Looking Forward

 

CHARLTON ATHLETIC (Away)

Premier League

Wednesday 11th February 2004 

Having met Charlton only six weeks ago, the meeting of the two sides  might be regarded as a familiar one.  However, the teams will be a bit different in terms of personnel and in form.

Spurs were on a downer at that time and since then have won four league matches pulling them away from the Premiership basement.  Charlton have just been edged out of fourth place after a draw, two wins and two defeats in the league since the turn of the year.

Without Scott Parker, the Addicks might lack a little drive in midfield, but Matty Holland is capable of providing that role, while Claus Jensen has the ability to notch goals from that area of the pitch.  Upfront Di Canio might lack the service he previously received, but there are options with Graham Stuart being in the veteran class, but still able to trouble Premier League defences.  Curbishley might prefer the more muscular approach of Shaun Bartlett to Di Canio's artistry, with Jonathan Johansson a beacon to aim for up front.  With Jason Euell looking ready to come back after a foot injury, he is a powerful and mobile forward with a knack of scoring against us !!

Paul Konchesky is a familiar face to Spurs fans and while Johnnie Jackson's emergence might have snubbed out the opportunity Konch had of coming to Tottenham, he plays a similar role, although I think his best position is at left back rather than left midfield.  Ex-Gooner Jerome Thomas is a strong lad who plays wide and is another powerful runner with the ball, so he will need close attention if he makes his first appearance against Spurs.

The defence is particularly strong with Chris Perry having settled down there and he is playing well alongside South African central defender Mark Fish.  While Perry reads the game well, Fish might be vulnerable to the movement and nippy skills of Keane and Defoe (who will be returning to his first club).  If Fish is not fancied after bringing Hasselbaink down for a penalty in their match on Sunday against Chelsea, Jonathan Fortune can come in, bt he also is not the most mobile of defenders, so Perry might be stretched in covering others.  Herman Hreidarsson must be the tallest full-back in the country, but he can forage forward from that position and make an extra man in midfield or up front if required.  Bulgarian Radislav Kishishev is an old fashioned left back, who is keeping Chris Powell out and he can get caught upfield when overlapping, while Luke Young is another option in defence now that he has regained full fitness.

Behind all of these is Dean Kiely and he hardly ever has a poor game against Spurs.  A great shot-stopper, he might be up against a different type of attack now with our two little men up front and they might cause him different problems.

Much will depend on the Tottenham defence and with Doc perhaps coming in to replace Anthony Gardner, that means Richards will play and his ability to keep up with Johansson (hopefully he will not have to pick up Euell) will be key.  We got caught out the season before last by Lisbie's pace and movement, but this season, the midfield should pick up runners a bit better and leave the forwards sated with chances, as the supply appears to be getting better these days.  

Having not won a London derby this season, this could be the time to break the duck (as we won't get much joy for the others we have left this season) ...

PREDICTION : -   Charlton Athletic  1   Tottenham  2

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

VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Any changes in fortune on the pitch since you beat us on 28th Dec ?

Oh yeah, everything is now taking its traditional second-half-of-season slide.  Getting knocked out the cup by Gillingham, and then all the fuss and bother surrounding Scott Parker.  We are now doing our best to grind out results but if things carry on the way they are we might be lucky to finish top ten.

Who do you think is your best player at the moment ?

Consistently it has be Chris Perry.  He just seems to be in the way of a lot of attackers and regularly makes decisive tackles in the penalty area.  Total bargain, so thanks.

Which player is under par recently ?

JJ - Jonatan Johansson...  can't control the ball, can't stay onside, can't finish.

Are you missing Scott Parker and what is the long term effect of his departure ?

Not really, although he battled well, I think the general lack of good performances would not have improved had he still been at the club.  The long term effect is that we've got a nice little transfer kitty for the summer.  We are all disappointed to see him go, particularly in what might be one of our best Premier seasons.  After Charlton had stuck by him when he wasn't such a shining light one might have hoped he'd have shown a little loyalty and stayed with us at least until the end of the season.

Any transfer window newcomers we should know about ?

Only Jerome Thomas, a young winger from the Woolwich rejects for 100K.  Haven't seen him in Charlton colours yet, but the one game I did see him in for the Arse against Boro he wasn't anything outstanding.

Watching the match against Chelsea on Sunday, I saw Luke Young on the pitch.  Is this an unusual sight of late ?

He is.  Unfortunately he has been injured but his performances before the lay off were encouraging, showing some of the promise that we were expecting from early on.  Can't help think central defence is his best position though.

And how is Chris Perry settling in now ?

Fantastically.  Total bargain and another superb signing by Curbishley. I didn't expect too much from him when he arrived but he has to be one of the front runners for Charlton's player of the year.

With the weekend press carrying stories about Curbishley walking away and Tottenham's interest in him as the new manager at White Hart Lane, do you think there is any truth in it ?  He was at WHL on Saturday (obviously spying for this match) and is regularly seen in the East Stand there.

We've heard it all before.  Given the money he has to spend and the fuss he made over Scott Parker's lack of loyalty I couldn't see Curbs leaving for anyone other than one of the top sides or a National post.

What is your line-up expected to be ?

                                   Kiely

        Kishishev,  Perry, Fish, Hreidarrson

         Stuart    Euell     Holland   Konchesky

                    Di Canio   Bartlett

Do you think Jermain Defoe will get a warm welcome ?

Never in a million years.  Even though he's no longer with the club that poached him his total lack of loyalty to either club shows exactly who he remains most loyal to.  The only pleasing thing I found about your own departure from the FA Cup was the fact that he wouldn't get a chance to play in the next round.

And do you think he might affect the result ?

Of course he will. He's an outstanding talent.  But he should be our outstanding talent, but for the illegal approach made by Wet Sham.

What do you reckon the score will be ?

Our away form is better than our home form and we really are struggling to score, whereas you perhaps have now started to find the target.  Feeling pessimistic so soon after the Bolton and Chelsea defeats so I'm gonna say 2-0 to you lot.  Plus I always get these predictions wrong so I just couldn't go for a home win.

Thanks to Kevin
"Goodbye Horse" fanzine and website

PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

CHARLTON ATHLETIC : -  Gary Rowett (knee); Richard Rufus (knee); Jason Euell (foot)

TOTTENHAM : -  Jamie Redknapp (not match fit); Frederic Kanoute (on international duty); Darren Anderton (suspended); Mauricio Taricco (foot); Helder Postiga (hamstring); Mark Yeates (suspended); Danny Foster (suspended)

COVERAGE : 
TV :  -  No live coverage
Radio :  -  No live coverage
Internet :  www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast    (Subscription access only); Charlton Athletic website at http://www.charlton-athletic.co.uk/live/live_audio.html

 

 

Charlton Athletic   4     Tottenham   2     (Half-time score : 0-2)
Premier League
Wednesday 11th February 2004
Venue : -  The Valley
Kick Off : -  20.00 p.m.
Weather : -
Crowd : -  
Referee : -  G. Barber (Hertfordshire)
Teams : -  
Charlton Athletic : - Kiely; Kishishev (Stuart, 34), Fish, Perry, Young; Konchesky, Hreidarsson, Holland, Jensen; Bartlett (Di Canio 56), Cole (Euell 72)
Unused subs: Royce, Fortune

Tottenham : -  Keller; Carr, Doherty, Richards, Taricco; Brown, Davies, King, Jackson; Keane, Defoe (Poyet 85)
Unused subs: Burch, Bunjevcevic, Dalmat, Barnard

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Charlton Athletic Tottenham
Scorers : -  
Charlton Athletic  -  
 Stuart 48, Perry 81

Tottenham -  Davies 10, Defoe 43, King 46, Jackson 85

Cards : -  
Charlton Athletic  -      Fish (foul) 36,     Young (foul) 57,     Perry (foul) 73

Tottenham -  None

Never ones to take the simple route to victory, Tottenham had the edges of the Valley seats worn out tonight, as they let Charlton back into the game, before Johnnie Jackson slammed the ball in and the door shut on the home side's revival.

The chance in the early stage of this match fell to Paul Konchesky, who just put too much on his lb to take it over Keller, but also over the bar.  Then Keane and Defoe played a nice one-two in the box but it was blocked and fell out to King, who had a shot just wide.

It was end to end stuff, with Kiely keeping out Defoe's effort with his legs and then, with Spurs trying to play an offside trap, it was left to Doherty to get a foot in to take it away from Cole, just as it looked like we might get caught out.  Then in the next minute, Paul Konchesky set up Simon Davies with a poor back-pass.  Taking the ball down neatly, he finished past Kiely as he came out to match his goal of last season.

Shaun Bartlett looked suspiciously offside when he burst into the area, but he tried to put the ball on a plate for Carlton Cole and Keller anticipated the pass to stop the danger.  The Ginger Pele was a dominant feature in the Tottenham defence, with a determination to win aerial challenges and getting his interceptions in when a strike on goal looked on the cards.

Jackson's precise curled ball picked out Keano's head, but his effort was directed up and over the bar.  Spurs were showing good movement within the penalty area and Keane and Defoe both were ready to turn their markers and one such turn drew a foul by Fish on Defoe outside the box.  Unfortunately, the free-kick from Brown hit the end of the wall and then Charlton broke away, only an over-hit pass stopped Holland getting in on Keller's goal.  Kasey was the main barrier between Charlton and an equaliser three minutes before the break, as substitute Graham Stuart's shot from outside the box got a deflection and looked destined for the net, but Keller dived to touch it onto the post.

Tottenham broke with great pace seconds before the break, started by a great throw out to Simon Davies by KK.  His ball into the box was not cut out by Konchesky and Defoe got in on Kiely, who saved it but the ball flew up into the air and Jermain got a head to it and it dropped into the net.  A 2-0 lead with the whistle waiting to be blown, Tottenham conceded a corner with King putting the ball out to safety.  It wasn't really safety because the ball ended up rebounding off the crossbar after Carlton Cole crashed an effort at goal.  Then there was still time for Jackson to concede a free-kick outside the box, that Jensen hit against a defender on the six yard box and yet another dead ball kick in the D, which was smacked into the wall by Jensen, but the ball was dinked back in for Stuart to hit it home, who was given offside in the last action of the first half.  The red shirts surrounded the ref on the way off to the tunnel, but Tottenham rode their luck at the end of the first period.

As Charlton had the bad luck just before the interval, Tottenham profited from their fortune after the fifteen minute rest.  A long throw into the Charlton box fell to Keane, who tried to run, but the ball was knocked out to the edge of the area and Ledley King returned it with interest to make it 3-0 just seconds into the second half.  His left footed shot was buried in the bottom left corner of the goal from about 18 yards out and Tottenham pressurised Charlton's players, who were looking nervous. 

They looked decidedly happier just six minutes later when Keller got nowhere near a corner and the ball was hit in by Graham Stuart from a similar position that King scored from.  This precipitated a spell of Charlton pressure, with Tottenham needing to get bodies in the way as they tried to get the ball near the goal.  Perry also went close with a header from a corner, but couldn't keep it down later in the half.  So when a corner was taken short with ten minutes left, Perry got up and this time got it past his former team-mate Keller to make the difference one goal.

Di Canio came on and with a typical piece of magic constructed a chance for Jason Euell (also on as a sub), but the former Wimbledon man could only plant a weak header goalwards that Keller could hold after adjusting his dive.  It looked like groundhog day when Charlton piled forward, but a strike of great power and accuracy from Johnnie Jackson flew past Dean Kiely that bulged the net from 28 yards and put Spurs 4-2 up with his left foot as the Addicks defenders stood off the midfielder.  A first goal for the club by Jackson could not have come at a better time.

Even then, Poyet could have added a fifth with a snapshot from the edge of the box and only Kiely's save put the ball around the post, while Doherty's defensive header drifted just wide of his own goal as the ball was played in with pace.

Another heart-stopper and much more of this and they will have to extend the Season Review video to take in all the goals we are scoring in the second half of the season !!  It is just as well we are getting four now, as three never seems enough and I am not sure how many too many would be ?  Perhaps we might find out against Leicester ??

MEHSTG TOP MAN : -  JOHNNIE  JACKSON

The Heathrow Spur

 

FOUR GOODNESS SAKE !

 

With ten minutes left, it looked comfortable ... well, as comfortable as you can get.  They say a three goal lead is the most dangerous in football, but at the moment any lead is capable of slipping out of Tottenham's grasp ... even though the reason it was there in the first place was through some good fortune.

Recently returned to the Valley on loan, Paul Konchesky showed that he is still a Spur at heart, by heading a long ball forward on for Simon Davies to take the ball into the box and bury past Kiely.  Davies' return to the side has coincided with the good run and while he might not be 100% back to his old form of last season ,his presence has made a difference in the midfield area of the side.  That early goal should have been the signal for a breeze of a Tottenham victory, but that was never going to happen was it ??

The Spurs back line held firm during this spell, although Keller was called on to bail out the defence, who played square for offside - I wish they wouldn't do that, because they can't play the offside trap - and grab a ball intended for Cole from fellow striker Shaun Bartlett.  Tottenham were passing the ball nicely and Charlton were finding it hard to get into the game, but they did have a couple of shots at goal, although only one troubled Keller, as he fielded Perry's volleyed effort.

With half-time on the horizon, a square ball by Davies landed at the feet of Defoe racing in on Kiely.  The Irish keeper dived at his feet and Jermain was lucky that the ball popped up and went in off his head, when he knew little about it really.  he knew enough to indicate to the crowd that it had gone in off his head as he ran off patting himself on the forehead !!  The move had been a good one, with Keller actually throwing the ball out to Davies, who ran half the length of the pitch to feed Jermain.  This is the football we like to see from Tottenham.

What happened in the next few minutes was what we don't like to see.  A left wing cross by Konchesky nearly made up for his earlier error, as he landed it on Carlton Cole's head and the ball bounced back off the bar.  With injury time being played, the ball fell to Bartlett, who's fierce shot was beaten out by Keller, but was stuck back past him by Graham Stuart from close range.  Only the mad waving of a flag by the assistant referee caused the strike to be erased from the scoreline, with Stuart being adjudged offside, perhaps harshly after TV pictures showed he might just have been onside.

Still, the nature of winning and losing can often be a thin line.  And that was proved straight after the interval, when a throw-in on our right wing went it to Keano in the box.  As he tried to run Fish, the ball ran back to the edge of the area and as King took it into the box, he hit it through a forest of legs and into the net to make it 3-0.  This is when most people associated with Tottenham started to get a cold sweat on.

Especially when Keller went flailing at a corner five minutes later, leaving the ball to go beyond him and out to Stuart, who hit a shin-high drive past a forest of shins to leave Spurs helpless to stop it and to put Charlton back in with a chance.  The majority of opportunities in this half came from dead ball situations, with Richards and Fish exchanging headers over the bar at each end, while a piece of skill by Di Canio provided Euell with the chance to get closer to Spurs, but his header never really caused any worry to KK, who took it comfortably.

Then ten minutes from time, it happened.  The Spurs fans had been roundly abusing Chris Perry, as he had been booked for a rash (perhaps that is where he got his nickname from ?) challenge on Michael Brown, who had another steady game.  His hand cupped to his ear when he wheeled away after glancing a header in low at the far post from a cross from a cleared corner showed what he thought of our chances of hanging on.

The jitters set in and suddenly, for the first time, Charlton voices could be heard amongst the noise.  Not that it lasted long, with the ball being played to Johnnie Jackson and the young midfielder strode forward with nobody keen to close him down.  When he got within striking range (25 yards), he hit a bullet of a shot that rifled past the Charlton keeper and low into the left hand corner.  It was a fitting goal to win a match and to grace Tottenham's first London derby win of the season.  His joy at his first Spurs goal was obvious and the relief from his team-mates was just as evident.

Gus Poyet had replaced Defoe with minutes remaining and he hit a long range effort low down and the keeper's got to it and just managed to tip it around the upright.  That should have been it, but you know Spurs !!  Gary Doherty, who had a fine game, got a glancing forehead to a cross from Stuart and the ball flew wide of the goal.  Oh, the Ginger Pele !!  

Then that was it.  Relief, rejoicing, revenge, respect.  All things that ran through my mind as the final whistle blew.  Getting back on track after the Cup defeat has been traumatic, but with towering performances by King and Keane and Doherty and Davies has given the team a tough spine.  Not strong enough to hold out for a whole match, but then that wouldn't be Spurs would it ?

So, a week off, just when things were picking up momentum and then we host Leicester at the Lane.  Another four goals ?  Knowing Tottenham Hotspur, it will be a roller-coaster all over again, with probably the odd goal in one settling things against, what should be, one of the weaker sides in the Division.

Gavin Thomas

 

Other scores this midweek :

Arsenal

2 SCBC 0 Tuesday
Birmingham City 3 Everton 0 Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers 1 Newcastle United 1 Wednesday
Fulham 1 Aston Villa 2 Wednesday
Leeds United 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Tuesday
Leicester City 1 Bolton Wanderers 1 Tuesday
Liverpool 2 Manchester City 1 Wednesday
Manchester United 2 Middlesbrough 3 Wednesday
Portsmouth 0 Chelsea 2 Wednesday

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 25 18 7 0 49 16 61 +33
2 Manchester United 25 18 2 5 49 23 56 +26
3 Chelsea 25 17 4 4 46 19 55 +27
4 Liverpool 25 10 8 7 36 27 38 +9
5 Newcastle United 25 9 11 5 35 26 38 +9
6 Charlton Athletic 25 10 7 8 34 30 37 +4
7 Aston Villa 25 10 6 9 30 28 36 +2
8 Fulham 25 10 5 10 37 35 35 +2
9 Birmingham City 24 9 8 7 23 26 35 -3
10 Bolton Wanderers 25 8 10 7 31 37 35 -6
11 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 25 10 3 12 35 38 33 -3
12 SCBC 25 8 7 10 23 23 31 0
13 Middlesbrough 24 8 7 9 26 29 31 -3
14 Blackburn Rovers 25 7 6 12 36 40 27 -4
15 Everton 25 6 7 12 28 36 25 -8
16 Manchester City 25 5 9 11 33 37 24 -4
17 Portsmouth 25 6 5 14 28 39 23 -11
18 Leicester City 25 4 9 12 33 47 21 -14
19 Leeds United 25 5 5 15 23 50 20 -27
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 4 8 13 22 51 20 -29

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