Burnley (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 9th May 2010

From playing the team next to us in the table to the one next to bottom, but this will be as tough as it was Wednesday night, with already relegated Burnley wanting to show their fans that the early season successes at home were not just a flash in the pan.

With Brian Laws' team suffering relegation a fortnight ago, the crowd will have been looking forward to this game as a last hurrah before they go to the Championship.  And they owe Spurs for the League Cup semi-final defeat at Turf Moor last season too.

Spurs had earned the fourth place spot on merit and the win over Manchester City to keep them off our tails was one which showed a great deal of maturity for a team who always have the ability to let us down when we least expect it.  This last game of the season might have been the penultimate one had the side not lost out to Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final, but that's Spurs for you.

With a slim chance that a shadow Fulham side might over-turn Arsenal at Highbury (alright ... less than slim), a win would put us third and automatically into the group stages of the Champions League.  So, as they did on Wednesday, they should go for the win and even with a side that will see some of the players resting injuries (King, Gomes, Defoe, Crouch probably), there should still be enough ability and resolve in the side to take a further three Premier League points.

While goalkeeper Brian Jensen seems to be a bit of a cult hero at Burnley, his keeping has been found out a bit at the top level.  The Dane has made some good saves and kept the Clarets in games, but there have been times when he has been found out, with his decision-making called into question.

In front of him, the defence has been guilty of going to sleep, which is a deadly sin in the Premier League.  The centre half, Clarke Carlisle had PL experience, but he has had moments where he has been rash in the tackle and cost his side dearly.  Strong in the air, the nimble strikers in the Premiership have found him out on the floor.  He has not been alone.  Michael Duff has similarly been embarrassed by PL forwards and Steven Caldwell has been relatively solid, but the EPL is something a lot different to the SPL, as Robbie Keane has been finding out to his benefit.

Graham Alexander is an old campaigner with the Turf Moor club and has done well, scoring goals as well as defending stoutly.  not blessed with great pace, but a player who reads the game well, he has probably been their best player this season.  Other defenders, such as Tyrone Mears, have done OK, but the former Derby County player has been more notable in attack than defence and this has left opponents time and space to capitalise on.  Andre Bikey went down with Reading and he will experience the same fate with Burnley, although he hasn't been too bad, but once more, it is indicative of the difference between the Premier League and the Championship, in that players who look good coming up, are made to look less so when they are going the other way.  Stephen Jordan and Leon Cort have shown that they still have some way to go to be regulars in the top division.  Daniel Fox came in during January's transfer window from Glasgow Celtic, but has found the defensive side of his game harder than going forward, but he delivers a good ball from open play or dead ball.

In midfield, there have been some bright spots for the Lancashire club.  Chris Eagles has shown that his time spent at Old Trafford before being released had been put to good use.  Skilful, although lacking great pace, he does posses a trick or two, an ability to shoot from any angle and a good range of passing.  There were rumours that Spurs might look to pick him up on a free from Burnley, but I am not sure where he would fit into the Tottenham side at the moment.  Unfortunately for Burnley, another Prem side will be in for him in the summer.  Loanee Jack Cork from Chelsea has shown a good eye for a pass and a strong work ethic in midfield during his time with the club.  Another name linked with Spurs, Chelsea might be willing to hold on to him after showing what he can do here.

Kevin McDonald has been an injury problem all season, so has been in and out of the side, but high hopes were held for him and for Jay Rodriguez, who has featured even less.  With Wade Elliott having a season of lesser effect than his last one in the Championship, he has played pretty well though and Joey Gudjohnsen is having even less to do with the club now after being released with a cancelled contract with immediate effect rather than waiting a week until the end of the season.

Up front it has been tough for Burnley, especially away from home.  Veteran Robbie Blake started the season well, but faded as it went on and may be on his way out of the club and top scorer Steven Fletcher with twelve has been a bit hit and miss as a goal-scorer.  he has had chances to win points for the club which might have made a difference to their survival hopes.  Brought in from Portsmouth on loan, Kevin Nugent has looked their best forward, but the service he receives is not what he has been used to at Preston North End before he left for the CSSCC, leaving Steven Thompson to link play rather than being an out and out goal-scorer. 

Like many clubs at the bottom of the table, Burnley have found goals hard to come by, but have been better at home than away, where they have had an abysmal record on the road.  It will be a carnival day for Spurs, who cannot be ousted from fourth place, but still have three points to play for, but Burnley's pride will mean that they put in a good performance.  However, the number of first teamers that Harry Redknapp can field should ensure that the team finish on a high after the biggest high at Eastlands ...

PREDICTION : -  Burnley  1     Tottenham Hotspur   3

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


BURNLEY :  - Chris McCann (doubtful - knee); Clarke Carlisle (doubtful - ankle); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -   Ledley King (out - thigh); Carlo Cudicini (out - hip and wrists); Jermaine Jenas (out - groin); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Aaron Lennon (out - groin); David Bentley (out - hip); Tom Huddlestone (out - ankle); Jermain Defoe (out - hamstring); Kyle Walker (out - wrist); Danny Rose (out - knee); - (-); 


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 (live coverage)

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BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Burnley   4   Tottenham Hotspur    2      (Half-time score : 1-2)

Premier League
Venue : -  Turf Moor
Sunday 9th May 2010
Kick Off :  4.00 p.m.
Crowd :   21,161
Referee :  Mike Dean (Wirral)
Burnley kicked off and played towards the away end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Dry, mild
Teams : - 
Burnley :

12  Jensen

34  Fox
  6  Caldwell
  2  Alexander
14  Mears

12  Elliott
21  Bikey
42  Cork
10  Patterson  (33  Eagles 90+2)

  9  Fletcher  (30  Thompson 86)
22  Nugent  (20  Blake 79)

Unused subs: 
31  Weaver
  4  Duff
23  Jordan

Tottenham Hotspur :

27  Alnwick

32  Assou-Ekotto
26  King (c)
20  Dawson
  4  Kaboul

  3  Bale
  6  Huddlestone  (12  Palacios  64)
14  Modric
  7  Lennon

18  Defoe  (  9  Pavyluchenko  62)
15  Crouch  (17  Gudjohnsen  85)

Unused subs: 
13  J. Walker
19  Bassong
  8  Jenas

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Elliott 42
Cork 54
Patterson 71
Thompson 88

Tottenham Hotspur

Bale 3
Modric 32
Cards : -  



Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
What turned out to be a memorable end of season game for the home team brought back bad memories for Spurs fans, as they were beaten for the first time this season when leading at half-time and switched off to such an extent they ended up 2-4 losers to the side already relegated to the Championship.

Things started so well, with a carnival atmosphere among the Spurs fans, with banter about going on a European tour, while there was also a thought for our hosts supporters (which was a little unnecessary really) that we would never play them again.  As it turned out, it was a match too far and the concentration levels needed in every Premier League match were allowed to slip in the second half, as Burnley scored with almost every attack.

A long ball up the right by Kaboul was chased by Aaron Lennon, who got ahead of the defender Fox and he cleverly pulled the ball back to Jermain Defoe, waiting in the middle of the goal.  Unfortunately, the ball was too far behind him to reach, but Gareth Bale was supporting the attack and produced a firm side-footed finish to beat the keeper and a defender in front of him and behind him on the line.  it was a confident finish form a player who is on top form at the moment.

With Tottenham passing the ball about nicely, although still managing to give it away too cheaply, they were making Burnley look ordinary at this stage of the game.  The goal had quietened the home support and when Bale went through onto Kaboul's cross-field ball, it looked like he would double the lead, but as he got to the edge of the left side of the six yard box, he was stopped by a very good tackle from Elliott, tacking the Welshman back.  That was five minute sin and three minutes later, Burnley tested Ben Alnwick, making his Premier League debut, for the first time, although it wasn't much of an examination of his goalkeeping ability.  A long cross from Patterson was headed into the path of Cork from the far post and the on loan Chelsea midfielder managed to run, but could not get any power into his effort, so Alnwick took it comfortably.

A quarter of an hour in, Spurs won a corner on their left and Bale put a pacy ball into the box, which Crouch won over Bikey, but the defender did just enough to make the England man head a foot over the bar, with the ball heading back the way that Brian Jensen was coming from.  It is one that Crouch might have done better with.  Five minutes later another Bale cross that flew low through the goal-mouth went through without Defoe or Crouch getting a touch on it, when that was all that was required for the ball to be heading into the the back of the net.  It was a little too comfortable for Tottenham as Burnley were offering little in resistance.

Central defenders do let things go to their heads when they get within sniffing distance of the goal don't they ?  First Kaboul decided that he wanted to have a go at a free-kick from 25 yards out and ballooned it way over the bar, while Andre Bikey went through a couple of tackles just inside the Spurs half, before thinking the best option was to have a shot, but it ended up in Row Z at the opposite end of the ground to Younes' effort.

Crouch had a shot from way out blocked by Alexander, when a minute later, Spurs scored a delightful goal.  A corner was played to Gareth Bale was out wide on the left, with two players in front of him and seemingly nowhere to go.  He played a pass with the outside of his foot in to Luka Modric on the left side of the box, but just outside.  The little Croatian took the ball to his right, cut back onto his left as he was about two yards inside the area and with players converging on him, fired an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner on the opposite side of the goal that Tom Huddlestone scored in last week against Bolton.  It was one of those goals, where it takes a second to realise that the ball had hit the net and it was such a good piece of skill that it drew applause from many to the home supporters too.

Spurs were cruising with 32 minutes gone and while 3-0 is usually a difficult score for Tottenham, 2-0 proved to be a tricky one as they found Burnley had found their spirit from the start of this season.  Four minutes before half-time, the home team pulled a goal back, when a straight ball to Fletcher just outside the D in the middle of the box was back-heeled through into the area, leaving Ledley confused as hew as right behind the Burnley striker.  With Assou-Ekotto not tracking Elliott's run, the Irishman took an early shot that left Alnwick with little chance and although he got his arm to the ball, he could not stop it going in to make it 2-1.

While it looked like this would be little to celebrate, the game changed form that point and the rigours of Wednesday night and the long season before that started to come home to roost. 

The second half proved to be a startling reminder of all the things Spurs have been putting into practice over most of the previous nine months, but they decided to stop doing here.  There were still opportunities to wrap the game up, but the cost of the failure to take them is one thing that must come out of this match to work on.  Two minutes into the half, Defoe took the ball forward after Modric had broken up a Burnley move about 25 yards from his own goal.  As the striker approached the area, he slipped a pass out to his right to Lennon, who drilled a low shot across the keeper and was unlucky to see his effort bounce away off the base of the far post.

From that point on, the home team were inspired and Spurs were put on the back foot.  Ledley had to make a sliding tackle when Nugent ran at the heart of the Tottenham defence, then Alnwick saved Fletcher's shot with his legs when the clearance fell to the Clarets striker.  With the time on the clock showing 50 minutes, a move started in their own half, Burnley's Martin Patterson was finding space on their right, crossing to Fletcher on the far post and he was free to volley at goal, but he was stretching and couldn't control his shot that went over.

But in the 55th minute, they did get a shot on target and when Patterson's right wing cross came in, Michael Dawson was underneath it and Kaboul did not go with Cork, who met the ball with his head and buried it past Alnwick to put them level. 

The tide had turned and three minutes later another Patterson cross found Fletcher coming in at the far post and only a finely timed block by King prevented another effort going in.  It was only delaying what was coming and it took another thirteen minutes, as Fletcher took the ball from the middle of the pitch to the left and pulled a ball across the Spurs box.  Benoit Assou-Ekotto was not alert to the fact that Patterson was coming in behind him and he side-footed the ball into the net with Alnwick covering the ground to try and get to the ball, but couldn't.

3-2 almost became 3-3 when a Bale free-kick found Crouch, but the striker headed it straight at Jensen, as he did on Wednesday on one occasion at Fulop.  From a Bale corner in the 83rd minute, Caldwell got to the ball just before King and deflected his header against his own bar and the ball bounced out to safety.  In between these chances, Lennon had played in substitute Pavyluchenko, on for Defoe, but his rising shot was pushed aside by Jensen.  With six minutes left, Bale's long-throw found Crouch's head but he could only find the keeper and that was the forward's last involvement, as he came off for Gudjohnsen to enter play.

He had little time to get involved with Burnley wrapping up a convincing win in the end with a late goal.  Wade Elliott was allowed too much time on the right to play a low ball fizzed low across the box and just on, substitute Steven Thompson got a touch to divert it past the Spurs goalie to make it 4-2.

The score-line flattered Burnley, but their second half performance of hassling and effort, coupled with good finishing was well deserved in the end.  There was little luck for Tottenham, with two efforts coming back off the woodwork.  But then, it highlighted that there are no easy game sin the Premier League ... even at this stage of the season with nothing for either team to play for.  Arsenal won their match, so we wouldn't have finished third anyway, but it shows that there is still work to do to make sure Tottenham can keep moving forward.

barry levington






Fan Reaction : -



What is it with Tottenham ?

After a great season and 2-0 up away form home against a side already condemned to relegation, we still stuff it up, when a glorious end to the campaign beckoned.  Lucky we won against Man. City !!

The defence were already on the beach/plane to South Africa when the second half saw them allow Burnley to look like world beaters.  They had a bit of luck, while Spurs didn't, but the ease in which BAE allowed Patterson to sneak in behind him might come back to haunt him ,with Harry looking to strengthen and the lapses the left back makes can cost us against teams who are better than Burnley.

Spurs had coasted through the first half and looked comfortable at 2-1 up, but the old failings resurfaced and while the match ended up being meaningless with the Gooners beating Fulham, it would have been good to finish with a victory.

The summer will see Tottenham linked with a myriad of players in the transfer rumours, but whatever happens, Harry must add quality to the squad and being in the Champions League should give him the bargaining power to overcome some of Manchester City's wage offers.

There is still a long way to go at home and abroad for Spurs, but the next step has been taken on the long journey.

steve parnell





Other League scores this weekend :
Arsenal 4 Fulham 0 Sunday
Aston Villa 0 Blackburn Rovers 1 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 2 Birmingham City 1 Sunday
Chelsea 8 Wigan Athletic 0 Sunday
Everton 1 Portsmouth 0 Sunday
Hull City 0 Liverpool 0 Sunday
Manchester United 4 Stoke City 0 Sunday
West Ham United 1 Manchester City 1 Sunday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Sunderland 1 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 38 27 5 6 103 32 86 +71
2 Manchester United 38 27 4 7 86 28 85 +58
3 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 83 41 75 +43
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 38 21 7 10 67 41 70 +26
5 Manchester City 38 18 13 7 73 45 67 +28
6 Aston Villa 38 17 13 8 52 39 64 +13
7 Liverpool 38 18 9 11 61 35 63 +26
8 Everton 38 16 13 9 60 49 61 +11
9 Birmingham City 38 13 11 14 38 47 50 -9
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 13 11 14 41 55 50 -14
11 Stoke City 38 11 14 13 34 48 47 -14
12 Fulham 38 12 10 16 39 46 46 -7
13 Sunderland 38 11 11 16 48 56 44 -8
14 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 9 19 42 67 39 -25
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 9 11 18 34 58 38 -24
16 Wigan Athletic 38 9 9 20 37 79 36 -42
17 West Ham United 38 8 11 19 47 66 35 -19
18 Burnley 38 8 6 24 42 82 30 -40
19 Hull City 38 6 11 21 34 75 30 -41
20 Portsmouth 38 7 7 24 34 66 19* -32


Position before the match :  4th
Position after the match :  4th 
Position after the weekend :  4th

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