West Bromwich Albion (Home)
FA Cup Fourth Round replay
Saturday 12th February 2005
defender and captain Ledley King's groin strain has made him doubtful
for Saturday's replay, but this may be some disinformation designed to
confuse Bryan Robson and his troops.
Spurs will also be without those signings who are cup-tied, but Sean Davis might be fit for recall, although he has not had any match practice. More likely is the recall of Reto Ziegler coming back from his hamstring injury.
For the Baggies, James O'Connor, Jason Koumas, Lloyd Dyer and the transfer-listed Artim Sakiri will come into consideration, while Ricardo Scimeca may return to the midfield if Martin Albrechtsen recovers from injury and fits in at the back.
With Tottenham having got back to winning ways with the 3-1 victory over Portsmouth, it might signal a return to form. However, should Mido not be fit, the West Bromwich defenders might find Fredi Kanoute easier to handle, as they did in the first tie. I think that Tottenham might be able to overcome the Albion on this occasion, but they will need to be focused and put in the hard work that will be necessary to match the visitors. The midfield will be required to cover a lot of ground to meet the challenge, but with WBA having been hit with absences in this area, it might make things a bit simpler for Tottenham.
Whatever happens, the side will need to be alert to the threats posed by Kanu and Horsfield or Campbell up front. They provide a physical approach and with Kanu, nobody knows what he will do next ... least of all himself. Earnshaw is a busy, annoying player, who is always after you, so, with the prospect of King being missing, it means whoever comes in might have to stick to the Welsh striker like glue. With Koumas due to return in midfield, the creativity might improve, because he has a good eye for a pass. The defence is not impregnable, as Robson made clear when issuing a warning to them to buck their ideas up or he would ship out.
For Tottenham, the game will need to provide an opportunity to get the ball down and pass it around. Lumping high balls to Purse and Albrechtsen will only lead to the ball being won by Baggie heads. Spurs need to play to their strengths, which might involve the ball being kept down if Defoe leads the line or should Mido make the starting line-up, then the balls into the Egyptian will need to be precise and there for him to attack.
There should be enough
in the Tottenham locker to make the game secure before the end of the
90 minutes, as extra time and penalties might take the game beyond
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For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
MEHSTG has been unable to obtain a View From The Other Side.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Andy Reid (cup-tied); Michael Dawson (cup-tied); Mido (groin); Ledley King (groin); Dean Richards (ear)
WEST BROMWICH ALBION : Andy Johnson (knee); Jonathan Greening (suspended); Kieran Richardson (cup-tied); Richard Chaplow (cup-tied)
|Tottenham Hotspur 3 West Bromwich Albion 1 (Half-time score : 1-1)|
|FA Cup Fourth Round replay||Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Saturday 12th February 2005||Kick Off : 17.30 p.m.|
|Crowd : 27,680||Referee : Rob Styles (Hampshire)|
|Weather : Cold, windy after pre-match heavy rain|
|Teams : -|
|West Bromwich Albion
Hoult (Kuszczak 43)
Kanu (Earnshaw 62)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
Keane (pen) 45
|West Bromwich Albion
|Cards : -|
|West Bromwich Albion
|Match Report : -|
A tactical gamble that did not work was changed by martin Jol at the interval to change the course of this game and not the penalty that was awarded just before the break, as so many media commentators reckoned.
The starting line-up included Keane, Kanoute and Defoe and the three striker idea never seems to work. Fredi roamed around without really knowing who he was going to play the ball to, Jermain failed to get the service he needs to score and Robbie played narrow depriving the side of the width that they need to flourish.
Needless to say, this left Albion space in midfield and the ability to double up on Atouba on the left side of the Spurs defence. Not that the Cameroonian helped himself, as he left Gera the run of the line as he drifted infield from his left back position. It was thus unsurprising that the bulk of the WBA attacks came form this side.
The Hungarian Gera had impressed in our previous two meetings, showing skill and good vision to pose Tottenham problems, but today, his final ball was lacking on most occasions thankfully for Spurs. An early ball across the face of goal that could not find Wallwork should have been sufficient warning, but when Atouba let Campbell run in behind him and back-heel to Gera in the 12th minute, his cross picked out Kanu. The ex-Gooner had drifted away from and in behind King and matched up with Kelly. His height advantage told and with the young Irishman trying to make a challenge from the wrong side, all Kanu had to do was get his head to the ball and nod it past Robinson.
It was hardly the start that Tottenham wanted and things could have been much grimmer within the following 25 minutes. Campbell got on the end of a knock down and hit a shot that was going across Robbo from the left, but the keeper threw himself up and pawed it away. In the next attack, the goalie flung himself to his right to stop the visiting full back Paul Robinson knocking one past his namesake.
Tottenham had failed to hold onto the ball and it took 24 minutes before their first shot, when Defoe laid the ball into the path of Carrick, whose shot was charged down and Hoult grabbed the ball high near the angle of post and bar to prevent the corner. It was in the 35th minute that this game might have turned Spurs' way. Again cutting through the Tottenham team on their right, Campbell was slipped into the area by Gera's astute pass and as the shot was aimed low into the corner of the net, Robinson stuck out a big foot and it was enough to divert the ball just wide of the goal. In truth, West Brom would have been worthy 2-0 leaders (at least) at this time, but having failed to convert the opportunities, Spurs set about getting back into the game.
Whether they deserved to be level at the half-time whistle or not, they were. With Kanoute robbing Jason Koumas of the ball on the Spurs right, he found Defoe with a cross to the penalty spot, but leaning back, Jermain's volley rose over the goal and into the Park Lane crowd. That was the best opening that was created, but when Carrick spotted Stephen Kelly breaking up the right wing and picked him out with a great pass, little would you have guessed of the drama to come. He took the ball in his stride and into the area, where he poked it over Hoult as he raced from his goal. The ball hit the keeper, but the keeper hit Kelly, bringing him down in the area. The ref looked at the incident and pointed to the spot. The keeper was down on the floor, while Kelly got up looking slightly battered. A long period of treatment for Hoult followed and we all wondered what the ref would do about the foul. Would it be a red card ?
Well, when, after about five minutes, Hoult got to his feet and was lead off by the physio, the ref failed to caution him at all. He was replaced by the young Polish keeper Kuszczak, who went between the sticks and could not stop being sent the wrong way by Keane's spot-kick.
So, 1-1 and Jol brought on Simon Davies in place of Robbie Keane to give the side some width and energy in midfield. The swap was a good one and paid off almost straight away. Having been given a free-kick 25 yards out for what appeared a harsh handball (but on TV clearly was) against Robinson, Defoe ran over to Carrick who was orchestrating proceedings. As the midfielder shaped to take the kick, Defoe lost his marker on the edge of the area and the ball was pulled square for him to smash an unstoppable shot past the goalie. It was a neat piece of finishing and a routine that might yet become the Teddy/Anderton set-piece of this generation !!
Within five minutes, Spurs were through to the next round. Kanoute made great strides down the left side of the penalty area, leaving Gaardsoe for dead and pulled a pass back to Jermain level with the penalty spot. One touch to control and one to smack it past Kuszczak made it 3-1. It was another clinical bit of finishing by Defoe and one that left Albion ruing the chances they failed to take.
Further Spurs goals might have followed with Brown turning up at the far post to fling himself at Davies' cross, but only find the keeper arms and again be poised to head in another right wing cross, when a defender just got there first. The Tottenham Paul Robinson had to be alert when Clement hit a fierce free-kick from 20 yards, but he had a clear sight of it through the wall and palmed it well away from danger. Then in injury time, Spurs broke with Defoe feeding Kanoute in the are and he unselfishly set up Davies to run onto the pass and hit a screamer that Kuszczak managed to fly up and tip wide of the goal.
It was a comfortable win in the end for Spurs, but coming from 0-1 down again was a little worrying. Better teams than Albion might not have let us off so lightly, so with Forest coming up, we need to practice being tight at the start and as attacking as we were in the second half if we are to progress further in this competition.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - PAUL ROBINSON
|Match pennant sponsors||E-Focus|
|Match shirt sponsors||M. P. S. Painting Contractors|
|KEPT IN IT|
|With three vital saves in the
first half, Paul Robinson proved just how good a keeper he is and how
important having one is to the team. For all Keller's assets, I
am not convinced that he would have made the save Robbo did and
therefore, his contribution to the win was immeasurable.
The other person to take great credit from this win was Martin Jol, who followed Sven's path of playing 4-3-3, but realised that after being over-run in the first 45 minutes, that eh needed to change it to something more familiar to get the team to start performing.
Spurs had rode their luck in the first half, when they only had one chance before the goal, as Fredi crossed for Defoe to volley well over. In contrast, WBA looked like a side pushing at the top of the league rather than battling to avoid relegation. Robson has got them well organised, but they played with an attacking verve, helped by the fact that Atouba kept getting sucked into the middle and the midfield could not cope with being a man light. This gave the Hungarian Gera all the time and space he needed to orchestrate the moves that West Brom cut through the Tottenham defence.
It paid off when Atouba feel asleep and let Campbell get the ball on the bye-line, produce a back-heel to Gera, leaving Atouba and Ziegler stranded and the cross picked out Kanu at the far post, where he got in front of Kelly to score. King was in no-man's land as the ball went over his head on the way to the Nigerian striker.
With the play going towards the Spurs goal, it was all that Robinson could do to keep the ball out. He used his hands, legs and feet to stop Campbell and the other Paul Robinson, while poor finishing by Gera let Spurs off when he had a good shooting chance.
A long pass to the right from Michael Carrick finally released the pressure and as Stephen Kelly raced onto the ball, he got a touch to it before Hoult met him and although the ball hit the keeper, he was brought down. It was a surprise that many reports (although not Bryan Robson, who can never accept that something might go against him) had it down as a "controversial" award. The keeper took Kelly out without getting the ball - it hit him rather then him making contact with it - and the fact that Hoult came out with his studs up. It was a major surprise also that Rob Styles did not book him for the challenge as he limped off. The five minute hiatus did not phase Robbie Keane, who stuck the ball away past the new goalie with relish.
A five minute spell at the start of the second half brought two goals for Jermain Defoe and his joy in his celebration showed that he loves scoring. The first was a training ground routine, with Carrick pulling the ball square across the box, instead of slinging it into the box. Defoe timed his movement to perfection and powered in a shot that left the keeper grasping air. Hitting a ball as it runs across you is not an easy skill, but Jermain makes it look easy.
The second was more straightforward as Kanoute tricked his way past Gaardsoe on the left and got to the line before looking up and pulling the ball back to Defoe, who controlled it and smashed it past Kuszczak.
Defoe was stopped illegally by the Albion defence, but he was stopped even more illegally by the linesman, who flagged him offside as he ran through the middle of the pitch. With Kanoute in front of him but coming out, even the most obtuse interpretation would not have been that he was interfering with play.
The rest of the half showed Spurs in a better light, making good passes and creating more chances without looking in much trouble until Clement leathered a free-kick from 20 yards. Even then, Robinson was up to it and pushed the ball out to safety. A late break saw Davies bring out a good save from the young Albion keeper before the whistle went and Spurs were through to the Fifth Round.
Simon Davies had a very good game and Michael Brown beavered away in the second half to greater effect than the first, when he was chasing shadows because of the set-up. The three strikers played at once never seems to work and perhaps Jol will now mix and match with two up front and enough supply from midfield.
Tottenham were worth the win in the end, but perhaps Albion might feel aggrieved. They only have themselves to blame as they failed to accept the openings that the Spurs formation allowed them to create. Defoe had three chances and scored two of them. With finishing like that (and with a keeper like Robinson) you always have a chance to win a game ... even if at first it seems like you might not deserve to do so.
|The thought suddenly struck me
today that something happened in the West Brom replay that the TV
didn't seem to comment on.
Second half Defoe picked up the ball in the centre circle with Kanoute and someone else wide to the left and right. Defoe pushed the ball forward and was body checked/ obstructed by the West Brom defender. The commentator said "What does the referee do now, was Defoe through on goal?" " Oh no he's given offside."
At no time did anyone mention that
a) Defoe hadn't passed the ball to anyone
b) He'd run from his own half
c) the two wide players, even if they were technically offside (which I doubt) could never have been interpreted as interfering under the new rules.
|Other scores this weekend :|
|Blackburn Rovers||3||Norwich City||0||Saturday|
|Manchester City||0||Manchester United||2||Sunday|
|FA Cup Fourth Round replays|
|Fulham (after extra time; 2-2 at 90 mins.)||4||Derby County||2||Saturday|
|Sheffield United (win 3-1 on pens. after extra time; 1-1 at 90 mins.)||1||West Ham United||1||Sunday|
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