|The Rams have
been having a tough time of it lately. Colin Todd and Jim Smith have yet
to come up with a winning combination to take the Rams up the table and
with Todd taking the reins, his focus will be on tightening the defence
in the first instance.
Goalkeeper Mart Poom has
always had a good reputation as a sound keeper, but he always seems to
me to be hesitant on crosses. A good shot stopper, yes, but if we
can get Les and Deano up there for set pieces, they could trouble him in
the air. In reserve they have the young goalie Andy Oakes, who
made a name for himself last season when he came into the side.
Needs a bit of time to gain experience, but could prove a useful player
in the long term for County.
Defence is an area where
there has been little change recently. England Under 21 central
defender, Chris Riggott has had a lot of pressure loaded on his young
shoulders, but has proved he is a solid Premiership defender. He
needed an experienced old head alongside him in the side and has been
paired with Danny Higginbotham, the former Man U youngster.
Riggott might have benefited form playing with Taribo West last season,
but now he has gone, there are few old stagers in the Derby
defence. It was probably hoped that Bragstad would fit the bill
too, but his loan spell last season hints that he will not be a Ram for
too much longer. Horatio Carbonbari is likely to be back from
injury and will play wide on one side. He may be one for Spurs to attack
and get round to feed Ted and Les, while Con Blatsis (the Australian
full back) is also another who could be played on. Scotsman Brian
O'Neill came in from Germany and is more likely to play that the chances
we will see the wonderfully named Pablo Mills line up in a Derby shirt.
With the lack of goals at
the club for the last couple of seasons, there are question marks
hanging over the midfield as a source of supply. The gifted Giorgi
Kinkladze only seems to play when the fancy takes him, which is a shame
as he is a classy creator. Stefanio Eranio left the club at the
end of last season, but decided he didn't really want to, so has signed
on again, but his pace is a lot reduced these days. He can,
however, pick out a pass when he needs to, but won't do so now, as he
has left Pride Park again following the removal of Jim Smith from his
manager's post. Fellow Italian Daniele
Daino came in from AC Milan in the summer, but has yet to make an
The three most likely to
appear in the middle of the park are Seth Johnson, Craig Burley and
Daryl Powell. These are players who would run all day if you let
them, but their effectiveness in opening up Premiership defences is in
doubt. All of them are dangerous if they get in shooting range,
but if the Spurs side can move forward, they can prevent them getting
forward to worry the Spurs defence.
With the signing of
Ravanelli, there was the hope that he would score the goals to shoot
them up the table, but that has not happened on a regular
basis. Strike partner Malcolm Christie has always impressed me on
his appearances against Spurs, with his pace often a worry for our
former central defender. Now he has gone, Christie might not get
so much joy from our back men. Deon Burton is a nippy little
forward, who can put away chances well, but he is reliant on good supply
from the midfielders in the side to play to his strengths. Belgian
Croatian Branko Strupar has been out of the side with injury and has not
been the answer to the side's scoring troubles that the fans thought he
would be. A waste of money is the view of some of them. He
will be unable to take part in this match too.
With two old fashioned
Englishmen in charge, expect amore traditional 4-4-2 from Derby and the
emphasis will be on hard work. Having not won a league game since
the opening day of the season, the Rams will try and frustrate Tottenham
and hit them on the break - mainly through Burton or Christie.
Spurs should be able to apply the right amount of pressure on the
visitors to counter their attacking options, with Ziege and Taricco
using the wings to force Derby to cover them with their own
players. Three straight defeats in the Premiership would tend to
indicate that Spurs will recoup some of the pints they have been
deprived of lately.
PREDICTION : -
Tottenham 2 Derby County 0
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
|Tottenham 3 Derby County 1
(Half time score: 2-1 )
|Monday 15th October
|Weather : - Mild, damp after
some heavy rain
|Crowd : - 30,148
|Referee : - Mr. M. Halsey (Welwyn
Scorers : - Tottenham - Ferdinand
10, Ziege 41, Poyet 90
Derby County - Ravanelli 15
(foul) 32, Ravanelli (foul) 51
Spurs : Sullivan;
King, Richards, Perry; Taricco, Freund, Anderton, Poyet, Ziege;
Sheringham, Ferdinand (Rebrov 87)
Subs not used : - Keller, Sherwood, Thatcher, Davies.
Derby County : Feuer;
Riggott, Higginbotham, Mawene, Valakari; Johnson, Powell, Murray (Kinkladze
61), Burley; Ravanelli, Burton (Christie 70)
Subs not used : - Elliott, Boertien, Oakes.
As the previous home
game had been so one sided to Tottenham in the first half, so this was
more or less throughout, although Spurs did enough to give us an
uncomfortable time until the final knockings of the match.
With Ted firing a
curling shot wide from the edge of the box inside the second minute, the
tone was set for a performance that saw Tottenham pass the ball well,
but fail to finish off their good approach work.
more minutes gone and Ziege found himself on the end of a perfect ball
in from Sheringham, but his volley went over the bar, as another did
later in the half. On the balance of play, it appeared that Derby
had failed to turn up !! They showed little ability to pass and
retain the ball, as Spurs pushed forward constantly looking for the
opener. We all thought it had come in the eighth minute, when
Teddy was denied by the assistant referee's flag. He was adjudged
offside when he stroked the ball home, even though it looked like he was
behind the ball when Les squared it to him, after failing to convert a
Rams' relief was short lived as Ledley King strode forward and slammed a
shot at the Derby goal. It was blocked by a defenders body and
fell for Christian Ziege to put the ball back across the six yard box
hard and low. It skidded off the wet turf and with defenders
coming in, they knew they had to be careful about conceding an own
goal. Therefore, it found it's way to Les coming in at the far
post and he shot home into an unguarded net.
the lead and having all the game so far, Spurs started to get a little
sloppy. A Ziege back pass fell to Burton, who weakly shot straight
at Sullivan, while the same forward had a good opportunity, only to hit
an even softer drive at the Scots keeper from a central position.
A break by Ravanelli, behind and across the back three, was tracked by
King and he tried to shepherd the Italian out to his left of the goal,
but as the Derby forward went to turf, he slipped a shot between King's
legs and past Sully into the bottom corner of the net. To say it
was against the run of play was an understatement and it was looking like
Spurs would be frustrated in their attempt to gain full points form this
the home side kept moving forward and Les, Ziege and Sheringham all
forced the American keeper into action. Poyet was especially
involved. He mistimed one run to get on the end of a Les knock
down (or was it supposed to be a header on target ?) and injured himself
when he and not the ball ended up in the net !! Another run got on
the end of a Taricco cross and flashed a header off the top of the
bar. He had a part to play in the second goal, five minutes before
half time. He won the ball and skipped away from a challenge on
the right wing, before feeding Teddy infield. The England forward
looked up and produced a slide rule pass inside the full back for
Christian Ziege to run on to and stroke past Feuer with the outside of
his left foot to restore Tottenham's lead. It was a similar goal
to the one he scored against SCBC and took him to the top of the
goalscoring pops for Spurs.
second half was more of the same really. Sheringham, Freund, Poyet
and Ziege all had efforts stopped by Derby defenders throwing themselves
in front of the ball for all they were worth. The Spurs forwards
were still making inroads and a foul on Poyet produced a centrally
located free kick that Ted sent wide, but not far wide, of the post with
the keeper left standing. Taricco had a glorious opportunity to
open the scoring, but dwelt on the ball, allowing a defender to close
him down and a powerless shot was the result. With all this
pressure, Spurs then started to give the ball away unnecessarily.
Derby brought on Kinklaze and Christie to beef up their midfield and
forward lines, but although they were on top for 15 minutes in terms of
possession, they failed to produce a worthwhile shot on target.
With Sullivan drawn into rushing from his goal to dive at Christie's
feet, there was rare action in the Tottenham goalmouth. It was a
nervous time and whether the implications of the Man U game were playing
on their minds, I don't know.
Poyet rose to head another one wide and dived to meet a low cross, but
was blocked out. Anderton sent a long range effort just over the
bar, thanks to a deflection and Sergei Rebrov (on for four minutes as a
substitute) had two chances. On both occasions he got efforts on target
requiring Feuer to save. With Spurs fans wanting the final whistle
to come, Mawene slipped over when in possession as he was closed down by
Poyet. The big midfielder struck the ball first time and produced
a prodigious lob that went over Feuer (not mean feat as he is about 7'
tall) and dropped into the top corner of the net. His shirt
removal and subsequent throwing up in the air, showed his joy at his
first league goal and his first at White Hart Lane.
all the nice passing and possession had by Spurs, you had the feeling
that at 2-1, it would only take another slip for Derby to get back on
terms. It was a joy to see Spurs play this way, but as Hoddle said
after the match, the lack of chances being taken could cost Spurs.
Luckily, not against Derby, but up against better teams, it could be
|MEHSTG TOP MAN : - STEFFEN
|The new style Tottenham won this
match as easily have they have any other in recent years, but the lack
of finishing power meant that it was a long time coming.
The cheers that greeted each
completed Spurs pass towards the end of the match meant two
things. One that the crowd were behind the side and secondly that
the Derby side would be ready to break a leg to get it back.
Humiliation hurts. The way Tottenham went about beating Derby was
the way we want to see them play football. The watching Dave
Mackay, who graced both sides in his time, must have been transported
back in time to his playing days at White Hart Lane. But what we
would have given for a Bobby Smith or a Greaves, as with them in the
side, the scoreline could have doubled Blackburn's win over the
Hammers. The chances that went begging were numerous and Spurs let
the Rams off the (meat) hook as they were hung out to dry.
The start looked like Spurs meant
business with Ted's drive just wide and the disallowed goal.
Ziege's part in the goal (and the rest of the game) really showed how
good he can be when he is in a side that he can play in and he can give
100% to. His low skidding cross was one that defenders and keepers
hate, but Les Ferdinand loves and it was one he stuck away. Sir
Les has been playing well, but the end result has not been there for
him. With Rebrov in the wings, he has to add to his part in the
build-up play by scoring as the team are now spreading the goals
throughout the side, but he needs to chip in with his fair share.
The fact that Ravanelli got
County an equaliser was against the run of play. Ledley got caught
out as the Italian flung out a leg and directed the ball across Sully
into the far corner. It stunned Spurs and the crowd, but they went
back to playing their game and got another goal before half-time, with
Ziege calmly steering Teddy's delightful defence splitting pass into the
goal. It was a classy goal all round and one that typifies the
effect that Hoddle has had on the side. While Teddy has the nous
to open the tightest of defences, for the majority of the game he gave
the ball away too much with clever flicks when there was a perfectly
simple alternative on. Yes, we will cheer when it comes off, but
when we are 2-1 up for the majority of the second half and a third would
have killed the game off, we need to take a practical view.
Poyet was all over the place, but
in a good sense and his link play with Taricco down the right opened the
Derby left flank to pass them by. Tano has settled into the role
vacated by the injured Carr, although on more than one occasion on the
night, Carr would have rifled in a shot on goal, whereas Taricco tends
to try and pass the ball on. With the play almost all at the Derby
end, it could have caused Sullivan to lose concentration, but he was
alert when required to stop Christie by plunging at his feet.
Luckily for Spurs, Steffen Freund
had the run of the midfield. Daryl Powell tried to scare him early
on with a late challenge, but Freund shrugged it off and strutted around
the middle of the park as if he owned it (which he did). Cross
field passes, back-heels, drag backs. He had it all - even a shot
that was charged down. When Kinkladze came on, it was Stef who
crunched him in a tackle that left the Georgian holding his back and
that was the last we saw of him.
While leaving Spurs fans hoping
that Derby didn't manufacture another freak equaliser, the team left the
best for last. As the clock ticked into injury time, Mawene
slipped over and the ball rolled away from him. Gus strode forward
and without thinking lobbed the ball into the night sky, from where it
dropped like a shooting star into the net after it's parabola arced over
Feuer in the Derby goal.
Once again, Spurs got three
goals, but failed to get true recompense for their dominance. The
whole team played very well, with no-one being able to be singled out
for criticism. But the side must learn that the currency of points
is goals and they need to be goal rich to reach the Land of Milk and