|With the injury
to goalkeeper Dean Kiely, Charlton have lost the man who got them three
points in the League match at the Valley. His outstanding performance
(although not unusual for a goalie when playing against Spurs) was the
main reason behind the Valiants taking the spoils, even though it was
Jonatan Johanssen who got the goal. Since then, Spurs have been a
different team. In personnel if nothing else. Ramon Vega who
stood statuesque in defence when the goal went in has departed to jump
through hoops in Scotland and Ledley King is now firmly established in
the Tottenham midfield.
As for Charlton, they have proved
themselves to be a handful in the top flight. Manchester United
drew at the Valley and Arsenal were beaten, but like many teams they are
unable to take their form on the road consistently. With a
tight defence, they have been hard to break down (apart from a 0-5
mauling by the Irons) and Rufus has done considerably better this time
around in the Premiership now that he is more mature. Alongside
him, Mark Fish has experience and Chris Powell, the Bulgarian Kishishev
and young Paul Konchesky of whom they have great hopes. Old timer
Carl Tiler is out of favour as is Greg Shields, but Derby assistant
boss' son Andy Todd has been played in the centre of defence this
In midfield, Mark Kinsella might
miss the match after having knee surgery in December and suffering a
groin strain in his comeback match this week. It is an area in
which Charlton are strong anyway. Gritty Steve Brown will dig in
in front of the back four, Klaus Jensen will intercept anything loose
and break forward alongside Spurs fan Scott Parker, who has really made
the difference after progressing from MacDonald's adverts in the early
1990's. Graham Stuart has taken the captain's armband in the
absence of Kinsella and has done well in leading the side, with Shaun
Newton, a tricky customer who can chip in with important goals (like the
one that got them through the replay against Dagenham and Redbridge),
coming back after injury, there is variation in the side there.
Johns Salako and Robinson work the lines to good effect and give the
South London side width and a supply line.
In the forward department,
Charlton are also well served by Bartlett, Pringle, Lisbie, Svensson,
Hunt, Mendonca and Johnasson. While the
last three are set to still be out injured, with Pringle only just
returning, there could be a pairing of Bartlett and Svensson to face
Tottenham. Spurs were rumoured to be interested in bringing the
South African Bartlett to England from his Swiss club FC Zurich on loan,
but Charlton stepped in and he has scored three goals in his short
career there. Svensson has been around for a while with Palace and
Portsmouth, but can pull defences away from his partner to create space
to good effect. He also has three goals for the season.
The threat in the absence of
Johansson, who is far and away their top goalscorer, will be the
midfield, especially from set pieces. Spurs must make sure they do
not give away free-kicks in the area just outside the box and in open
play should not lose their markers as Charlton break well and
fast. With Tottenham struggling to score and Charlton on a run
that includes a win over Leicester and a draw at Upton Park, the result
should be fairly close. However, Andy Booth's presence could upset
the middle of the Addicks defence and I go for ...
- Tottenham 2 Charlton Athletic 1
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
Athletic 0 Saturday 3rd February 2001
Weather : - Dry, cold.
Crowd : - 35,368
Referee : - David Elleray (Harrow)
Scorers : - None
Tottenham: Sullivan, Campbell, Perry, Freund, Anderton,
Leonhardsen, Clemence (Etherington 65), King (Sherwood 65), Rebrov,
Subs Not Used: Walker, Korsten, Young.
Charlton: Ilic, Rufus, Brown, Todd, Powell, Kishishev, Parker,
Jensen (Salako 82), Stuart, Svensson, Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Tiler, Newton, Lisbie, Caig.
Another goalless afternoon, so nothing
unusual there, but no excitement, that was something new for the home
crowd. The away form that has plagued the team this season has
come home and although the side are still not scoring nor conceding, the
bits in between are missing.
The goalmouth action restricted itself to
a Freund shot that was saved and one which went past the post, a
Leonhardsen break into the box (thanks to an astute pass from Rebrov)
which he couldn't wrap his foot around and a Booth effort that was
blocked by a lunging defender. Sullivan was forced to dive smartly
at his near post as Klaus Jensen curled a free-kick at goal when a cross
was expected and in the second half, he denied Bartlett in a one on one,
when the ball broke for him off Sol's shinpad. Tottenham's best
chance came when Sol freed Stephen Carr ... oh, no, it was Steffen
Freund breaking up the right wing. His low pull back into the box
found Rebrov, but his low effort was straight at Ilic. It was a poor
finish. Leo headed wide with Ilic needlessly and dramatically
diving across his goal in a bid to impart some thrill into the
match. Apart from that the keepers were left to collect easy
crosses and clear back-passes.
midfield the ball was given away charitably and mis-hit towards non-existant
forwards. Defenders were happy to clear the ball anywhere and
Spurs were committed to using the aerial power of Andy Booth by humping
long balls in his general direction. The loan player didn't do
badly considering he has only been at the club for four days. He
put in a lot of energy in the first half and consequently faded a bit in
the second, but won a few headers and looked willing, if not
particularly familiar with his team-mates or surroundings.
point nearer safety and still floating around in mid-table, so we should
be happy with that, but then there could be so much more.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - CHRIS PERRY
|When you have to start trying to
think of the worst London derby match you have ever seen, perhaps the
task is not so hard when you look at the entertainment on display in
front of you.
My first article was going to be
about the stylish way we went about demolishing Charlton, but there is
little to add to a performance that was as cold as last week's
leftovers. It was never going to be a classic, with both sides
having injury problems and Spurs attacking options limited to Rebrov,
who still hasn't gelled and Booth, who has been brought in to get things
moving up front, but looks like he could run through brick walls without
being particularly skilled in scoring goals. He tried, just like I
did to find something to commend this game to you, but that was the hard
part. Both sides battled and when Doherty passed the ball behind
Clemence in the first half to give Charlton a throw-in, nobody was
surprised. However, they were surprised to find that he had
deliberately kicked the ball out to allow a Charlton player to get
treatment. Well, that's what he said anyway !!
The confidence of the players
available to Tottenham this afternoon looked rock bottom. Anderton's
passing was off, nobody wanted to take responsibility for having a shot
(except Freund, but then he has very little to lose when he pulls back
the trigger) and the fact that four players stood over every free-kick
just limited Spurs' options from the dead-ball. The statistic that
this equalled the Premier League record held by Arsenal for consecutive
scoreless matches was no surprise to the Spurs fans who have had to
endure this run. Don't bet against it being extended when Spurs
visit Manchester City next week.
The crowd got very excited when
Spurs made a double substitution bringing on Etherington and Sherwood
for Clemence and King, but others were lucky to be overlooked. Not
sure why they got excited as little changed in the match - perhaps they
were on a win double for player substituted and time of
substitution. Etherington did make a difference, as he made more
attacking runs in 25 minutes than anyone else in the rest of the
match. Shame his most memorable contribution will be his booking
for chopping a Charlton player !!
Truth be told, Charlton were not
a lot better, with some good passing, but little end result on
target. It must have made the bookies very rich men when
taking first goalscorer bets, but not if any Spurs fans correctly went
for another 0-0.
Oh, and by the way, the only
other London derby we could remember being as uneventful was the 0-1
loss to Palace when Gross was waiting to take charge. Any other