|A nearly full Ibrox saw a
slack Spurs defence leave Rangers chances to win the Walter Tull Trophy
as the rain lashed down at the end of the match.
While Keane and Defoe worked well up
front to earn some corners that Johnnie Jackson swung into the Rangers
goalmouth and Ricketts found space wide, but failed to make the most of
his crossing opportunities, Tottenham knocked the ball around well
without threatening the Glasgow side. A flying tip over from
Robinson in the 20th minute from a corner when Prso got a powerful
header in was the first meaningful chance of the evening.
Five minutes later the ball was in the
Spurs net. Ricksen's long ball into the Spurs half saw Gardner and
a falling Ledley King let it through for Nacho Novo to hit it past
Robinson for the first goal of the match. It was a poor goal to
concede and is getting a bit typical of the side pre-season.
Robbie Keane almost hit back straight
away, when he got into a shooting position and only a strong challenge
from Marvin Andrews stopped him doing so. It left Keano laying
prostrate on the turf holding his right ankle and was stretchered off
following Stephen Kelly's exit on Sunday. The booing of him during
his time on the pitch and the cheering as he went off was sick ... but
then all that should be expected from the Rangers fans. This
injury brought Dean Marney on and saw Ricketts join Defoe up front,
while Marney settled on the right side of midfield. After the game
we heard that the problem was just a jarred knee, so not as bad as first
thought. Thank goodness !!
Coming up to half time, Ricketts came
into the game by setting up Jermain, who made himself a yard of space
and curled a shot that Klos could only parry and grab at the second
attempt. Then the game went to the Spurs end and Paul Robinson got
a fine hand to keep out Lovenkrands' header before King knocked it out
for a corner. Defoe went down in the box after a neat turn, but it
was never going to be a penalty.
Then right on the half-time whistle, Carr
lost the ball allowing Loverkrands made a break from the half-way line
running 40 yards without a challenge and Prso, standing in the six yard
box turned it into the net. It was another poor goal to concede
and if this is the way that we are going to defend this season, then it
will be a long hard slog again.
The start of the second half saw Gregory
Vignal make an appearance on loan from Liverpool, but it was Spurs who
had the first go on goal, when Rae brought down Defoe in a central
position a couple of yards outside the box, but Jermain hit it straight
at the wall. Rangers striker Novo then hit another shot but this
time too high, as he continued to cause the Tottenham defence problems
and later he drove in a fine shot from the back of the penalty area,
getting to the second ball from a corner.
Marney hit Vignal late and slightly from
behind, leaving him needing treatment and a weak decision gave Rangers a
free-kick from what seemed like a fair tackle, making the game hard to
get a flow going. Not that Tottenham were holding on to the ball
that well. The passing was a bit sloppy and players seemed to lack
the confidence to hold onto it. Vingal's nudge into Defoe's back
gave Spurs a dead ball situation right in the middle of the goal in the
"D" and a good chance. It was Mendes' pass that had put
Defoe away, but it was his last action as he was replaced by
Mabizela. The free-kick was another wasted effort, with Jackson
hitting the wall and Marney scuffing his shot as it came back.
While Rangers ran at Spurs, Bunjy
actually had a decent game. He was managing to nick the ball away
from the home players as they tried to move forward and also got into
some good positions to clear crosses into the box. Amid a flurry
of rash tackles, Defoe got a yellow card for alleged use of the arm and
Dean Marney got caught and left the field to be substituted by Mark
Hughes. Then Davis went off with what appeared to be a slight
groin problem and the Ginger Pele came on up front to partner Jermain,
with Ricketts dropping back into midfield.
It is no wonder Juventus are interested
in Chris Burke, as he got the ball in the middle of the Tottenham half,
strode forward and hit a dinked attempt that just cleared Robinson and
the bar. Spurs then had their best opportunity of the half, when
Jackson got the ball into Rohan Ricketts, who struck his first shot
against a player and then the second way over the top.
The game added little to the hope that
the previous friendlies had shown. If there was any truth in this
being the first choice XI for Santini, then perhaps it is time to start
worrying !! The training has supposedly tough and perhaps that has
left the team tired, but they must begin to train up for games as they
will come thick and fast at the start at the season. Brown was not
fit, Redknapp rested, Davies recovering from his op, Taz missing
and Kanoute getting over a virus, so maybe this team did not match up to
the hoped line-up on August 14th. With some of the players getting
knocks, there might even be some more newcomers by the Liverpool match
to flesh the squad out.
The high point was the Spurs contingent
who were noisy for their numbers and although the Rangers fans had stuff
to sing about, they were quiet for long periods before their goal.
The "Premier League, you're Having a laugh" song is getting
tiresome, but they didn't like it when our fans sang "Enger-land,
Enger-land, Enger-land" at them. Strange, as I thought they
wanted to be English and be in the PL ??
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - PAUL ROBINSON