingly as they did at The Reebok.  OK, we didnít create enough clear cut chances for all our possession but we certainly deserved at least a draw.  I agree with Jol when he said that Ďthere wasnít a lot more the lads could do in an away gameí and one must remember Bolton are not the relegation certs they were many moons ago.  I suppose if you have to lose a game then Nolan's rocket was a worthy contender for goal of the month.  

Our season now reaches a critical point.  It is imperative we bounce back against the Hammers at the |Lane.  Not just because itís a big rivalry and they are only three points behind us in the league but also to show that we mean business this season and the days of flattering to deceive are behind us.  After our only other league defeat this term, to Chelski, we then went on a seven game unbeaten run in the league (I wonít mention Grimsby in the cup !) and thatís what we need to see again and my donít we have an opportunity to do just that.  Three of the next four games at home, two against relegation candidates and, admittedly, a tricky one up at Wigan in between.  

We need to start scoring more goals and not just from midfield, our strikers arenít exactly on fire at the moment but are they getting the service ?  MJ has openly admitted that Mido is a great header of the ball and we need to supply him with more crosses.  So why does he play 4four central midfield players against Bolton with absolutely no width ?  I know Lennon was injured and Reid has obviously fallen from favour and Iím sorry, but for me, Davids must play in the middle where he has shown he is more effective and can run the midfield with Carrick who I think has been brilliant this season.  

The forthcoming games though should provide us with ample goal scoring opportunities and its time for us to take them, I feel someoneís in for an Everton style hammering pretty soon.  If we could just recreate the second half at United and first half against the Goons weíd be on fire !!  I remember looking at the team in the tunnel before the Bolton game, Defoe, Jenas, Carrick, Dawson, King, Robbo, Davids, so much talent and so much of it English, it really did fill me with confidence for not just the months, but years, ahead.  We suffered a setback on Monday but not a crippling one, its time for the boys to bounce back and stand up and be counted and you know what ?  I think they will!  

Come on you Spurs !  

Saul McNeilage   

 

Other scores this weekend :

Arsenal

3 Sunderland 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 2 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 4 Charlton Athletic 1 Saturday
Fulham 2 Manchester City 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Birmingham City 0 Saturday
Portsmouth 0 Wigan Athletic 2 Saturday
West Ham United 1 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Manchester United 1 Chelsea 0 Sunday
Everton 1 Middlesbrough 0 Sunday

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 12 10 1 1 28 7 31 +21
2 Wigan Athletic 12 8 1 2 13 5 25 +8
3 Bolton Wanderers 12 7 2 3 13 10 23 +3
4 Manchester United 11 6 3 2 16 11 21 +5
5 Arsenal 11 6 2 3 16 8 20 +8
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 12 5 5 2 13 8 20 +5
7 Manchester City 12 6 2 4 15 11 20 +4
8 Charlton Athletic 11 6 1 4 16 14 19 +2
9 West Ham United 11 5 3 3 15 10 18 +5
10 Newcastle United 12 5 3 4 12 10 18 +2
11 Blackburn Rovers 11 5 2 4 15 14 17 +1
12 Middlesbrough 12 4 3 5 15 16 15 -1
13 Liverpool 10 4 4 2 9 8 13 +1
14 Fulham 11 3 3 5 10 13 12 -3
15 Portsmouth 12 2 4 6 11 15 10 -4
16 Everton 11 3 1 7 4 12 10 -8
17 Aston Villa 12 2 3 7 10 21 9 -11
18 West Bromwich Albion 12 2 2 8 9 22 8 -13
19 Birmingham City 12 1 3 8 7 17 6 -10
20 Sunderland 12 1 2 9 11 24 5 -13

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