|What could have proved a tricky tie
against lower league opposition in Martin Jol's first game as the new
Head Coach, saw Tottenham turn on the style to put Burnley out of the
Some clinical finishing determined the
tie in Tottenham's favour and the way that Spurs performed was more
confident and more fluent than for a few weeks now. Jol has got
the team pushing players forward a bit more and the support and supply
for the strikers paid dividends.
Having said that, there were still some
early scares that nearly put pressure on the team had Burnley been able
to convert them. Veteran striker Robbie Blake caused Spurs
problems with his running with the ball and his movement, with his
supplying of chances being more apparent than his taking of
chances. Five minutes in and he set up a volley for young Duffy,
who only succeeded in finding the body of Robinson in the way.
The first opening for Spurs came from
Ziegler's 9th minute free-kick that found Pamarot's head and Jermain
Defoe was just unable to get to the nod back from the French full
back. Pamarot's presence in the box was in marked contrast to his
instructions under Santini and he appeared to enjoy getting up in
Two minutes later, Blake dragged a shot
just wide and then there was a period of sloppy play before Keane fired
a deflected shot at goal in the 19th minute. A Ziegler corner was
driven in with pace in the 22nd minute and Noe threw himself at the
ball, just being late on it to glance it across the face of goal with
the aid of a block by the keeper. The Swiss lad was enjoying
himself with a drive off the wet turf on 24 minutes and then was
involved in a move soon after when Noe set up Robbie, whose drive was
blocked too. Jermain flashed a shot powerfully at goal, but way
too high, before Burnley carved out a clear opportunity to score.
Blake stood up a neat cross from the left wing to Duffy, who rose above
Kelly, but could only let the ball skid off his head and go wide rather
than powering it at goal.
The missed opportunity proved costly as
just past the half hour, Mendes, playing an unusual wide right midfield
role put Carrick in running ahead of him. With a twist and a turn,
Michael lost his man marker and slid a left footed diagonal ball across
the area where Robbie Keane had timed his run to perfection and slammed
the ball in under the keeper's arm. It was a typical Keane finish
and one we haven't seen so far this season, as the service has been
lacking. How he must be pleased to see Carrick in the side.
Keano then turned provider, putting a
slide-rule pass into the left channel of the box for Kelly to run onto
and as he was being played in an unaccustomed left back role, he could
not manage to get a ball into the six yard box before a tackle came
in. Just before the break at the other end, Camara made a very
good left wing run and was put in by Blake. The defender's cross
was pulled back to Grant who made good contact with the ball and Paul
Robinson was equal to it - pushing it aside for a corner. When the
ball came in from the set-piece Duff got to it first with his head and
Robbo's save on his knees was tidied up by Mendes on the post. As
added time was being played a clever turn by Blake saw him past Naybet
and he hit a shot, which went about a yard wide with a large amount of
the goal visible.
At the start of the second half, Burnley
were trying to push forward, but it was Spurs who hit them with a second
goal, which started way back near the edge fo their own penalty
area. A throw-in by Kelly was nudged toward Defoe by Ziegler after
nearly losing the ball. Jermain stretched and kept the ball in
play to Reto, who exchanged passes with Defoe, setting him away on the
left. He looked up to find his strike partner racing in at the far
post to meet his low ball across the face of goal struck with the
outside of his right foot. All Keane had to do was fire it into
the net where the ball subsequently ended up.
This was all just a precursor to the main
course of Jermain Defoe showing what finishing is all about. 57
Minutes past and Keane cleverly flicks a through ball onto Defoe with a
defender at his back. Twisting one way and going the other, the
defender was shaken off and a quick glance allowed him to hit a powerful
shot from 29 yards just out of reach of the stranded keeper. It
was the finish of a master goal-scorer and had such power that the
keeper never stood a hope of getting to it.
At 3-0, Jol made some changes to rest
some and give others the opportunity to get some on-pitch action.
Tottenham then played some possession football and chances were created
for Davies, Kanoute, Ziegler (twice) and Defoe, but Spurs failed to add
to their score. Blake nearly caused some problems from a
free-kick, but Stephen Kelly was alert to the danger. The only
real opportunity the home side created in the second half was when Duffy
burst through a couple of tackled on the edge of the areas, but he
fluffed his shot, shooting straight at Robinson.
The tie was comfortable in the end and
Spurs move on to Round Five. But the most important thing was that
there was a win for Jol. And, for him, a win that contained some
style. His reactions showed he cares a great deal and I imagine
that Chris Hughton will be crushed to death if Martin keeps giving him
those bear hugs ... but then that will mean we have been successful !!