Saturday 22nd January 2005
With the current furore surrounding the transfer bid for Wayne Routledge, this match has come at the wrong time for all parties concerned. Do Palace play him in an attempt to gain some points to keep them up or plump for the money that might lead to the purchase of players who might make a difference to their position ? Tough one, but one that Dowie must mull over. Perhaps the amount he is being offered for Routledge no might exceed that he would receive in the summer, but what riches are they in comparison to those available for a longer stay in the Premiership ??
Seven points will see Spurs spared these decisions as the points tally will ensure that relegation is a thing of the past for this season. It is a weird one, but the amount of games won have almost negated the losses and draws are just a waste of time these days. Jol's attacking intentions will see Tottenham going for the full three points rather than the one and it might mean that Palace will be on the back foot, although they gave a very good account of themselves in the recent match at the Lane.
Kiraly has been in good form in goal and has drawn envious glances from many clubs including the Gooners. His shot saving has been impressive, but he has had the opportunity to have plenty of practice.
The defence in front of him has seen Fitz Hall make a central place his own with strong performances by a strong man. Good in the air, he is comfortable on the ball too, but needs more time to fully develop his game. Danny Butterfield showed good attacking inclination on the right wing from full back and is quick enough to track back should moves break down. On the opposite flank is Uruguayan Gonzalo Sorondo had a good game against Spurs, but he showed a Latin American flavour to his game by hitting the deck when Michael Brown brushed past him. Veteran Tony Popovic plays centrally and is good in the air, but has a rush of blood sometimes, which might leave players the chance to go past him. Emerson Boyce, the former Luton defender might play, as he has been a choice lately and he still has some settling into the top flight to do, which might mean their could be some joy for whoever is up against him. Other options include Darren Powell, the ex-Derby midfielder-turned-defender and Wayne Andrews, who can play in either are of the team and is another young prospect that Palace hope will develop into a top player.
The midfield will see a battle royal between Michael Brown and Michael Hughes. Both are little, competitive fighters and with the need to establish supremacy in this area a priority, it will be a lowdown and dirty meeting. Their other midfielders include Aki Riihilahti, but he will miss out with injury, Mikele Leigertwood is a strapping six-footer who can also play in defence and there are two youngsters in Ben Watson and Tom Soares. Watson is a dynamic player with a good engine, easily spotted by his ginger hair, while Soares likes to run with the ball and get in and around the opposition's box. Greek wide-man Vassilis Lakis can produce some problems as he did at Tottenham and Pamarot might need to stick tighter to him than he did a few weeks back. Wayne Routledge - we all know - has great pace and a trick in his armoury to get past a defender. Some question marks remain over his final ball, although he can produce a peach of a cross at times.
Sole front man Andy Johnson has done very well in his lonely role. His goal tally is up there with Defoe and Henry, but he has done so without the class of support or supply those two have had. He has a low centre of gravity and can hit shots on target from wherever he is, as he did with the Palace equaliser at Tottenham and he knows how to finish. His ability has brought interest from many clubs and Palace will do well to hold onto him should they go back down. Should things be going against Palace, Dowie may introduce Sandor Torghelle, a Hungarian who is strong in physique, but weak in staying on his feet or old head Dougie Freedman, who has scored goals wherever he has gone.
Spurs will have learned a lot from the first Palace match back in December. The defence will need to stay alert to any surge Palace might make, with the midfield needing to get back behind the ball whenever it looks like danger threatens. With the attacking side of the team sorted out and the loss to Chelsea behind us, the side needs to make the most fo the run of games we have up to Easter and thus it is my humble opinion that the game will end ...
PREDICTION : - Crystal Palace 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
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
How do you
think your team have played this season ?
player would you like in your team ?
CRYSTAL PALACE : Aki Riihilahti (calf); Joonas Kolkke (ribs); Tommy Black (broken leg); Nicola Ventola (broken ankle);
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Sean Davis (knee); Fredi Kanoute (aductor); Thimothee Atouba (knee); Rohan Ricketts (knee); Michael Brown (suspended)
|Crystal Palace 3 Tottenham Hotspur 0 (Half-time score : 0-0)|
|Premier League||Venue : Selhurst Park|
|Saturday 22nd January 2005||Kick Off : 15.00 p.m.|
|Crowd : 23,723||Referee : Chris Foy (St. Helens)|
|Weather : Cold, overcast|
|Teams : -|
Johnson (Borrowdale 88)
Pamarot (Yeates )
Marney (Kelly 87)
|Managers : -|
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Cards : -|
|Match Report : -|
|After years of supporting
Tottenham I still can't get the hang of it. When things are going
well and some sort of consistency develops, the wheels fall off the
wagon big time. So where does this leave Spurs ? Still
without a win against a London side this season (which equals a whole
load of points lost) and now looking to improve very quickly to meet
West Brom in the FA Cup next week.
I really find it hard to accept that Crystal Palace are three goals better than us. I can read the score-line, but with a Tottenham side like the one that took the field there should be enough ability to keep the score down, at the very least. Perhaps it shows how far the teams till have to travel before us Spurs fans can look to the upper reaches of the table and it demonstrates how much we must be missing Kanoute and more importantly Michael Brown.
For it was in midfield where Tottenham were beaten in this match. Packing five into the middle of the park makes it hard for Spurs to play around them and without the battling qualities of Brownie, the side were lacking any impetus to go forward or to protect the back four in the second half.
Even so, it was a flat performance, when the sixth place ion the league was there for our taking. But that always happens, doesn't it ? Remember Bolton at home in 1995 ? Well, the prospect of a top six placing makes everything go bottom up.
Spurs failed to threaten enough and the good away form dissipated in the cold South London winter air. With a knock picked up by Reto Ziegler, things might even end up worse than we thought, as the side created very few direct chances and let the goals for Palace come too easily.
The first clear opening of the game came in the sixth minute, when Robbo's clearance bounced off the ref to Michael Carrick and his through pass found Defoe, but Jermain sliced his shot wide. Palace were breaking well with Freedman chosen to play in the hole just behind Johnson and on a couple of occasions, Spurs players did well to cut out crosses into our box. Robinson plunged to stop a Granville free-kick and in a break forward, Dean Marney, picked in midfield for the suspended Brown hit a volley at Kiraly after Keane carved out the opening.
Ziegler was just too high with a free-kick and then, freed by Keano, tried to chip the keeper, but it was touched over the top. And that was about his last input to the game before leaving the pitch with a limp to be replaced by Atouba. From the corner, Marney again brought Kiraly into action with a low save from a drilled effort and as play broke to the other end, Leigertwood hit a shot that was always going over the top when well placed.
The half-time break seemed to help Palace more, as they came out with a bit more tempo to their game, while Spurs appeared one paced throughout. Long shots from Soares and Mendes were exchanged and Defoe tried a dipping effort from even further out, but couldn't get it on target. Wayne Routledge had trouble with his own fans, who booed him at regular intervals every time he gave the ball away or failed to provide the ball to make a goalscoring opportunity. His move to Tottenham might just be a question of time, but the performance he put in was not of the highest quality, although he did make a goal and was a nuisance throughout the game.
Then after the hour, Edman failed to take out Soares' cross and Leigertwood got a toe in to prod the ball goalwards and it bounced off the bar and in for his first goal for his club. The goal seemed to give Palace confidence and four minutes later they got another. Routledge passed inside to Danny Granville coming forward from the back and he side-footed a shot that went past Robinson's effort to stop it.
The misery was complete in the 76th minute when Johnson went down under challenge from Marney and got up to convert the spot-kick to make it 3-0. The little striker had one more chance, but failed to get the required power in his shot and trying to match his opponent, Defoe had one last effort at the end, but his shot was straight at the Palace keeper and the match ended with a big win for the home side.
There is little of note to mention about Tottenham's performance. Save to say that they will need to pick up their game before next week's FA Cup tie and maybe if Mido's signing has been completed by then, he might get a start to give Tottenham something to aim at when trying to get the ball out of their half.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - JERMAIN DEFOE
|Just when it all looked set fair
to move up for both sides, everything went wrong.
For Spurs we lost 0-3.
|Four Words ...
Manager Of The Month
Marco van Hip
|Other scores this weekend :|
|Manchester United||3||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||Manchester City||0||Saturday|
|Blackburn Rovers||0||Bolton Wanderers||1||Monday|
|20||West Bromwich Albion||24||2||10||12||19||44||16||-25|
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