|Tottenham 2 Lazio 2
(Half time: 2-1)
|Sunday 11th Aug 2002
|Venue : White Hart Lane
|Kick off : 3.00 p.m.
|Weather : Sunny with some cloud
Crowd : - 21,185
Referee : - Mr. A. D'Urso (Essex)
Tottenham - Richards 2, Redknapp 18
Lazio - Lopez 28, Crespo 58
Tottenham - None
Lazio - None
|Tottenham : Keller; Taricco, Perry
(Gardner 65), Richards, Carr; Bunjevcevic, Redknapp (Bortolozzo 76), Acimovic
(Blondel 76), Etherington; Rebrov, Sheringham (Iversen 66)
Unused subs : - Sullivan, Thatcher, Davies, Doherty
Lazio : Marchegiani;
Oddo, Nesta, Stam (Couto 45), Pancaro; Fiore (Inzaghi 66), Stankovic,
Liverani (Giannichedda 76), Cesar (Simeone 45); Crespo, Lopez.
Unused subs: Concetti, Baggio, Gottardi, Negro.
Tottenham - Blue and black shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks with
Lazio - All white
How do more people look like less ?
Must be an optical illusion or they did it with mirrors. More
people were at WHL on Wednesday for the friendly against Celtic than
were there today according to the official attendance, but there were
less bits of blue plastic visible this afternoon. Maybe people
were more spread out ?
There was more of a feeling of a game
being on as I walked up to the ground. People were filling the
streets and it felt more of an event than Wednesday's visit of Celtic,
as the weather was better and there were more familiar faces to be
seen. The season is only six days away and I am starting to get
the feeling that there is something to look forward to. There
would be more to look forward to with a new striker, but hey, that's for
another page in the fanzine !!
Entering the ground, the buzz is about Qu
Bo. What's he like ? Will he be playing ? What about
the work permit ? If we are getting this excited about a young
striker, what would it be like if we did sign a top goal-scorer ?
The sun shone down as the team took the field with 11 mascots (Ker-ching
go the Spurs cash registers). The side are wearing the new away
kit, which looks good. Lazio sport an all white ensemble with a
bit of a 80's pinstripe in the shirt. Retro must be stylish in
Italy this year.
So, the Spurs attack kicks into action
straight away. A move down the right involving Etherington and
Sheringham finds Acimovic, who tries to flick it back from the bye-line
to Rebrov, but it is put behind for a corner. Milo takes the
corner from the left wing; the ball being cleared high into the
air. As it falls, Acimovic plays the ball on the volley a couple
of yards into the area, where Rebrov waits. His looks up, crosses
to the far post and coming in, behind his marker was Deano. His stooping
header gave Spurs the lead after just 74 seconds !! It was a good
cross by Sergei, who looked a lot more involved today ... maybe Hod had
told him this was his opportunity for people to see how good he is ?
Everything was going so well, until
Redknapp's short back-pass that made Keller rush to clear. A bit
too close for comfort. Not that it mattered, as Jamie's next
action was at the other end, when he pounced on a blocked Bunjy attempt
and he hit a textbook volley from 25 yards out to nearly rip the net as
it went in. His technique was excellent and it reminded me of the
Mabbutt and Hoddle volleys of yesteryear. Unfortunately, a later
attempt direct from an Acimovic corner ended in the shot slicing off his
boot and wide of the goal.
Before that Lazio could have been
level. Lopez seized on a ball in from the left from Cesar, slipped
his marker and then shot across Keller for the visitors first goal in
the 28th minute. Where the marking was seven minutes later, when a
right wing cross found Crespo unmarked, I don't know. Luckily, his
glancing header went wide of the far post, while Stankovic, the crosser,
ended up in the crowd.
The only other notable action of the
first half involved the aforementioned Cesar, who got laid out by a
Stephen Carr challenge. He seemed to take it badly, as he
attempted to flatten Carr in the very next incident and for the rest of
the match, it was left to Liverani to take up the vendetta, with Cesar
leaving the pitch at half-time and not returning. Liverani was
also the recipient of a sarcastic round of applause from Rebrov, when he
took the most dramatic dive imaginable. It was a gesture the crowd
At half-time, the Lazio subs warmed up on
the pitch for the latest match in their English tour that had taken in
Liverpool, Blackburn and Derby. Unfortunately, this limbering up
was all we saw of Concetti, who has the squad number 99. He was
easy to pick out, as he was the one with a chocolate flake sticking out
of his head !!
When the second half started, Lazio
obviously had the intention to step up the pace of the game and pressed
onto the Spurs back four. Shots from Crespo and Fiore made Kasey
dive to save, while the American did well in the 52nd minute, when Lopez
stole in on the left and hit a powerful shot that Kasey blocked, but it
fell to Crespo and he blazed the ball over the bar and into the South
There was a little retaliation, when
Jamie hit a free kick a foot or two over the Lazio crossbar, before the
quick break saw Steve Carr hacking the ball away from Stankovic in the
six yard box. However, from the resulting throw-in, Lopez lobs the
ball into the six yard box from the right wing, finding Crespo
free in front of goal and he put his header past Keller to bring the
score all square. I was going to say that if you leave him with
that much space he will punish you, but, in the 75th minute, Lopez bent
the ball in with the outside of his left foot, Crespo is just in front
of the penalty spot and heads powerfully downwards. It had 2-3
written all over it, but Keller managed to get his legs in the way and
gathered the ball before anyone else could get there.
Following the Lazio equaliser,
Etherington, who roasted his marker in the first half, got away again
and pulled the ball square for Redknapp to hit a shot along the ground
that went wide by about eighteen inches. The game was moving from
end to end so quickly and Taz nearly got the arm of his shirt ripped
off, before Oddo fired in a low shot. Iversen had a golden chance,
when put in by Redknapp and looking in a good position, hits the shot
well over the bar. It was an escape that nearly cost Spurs, as it
was just after this that KK saved from Crespo.
The substitutions started and Anthony
Gardner looked very good when he entered the action. His defensive
partner was having a hectic match, as when a Lazio cross came in from
the left, Richards tried to head to behind, but it caused Keller some
consternation, as it narrowly cleared the bar. From the corner,
Carr tries to head the ball back to the keeper, but Lopez is alert to it
and forces Keller to block with his body. Etherington put in a
good cross that Carr headed over, then the winger set up Bunjy for a low
shot straight at the keeper from 25 yards. There was one last
effort, when Richards laid the ball out to Bortolozzo, but his shot
warmed only the hands of the North Stand crowd as time ran out.
Altogether a better game than Wednesday,
with Lazio competitive to the point of nastiness once Diego Simeone had
come on. Many Spurs players did themselves proud. Matty ran
down the wing away from Oddo and Pancaro in the first half, but the
Italians soon sussed this and cut out most of his supply in the remaining
45. Rebrov looked more lively than he had and linked better with
Sheringham, with Iversen showing he still needs to hit the target more
regularly, even if he doesn't score. Taz had a good game, while
Perry was looking better - intercepting passes and getting close to his
man. Both Bortolozzo and Blondel both looked comfortable on the
ball when they had it and didn't seem phased by the fact they were
playing against Lazio.
More benefits than drawbacks, but the
team must learn that going two up and letting the other side back into
the game, is not the way that they will move up the Premier
League. Seeing as how we do it too often, there needs to be some
training ground work on concentration.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - JAMIE REDKNAPP
So, the preamble is now over and we
await the main course. A nine month one, but let's hope, for once,
we gorge ourselves on the fare in the Premier League.
With the Italians being a way off
being match honed for their League programme, the result was perhaps less
important than the way we played and in the first half, it was very
well. The second saw Lazio take the game by the scruff of the next
and Lopez got behind Taricco on more than a few occasions. Worrying
for Spurs, as was the freedom of the box allowed to Crespo for his
equaliser, while only some edge of the box tackles stopped further damage.
It is unusual for Tottenham to have
home pre-season friendlies, but this one was a chance to see some of the
stars of the World Cup, but the less than full house must mean that £30
is too much even for the players who were on show. The first glimpse
of Blondel and a home debut for Redknapp shaped the Spurs side, but it was
Etherington who gave them the most worries on the left wing, with his pace
being more than enough to take him past his opponents.
The draw was a result that Spurs
were lucky to get away with in the end, but they did have about the same
number of chances as Lazio. It was just that most of the visitors
were on target. So, here's to next Saturday and I leave you with the
individual reports on our players, which have been so favoured this
Did what he had to do well. Punched and caught when he needed to,
good blocking and used his whole body. Unlucky with both goals, as
left exposed, but should be first choice for the Everton game on this
: Solid, but Lopez managed to
get behind him. Won't face many players of that quality in the
Premier League, but needs to pay attention to his defending.
: Looked surprisingly good.
Quick, read the game well and was strong in the tackle. Gets pulled
out of position sometimes, but the zonal system allows that. Better
as a man marker and did well on the day.
Looked classy on the ball and good in nicking the ball away from his
opponent. Uses the ball, when bringing it out of the back four and
looks more comfortable on it than Deano. Would be my preference over
Not as slow as previously seen during pre-season and looked strong in the
air. Another who might not be able to cope with a zonal system, but
got in some good tackles when needed. Did get round the back of
their defence at the start to give us the lead, but needs to dominate in
the opposition's box at set-pieces.
Back to his usual feisty self, having a running battle with a couple of
Lazio players. Used the ball well, but looked exasperated when he
didn't get a good pass from colleagues. If he can stay fit, will be
a real asset on the right flank.
: Looks cool on the ball
and his distribution is very good. However, if he gets half the time
on the ball in the Premiership, he will be very lucky. Needs to be
more urgent in his actions and not to get caught out, as he doesn't look
Class. A cracking goal. Good passing and a neat turn that
takes him away from his marker. Is not yet fit enough to chase back
quickly, but he did get behind the ball and his box-to-box work wasn't
bad. Makes the ball keep rolling and that is useful for the team.
: Short time on the
pitch, but made his mark with some wickedly bent in crosses ... if only we
had someone to get on the end of them !! Looks silky in possession
and not afraid to get stuck into a tackle. Could be worth bringing in on
a permanent deal, especially if he is cheap and the work permit is
not a problem.
: Has a repertoire of
drag-backs, "lollipops" and step-overs that will have Spurs fans
drooling. Has a range of falls in his bag as well, which might not
endear him to many. Needs to focus on the good stuff and cut out the
rest. Might get knocked about a fair bit in the League, but he could
be the supply line we have been looking for. bet he can land the
ball on a five pence piece.
Looked like one of Hoddle's "happy on the ball" boys. Nice
touch and good vision, he could be useful in opening up defences.
: Pace left his markers
pulling at his shirt and bringing him down. Used the ball well when
he got into a crossing position and although he was not as effective in
the second half, as they changed their style, he worked hard and linked
well with Blondel.
Rebrov : Started well, but
rarely got good service in good positions. Played better with Ted up
front than he has before, but excelled when filling
in for the Spurs captain, when he was substituted. Looked keen and
eager as perhaps he was in the shop window.
Quiet game really. Linked things and didn't get a lot of change out
of his old mate Jaap Stam. Looked comfortable with the laid back
pace of the game, with his touch making things look easy.
Has the look of a rabbit in the headlights when he gets the ball near
goal. His first effort was skied, when he should have made the
keeper work. He got the ball later in the game near the box and
where any other striker would think, "I've got a yard of space and a
clear shot on goal, let's let one go", he immediately laid the ball
back ... to a Lazio player. Needs to be built up in his head by the
management to take more accurate shots and not be afraid to take them on.
|Tottenham Hotspur v Lazio
Sunday 11th August 2002.
The sell: Come see Crespo and Lopez and an array of talent from the
World Cup in the shape of Lazio.
Roll up Roll up. Welcome to the Tottenham "We'll look after our
Friendly match ticket giveaway.
Do you think we'll give half price tickets to kids ?
Do you think we'll give half price tickets to OAPS or season ticket
Or maybe even a large deduction for Members ? Noooooooooooooooooo.
That's it. We'll slice a huge and whopping great £5 off the tickets.
Yeah that's will do it.
This gob-smacking reason was why just in excess of 21,000 of us,
tortured by the lack of football since the World Cup ended, decided to
roll into WHL on a humid Sunday afternoon to watch our final friendly
before the real stuff starts.
Looking forward to seeing us turn it on after "real
friendlies" such as Colchester & Watford, I was pleased to see
that Lazio had a completely full strength (although not truly match fit)
This will be a test, I thought and here's my feeling on the boys in
general and how they played:-
Kasey Keller : - He's actually not a bad keeper. Great shot
stopper (Crespo's close range header for example) and very agile.
A little susceptible to crosses, but then don't know any keepers who aren't
Really only playing for the Spurs due to Sully's incredible fall from
grace after his incredible 2000/01 season. Seems to be commanding
at the back which I like to see and doesn't waste many goal kicks,
nearly always finding a white shirt.
Mauricio Taricco : - Not actually a fan, but have to say that the
past two games he has impressed. Linked well with Matty yesterday
going forward and did his share of defensive duties with aplomb.
Worry about his attention span. Gives away too many needless
Stevie Carr : - A quality player, but one who gives the ball away
as regularly as the next man and always finds someone to moan at.
He's our very own Roy Keane. Didn't have one of his best games
yesterday, but still showed he's one of the best right backs
around. Was waiting for another of those special cross field balls
which were played in abundance on Wednesday ... none came. Sometimes I
wonder whether he now feels he's above playing for us.
Goran Bunje : - Confidence seeps out of him when he's on the ball.
It's nice to see someone bringing it out of defence. Played a cool
calm and efficient game yesterday. Hodd obviously loves him and I
can see why.
Chris Perry : - Say what you like about this man, but he is
currently my number 1. He was brilliant yesterday. Strong in the
tackle, determined and got some great last ditch tackles and headers in.
If it wasn't for the fact that his passing is sometimes at best
atrocious, he'd be in there with Ledley and Goran as first choices.
It will be a travesty if others get in before him.
Dean Richards : - Hmmmmmm. Deano can't work out whether he's Guy
Butters or Allesandro Nesta. One minute he looks like an £8m
defender, the next, he doesn't.
Great finish for his goal (could teach the front boys a thing or two).
I'd have him as a bench warmer or to combat the threat of aerial teams
such as Everton (with Ferguson) or Sunderland (Quinn).
Jamie Redknapp : - Well, what can you say. A goal like that hasn't
been scored like since the Long haired God left the club. Awesome
finish with technical ability and passing to match. The ability to
turn a marker and hit passes short and long is also something we have
missed. Can he stay fit?
Milo Acimovic : - We got a two in one yesterday, getting both JR
and Milo on the same pitch. He's got more tricks than David Blaine
and is sure to be a star at the Lane. Goes over easier than a
giraffe on rollerskates, so I'm hoping that God has a word in his
His touch to Rebrov for the opening goal was (almost) worth the
admission fee alone.
Matty Etherington : - Cracking game and made the Lazio right
back look a mug on many occasions with his pace. Some devastating
crosses were stuck in the mixer and unsurprisingly not taken advantage
of, but it is still an area of his game that he needs to work on.
On this form a Premiership winger, but more often than not drifts out of
Teddy Sheringham : - Thought Teddy did well against Big Jaap.
Won many headers considering the height disadvantage, but didn't have
anyone around to help him. Don't really remember him misplacing
any passes, but once again never looked like getting on the scoresheet.
Sergei Rebrov : - Am I the only fan in WHL who doesn't want this
man to start in our team ? The fella showed me delightful touches
yesterday, but these were interspersed with such bile that it is hard to
see him ever getting a real go. His confidence is shot to pieces
and he isn't even a 10th of the player who terrorised the Gooners many
Tony Gardner really is a boy for the future.
Diego Bortollozo has yet to impress me enough for him to get on the
bench. Nice touches, but still early.
Jon Blondel looked to have good feet and an eye for a pass. Only time
Steffen Iversen is an enigma. Hat-trick up at Sunderland a couple of
years ago demonstrates what a cracking striker he can be. Yesterday he
showed why he has us pulling our hair out. Shoot on sight man for crying
I thought it was a great workout for the boys and the first half
yesterday was like the first half of last season. Great movement,
great passing and lovely goals. Sadly the second half was like
last year's second half.
Backs against the walls, bad finishing, woeful passing.
It's going to be a tough time getting into Europe this season, but if we
can keep enough players fit, then I'm sure that 6th place and a good cup
run is well within our reach.
ROLL ON MORIENTES ...
SIZZLER THE SPUR
mail any feedback on this article to Simon.Dean@CathedralCapital.com