|Having played Fulham
a couple of weeks ago in the Worthington Cup, there will be a familiarity
between the two teams this Saturday. However, there are League
points at stake this time and although the Cottagers got a 0-0 draw at
Liverpool this midweek, Spurs come in to the match off the back of the
6-0 thrashing of Bolton Wanderers.
With Marcus Hannemann going to
Reading on loan, Fulham will probably go with Edwin van der Sar as first
choice keeper on this occasion. Maik Taylor started in the Cup
tie, but will have to settle for a seat on the bench at White Hart
Lane. Van der Sar is a sound keeper, who has a flair for the
unusual - both in saves and mistakes, so it could be entertaining to
The defence will probably consist
of ex-QPR full back Rufus Brevett and Irishman Steve Finnan with Alain
Goma and Andy Melville in between them. There is experience there,
but the use of Taricco wide should tie up one full back. On the
other side, Ziege was a constant menace in the Cup game, but he will be
suspended for this one, so another Spurs man needs to push on up the
Others Fulham defenders waiting in reserve are youngster Zat Knight, who
they have high hopes for and Moroccan Abdeslam Ouaddou, who did play
against us in the Cup, but has not been a regular in the side.
Former Swindon and Derby man Paul Trollope has been at the club longer
than most, but has not been one who Tigana has called on very much.
Sean Davis is the one midfielder
who Fulham regularly put in the starting line-up. This combative
youngster has forced his name to the fore with positive displays for
England Under-21 and his club side, but he still has a lot to
learn. His running between the boxes and perceptive passing needs
to be stalled or he could inflict some damage on Spurs' back line. Lee
Clark has experienced a renaissance under Tigana as he can pass the ball
well, but his best days may be behind him now and he lacks the pace to
hurt opposition players. Another with a loss of pace, but no loss
of ingenuity is John Collins, who can still dictate play from midfield.
He is a player with good vision and he knows when to pass and when not
to, which helps release his forwards when they make a decent run.
Bjarne Goldbaek is likely to be overlooked on this occasion. He showed a
lack of composure when crossing the ball in against us in the
Worthington Cup, despite picking up good positions wide on the
flanks. His former Chelsea team-mate John Harley may also miss
out, despite playing well when he has featured, because Tigana prefers
to pair Frenchmen Sylvain Legwinski and Steed Malbranque. These
players both have the talents that the manager appreciates. A good
ability to get forward and score goals, while also being able to slip
passes through the slightest gaps in the other side's defence.
Malbranque didn't looked that dangerous when coming on as sub, while
Legwinski sat the cup tie out. Their effectiveness could be the
deciding factor in whether Fulham get anything from this match.
Having found goalscoring easy in
the Premiership, Barry Hayles has been chosen up front to partner Louis
Saha, who was a scoring sensation last season. This time around,
he has grabbed a few, but has found Premier League defences harder to
get through. Both are good goalscorers and cannot be ignored for a
moment. Hayles' goal in the Worthington Cup was a typical piece of
opportunism that he capitalised on. Latvian Andrejs Stolcers has
had little chance to show what he can do in the top flight, as ex-Gooner
Luis Boa Morte has been preferred to him and the Portuguese
international will play his last game before a three match ban for
getting sent off against Everton last week. He is a leggy and
ungainly striker, but he can turn players well and has pace. The Spurs
defenders will have to keep him close.
Steve Marlet and Chris Coleman are
both broken leg victims and while the Welshman will not play for the
whole of this season, the West Londoners hope that their most expensive
signing Marlet will be back in January.
With Tigana bringing his team's
passing game to the Premiership, they have not fared as well as he might
have hoped. The back line has proved pretty solid, but their
problem has been scoring and so, if Tottenham can keep it tight at the
back (not like the Charlton match) there should be enough chances
created during the game to give Spurs a narrow ...
PREDICTION : -
Tottenham 1 Fulham 0
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
Tottenham 4 Fulham 0
(Half time score: 2- 0)
|Saturday 15th December
|Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
|Weather : - Cold,
bright with some drizzle.
|Crowd : - 36,054
|Referee : - Mr.
N. Barry (Scunthorpe)
Scorers : - Tottenham - Ferdinand
20, Anderton 40, Davies 71, Rebrov 77
Fulham - None
Spurs : Ferdinand
(foul) 38, Perry (foul) 45,
Freund (foul) 65
(foul) 29, Boa Morte (diving) 89
Spurs : Sullivan;
Perry, King, Richards; Davies, Freund, Anderton, Poyet, Taricco;
Ferdinand (Rebrov 62), Sheringham
Unused Subs : - Keller, Gardner, Leonhardsen, Sherwood
Fulham : Van
der Sar; Finnan, Melville, Goma, Brevett; Boa Morte, Legwinski,
Malbranque, Collins (Clark 73); Saha, Hayles
Unused Subs : - Taylor, Knight, Davis, Stolcers
With little to concern
Spurs fans after Tuesday's beating of Bolton, any signs that things
might not be well were not forthcoming during this match against the
much vaunted side who rose from the First Division last season on a wave
of French flavoured football and a record haul of points. This did
not show through in this match, where they ended up playing "route
Legwinski crashing a drive into the side netting, Fulham had their best
chance early on, as they failed to seriously trouble Sullivan although
they did have some shots, but almost all were off target.
had an early chance, Similar to Teddy's on Tuesday. Receiving the ball
on the edge of the box, he seemed to get over the ball and could only
stab it at Van der Sar. However, he didn't have long to wait until
he did beat the big Dutchman. A neat move down the right ended
with Davies dinking a nice ball down the right hand side of the box to
Darren, who looked up and slid it perfectly along the ground to Les, who
ran in at the near post to shoot home low inside the post. We were
soon informed that this was the 10,000th goal in the history of the
Premier League. It was certainly a well worked one. Spurs
were knocking the ball about nicely and were not being troubled, despite
the quick whistling of the referee, who spoiled an otherwise
second goal was just as well worked. A ball into Ferdie on the
left edge of the box, saw him lay the ball back into the path of
Anderton to return the favour. Dazza hit a shot with the outside
of his foot and found the gap between goalkeeper and post. There
was little margin for error, but in this sort of form, Anderton was
never going to miss. Throughout the game he displayed a vigour and
perceptiveness that has been missing from his game for so long.
the game at best over, the ball was crossed in from the right win to
Barry Hayles and with a suspicion of handball, he controlled the ball
alone in front of the Spurs goal. Having boasted about having
scored against his favourite childhood team on each occasion he had
played against them, it looked odds on he would continue his run.
However, it must have all been too much for him as he blazed over
Sullivan's goal from four yards out.
brought half-time and a break that could have put Spurs off their
rhythm, but they must have re-focused and although they were not as
fluent in the second half, they still played with an intuition that left
Fulham trailing in their wake. The one touch passing really was a
joy to watch. For all the possession Fulham had, they either
played in their own half for most of the match or lacked the accuracy of
their final ball to hurt Spurs. Most of their efforts in the
second half were high or wide.
way Tottenham are playing, they are always likely to score and this
happened once again when Darren Anderton lifted a superb ball through
the heart of the Cottagers defence to find the on-running Simon
Davies. The Welsh international chested the ball down and hit his
shot across Van der Sar to find the bottom corner of the net. It
was yet another example of the midfielder's finishing technique and it
looks like his contribution in the scoring stakes will be most valuable.
round things off nicely, Sergei Rebrov came off the bench to
score. Another masterful move, starting with Steffen Freund
heading t he ball back to Neil Sullivan form 20 yards and the build up
through the team to Sheringham's delicate pass to put Sergei in.
As the ball ran into the "D" outside the box, the Ukrainian
let it run and hit it with the outside of his foot in a stabbing motion
that sold the Fulham goalie and gave Rebrov another Tottenham goal.
was as good a performance as I have seen from Spurs. All the
praise that has been heaped on Fulham was not justified on today's
showing and the fact that their side looked unbalanced and resigned to
arguing amongst themselves, showed how much Spurs took them apart.
The only sad thing about today's game was the officiating, which must
have been on a par with Mr. Elleray's showing at Everton. There
was inconsistency when Neale Barry booked Les for an elbow after he had
suffered the self same challenge by Legwinski; there was poor sight in
giving throws the wrong way; there was a desire to be in the spotlight,
when nobody had paid to come and see him; there was a general lack of
consideration for the paying customer, when he could have played
advantage, but decided it would be best to blow his whistle.
of that should detract from a very impressive Tottenham win. The
key to the progress is the fitness of the players and consistency of
performance. Long may it continue.
|MEHSTG TOP MAN : - DARREN
ANDERTON (Is this getting boring ?)
|With ten goals now scored in two
games, with none in reply, Spurs are what is commonly called, on a
roll. However, it was not a roll, but a slide that Fulham appeared
to be paying on. The fact that the West Londoners couldn't seem to
keep their feet whenever a Spurs player approached and that they went
flying in the area (Boa Morte for which he got booked for
"simulation") showed on this day, that the only French talent
they appeared to have acquired was the art of diving.
This side was not even remotely
like the one we faced in the Worthington Cup, as this was supposedly
nearer their first choice team, albeit Sean Davis was on the
bench. However, their reputation for being a passing side fell
down as they gave away possession with what Tigana must have viewed as
alarming regularity. His strikers failed to get a shot on target
and his defence were opened up almost at will by the Spurs team.
On top of the goal, Van der Sar saved well from Anderton, but was
helpless as two efforts from Poyet (one header and another lob) went
narrowly wide and a volley went into the ground allowing the keeper time
to put it over the bar.
Each goal was well crafted, being
worked through the team. Anderton's was a result of a long kick
out being flicked on to Les who held it up and put it in Darren's path
to drill a low shot inside the post. Dazza had set up Les for the
first (and 10,000th Premiership goal), which Ferdinand tucked away
neatly at the near post. Davies scored the third, taking the ball
from Anderton on his chest before taking his shot early to wrong foot
Fulham's goalie. Then Sergei did the same, latching onto Teddy's
through ball to take it with the outside of his foot, as Van der Sar
shaped to expect Rebrov to go around him to the left.
There was a confidence in the
side that comes with understanding and knowing exactly where you think
someone will be. The passing and movement was a joy to behold and
the effect that Hoddle has had on the team is there for all to
see. Did any of us believe that the same players under GG could
put on a show like this ? Hod's additions have blended in so well,
that they look part of the furniture and there can rarely have been such
a league match that has been as easily won here.
Fulham have had some good
results, but the quality and depth of their squad may need scrutiny if
they are to do anything more than survive. That may be their main
aim and as such, they could probably succeed, with some very poor teams
in the Premiership this season. But they should beware the
Christmas period as they will find it tough with a brittle side like
this. Downhill skiing could be similar to how they might feel if
they turn in too many performances similar to this one.