Looking Forward

 

Chelsea  (Away)

Premier League

Sunday 19th September 2004

A game against Chelsea ... I would rather the dentist !!

It is about time that the hoodoo is broken, but I am not sure that Spurs are quite ready to do it this time.  We are more solid, but will need to be strong in defence and midfield and hope to catch the Blues on the break if we are to win this one.  Guess that the need for Fredi to be in the sort of form he was in last season at Stamford Bridge would help, but he looks in dire need of a goal.  Conversely Defoe is hotter than hot.

As for Chelsea, they had been struggling to put all the players into place before their Champions League win over Paris St. Germain this week.  It was the odd goal win and tight at the back as Mourinho tries to justify his boasts about him being the best coach in Europe.

Peter Cech has taken over in goal from Cudicini and has looked very confident and a good keeper.  Not having seen a huge amount of him, it is difficult to say what his weaknesses are.  Perhaps chocolate and a 5 bet every now and then ??  He did suffer a bit in the Euro 2004 finals, but the defence was probably not up to what Chelsea can out out these days.  Long gone are Doug Rougvie and Micky Droy and now we have Johnson, Terry, Carvalho, Gallas, Bridge and Ferreira all vying for a place in their back four.  Terry is a good solid central defender, but is going through a Rio phase, where he thinks he can bring the ball out of the defence all the time.  Cashing in on this aspect of his game could pay dividends for Tottenham.  Carvalho is supposed to be a very good player, but might still be settling in, while Johnson has been linked to a loan to Spurs as he only gets the odd game here and there.   Bridges' attacking instincts leaves space in behind him, so with a speedy wing back (Davies ?), we might get some joy there.

The midfield picks itself somewhat with Makelele, Lampard and Cole usually first choices.  Lampard will be playing his 144th consecutive PL match if he starts, so he is the player they are built around.  Makelele does all the hard work and Cole embroiders passes around the hub of the midfield, with Smertin, Duff, Parker and Tiago the other player stuck in to make up the numbers !!  All have good energy and can create with good passing skills.

Even with Carlton Cole at Villa for a year and Hernan Crespo on loan in Italy, Chelsea still have Mutu, Drogba, Kezman, Robben and Gudjohnsen to choose from.  No doubt it will be a Icelandic/French duo to start, with Ledley in for a hard afternoon with the strapping Drogba up against him.  Mutu has fallen from favour and Robben is injured, leaving Kezman on the bench to use his pace when he comes on fresh, but he can be a bit greedy at times, which lets him and his side down.

The fact that the domestic games have seen Chelsea stutter might help Spurs.  They have the ability to hit at the heart of Chelsea's defence, but all the team will need to be on their mettle.  I hoped we might be able to beat them at this stage of the season but will be more than happy with a point ...

PREDICTION : -   Chelsea  2   Tottenham Hotspur  2

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 SIDE

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PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

CHELSEA :  Carlo Cudicini (elbow); Arjen Robben (foot)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Michael Carrick (knee); Sean Davis (knee); Edson Silva (shoulder); Dean Richards (ears); Dean Marney (Achilles); Jamie Slabber (shoulder); Rob Burch (ankle) 

Coverage

TV :
Sky Sports 2  -  Live
Other countries live coverage click here.

Radio :
BBC London (Full second half commentary)  94.9 FM  (London area only)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
Planet football - http://play.www.planetfootball.servecast.net/downloads/sky/spurs_match_new.ram (free - only available when match is on)

 

 

Chelsea   0    Tottenham Hotspur   0      (Half-time score : 0-0)
Premier League Venue :  Stamford Bridge 
Sunday 19th September 2004 Kick Off :  16.05 p.m.
Crowd :   42,246 Referee :   M. Riley (Leeds)
Weather :  Bright, breezy
Teams : - 
Chelsea : 

Cech

Ferreira
Ricardo Carvalho
Terry (c)
Bridge (Smertin 86)

Tiago (Kezman 67)
Lampard
Makelele
Cole (Duff 67)

Drogba,
Gudjohnsen

Unused subs: 
Pidgeley
Gallas

Tottenham Hotspur :   

Robinson

Pamarot
Naybet
King
Edman

Atouba (Brown 75)
Redknapp (c)
Mendes
Davies

Defoe (Kanoute 87)
Keane

Unused subs: 
Keller
Mabizela
Gardner

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Chelsea   

Tottenham Hotspur 

Cards : -  
Chelsea

       

Smertin (foul) 90

     

Tottenham Hotspur  

       

King (foul) 49
Redknapp (foul) 74

     

Match Report : -  
With three corners in the first couple of minutes, things looked bad for Tottenham, but a spirited defensive showing (much to Mourinho's disgust) left Spurs crossing back to North London with a point.

The resilience in Tottenham's defending this season ahs been notable as a starting point of Jacques Santini's ground laying to make Tottenham difficult to beat. When teams come up against Spurs and play for the point, it is difficult for us to break them down at the moment, as the side has not fully developed it's attacking instincts, but when we go to Stamford Bridge, it is naive in the extreme for Mourinho to expect Spurs to come flying at them hoping for a win.  The need for points gained early in the season might lay the foundation for a more outgoing style of play later on.

However, it did take Spurs a while to get into the game.  The three corners were dealt with although Robinson came too far without getting to the ball for one of them, but the defence got the ball away.  Paul regained his composure in the fourth minute when Gudjohnson played a pass inside King and the ex-Leeds keeper raced from his line to get down at Drogba's feet to rob him of the ball.

The game was a struggle for Tottenham to hold onto the ball and too often they hit long high balls for Defoe to challenge for and against four blue-shirted defenders, he stood little chance.  So the ball kept coming back to the Spurs penalty area and the back four provided good protection for Robinson, although everyone defended today from back to front.

Ledley King proved the master of interception with a neat move on Gudjohnson before the Icelander had a clear chance with a header from about 10 yards out, which he put wide.  From Chelsea's point of view, they seemed to try the difficult final ball and found it being picked off by the Spurs players, with Mendes doing a lot of good destroying work in midfield.  When Spurs did finally get away, they did not make the most of the space.  A neat one-two between Atouba and Keane put the Cameroon midfielder away with a bit of time, but he failed to deliver the ball across the box quickly enough and Ferreira cut it out for a corner.

Robinson once more saved easily when he fell on a Gudjohnson volley on the half hour and then three minutes later, he raced to block Drogba as he wriggled past Naybet on the floor.  This preserved the 0-0 score-line at the break and it was nothing more than Spurs deserved, although they never looked like breaking free from their defensive shackles.

The start of the second half was much like the first, with Chelsea having the bulk of the possession and Ledley King's first foul of the season earned him a booking from Mike Riley for bringing down Drogba, who, for such a big bloke, drops like a stone.

Then, out of nowhere, the chance of the match came Tottenham's way.  A neat working of the ball down the Chelsea left found Redknapp laying it back for Davies to cross.  Simon's ball in went over Carvalho and with Keano behind him, the Irishman powered a header goalwards, but it was too straight and Cech managed to get a strong hand to it and it flew out off his glove.  A few feet either side and he would have given Spurs a most unlikely lead.  Another effort from Redknapp from a half-cleared corner on 66 minutes had Cech scrambling across his goal to keep the ball out near the post.

The corners continued to pile up for Chelsea, but apart from a flicked header by Terry across the face of goal, there was little threat.  The biggest problem was a 79th minute in-swinging free-kick which Robinson palmed out with Gudjohnson flying across his line of vision.  Paul watched the ball well and saved with a bit of luck taking the ball out for another corner.  He denied Drogba racing through by punching the ball out and the luck  that he earned was evident when another slice came Tottenham's way five minutes later.  Ledley King's defensive header fell to Gudjohnson and his volley bounced back into play off the goalpost.

As the Chelsea side was packed with strikers towards the end, Mourinho strove for a winner, the long ball to Drogba became the order of the day.   One bounced kindly for him in the box and as he tried to get around King, the Spurs defender got a kind bounce too as it came off his heel and then out for a corner.  Chelsea fans and players cried for handball, but it was nowhere near his hand.  Into the final couple of minutes of injury time, Drogba again fell over a blade of grass as he ran onto a log through ball, backed into Pamarot and then took the bump he got and turned it into a fully fledged slump.  He looked desperately at the ref as Pamarot roared his disapproval in the big golden booted striker's face.  The attitude of the new French Spurs full-back epitomised the way the defence played today.  At all costs, but all within the laws.  

The result was one that Jacques wanted.  It proved that you don't have to spend millions to be effective and that you can utilise the resources at your disposal to their maximum effect.  It wasn't pretty, but to be realistic, to get Spurs to where we want them to be within a reasonable time period, it will not be possible to do it in a flamboyant fashion

MEHSTG TOP MAN : -  LEDLEY KING

Purcell Cole

 

 

Other scores this weekend :

Arsenal

2 Bolton Wanderers 2 Saturday
Birmingham City 1 Charlton Athletic  1 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 1 Portsmouth 0 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Manchester City 2 Saturday
Norwich City 0 Aston Villa 0 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Fulham 1 Saturday
SCBC 1 Newcastle United 2 Sunday
Everton 1 Middlesbrough 0 Sunday
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1 Monday

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 6 5 1 0 21 7 16 +14
2 Chelsea 6 4 2 0 6 1 14 +5
3 Everton 6 4 1 1 8 6 13 +2
4 Bolton Wanderers 6 3 2 1 11 8 11 +3
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 2 4 0 4 2 10 +2
6 Middlesbrough 6 3 1 2 11 10 10 +1
7 Aston Villa 6 2 3 1 7 6 9 +1
8 Manchester United 6 2 3 1 7 6 9 +1
9 Charlton Athletic 6 2 2 2 7 10 8 -3
10 Newcastle United 6 2 2 2 11 10 8 +1
11 Manchester City 6 2 1 3 8 6 7 +2
12 Liverpool 5 2 1 2 7 5 7 +2
13 Portsmouth 5 2 1 2 9 8 7 +1
14 Birmingham City 6 1 2 3 4 6 5 -2
15 Fulham 6 1 2 3 7 11 5 -4
16 Blackburn Rovers 6 1 2 3 5 11 5 -6
17 SCBC 6 1 1 4 6 10 4 -4
18 Norwich City 6 0 4 2 5 9 4 -4
19 West Bromwich Albion 6 0 4 2 5 9 4 -4
20 Crystal Palace 6 0 1 5 5 13 1 -8

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