Looking Forward

 

CHARLTON ATHLETIC (Away)

Premier League

Tuesday 27th August 2002

With the winning goal at Bolton on Saturday came the injury to provider Graeme Stuart and the fact that he was carried off means he will probably miss the Spurs match.  But the he won't be alone as Charlton are suffering an injury crisis of Tottenham proportions !!  Defender Jon Fortune and midfielder Scott Parker are hoping to be back in contention for places, as full back Gary Rowett, who limped off after just four minutes, will be out of the match and a few more after too. 

Charlton have added few new names to their squad and although they are looking at Brazilian/Japanese Alex at the moment, the only fresh face is goalkeeper Paul Rachubka from Man. U.  Losing Mark Kinsella this week to Aston Villa means a replacement is urgently sought.

The Addicks have done well in their time in the Premiership, finishing in the top half more often than not and the accomplished manager Alan Curbishley had learned his lesson from their first relegation.  He stiffened the spine of the side to repel any thrusts from top flight opponents and has added to that season on season.  However, he might have his squad tested this season, as they seek to push further up the league.

There is a solid base with Kiely a very good shot stopper and Richard Rufus is highly rated in front of him.  Alongside he has Spurs fan Chris Powell and former Spurs defender Luke Young.  While both have a soft spot for the Lilywhites, they will be up to do well against us.  The other spot might be filled by another good youngster, Konchesky, before he starts his suspension for a first day dismissal.

In midfield, Athletic are not quite that.  Jensen, Bart-Williams and Robinson are all on old legs, but they have good skill and experience, so could prove a tricky proposition in opposition.  The front two will be Jason Euell and either Matt Svensson or Jonatan Johansson.  Euell will be the more dangerous, as he has shown already this season.  Still to make a big impact after leaving Wimbledon for the other side of South London, he has strength, skill and a good awareness of where the goal is, when he has the ball.  It will be a test for Gardner in the middle of the Spurs defence, with Richards needing to be on his toes to match Euell's pace.

The Tottenham midfield will be able to match Charlton, but Ziege, Etherington and Taricco must stop the runs forward from the flanks by their wing backs.  Powell is adept at getting forward and Robinson still can work the line.  If the supply line is broken, then the Spurs defence will have a quieter evening.  The key will be Teddy and Les' movement to escape their markers.  It will have to be a better partnership than was previewed in the Villa match.

Charlton have conceded early goals in both games so far, thus a quick start by Tottenham might catch them unawares, but I feel the home side will try and keep it tight for the first 15-20 minutes, before pushing onto the Tottenham midfield a bit more.  Therefore, Tottenham need to take advantage when they can and make the most of the chances that present themselves.

A good passing game and some effort to close down, with judicious use of subs will lead to ...

PREDICTION : -  Charlton Athletic  1  Tottenham  2

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.

 

 

Charlton Athletic  0  Tottenham   1        (Half-time score : 0-1)
FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Tuesday 27th August 2002
Venue : -  The Valley
Kick Off : -  19.45
Weather : -  Overcast
Crowd : - 26,461
Referee : -  A. Wiley (Burntwood)
Teams : - 

Charlton Athletic : -  Kiely; Kishishev (Robinson 64), Rufus, Fortune (Brown 71), Konchesky; Jensen, Young, Bart-Williams, Powell, Johansson (Svensson 54), Euell, 
Subs: - Rachubka, Lisbie.

Tottenham : -  Keller; Taricco, Richards, Gardner, Ziege; Etherington, Redknapp, Bunjevcevic, Davies; Sheringham, Doherty (Ferdinand 77)
Subs : - Hirschfeld, Thatcher, Acimovic, Rebrov

Colours : - 

Charlton Athletic -  Red shirts, white shorts, red socks

Tottenham -  White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks with blue turnover

Scorers : - 

Charlton Athletic -  None

Tottenham -  Davies 8

Cards : - 

Charlton Athletic -  Konchesky (foul play) 2

Tottenham -  Davies (simulation) 60, Bunjevcevic (unsporting conduct) 89

 
No sign of the fabled/promised striker(s) and only 4 days to go to the transfer deadline.  Always looking on the bright side of life though ... this was a solid performance and a decent victory (over a side who beat us home and away last season) leaving Spurs joint second with the team who should have stayed where they belonged and become Charlton's local rivals.  One of the first things you see when disembarking the Woolwich Ferry (once you have gone through Passport Control) is the sign for "Woolwich Ars**al".  If they'd stayed put, our one and only song would now be "stand up if you hate Orient" !!  

The Valley is an impressive ground on the inside (with the exception of the away end which is primitive).  Outside though this is 50's throwback territory with tight terraced houses backing on to the stadium.  The atmosphere around the Valley is friendly, with no hint of the tension which accompanies our visits to the other London Premier League venues.  There is a real, old fashioned, football atmosphere here with a far smaller corporate contingent than we have to put up with at WHL. 

Two team changes from the previous game against Villa.  Bunji in for Acimovic (to give more of a defensive anchor in midfield) and the Doc in for Sir Les (to rest the old feller?).  Bunji is competent in that holding position and Glenn is forced to play him there, because our natural spoilers are either injured or out of favour.  However, he is clearly more comfortable in the back-line.  The Doc gave everything (as ever) but lacks the finesse to open up Premier League defences. 

The goal came after just seven minutes. Davies played a one-two with Teddy on the right side of the box and crashed the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.  'Ave it! 

Matty Etherington provided a lot of pace on the left where he was up against a skinhead Luke Young.  On 17 minutes, he played another one-two with Teddy, but had his shot blocked by Bart-Williams.  Doc headed over from the resultant corner.  

Mid-way through the first half Charlton wasted a good chance, when Bart-Williams put a free-kick over the bar following a Richards push on the edge of the area. 

Redknapp had two further shots on goal before the break.  Spurs had played the better football and were generally the more comfortable team in the first half. 

As soon as the second period started Keller came out sharply to block from Euell.  There then followed strong, sustained pressure from Spurs, involving four corners in quick succession: Gardner nicked the ball off of Doherty's head (he would have scored), Kiely saved a smart Gardner header, a Redknapp hook-shot was cleared off the line and Richards headed just wide. 

On the hour Davies, put through neatly by Sheringham, looked to have rounded Kiely before being brought down.  To everyone's surprise (including Kiely's?) the ref booked Davies for diving.  Kiely got a lot of stick from the Spurs fans in the South stand behind him for the rest of the game, but the real villain was referee Wiley ... it could have cost us the game ... immediately after the incident Keller had to make a great save from Euell.

Both Etherington and Redknapp then had reasonable chances, but shot over.  With 13 minutes left Sir Les replaced the Doc and added an extra dimension up front.  If the transfer window slams shut before a signing is made, a fit (and motivated) strike group of Teddy, Les, Rebrov (if he is ever picked again), Iversen and the Doc could be rotated to good effect. 

This was a sound team performance.  Keller kept a clean sheet for the second game running.  Gardner and Richards won everything in the air at the back.  Redknapp's chasing and closing down (in addition to his creative play) was exceptional and there is more to come from Ziege who was clearly under orders to conserve energy (and not move over the half way line) for the second 45 minutes. 

Into second spot but we need achievable targets for this season.  Forget a European place ... I'd settle for our two forwards (whoever they may be) getting close enough to each other to make the numerous headers won from long clearances count and/or a Spurs goal direct from a free kick !  

Roll on Saturday and the titanic clash with the SCBC. 

MEHSTG TOP MAN : - ANTHONY GARDNER

Olive Branch

 

OVER LAND AND SEA

 

So, when Simon Davies says, "we owe them one", he really means it.  His cracking shot from a tight angle on the right side of the goal, after taking the return pass from Teddy, was a very good goal.  It started when, Ziege's corner was cleared to back to him and he knocked it inside to Davies.  From there it was a well worked move, that ended up with Simon beating Kiely at his near post.

The early goal previously would have meant 82 minutes of nail-biting worry before the opposition equalised in the last minute, but these days things are different.  A stubborn performance of dogged closing down, allied with a degree of astute running and passing, made Charlton fear that a second goal might come to put the game beyond their reach.

With Sheringham and Jamie Redknapp the hub that the Tottenham play revolved around, the whole team shut down the home players on the ball and pressured them into giving the ball away.  It was a hard working showing, which sometimes has been a failing of the side.  It is always said that you have to earn the right to play your football.  In this game, Spurs showed that they have the personnel to do that.

With chances for Etherington and Redknapp in the second half, Charlton were always wary of going full out for an equaliser.  The bombing of their penalty area from Spurs corners, also left the Addicks with their backs to the wall.  They did break out on occasion to force Kasey to saves.  Mainly, it was Jason Euell, who had Keller sprawling at his feet, then making him touch over a rasping drive from 25 yards in the second half.  Other than that, only Kishishev made Keller work, making him dive to the foot of his post with a long range shot.

An outrageous decision to book Davies for "diving", when a penalty should have been the proper outcome, almost turned the game into a fiasco, but the referee seemed intent on imposing himself on the game ... mainly giving joke decisions for minor offences.  But the way that Spurs worked so hard made the three points valuable ones.

These are the sort of games where Spurs have lost out in the past and lost points that could have helped a move up the table.  Consistency in their play and also in picking up points from previously troublesome teams will mean that perhaps we might see some performances that haven't been associated with the club for a long time (and I don't mean boring ones either).

Barry Levington

 

 

Other scores this midweek :

Arsenal  5    WBA  2
Aston Villa  1    Manchester City  0
Blackburn Rovers  2    Liverpool  2
Everton   1    Birmingham City  1  
Leeds United  0    Sunderland  1
SCBC  1    Chelsea  1

 

League Table
 
  P W D L F A Pts
1 Arsenal 3 2 1 0 9 4 7
2 Liverpool 3 2 1 0 6 2 7
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 2 1 0 4 2 7
4 Leeds United 3 2 0 1 6 2 6
5 Chelsea 3 1 2 0 6 5 5
6 Everton 3 1 2 0 4 3 5
7 Blackburn Rovers 3 1 2 0 3 2 5
8 Fulham 2 1 1 0 6 3 4
9 Manchester United 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
10 Sunderland 3 1 1 1 1 1 4
11 Newcastle United 2 1 0 1 4 1 3
12 Charlton Athletic 3 1 0 2 4 5 3
13 Aston Villa 3 1 0 2 1 2 3
14 Manchester City 3 1 0 2 1 4 3
15 Middlesbrough 2 0 2 0 2 2 2
16 SCBC 3 0 2 1 1 4 2
17 Birmingham City 3 0 1 2 1 4 1
18 West Ham United 2 0 1 1 2 6 1
19 Bolton Wanderers 2 0 0 2 2 6 0
20 WBA 3 0 0 3 3 9 0

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