Cup - Fifth Round
3rd December 2003
'goals against' in eight of the last nine games, we face the opposite
problem to the one that Manchester City brought to the Lane in the last
round. However, Boro have also only scored one goal in their last
five games and as we know these runs always seem to come to an end when
Tottenham are involved. Spurs will need to take whatever chances
come their way and also be tight at the back to provide Middlesbrough
with a sfew opportunities as possible.
Aussie Schwarzer is the
regular between the posts and is a decent enough keeper, but has his
dodgy moments, which maybe Kanoute can pressure him on in the air.
Former Man. City keeper Carlo Nash is the back-up keeper.
The defence is obviously
their strength at the moment, with the loan signing Danny Mills finding
some good form after getting out of Elland Road, but Queudrue, Southgate
and Riggott are providing a formidable unit to stop any attack.
Ehiogu is just coming back from a very long spell out injured, but might
feature as a sub. Veteran Colin Cooper and new introduction to the
first team squad Andrew Davies (the one with the Rod Stewart haircut)
can also be slipped into the back four when required.
The midfield is strong
too, with the loan signing of Gaizka Mendieta adding a new dimension to
the team. His drive, energy and shooting are a valuable asset to
Boro, alongside the engine room players of Doriva and Boateng. The
flying winger from Holland, Zenden provides a pacy outlet to the defence
and on his day can be a real handful. Returning from a loan spell
at Sunderland, midfielder/winger Stuart Downing has gained valuable first
team playing time and he is another speedy wide-man.
The forward line has been
hit by the absence of Malcolm Christie, who is out long term with a
broken leg. However, Massimo Maccarone can turn a game in a
moment, while Nemeth is a hard working forward, who's running will need
to be covered to stop him setting up chances or making space for
others. In reserve, powerful former Bolton striker Michael
Ricketts can be utilised to bring another facet to the Boro forward
Tottenham need a decent
performance after being whacked in the North-East at the weekend.
However, we have heard such requirements before. The uneventful
draw at the Lane earlier in the season does not set the heart racing,
but perhaps the fact that it is a Cup game might bring something out of
the sides. This is despite the fact that Spurs needed extra time
against West ham and Boro went to penalties against Everton.
There won't be a lot of
goals in this match, but if Tottenham can nick the first one, this will
bring Boro out and might make some space available behind them, leaving
them susceptible to being hit again. Therefore, it will evoke
memories of the 70's when we eventually overcame Middlesbrough ...
- Tottenham 2 Middlesbrough
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
did not have enough time to get a view from the other side.
TOTTENHAM : - Simon
Davies (thigh/groin), Christian Ziege (knee), Jamie Redknapp (knee)
: - Malcolm Christie (broken leg), Joseph Desire Job (knee), Gaizka
Mendieta (toe), Danny Mills (illness), Juninho (knock), Doriva (knock),
Colin Cooper (knock)
TV : No live coverage
Radio : No live coverage
Internet : www.spurs.co.uk
Live webcast - subscription service
1 Middlesbrough 1
(Half-time score : 1-0)
(after 90 mins. and after extra time)
Spurs lost 4-5 on penalties
|Carling Cup - Fifth Round
|Wednesday 17th December 2003
|Venue : - White Hart Lane
|Kick Off : - 19.45 p.m.
|Weather : - Cold, turning
very cold later
|Referee : - M. Dean (The
|Crowd : - 25,307
|Teams : -
Tottenham : - Keller;
Carr, Richards (Doherty 46), Gardner, Taricco; King, Ricketts (Dalmat,
95), Anderton (Poyet 78), Konchesky; Keane, Kanoute
Unused Subs : - Burch,
: - Schwarzer;
Mills, Cooper (Nemeth, 80), Southgate, Queudrue; Juninho, Boateng,
Mendieta, Zenden; Ricketts, Maccarone (Downing, 45)
Unused Subs : - Jones,
|Colours : - (kits
courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
|Scorers : -
Tottenham - Anderton 2
- Ricketts 86
|Penalty Scorers : -
|Cards : -
Tottenham - None
Mills (foul) 83
early goal seemed to come a bit too early for Tottenham, who felt they
ought to throw the game Boro's way late on and that was just what
Taricco did to start the move that lead to their equaliser.
One throw and a shot against a post in the shoot-out meant that Spurs
missed out on losing to Arsenal Reserves in the Carling Cup
semi-final. Now Boro will have that pleasure.
that they are a pleasing side n the eye, but as far as they are
concerned, that is not their main concern. They are well drilled
and Tottenham found it hard to produce a cutting final ball to their
moves, which left Schwarzer fairly redundant in the second half of
normal time ... not making a save to mention until late on.
Anderton pouncing on Cooper's half-cleared effort by slamming it back
towards goal and it hit the net after flying off the former Millwall
defender and sent Schwarzer the wrong way. It came at the end of
some good passing and although it was in the first minute, it breached a
defence that had not let a goal in for about 11½ hours. Not a bad
if only Tottenham could finish teams off, they would be a fair bit more
successful. Neither Robbie or Fredi looked like they were going to
score tonight and their link up play wasn't as good as it had
been. Fredi had a couple of half chances blocked, while Konchesky
was getting some space on the left and one waist high cross in the
channel between the keeper and defenders was begging to be touched in
but neither K or K got into a position to attack it.
had proved tricky last time he played at the Lane, but this time he
seemed dispirited and lacking any knowledge of how to play with his
team-mates. It was interesting to contrast his performance with
that of Postiga's. Although he didn't make it onto the pitch
tonight, Helder looks like he has trouble with the physical side, while
Maccarone copes well with that, but he had little confidence in getting
efforts in on goal.
back at the game, Ledley King rose highest to a corner and headed
powerfully goalwards, but Schwarzer got a hand to it and made a very
good save to knock it over the top, then in the next attack, Taricco hit
a low drive about four feet wide with the keeper slightly unsighted.
Then there followed a period of about 10 minutes, when Boro were finding
the target with their passes ... if their targets were the ball-boys
Doherty replacing Richards in the break, we thought this might add a
little fluency and mobility to the defence. The muscular Michael
Ricketts was being well handled by King, but Deano looked like he had
been carrying a knock and was having trouble keeping up. Spurs
made a couple of breaks wide and Boro made a couple through the middle
to keep the side on their toes. Doherty threw a great block as
Juninho prepared to shoot on the edge of the area. The game had
opened up a bit and Tottenham opened up to let Juninho through the
middle again and he was felled for a free-kick about 30 yards out.
Nobody had closed down Boro defenders, who were allowed to bring the
ball forward, but luckily for Spurs the free-kick was shot by the
one-trick pony Zenden, who went for goal every time he got near the
ball, this time straight into Keller's arms.
came the change that changed the game. Pleat thought it was time
fro Tottenham to have Anderton replaced by Poyet and things started to
go awry. When Juninho, who hadn't been that effective until then,
got through in the are again, it looked like the equaliser, but his
rising drive was parried away by Kasey. It looked like the break
Spurs needed and when they got a spell of throw-ins near the Boro
penalty area, with Mills getting booked for a foul on Keane, it seemed
like the storm had been weathered. But this is the good ship Spurs
we are talking about and never is there plain sailing when that takes to
minutes left, a throw-in near the Boro box and what does Taricco do
?? He throws it five yards back towards his own goal, where Keane
is standing. The Irishman tries to volley it into the box, misses
and away go Middlesbrough. With Boateng away down the right wing,
his cross fell in the area to Michael Ricketts, who hit a shot that
bounced off Carr's arse and invited the big Boro striker to hit it into
the net. 1-1 and it had been coming, but Boro could have won it in
the remaining three minutes added time. Gardner just got in the ay
of Nemeth's shot and it flew wide and then from the corner, Keller had
to jump up to palm Ricketts' firm header up and over the bar. It
was a terrific save.
when you thought the temperature might rise in this cup-tie, it fell
about three degrees, as the cold air hit your skin and with few bodies
around to provide any windbreak, it chilled you to the bone. Poyet
nearly warmed us up with a spectacular overhead kick that went about two
feet over the bar, while at the other end, young Boro sub Downing tried
his van Basten impression, with a waist high volley that flew just wide
of the far post.
had come on for our Ricketts, who had done OK, but not imposed himself
on the game. The Frenchman decided that he should run at the
opposition and from his first attempt, he pulled the ball back to Poyet
on the edge of the area and he skied his shot over. Chances were
being made at both ends and King's shot whizzed past the post, while
Ricketts rose again to head towards goal ,with Keller looking for all
the world like Clemence against Halifax all those years ago, just
standing there while the ball went in. Except it didn't !!
The billowing of the net, where we thought the ball had nestled, was the
ball hitting the back of the net ... literally. The travelling
fans thought they had scored, Ricketts thought he had scored and we were
resigned to going out. It was only when the ball appeared around
the back of the goal, that we were able to give a sigh of
in the last minute of extra time, a corner fell loose in the penalty box
and Stuart Downing swung a vicious boot at it and his shot flew three
feet off the floor towards goal. Keller reacted superbly to push
it aside and to take the game into a penalty shoot-out .
the first three of each side scoring, it came to Kanoute to take his
kick. He stuck it away with aplomb, leaving Danny Mills to follow
him. You had an idea that his pen. would be Stuart Pearce like and
he hit it down the middle ... hard and then gave a raised fist salute to
the Paxton Road end ... most unnecessary. Poyet sauntered up to
the spot, stuttered in his run-up and hit a shot that Schwarzer easily
reached and pushed out. With Mendieta striding forward we all got
ready to go home, but Kasey dived the same way as the Boro keeper and
beat the shot out.
when Taricco was the nominated sixth penalty taker, I was worried.
His penalty was actually a good one, sending Schwarzer completely the
wrong way, but the shot itself bounced back off the post. Four
inches away from going in, but enough to matter. Queudrue hit the
next spot-kick past Keller and that was that.
no time did we look in control of the game, although Boro rarely looked
like getting back into the match until after the break.
Finishing off teams who we can beat should be something the team need to
learn quickly. Portsmouth lie in wait and will be up for the
crucial game and Tottenham cannot afford to drop points to teams like
the money lost by the club on the night, through not getting a semi-final
over two legs against Arsenal and not being able to get to the final
with the chance to qualify for Europe means that questions should be
asked about our tactics and team choice. Pleat made a poor
substitution by taking Anderton off, as he was man of the match at that
point and mostly by bringing Poyet on. Dalmat proved troublesome
for Boro's defence when he came on, so why not take the game to them
rather than try and defend what we have. That's' something we have
never been good at !!
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - KASEY KELLER
I don't know if this is the right place to give my views on the team
selection for tonight's game but I went to your site as I always agree
with the views in your fanzine whether I read them from the fanzine or
on P518 of teletext.
I used to run a fan's website myself (www.spursfirst.com)
which unfortunately I haven't been able to update this season due to
starting a new job with very long hours at the end of last season.
I keep trying to find the time and motivation to update it which is very
hard to muster considering our current form.
I'm a lifelong Spurs fan and whilst sorry to see Hoddle go, was getting
frustrated like yourselves with him playing the golden oldies (Poyet,
Anderton, Freund) in midfield. However, if I was going to keep one
of these players who could still do a job for the club in midfield, it
would have been Freund so when he let Freund go and kept Anderton and
Poyet, I couldn't believe it.
I really hoped when David Pleat took over that he would leave out Poyet
and Anderton who are well past their best and play the likes of
Ricketts, Blondel and Dalmat in midfield. He has got the defence
right - Keller, Carr, Richards, Gardner, Taricco and the front two -
Kanoute & Keane but when it comes to his midfield selection,
he never seems to pick the best available players and plays the players
he selects in the wrong midfield positions.
We all know our three best midfielders (Redknapp, Davies, Ziege) are
injured, but why doesn't Pleat play the excellent Blondel at all and why
did Dalmat come on 10 minutes from time against Newcastle and late in
the game tonight when he is pure class. Our best available
midfield currently from right to left is Ricketts, Anderton, Dalmat and
I really would like to hear your views on this. The club don't
seem to take a blind bit of notice of what any of us think!!
Ed : - Rob, by all
means, feel free to add your views here. Like most fans, we are
aware that Poyet and Anderton can only pay in short spells. Anderton
did very well last night and Poyet looked slow, as usual. Dalmat is
an exciting player, who is direct in a way that Matthew Etherington
wasn't. His style is typically Spurs, but I think Pleat will use him
in the right conditions. With the match in the balance, he probably
didn't think it was right to bring him on to replace Anderton.
However, at that stage, by taking the game to Boro, it would have been the
best form of defence for Tottenham. We let them start running at us,
going through the midfield without a tackle, inevitably leading to the
goal. If it wasn't for Kasey, we would have been out in 90 minutes
... if it hadn't been for that pesky keeper, we could have all been home
in the warm !!
With Blondel, Pleat
said he wasn't strong enough yet for the PL (see www.mehstg.com/agm03.htm)
and I think he feels that in our current position, he can't field too many
youngsters, but introducing Blondel from the bench would keep him happy
(for a while) and also allow him to get used to the game at the top level.
I am not trying to
apologise for Pleat's actions ... just trying to find some way of
rationalising them !! In fact, I would ask the question ... why does
he keep playing Richards ?? He seems slower by the game and doesn't
get up for attacking corners as a man of his height should. The only
problem is that Doherty is the only option, unless we move King back with
Gardner alongside him. Then who goes in the gap left in midfield by
Ledley's move ?? The depth of the squad does not match the need for
cover in certain places. What happens in the January transfer window
might tell us a lot about where Spurs are going.
Hi. Now I'm
getting pissed of with our team in a crap Premiership we are still
Have a great Xmas,
I shouldn't bother to look at results but every week we do and and
people still take the piss
|Other scores in
this round of the competition :
Bolton Wanderers (after extra time -
90 mins. 0-0)
|West Bromwich Albion