WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Away)
FA Cup Fourth Round
Saturday 29th January 2005
With a swathe of yellow as a backdrop to the action, the Spurs fans travel to the Hawthorns to meet WBA in the FA Cup. It will show the strength of support for Spurs and will spur the boys on. The Cup should need no geeing up, but the players have lost out a few times on the trot now and need to get back into winning ways.
Keeper Russell Hoult has had a tough time recently, as he has been exposed by his defence and for a big man, he does not use his height to it's maximum effect.
The defence has a large number of options to choose from. Darren Moore is a strapping centre back, who has been used sparingly, while Darren Purse has been a regular (except when suspended for elbowing his own player. With Bernt Haas having moved to France, former Chelsea defender Neil Clement has been booming up the wing but has not been able to force himself on wingers, making this area of the pitch one that Spurs might dominate. Former Man U defender Ronnie Wallwork is providing a fillip with a role just in front of the back four, from where he gets forward and has proved a mini-Bryan Robson. He probably is just waiting for the ambulance to arrive !! Martin Albrechtsen has come in from Copenhagen, but he has found it hard to adapt, with the physical side not what he is used to. There are a number of reasons why the defence has suffered and with the experience of Ricardo Scimeca should shore it up and Cosma Contra has international experience which he should use to brief those less experienced than himself.
Jason Koumas is one player who could make things difficult for Tottenham. He is a fine passer of the ball, can run with it and also has the ability to get into the penalty area to finish too. With hard man Andy Johnson missing, the Dane Thomas Gaardsoe might be expected to battle away for the ball. Jonathan Greening almost joined Spurs when at York City, but chose Man U, where he was rarely ever regarded as a starter. New Hungarian signing Zoltan Gera has become a bit of a hit with the fans at the Hawthorns. His dynamic performances and the skill he demonstrates have won over the Baggie locals. Macedonian Artim Sakiri is a sklliful midfielder, who can make a chance for his team-mates.
Things have change dup front from when Spurs met WBA earlier in the season, as Rob Earnshaw partners Kevin Campbell up front. With Kanu another option, the striking area is a little light and the partnership is still in early days. Campbell is the big man, with Earnshaw picking up the pieces and trying to convert them into goals. It will be interesting to see how the game goes for Spurs with the defenders probably finding time to overlap and get forward.
The FA Cup always holds a special place in Tottenham hearts, so we will be up for it and hopefully will be able to slay Captain Marvel's troops' efforts to stop us ...
PREDICTION : - West Bromwich Albion 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
MEHSTG was unable to obtain a view from the other side.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION : Andy Johnson (knee); ()
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Rohan Ricketts (knee); Sean Davies (knee); Dean Marney (Achilles); Reto Ziegler (hamstring); Fredi Kanoute (aductor)
|West Bromwich Albion 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Half-time score : 1-1)|
|FA Cup Fourth Round||Venue : The Hawthorns|
|Wednesday 29th January 2005||Kick Off : 15.00 p.m.|
|Crowd : 22,441||Referee : Mark Halsey (Bolton)|
|Weather : - Cold, damp|
|Teams : -|
|West Bromwich Albion
Kanu (Horsfield )
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|West Bromwich Albion
Defoe (pen) 32
|Cards : -|
|West Bromwich Albion
Atouba (foul) 70
|Match Report : -|
|Having not read the small
print when I signed up for my Spurs membership, I was looking at a
weekend in Birmingham and no football. It seems that members have
ticket priority after season ticket holders, ticket agencies or anyone
with £200 to spend on an executive package. There is clearly no
such thing as absolute truth. Although my letter stated that
tickets were allocated to season ticket holders only, there were plenty
available if you looked in the right places and had the right money.
It was the West Brom Platinum Club that came to my rescue. The tickets were cheaper than agency tickets and there was food and a programme thrown in. The only draw back was having to slum it in the directors box instead of sitting in the Smethwick End.
At 2.45 p.m. I saw the team news. I wondered if all the kerfuffle had been worth it. It seemed that Jol was not taking the game seriously - the only conclusion you can draw from seeing Bunjy's name on the bench. There was no Naybet. Which meant that King was switched to the right of central defence - a position he took a while to get used to, despite playing there for England last summer. Edman failed all game to get to grips with Zoltan Gera, but it was a cross from the left from Ronnie Wallwork, which Gardener failed to deal with, that led to a spectacular looking tap in for Robert Earnshaw. This coming just minutes after Earnshaw had hit the bar with a fierce shot.
West Brom were bossing the game. It needed the goal to force us into putting some attacking moves together. This looked more like Santini's Tottenham than the expansive play of Martin Jol's side. Soon after the West Brom goal, Defoe picked up the ball on the edge of the area and under close attention from the Baggies defence, he went down. Penalty. West Brom were aggrieved and even watching on Match of The Day, I couldn't see who made contact with what, but it didn't bother Jermain, who dispatched the penalty straight down the centre.
Half time and back into the lounge for coffee and cake.
Spurs were brighter in the second half. Defoe making a chance out of nothing by twisting past two players to get one on one with the keeper, but then scuffing his shot miles wide. Although Spurs looked brighter, it was West Brom who were still on top in midfield. Greening hit the bottom of the post, then Kanu crafted a shot on goal after more disarray in the Spurs defence and drew a fine save from Robinson. Defoe was booed the entire match by indignant Baggies fans and was substituted with 20 minutes remaining.
The hyperactive Simon Davies headed wide from two yards when Kanoute was also in attendance and would possibly have had a better chance. Davies had ran himself into the ground, showing no symptoms of his energy sapping virus. He made way for Dean Marney who put in one very good cross from the right and hit one shot very hard, but, unfortunately, a long way over the top. Robbie Keane almost stole it in the final minutes when Darren Purse hit a weak back header. Keane nipped in, but as he rounded the keeper, he took the ball too wide and hit the side netting with his shot.
If Spurs had of nicked it, it would have been a smash and grab raid. If luck does even itself out over the course of a season, we used up a lot of our reserves in this game.
Back in the Platinum suite and all the aggression and confrontation turned to reasoned and civilized debating over coffee and cake. So it is back to White Hart Lane on 12th Feb, back to the cheap seats and hopefully back to some sort of form.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - SIMON DAVIES
|YELLOW, YELLOW WE'RE BACK AGAIN|
|The yellow peril was not as
evident as was hoped at the Hawthorns, but Spurs lived dangerously
enough to make it an afternoon with spills and thrills, as you might
expect with the FA Cup.
A draw was perhaps the right result although Bryan Robson is still getting worked up about not having decisions go his way. After playing for Manchester United for so long and being England captain, he is now finding out what life is like for the rest of the world. but he had few reasons to be disappointed with the penalty they gave away. A neat piece of skill on the edge of the box saw Defoe take the ball down, turn Purse and then draw a foul as he looked set to shoot. Jermain would not pass up a shooting opportunity on the chance of getting a penalty, so you know he must have been brought down. There were not huge protests from the Baggy players and with Robson as manager, you can be sure that they will be drilled to moan at any given opportunity. Defoe stuck the penno away to give Spurs the draw.
Albion had gone ahead just moments after Earnshaw had struck the bar with a shot from 10 yards out. The second time, he nipped between Gardner and Robinson to get a foot onto a cross and guide it into the net. It was poor defending by Spurs, with neither player attacking the ball or communicating that well. I must admit, Anthony Gardner is starting to worry me. He is jittery on the ball and has problems making decisions like hump it out or play a dangerous pass. His nerves might have spread to Robinson and other sin the back four, as Kelly got a bit of a roasting early on from Greening and even Ledley looked out of sorts when caught out by Earnshaw sneaking in behind him in the first half and committing himself when Kanu was selling him an outrageous dummy in the second.
Spurs seemed to lack a little in midfield and Atouba had a quiet game, while Carrick flitted in and out. Davies had his first game back and while he probably never intended to finish the 90 minutes, he might have helped Spurs win it with a near post header that he failed to get on target at close range. He had s hooting opportunity in the first half too, but put it straight at Hoult, while he played Defoe in during the second half, but Jermain took the shot early without hitting the target.
Spurs had their moments of fortune, with greening hitting the post in the second period and Robinson making a couple of good saves, but Kanoute was a peripheral figure and Brown did some good work, without imposing himself on the WBA midfield. In the end two chances might have taken Spurs through to the Fifth round. Defoe's effort looked to be covered by Hoult, but it deflected off the head of a defender to wrong-foot the keeper and flew a foot wide of the goal and then Keano, on as a sub, intercepted Purse's back-pass, but took it too wide and hit the side netting.
A replay on Saturday 12th February sees Spurs take home advantage, but with our away from being better, have we had our best shot ??
Malcolm The Glazier
|INFLATED BANANA SKINS|
|……The magnum of
Champagne and the Man of the Match Award goes to: -
The travelling Spurs Fans.
You couldn’t really split the
Spurs’ players’ performance for this game - it was a six out of 10
for every single one of them. But you did have to admire the
enthusiastic, well organised and disciplined performance by our stack of
fans with exclusive use of one end of the ground. OK, it wasn’t
quite the glowing host of yellow that the message boards had hoped for
but we had yellow balloons, a big inflatable banana and even the Police
and Stewards in their luminous jackets blended in nicely.
In the first 10 minutes the
Baggies fans were simply overawed by our 9 out of 10 fan
performance. Just a shame this wasn’t the case for their team
who completely dominated the opening exchanges. Spurs struggled to
work out which was the real ball, the “chucked on” inflatable ball
and the yellow balloons as West Brom exploited hesitancy along the
flanks with Jonathan Greening a particular threat.
Spurs lined up with, what is now
clearly their cup team, Gardner in for Naybet and Kelly for Pamarot and
Simon Davies in midfield. This did not make things easier.
Davies had another nondescript game and still looks miles off his best
whilst Kelly seemed to treat the half way line like it was covered in
But this was, ultimately, an
evenly matched and exciting cup tie with the froth of shots against the
bar, post and missed open goals squirted on top of patches of
indifferent football. The game probably always had draw written
through the middle of it with West Brom coming into it right on the boil
and Spurs after the Palace game with the switch firmly turned off.
The opening goal was a mess. Earnshaw was given far too much space by Gardner and Robinson in front of goal on 16 minutes. And with virtually no threat until the 24th minute it looked like the wheels were coming off Spurs’ big yellow bus. From this point however Kanoute began to make genuine progress against the committed Albion defence and two skewed shots in good positions were a sign that the game wasn’t going to go Albion’s way.
On 31 came the so called
controversial penalty with Defoe going down under a challenge from
Darren Purse. I would have loved to have seen this incident up
close on a replay but with West Brom’s Minitron being not much bigger
than my Sanyo widescreen TV we had to endure the Albion chants of
“cheat” without the inner conviction of video evidence. If
you’ve seen it since you’ll know it was a genuine penalty and you
should write your letter of complaint about misguided and biased Albion
fans to: Mr. Bryan Robson, Manager, WBA, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands !
Jermain struck the penalty
cleanly for his 16th of the season and from thereon in had
the Albion crowd on his back with the simply ludicrous accusation that
he is a diver.
In the second half Spurs had 3
clear cut chances to make it 4-1 with Davies, Defoe and Keane all
missing great opportunities - and that doesn’t even include the one
West Brom struck the post again
through Greening on 61 and Kanu was through unchecked a minute later.
But as it became clear this was going to go to a replay the home side
became increasingly frustrated, eventually substituting both front line
strikers (Gooner) Kan’tdu and Earnshaw in the last 20 minutes.
On 74 Keane and Marney replaced
the struggling Davies and the always dangerous Defoe but as the last 10
minutes approached both teams were booking their seats on the coach for
two weeks time.
This was not a bad result in the
end, away from home in the cup. What concerned me however were
increasing signs of complacency, reduced work rate and the horrible
suspicion that maybe this great bunch of supporters deserve
better. Is Pleat back ? Or are the players going Dutch
? Have they been to Amsterdam inhaling performance reducing drugs
The last time I was at the
Hawthorns we had an indifferent team under Glenn Hoddle and won
easily. Has the team really improved since then ?? Discuss.
Spurs Player of the Match - Jermain Defoe
|Other scores this Fourth Round :|
|Blackburn Rovers||3||Colchester United||0||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||3||Coventry City||1||Saturday|
|Nottingham Forest||1||Peterborough United||0||Saturday|
|Oldham Athletic||0||Bolton Wanderers||1||Sunday|
|West Ham United||1||Sheffield United||1||Saturday|
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