Looking Forward

 

CHARLTON ATHLETIC (AWAY)

Premier League

Saturday 8th December 2001

Having signed two loan players seems to have bucked the Valiants ideas up and that helped them secure a 1-0 away win at Chelsea in midweek.

The introduction of Jorge Costa from Porto and Chris Bart Williams having been frozen out at Notts. Forest, have added some impetus to the side, who have struggled this season, albeit with quite a few injuries.

In goal, Dean Kiely has been performing well and is an accomplished shot-stopper.  He has had his problems with a black eye from the hand of Andy Todd allegedly, but they have kissed and made up now.  In reserve they have the penalty hero of their promotion play-off final, Sasa Ilic and former Boro keeper Ben Roberts, should they be needed.

The defence has been hit hard by injury.  Experienced Steve Brown is doubtful for the game, but out of favour Greg Shields could be back and in contention as the resources are running low.  With Andy Todd and Kishishev out until January and Richard Rufus will be out for the bulk of the rest of the season with a knee injury, they have had to draft in loan signing Costa to add some strength to this area.  They do have Luke Young, who needs no introduction to Spurs fans.  He has been playing regularly at right back and that was what he was looking for when he left Spurs in the summer.

Mark Fish has taken on the role of marshalling the defence and the South African international is a decent defender, but can be prone to lapses in concentration, while alongside him, England international Chris Powell and youngster Paul Konchesky fill in on the flanks.  Both like to get forward and will be given a tough time as Spurs attempt to push on down the lines.  The marvellously named Danny Shittu is on loan at QPR (where another loanee - Gavin Peacock has just returned to) and veteran Eddie Youds is still there, but isn't a regular in the side.

In midfield, Charlton are missing the presence of Mark Kinsella, who has been such a big part of their progress to the Premiership.  Thee Irishman will be out for another few weeks as will John Robinson, who plays wide in that area.  This leaves the Dane Claus Jensen, Graham Stuart and Scott Parker to boss the midfield.  Both are very talented, but may lack pace to keep up with the runs of their opposite numbers in the Tottenham team.  This will be the area where Spurs might turn the game.

Up front, there are also problems for the home side.  They have Mathias Svensson suspended, Bartlett out with a dead leg and Martin Pringle out of action until next month.  Paired in attack are big summer signing Jason Euell and Jonatan Johansson, who are big, strong lads with a knack for finding the net, although both have had their problems this season so far.  Both have been on the scoresheet in the last few games and Curbishley will be looking for them to take the game to the Spurs defence, who should be able to stand up to them.  In addition, they have the youngster Charlie MacDonald, who came on to score against Newcastle last week and he certainly doesn't lack confidence and likes to get amongst the other side's markers.

Kevin Lisbie has been over-looked recently, Clive Mendonca has recovered from injury, but is not selected, while John Salako has been at Reading on loan with a view to a permanent deal, so the options in the forward line are limited.

With their squad thinning by the moment (and there might be more casualties form the Chelsea derby game), they have only won once at home this season, although they did feature in the cracking 4-4 draw with West Ham), Charlton are trying to get some sort of run going to move them up the table.  Playing a regulation 4-4-2, they could be vulnerable to Tottenham's more fluid 3-5-2, especially coming off the back of a run of one defeat in nine games in all competition.  The defence appears to be the Haddicks' weakness and as such, if Tottenham can get control of the midfield, they should be able to make inroads into the back four.  And that number rings bells as I make the ...

PREDICTION : -  Charlton Athletic 0  Tottenham 4

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

 

 

Charlton Athletic  3  Tottenham  1                                  (Half time score: 2-0)
PREMIER LEAGUE
Saturday 8th December 2001
Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Cold, Cloudy
Crowd : -   25,125
Referee : -   Mr. S. Dunn (Bristol)

Scorers : -   Charlton Athletic  -   Stuart 4, Lisbie 19, 78
Tottenham  -  Poyet 85

CARDS

Charlton Athletic :   Young (foul) 28, Kiely (unsporting behaviour) 52, Lisbie (foul) 62

Tottenham :  Taricco (foul) 71

TEAMS 

Charlton Athletic : Kiely; Costa, Fortune, Fish,  Powell, Young; Stuart (Bart-Williams 82), Parker, Jensen (Konchesky 88); Euell (Johansson 82),  Lisbie.
Unused Subs : Roberts, Brown

Spurs :  Sullivan; Perry, Richards, King; Taricco, Davies (Sherwood 67), Poyet, Bunjevcevic (Iversen 45), Darren Anderton; Sheringham, Rebrov.
Unused Subs : Keller, Leonhardsen, Gardner
.

We knew it was going to be a strange day when we arrived at the car park on the local trading estate. Do you do valet parking we enquired of the car park attendant? No Charlton pulled out of here two years ago he replied! (Valley - get it !!)

Spurs arrived at the Valley knowing a win would take them into second place. The fans were optimistic after the recent results. Charlton however were fresh from a victory at Stamford Bridge. They have not lost a London derby this season and were not about to start now. In true Spurs style they built us up and then let us all down with a mighty crash. Freund, Ziege and Ferdinand were all missing. Taricco was back from injury. Rebrov started up front and Bunjevcevic took on the holding role in midfield. It was the worst possible start to the game. 

After just 4 minutes Richards moved in on Euell to shield the ball out of play. Dean never really got in control of the situation and as the two players tumbled on the goal line just wide of goal, Euell toed the ball back across goal into the path of Stuart who slotted into the empty net. Sullivan had moved out to cover Richards. It was a poor piece of play by the Spurs central defender and seemed to effect him for the rest of the game. This ensured Charlton got their tails up. 

Spurs were finding it difficult to get going as Charlton harried and charged into tackles. After 19 minutes it went from bad to worse. A series of missed tackles by Spurs defenders including King and Richards allowed Lisbie to get free. He turned and struck the ball past Sullivan from close in. 

Gradually Tottenham started to build prompted by Anderton and Sheringham. Both Daren and Teddy had half chances, which they blasted over. Rebrov had a first time chance which he hesitated on. He then got clear down the left and hit the by-line. Unfortunately his cross was driven back with such pace Sheringham could not connect and another chance was wasted. Anderton also got in a good position and wasted his cross. With half time approaching Teddy had a good shot tipped round the post. 

At the start of the second half Iversen replaced Bunjevcevic and the side was reshuffled, as Goran had looked out of sorts in the midfield role. Tottenham searched for a goal. The old Anderton/Sheringham corner routine would have paid dividends, but for an excellent save by Kiely. Sheringham did “score” after deflecting a Poyet shot past the Charlton keeper, but Teddy was ruled offside. Charlton were looking like the away side and eager to hit on the break. That was exactly what they did in the 78th minute with Tottenham fully committed to attack. Parker raced almost the length of the pitch before passing to an unmarked Lisbie to his right. Lisbie slotted past Sullivan for a three nil scoreline. 

This prompted a mass exodus by disappointed Spurs fans, who missed a consolation by Poyet hooking in a volley from just inside the box. Too little too late. 

Poor performances from the normally reliable Spurs defence. Richards in particular, but King and Perry both had off days too. Anderton worked hard in a number of roles in midfield with little support. Davies never got going and the strikers failed to get a strike on goal on too many occasions. 

MEHSTG TOP MAN : -  DARREN ANDERTON

Eric the Viking

 

SECOND BEST

 

It really is true.  We have got our Tottenham back.  Just like that match against Bolton Wanderers in 1995, when we could have gone second, we are left with the feeling of "What if ?"

Gifting things at this time of year is no uncommon trait, but the two goals in the first half were wrapped up and presented to them on a plate.  Richards tried to shield the ball off, but Euell stuck out a leg and then knocked the ball to Stuart who couldn't believe his luck, as he received the ball with an open goal in front of him and all the Spurs players in the distance.  He must have thought Christmas had come early.  

The second was sloppy too.  Luke Young, who played like a man possessed, or at least one with a point to prove, surged into the box and the ball fell nicely for Lisbie.  His early shot went through Sullivan and Spurs were two down with 20 minutes gone.  In truth, they were lucky to be that far behind at the break as Charlton roared at Spurs and with Bunjy playing in front of the back three, the defence was facing wave after wave of attack.

Sheringham did have a 25 yard drive palmed around the post by Kiely (who, as usual, had his best match of the season against us), but that would not have provided a true reflection of the match in the first half.  While Charlton were fast out of the traps, we were not even at the races.

The second half did see Spurs carve out some better chances, with Rebrov's neat turn by the byline creating a cross that went behind the on-rushing Spurs forwards, but fell to Dazza, who's "shot"  ended up back at Sergei's feet.  There was a bit of a melee and then, via a nice set-up pass from Davies, it came out to Gus on the edge of the box and he hit it first time into the net.  Unfortunately, Teddy had touched it past Kiely while standing on his own in the six yard box.  Offside. It looked like nothing would go our way, especially when, from a Spurs corner, Parker broke half the length of the field and then squared for Lisbie to drove through Sully's legs to make it 3-0.

We did hit back and Teddy was on the end of Anderton's corner (copyright circa. 1993), but Kiely made a flying save to tip it over the bar.  Something at last went right when the ball was knocked out to the edge of the box and Poyet hit a 20 yard volley into the top of the net.

Charlton deserved to win this game and it was hard to see how they had only won one other home match this season.  They were better than Spurs in almost every section of the pitch and there can be no complaints.  Without the threat of Ziege down the left and without Freund doing his stuff to boss the midfield, Spurs were unable to produce enough problems for the Addicks to worry about.  Hoddle seemed to get his formation wrong with the selection of Goran in the position he had done well in on Monday against Bolton.  Glenn had spoken about picking the right players when the opposition demanded it, but with his options restricted, today it didn't work out.

Another London derby that we thought might have been one of the easier ones of those we have played of late, but one that has now been lost.  As long as the team learn, defeats like this will not be a waste and in terms of the re-match against Bolton, it might be a good kick up the pants.

ROD YOUNG

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