Looking Forward

 

Crystal Palace  (Away)

Premier League

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.

VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE

How do you think your team have played this season ?
I always think my team have played well - even when they haven't!!  Obviously a 1-1 draw at your place (thanks for allowing us that point) and our recent win over Villa has helped us keep our noses above the zone, which is about the best we can realistically hope for this season.

Has the Premiership changed a lot since you were last in it ?
The teams are constantly evolving, of course, and a few even manage to stay up there following promotion.  Palace was last in the Premiership in 1997/98, so it is not all that long since we were last here, and of course this is the 4th occasion we have been here, so we are quite constant visitors.  Let's hope we can stay longer than the 4 years that we spent here from 1989 to 1993 this time around.

Is it for the better ?
Not sure, but it is the only place to be!

Who do you think is your best player at the moment ?
Without a doubt Andy Johnson must be considered our best player, considering the number of goals he has scored so far this season, including the one he scored against you, of course!

Which player is having a bit of a mare in recent games ?
None come to mind at the moment.

Apart from Spurs bound Wayne Routledge, are there any other exciting players in the squad that we should look out for ?
Is Wayne Spurs bound?  I wasn't aware that you had offered enough money yet!! :-)
There are lots of exciting youngsters in our squad, such as Tom Soares, Ben Watson and Gary Borrowdale, but I shouldn't be telling you who all our good players are - you'll be wanting to buy them next!
Somehow I suspect one of our goals against you this coming weekend will come from one of our defenders.

Any new names you would like to see brought in before the window closes ?
Any name that Iain Dowie wants in the squad is fine by me.

Simon Jordan - is he the man or is he mad ??
Can't say a bad word about Simon.  The man literally saved our Club, and for that I will be ever grateful.  He also, finally, brought us God (sorry, Iain), and he has continued to put his money where his mouth is.  Good on you, Simon.

What is the line-up expected to be ?
Sorry - Iain decides that, not me.  I hope that Tony Popovic gets a run back in the side again soon, but I don't suppose it will be this weekend.  One would expect that the line-up will remain constant from the last week or so, meaning that Gabor Kiraly will be his usual magnificent self between the sticks, and our front line will be led by Andy and possibly Wayne Andrews.  The only change to the side might be if Aki Riihilahti is fit again, as he would almost certainly come back for one of the others currently playing in midfield.

Which Spurs player would you like in your team ?
None thanks, apart from perhaps those with squad numbers 1-30 on their backs! :-)

What do you reckon the score will be ?
I would have thought that you would already know that the final score will be 2-1 to Palace!!  Or maybe a draw, or maybe a small win to Spurs, or....nah, forget it - stick with the 2-1 bet on Palace, and you will make a fortune if you couple it with Fitz Hall (One Size) to score the opening goal.  Remember, you read it here first!!

Good luck after Saturday, guys !

Thanks to
 
 
Crystal Palace International Supporters Association -
Palace - Eagles.com

PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

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)

Coverage

TV :
No live coverage in UK.  Highlights on BBC "Match of the Day" (Saturday Night - 22.30) and Sky Sports "Goals on Sunday" (Sunday 10.30)
Other countries live coverage click here.

Radio :  
BBC Radio London 94.9FM (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)

 

 

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 : - 
Crystal Palace

Kiraly

Granville
Hall
Sorondo
Boyce 

Routledge
Leigertwood
Hughes
Soares (Andrews 88)

Johnson (Borrowdale 88)
Freedman

Unused subs: 
Speroni
Powell
Lakis

Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson

Pamarot (Yeates )
King (c)
Naybet
Edman

Marney (Kelly 87)
Mendes
Carrick
Ziegler (Atouba 44)

Keane
Defoe

Unused subs: 
Eyre
Gardner

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

Leigertwood 67
Granville 71
Johnson 78 (p)

Tottenham Hotspur

None

Cards : -  
Crystal Palace

   
Hughes (dissent) 30

     

Tottenham Hotspur

   
Marney (foul) 21
Pamarot (foul) 62

     

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 from 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

East Stan

 

SHATTERED DREAM

 

Just when it all looked set fair to move up for both sides, everything went wrong.

For Spurs we lost 0-3.
For Palace, they won, but so did all the other sides at the bottom.
For Wayne Routledge, his own fans turned on him.
For Spurs, it was another London derby day when the fire was missing in the performance.
For Iain Dowie, he could feel some retribution for the "shoelace" comment.
For the Tottenham fans, it showed how much we missed Fredi Kanoute and Michael Brown.
For everyone to do with Spurs, it showed that you cannot take anything for granted.
For Frank Arnesen and Daniel Levy, it showed that the squad still needs filling out.
For the memory, it was like Fulham away all over again.
For goodness (and our European hopes ... don't laugh) sake, please don't let this happen again.

Lee Wallace

Four Words ...

Manager Of The Month

Marco van Hip

 

Other scores this weekend :
Birmingham City 1 Fulham 2 Saturday
Chelsea 3 Portsmouth 0 Saturday
Everton 0 Charlton Athletic 1 Saturday
Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Norwich City 4 Middlesbrough 4 Saturday
SCBC 2 Liverpool 0 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Manchester City 0 Saturday

Arsenal

1 Newcastle United 0 Sunday
Blackburn Rovers 0 Bolton Wanderers 1 Monday

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 24 19 4 1 48 8 61 +40
2 Arsenal 24 15 6 3 53 25 51 +28
3 Manchester United 24 14 8 2 37 14 50 +23
4 Everton 24 13 5 6 28 25 44 +3
5 Liverpool 24 11 4 9 36 25 37 +11
6 Middlesbrough 24 10 7 7 39 33 37 +6
7 Charlton Athletic 24 11 4 9 28 33 37 -5
8 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 24 9 6 9 29 26 33 +3
9 Bolton Wanderers 24 9 6 9 31 31 33 0
10 Manchester City 24 8 7 9 30 26 31 +4
11 Aston Villa 24 8 7 9 27 29 31 -2
12 Newcastle United 24 7 8 9 35 41 29 -6
13 Fulham 24 8 4 12 31 40 28 -9
14 Portsmouth 24 7 6 11 26 34 27 -9
15 Birmingham City 24 6 8 10 27 30 26 -3
16 Blackburn Rovers 24 5 10 9 21 34 25 -13
17 Crystal Palace 24 5 6 13 27 37 21 -10
18 SCBC 24 3 9 12 25 39 18 -14
19 Norwich City 24 2 11 11 23 46 17 -23
20 West Bromwich Albion 24 2 10 12 19 44 16 -25

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