2 Tottenham 5 -
Friendly - Wednesday 25th July 2001
Weather : - Warm, sunny
Crowd : - 15,144
Referee : - Mr. S. Tomlin
Scorers : - Portsmouth - Crouch 10, 74
Tottenham - Sheringham 9, Iversen 17, Clemence 49, Rebrov
Portsmouth: Flahavan, Crowe,
Vincent (Edinburgh 68), Hiley
(Gnohere 63), Moore, Miglioranzi (Harper
56), Bradbury (Panopoulos 68),
O'Neil, Crouch, Quashie, Pitt (Brady 56).
Spurs: Sullivan, Carr (Leonhardsen
45), Ziege (Taricco 45), Doherty (Bunjevcevic 81), King, Bunjevcevic (Perry 45), Anderton
(Poyet 45), Freund (Sherwood 45), Davies (Clemence 45), Iversen (Rebrov
45), Sheringham (Ferdinand 45).
I have seen a complaint on a Pompey web
site to the effect that Spurs only sent a second rate team last time
they played a friendly at Fratton Park, to the disappointment of the
home fans, who have been starved of top class football for so many
years. Well, tonight, they can have no grievance, as they saw not
one, but two high class sides wearing the lilywhite and blue.
While England under-21 defender was away signing for Charlton for a
reported 3 million pounds, the remainder of the first team squad had an
outing before taking a week's rest before playing at Reading next
Needless to say, with seven goals to shout about, and
with three ex-Spurs on show for the hosts (Crouch, Brady and Edinburgh), the
sound of the "Pompey Chimes", this was a very entertaining way
to spend a warm sunny evening in front of a bumper crowd, some of
whom (me included) did not make it into the ground for the start of the
Portsmouth were totally out-classed in both halves,
and the only thing they had to shout about was the two headed goals by
lanky Peter Crouch. It was a shame to hear some Spurs fans calling
him a Tottenham reject, but this young man has been transformed from a
£60,000 sale to QPR this time last year to a million plus player this
summer, and I suspect that most of the Spurs faithful did not follow his
progress through the youth and reserve side. I for one was pleased
to see him testing Bunjevcevic, Doherty and Perry to the full.
None of the defence mastered him and they will of course be facing a
certain Niall Quinn in the forthcoming Premiership season. Late in
the second half, Hoddle took the tiring Doherty off, and gave
Bunjevcevic another go at Crouch, after the youngster had reduced the
deficit to 5-2!
There was a subtle variation in the formation
tonight, as the back three were spread wide across the park, and the
wing-backs were pushed more forward than in previous outings.
Ledley King would often take the defensive responsibilities at the far
left, whilst Ziege would cut inside him to cover. Steffen Freund's
role was to hold back whilst Anderton and Davies were given free reign
to attack. Teddy looked sharper tonight, and has been used
sparingly so far. It was Sheringham who gave Spurs the lead with
another goal made by Carr, whose low cross threaded through the defence,
allowing Teddy to hit a low right foot shot just inside the post the
A minute later, Portsmouth were level, as Crouch rose
majestically at the back post to head back a right field cross across
the goal beyond Sullivan. A clever pass from Bunjevcevic allowed
Iversen to restore the lead. It was a straight ball from 35 yards
out, into the area, and it looked as if it wouldn't make it to Steffen
Iversen, but the Norwegian managed to get a delicate touch to guide the
ball into the corner. Crouch was a threat again after 27 minutes,
when he had a header tipped over by Neil Sullivan. The other main
excitement in the first half was a good ball from Freund to Carr, who
went on a typical run, before firing a low ball into the 6 yard box,
that only just eluded Sheringham.
Overall, this was the most competitive game so far,
and in a competition, there would have been several bookings on either
side, as the ref administered verbal advice to the miscreants.
Portsmouth introduced their new director of football at half time -
Harry Redknapp, and their manager Graham Rix escaped most of the game
without ritual abuse from the Spurs fans.
Stephen Clemence finished off the first of several
fine second half moves, when Taricco pulled back a Rebrov cross, for
Clemence to hit a strong left foot shot across the goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, Rebrov scored the first of a fine brace. A
free kick was awarded just outside the area (foul on Sergei), which Les
Ferdinand headed down, for Sergei to rifle home a right foot shot.
The game became punctuated by Pompey's substitutions,
but Poyet had a good 1-2 with Rebrov, then missed the goal with his
shot. Leonhardsen was lurking beyond the back post, and could only
hit the side netting. Leo played right wing-back, and with the
departure of Luke Young, there is a vacancy for full back cover again.
Clemence forced a good save from Flahavan, before
Justin Edinburgh entered to generous applause from home and away
support. A gorgeous build up of one touch passing football (plenty
of that from Spurs tonight) featuring Clemence, Poyet, Leo, and finally
a cross from Poyet on the right led to Sergei's second goal - this time
a diving header. 5-1 to the visitors!
Spurs eased off the
gas, and that second goal from Crouch again followed a cross from the
right, headed back across the disgusted Sullivan. A man like
Crouch needs a defender in front and behind him, and maybe one to nobble
This report has been provided by Paul Smith and appears courtesy of and
with the express permission of the author.