17th April 2004
With a draw against City,
Spurs are still left with a few points to gather to be safe, while
Bolton secured their position with 41 points after beating Wolves.
So with more to play for, you expect Spurs to be up for the game,
although it must be remembered that this match is away from home.
However, with a Spurs
player scoring for the second game running, things are obviously on the
up !! But will the team that is picked be able to compete with the
Trotters ? Pleat is under pressure and his position as Director of
Football under threat, so what effect will this have on the caretaker
boss ? One can only hope that whatever happens, the players have
it in themselves to get the necessary points total to keep them in the
That will be tested at
the Reebok, as Bolton have a good record against Spurs there and with
some injuries still blighting the Tottenham team, the side will need to
show that they are able to battle out for points as well as be able to
play their way to wins away from home. Gus Poyet will probably
feature again in a cameo hour long performance, while it must be hoped
that Ricketts and Jackson can be fitted in somewhere, with Kelly an
almost certain starter in Carr's place.
As for Sam Allardyce's
side, Kevin Poole is the back-up goalie behind the regular keeper Jussi
Jaaskelainen, who is a really good stopper and although he can be rash
in coming out of his area and his kicking is poor (although not as bad
as KK's), he marshals his defence well in front of him.
Florent Laville is out
injured for this match, so Barness, Campo, N'Gotty and Hunt will form
the back four. Anthony Barness is the former Charlton defender who
has been a lucky scorer for Spurs in the games between the two sides in
recent seasons. The right back has forced himself back into
the team since the turn of the year and has been playing in a defence
that has tightened up considerably. Simon Charlton is the
experienced left back at the club, but local product Nicky Hunt has been
selected ahead of the former SCBC man, with his ability to forage
forward giving him the slight edge. French central defender Bruno
N'Gotty provides a strong aerial presence in the middle of the back four
and Fredi's battle with him will be crucial to the outcome of the game,
while Defoe's ability to run at people on the floor might give
both N'Gotty and Campo troubles. Campo is the former Real Madrid
man, who has given a calming authority to the Bolton defence, with the
ability to bring the ball out of defence and an outlet for someone
seeking to move the ball on. He can be used in front of the back
four too, which might provide an opportunity for Emerson Thome to play
alongside N'Gotty. The ex-Chelsea and Sunderland centre half is
rugged and physical ... perhaps too physical sometimes, like last week
when he almost pulled Wolves' Miller over in the box. Spurs might
be able to play on him, with the way to go through the twin towers in
defence is to go around them. There is also old timer Steve Howey
there, who left Leicester this season after moving on from Man City last
season. It would be great if N'Diwa Lord-Kangana played, just to
see if his name fits on the back of his shirt apart from anything else
Midfielder Kevin Nolan
has started to pick up his form this season after a slow start.
The powerful youngster has bags of confidence and no little amount of
skill, but has lacked the dramatic impact he had for his side last
season, until recently. He is partnered in midfield by Stelios
Giannakpoulos, Per Frandsen, Jay-Jay Okocha or Youri Djorkaeff.
The Greek international is a dynamic worker, who likes to get into the
box to support the front two and this suits some of his team-mates, who
no longer have the legs to do so. His consistent inclusion in the
side shows how much Allardyce rates him and he can be the one who will
win the ball in midfield against Spurs. Okocha is a highly
talented schemer and although he hasn't scored this season (don't talk
too soon), he is a creator with skill to open up defences and also an
ability to pick out team-mates with unerring accuracy. He is out
of contract at the end of the season, but looks ready to sign a new deal
with Bolton come May. Djorkaeff has just returned from injury and
is being eased back into the team, so he is more likely to begin on the
bench, but he is another established pro, who can influence a game with
his movement and passing.
Per Frandsen is the
Danish midfielder who is deadly from free-kicks and set pieces, while he
still has the energy to dictate the pace of the game from Bolton's point
of view. It is a must for Tottenham to match the movement and
determination of the home side. Ricardo Gardner is a pacy dribbler
from Jamaica, but he has not been a first choice lately and Ibrahim Ba,
the French former AC Milan midfielder, could be given a final chance to
impress after failing to win over the manager so far.
Up front, Henrik Pedersen
has just started to hit a bit of goal-scoring form with three in the
last four games. A strong striker, he can hold the ball up well
and although he hasn't looked the deadliest forward in the past, he can
hit the ball with a fearsome thump. Similar in build and also in
ability, Kevin Davies has knocked around the Premier League scene for a
few years now, but seems to have found some stability at Bolton.
He lacks the vital change of pace to make him a top striker, but he
knows where he should be and can poach a goal, as well as hit one from
outside the box. I don't know anything about Ricky Shakes, but
Javier Moreno is known to us as he was one player that Spurs were
supposed to be interested in a couple of years back. Another beefy
striker, who is good in the air and able to bring others into the
game. Might be another introduced from the bench.
Tottenham will find that
the defence will be key, as Okocha will no doubt try and run at Kelly
and try to get him to commit himself to the tackle, while the bigger
forwards will try to out-muscle Doc and Gardner. The team will
have to be strong and show that they are willing to get amongst the
Bolton players. Goals have been hard to come by for Tottenham,
with the midfield changing and the supply not as fluent as it was
previously, but I think that with Defoe, he will always be able to grab
a goal out of nothing. For that reason, with Bolton not having a
great deal to play for now, apart from the fact that they have a thing
about Spurs, I believe that it will end up ...
PREDICTION : -
Bolton Wanderers 1 Tottenham 1
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
Unable to obtain an alternative view from
a Bolton Wanderers fan website.
BOLTON WANDERERS : - Florent
Laville (knee); Ricardo Gardner (knee)
: - Rob Burch (ankle); Darren Anderton (Achilles); Christian Ziege
(thigh); Stephen Carr (suspended); Dean Richards (ear virus)
TV : - No live coverage
Radio : No live coverage
Internet : www.spurs.co.uk
Live webcast (subscription only)
|Bolton Wanderers 2
Tottenham 0 (Half-time score :
|Saturday 17th April 2004
|Venue : - Reebok Stadium
|Kick Off : - 15.00 p.m.
|Weather : - Bright, mild
|Crowd : - Bright, mild
|Referee : - J. Winter
|Teams : -
Bolton Wanderers : - Jaaskelainen; Charlton, Thome, Ngotty, Hunt (Barness
77); Nolan, Campo, Djorkaeff (Giannakopoulos 88), Okocha (Frandsen 87);
Unused subs: Poole, Moreno
Tottenham : - Keller;
Kelly, Doherty, Gardner, King; Brown, Davies (Ricketts 83), Redknapp
(Keane 62), Poyet (Taricco 46); Defoe, Kanoute
Unused subs: Hirschfeld, Bunjevcevic
|Colours : - (kits
courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
|Scorers : -
Bolton Wanderers - Campo
8, Pedersen 66
Tottenham - None
|Cards : -
Bolton Wanderers -
Ivan Campo (foul) 71
Simon Davies (foul) 81,
Mauricio Taricco (foul) 90
There's not an awful lot to say as
Tottenham flopped to yet another away defeat, without ever looking like
avoiding raking up 18 losses this season ... on a par with those teams
at the very bottom of the table.
Right from the start when Pedersen got
away and missed the mark by feet, it was obvious that Bolton wanted it
more than Tottenham and we were the side who were in more need of the
points !! It didn't take long for Bolton to get their first goal, when
Campo was allowed to get on to Okocha's pass and hit a 25-yarder past
Keller, who seemed to move to it a little late. Even then, there
seemed to be a bad bounce that helped beat Kasey.
American keeper did better when he managed to get to a Kevin Nolan chip
and push it away, before Ledley managed to block Okocha's shot in the
17th minute, when it looked like flying in. Tottenham's first
opportunity arrived in the 10th minute, when Thome lost control and
Defoe seized on the crumbs, but could not trouble Jasskalainen in the
The home side's
attacking game was much more fluent than ours and Kevin Davies went
close with a smart effort that cleared the goal as well as Keller, which
was the same result as when Simon Davies tried to smash a long range
shot after cutting in from the wing, but it rose over the top.
Nolan should have done better when he mis-hit his shot straight at
Keller and then Davies threatened again with a shot that the defence
managed to smuggle away somehow.
half-time, Pleat substituted the defender Taricco for Poyet, leading to
a re-shuffle in the side, but it made little difference. He was
left in Okocha's slipstream as Jay-Jay hit a fierce shot that blazed
over the top. The Nigerian also set up a chance for Campo, when
his free-kick bounced back off a wall and the Spaniard hit a shot that
couldn't beat Kasey. But the Spurs keeper had to be on his toes to
keep out Okocha's 53rd minute free-kick that took a deflection before
Keller changed direction to prevent the ball going into the net with a
very sharp save.
On the hour Keane
was brought on for Redknapp, but Spurs were still being pressed back,
with Kanoute just managing to clear a corner over his own bar and Kevin
Davies wasted a good chance in the 63rd minute, when he was through but
pulled at his shot, which went across the face of goal and wide.
However, the in-form striker, Pedersen soon made it 2-0, when Gardner
let him get past to net from close range after Djorkaeff had put him
The remaining 24
minutes featured little from Tottenham and the lack of commitment was
depressingly familiar now. Frankly, it's just not good
enough. And whoever wants to come to White Hart Lane to be our
manager must realise that they have a big job on their hands. It
is a big job, but not because we are a big club, but because we are in a
big mess. One point from 18 at this stage of the season proves
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - KASEY KELLER
going to get some pride back and start playing like a proper team as
opposed to a third rate reserve side ?
... Portsmouth Spurs fan for 40 years
It is Sunday morning and I
am sitting here reading all the usual reports from the press, websites
etc. It doesn't
make for enjoyable reading, Another gutless, passionless performance
I think I have gone
beyond the ranting and raving period and have now slipped into a
quiet nervous disposition.
Pleat finally admits that
we are in a " relegation dogfight ." The man's a genius
We don't have a manager
(Pleat isn't, as he as told us as much, so we can't hold him responsible
for the crap we have endured of late !); We don't have a midfield; We
don't have a defence; our team is passionless; We have players who
don't give a toss as they will be gone in the Summer. All in all
we THFC are in a pretty sorry state.
Still we can look forward
to next Sunday when I will probably wish I was being mauled by
lions rather than sitting in Paxton Rd
watching the Arse win the league.
The shambolic thing about
Tottenham that really annoys me is that nobody wants to take
just wish that somebody at Spurs would stand up and be counted and give
a feeling of unity to the club that we all care about !
Pleat just waffles
through every post-match interview with the usual mind boggling
Pleatism's that Stephen Hawking would struggle to unravel.
Levy lies like a cheap
rug ! Please name me one club in the entire world that would be
stupid enough to go virtually a whole season without a proper
manager (Still Mr. Levy will be pleased with the fact that it has saved
the club a couple of million on manager's wages). It is also a
total insult to all of us paying fan's to basically write off an entire
season, Personally Mr. Levy £595 (Paxton Rd season ticket) is a lot of
money for me to just throw down the toilet.
Finally we get to Mr.
Jamie Redknapp (Club Captain). This bloke really takes the
biscuit. This is the bloke who was lying on a beach when the rest of the
lads were slogging it out on the pitch. Bin Laden has made more
appearances than this boy ! Hopefully he will dawdle off to
Portsmouth in the Summer and they can pay him not to play.
I just hope to God that
Leeds don't put in a good run in the last 4 games. Blackburn at
home is a Cup Final for us and a win will allow us all to sit back,
write our cheques for the new season tickets and look forward to
the arrival of our new TOP CLASS manager !
there anyone out there who can give me any words of comfort at the
present time ? I can't see us getting anything out of the next two
games i.e. the Gooners and then away to Villa. That'll leave us on
38 points with two games left.
last home game will be make or break against Blackburn (remember last
year's 0-4 reverse?!) and I just can't see us avoiding defeat this time
with them on the up. That'll take us to Wolves on the last day and
with our dreadful away form and the (admittedly slim) chance that Wolves
will still be in with a shout of staying up makes it a nightmare last
day fixture. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that we'll
pick up nothing from the last four games.
leave us stuck on 38. Leeds will probably beat Pompey next week to
take them to 35 and with three more games it's possible/probable they'll
overtake us. Portsmouth and Blackburn will do enough as, unlike
us, they can't stop winning and although City are struggling too, I
don't trust them to go down quietly, as they've got enough about them to
sneak a win or two. Are we doomed ?
I accept that perhaps I am worrying like hell and it'll end up ok, but
can someone out there please say something to reduce my present levels
of anxiety ?! Thanks.
Is it just me, or should
they consider ditching Pleat for the last four games ?
The man has never
achieved anything in the game.
His 80's Luton team although attractive to watch, nearly went down in
'84 and choked in two F.A Cup semi's.
His 1987 THFC team were a joy to watch, but failed to deliver on all
fronts when chasing the treble.
Then in the 1990's, he masterminded Leicester and Sheff Wednesday's
His public comments are
curious and insane. Surely the players have lost respect for him
? Why does he pick King at left-back and not centre-half ?
Why does he overlook Ricketts and Jackson ? Why has he dropped our
top scorer Keane ? Why does he persist with Keller & Doherty ?
Why does he send them out
with no fie in heir bellies. We are the softest touch in the
Premiership. Teams and players of less ability work harder, and
achieve so much more. George Graham summed up the mess 100% after
the Everton game on Premiership Plus. We might not have liked the
man, but I'd rather he was in charge for this precarious run-in.
In the summer ENIC must
then account for their actions. Appointing a useless caretaker
like Pleat for eight months. Claiming a manager was sorted for
next season, and now desperately trying for anyone. You can see in
the summer, the weeks ticking by and no appointment being made. And
relegation would mean financial ruin, as they've already gambled with
I really do believe
instead of misleading us about the big manager, they should sort out
this season's mess. We cannot win away, the Gooners could be a
massacre and we don't have a great record against
Blackburn. I can see us getting two points to finish on 40.
Leeds and Man City could well get 41 points with their run-ins?
A stressful few weeks
I honestly don't
understand how Pleat comes to work with a straight face every Monday
Ledley King is a terrific
young central defender. He plays there for England, but not for
Tottenham. How many goals have we leaked this year through the middle?
Two from Docherty last week, a howler from Gardner this week.
Why does Keller keep his
place?His kicking is pitiful, his distribution non-existent, he is often
culpable on set pieces, never takes command of the area and every
second game or so he lets in another soft goal (usually away), the heads
drop, the defence gets jittery, game over. Tim Howard got dropped
for one mistake (albeit a big one) and United pushed on with their
season and are now in a Cup final. That's called management - making
shrewd, hard choices that can inspire those around you.
We have barely scored in
two months and yet Ricketts and Dalmat are rooted to the bench. In
some matches Pleat has picked as many as six or seven natural defenders.
We have lost as many times as Wolves and been held scoreless 14
times. The collapse against Man City in the Cup was probably the
most embarrassing moment in club history.
I had to laugh when
Pleat recently recited his won-loss record to the media, throwing in the
cup results to make it seem like he's won almost as many games as he's
lost since that fateful day in September. The last manager to treat
the fans so contemptuously was George Graham, but you expected that from
Graham and he's never managed again.
The real problem (once we
pick up a point or two) is how with eaching passing result,
with each horror show on our travels, any prospective manager must be
thinking just how a big a job is this? Frankly it's huge. We need a
new keeper, a left back, at least one central defender and a minimum of
three new midfielders.
Finally I can't wait for
the team selection against Arsenal. Eight, nine defenders possibly? As
always, I hope we win. But I can't see it even being close.
We appear to be have
reached a major crossroads. Relegation would be a nightmare although
with Joe Lewis in second place behind Abramovich in the Sunday Times 100
wealthiest 'sports' people, financially we could cope. Better still we
survive and we do get a top notch manager. Not Antic, not O'Neil and not
Curbishley or Ranieri.
With 12 points left to
play for and relegation a real possibility a win on Sunday is a MUST and
what better time to do it. Perhaps Pleaty will bring his Luton tapes out
this weekend and midweek :