Looking Forward



FA Cup Sixth Round

Sunday 10th March 2002

There are two schools of thought on this game.

One is that we can beat the Pensioners again and the 5-1 will act as a psychological boost for our players.

Second is that the 5-1 will fire up Chelsea for this game, as it looks unlikely that they will win anything if they don't win the FA Cup (the same going for Spurs).

So, where does that leave Spurs ?  We know that the main threat will come from the boots of Hasselbaink and Zola.  Both are potential match-winners, with Forssell waiting on the bench to come on and get a late goal, which has become something of his speciality lately.  Gudjohnsen has also been getting in on the act, with a few goals in the last few games, with strength and skill to pose enough problems to the Tottenham defence.  His contribution to the semi-final second leg was not significant and you can bet that he will be better this time.

De Goey will be in goal replacing the injured Cudicini and although he is a very tall keeper who specialises in shot stopping, he is suspect on crosses, so Les' presence might make a difference.  Defensively, Chelsea are not great.  A penalty and  slack defending of Saha saw them let two in in midweek and we will have to hope that any opportunities that present themselves are stuck away this time.  I get the feeling that they might be at a premium on Sunday.  Melchiot looks good going forward, but is not the best defender, although quick, with Le Saux an irritating little jerk on the other flank or the quicker Babayaro as another option.  Gallas and Desailly are both big lads, but there is a glimpse of hesitation among their actions sometimes and Spurs will need to take advantage of any slip they might make.  Both like to play a bit too much football near their own goal and if Tottenham can close them down quickly, then they might give the ball up.

The midfield that conceded space and time to Tottenham will make sure that there is no repetition of that this time around.  Lampard and will be up for it.  Jocanovic is a slow runner, but can use the ball if given the chance, while Petit looked sluggish in the previous meeting of the two sides.  Perhaps he didn't like playing in the cold !!  Hopefully, he will be in similar form, but coming back into the side is Jesper Gronkjaer, who is a fast and skillful winger/midfielder.  He could give our defence a bit of a roasting if they push up too far and not many of them could match him for pace.  Dalla Bona works hard, but his passing in the semi lacked accuracy and he looked like a player who wanted out.

The forward line is a bit daunting on paper.  Hasselbaink always gives up problems and his partnership with the Icelander Gudjohnsen has been profitable for the manager, who has got the best from both players.

With Zenden still out from the tackle with Sheringham in the Worthington Cup tie and John Terry out with a toe injury, the only light on the horizon could be that Mario Stanic is missing, as he had a stinker in the White Hart Lane Cup game.  Spurs obviously have their own injury problems, but they should be able to put out a decent side.  It just depends on how they play on the day, but on recent form and not having played that well since Christmas, the outcome might not be the one we want and we can then start looking to next season ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham  1  Chelsea  2

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



Tottenham  0   Chelsea  4                                 (Half time score: 0-1)
Sunday 10th March 2002
Venue :  White Hart Lane
Kick Off : 4.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Windy, light rain.
Crowd : -   32,896
Referee : -   Mr. A. D'Urso (Billericay)

Scorers : -   Tottenham  -   None
                  Chelsea  -   Gallas 12, Gudjohnsen 49, 66, Le Saux 54


Tottenham :  Ferdinand (foul) 4, Richards (foul) 8, Ziege (foul) 15, Sheringham (unsporting behaviour) 55, Sherwood (foul) 58

Chelsea :  Le Saux (foul) 52, Desailly (unsporting behaviour) 55 , Le Saux (second yellow card - foul) 77, Lampard (foul) 90


Tottenham :  Sullivan; Gardner, King, Richards (Rebrov 62); Davies, Anderton (Taricco 75), Poyet, Sherwood, Ziege; Sheringham, Ferdinand
Unused Subs : -  Keller, Perry, Etherington 

Chelsea : Cudicini; Le Saux, Gallas, Desailly, Babayaro;  Lampard, Gronkjaer (Dalla Bona 80), ; Hasselbaink (Forssell 89), Gudjohnsen (Jakanovic 84)
Unused Subs : -  De Goey, Zola


Tottenham :  White shirts, navy blue shorts, navy blue socks

Chelsea  :  Blue shirts, blue shorts, white socks

For a referee to lose control of the game within the first five minutes takes some doing, but Mr. D'Urso made a point of being inconsistent the whole game.  His decisions left one either reaching for the expletive or dumbstruck by the sheer incredulity of his whistling.

Three bookings for Tottenham in the first quarter of an hour told a tale that the play didn't.  The ref seemed to book anything that had a white shirt on.  If he was supposed to set the tone with Ferdinand's early yellow card for pulling a defender down, then how Petit got away with raised hands on a Spurs player in the melee that he instigated after Richards had fouled Gronkjaer (although who could tell the way he plummeted to earth with such consummate ease), is a mystery to us all.  He misses Hasselbaink almost taking Rebrov's foot off with a studs up challenge, but spots a bit of handbags between Desailly and Sheringham, giving them both yellow cards.

None of this helped the Spurs way of playing, but most of all they didn't help themselves.  They started with Anderton, who looked unfit again (like Cardiff), Ferdinand (looking reasonably fit, but no better at finishing) and Gardner instead of Perry.  Davies came in for Taricco, which proved a more sensible change.

Chelsea started better than they had in the Worthington Cup game at the Lane.  However, the early cards for Spurs restricted three players in their efforts for the rest of the game.  Adequate opportunity was given to the ref to curtail the Chelsea players too, but he chose to ignore them.  The early goal also went the way of the visitors and a sloppy one it was too.  A corner swung in, Sully palmed it out, it hit Melchiot and bounced back across goal for Gallas to toe poke it in.

There was little Tottenham could do right, as Teddy, trying too hard to lead by example, gave the wrong impression, by turning the ball over to the other side on a regular basis.  We just couldn't hold the ball and when Hasselbaink linked with Gudjohnsen, the Dutchman ran on and looped the ball over the on-rushing keeper (who collided with Richards) and was lucky to see the ball bounce off the top of the bar and over.  Tottenham's only hope in the first half came when Poyet turned Babayaro in the box and his shot had the pace taken off it before it went into Cudicini's midriff.  Then with about five minutes left in the first half, Anderton's cross found Les unmarked and his header hit the post and bounced back out.  For Tottenham, that was as much a crucial point in the game as the one just after half-time, when Gudjohnsen was sent clear and scored past Sullivan, even though he looked obviously offside.  But he couldn't have been as the linesman didn't give it.  Not that he was up with play to be able to judge.

It killed the game.  Spurs threw themselves forward, but were haphazard and when Davies was pulled back by Babayaro, the advantage that was played did not help Tottenham, the ball ended up with Gardner, who's square ball saw Sherwood fall over the ball and Le Saux slotted it past the goalie for 0-3.  By this time the ref had forgotten that he should have gone back and booked Babayaro for the initial foul.  Richards was taken off and Rebrov introduced in a last throw of the dice.  And for that, Spurs got Snake Eyes.

Another pass out of defence and Gudjohnsen, in his own half, ran through to get the fourth.  Sullivan was left exposed.  Spurs did press forward, but there was nothing in the armoury to pierce the Chelsea defence.  They got a bit rattled and started to foul, which, when Hoddle brought Taricco on, was the sign for Le Saux to see red.  He couldn't resist the chance to get some retribution on Taz and hit him late and high.  He saw red again, but even with ten they comfortably held Tottenham.  Sheringham's late glancing header brought a good save from Cudicini, but it didn't matter.

Neither did the disallowed goal for a foul on the keeper or the turned down penalty appeals for a Gallas climb on Poyet that was given the other way.  In the end, Spurs were not good enough.

Too many players have played their best games this season and have nothing left to give.  The manager has lost the passing style that the team had but a few months ago.  Players are injured and not in the team or are in the team and shouldn't be.  What to do to put it right ?  Ask the board, who want success.  That takes money and it will have to be money well spent and not frittered away as it has been in the past.


Pete Stachio




So two consecutive games end in 0-4 defeats and two consecutive games involve a dodgy decision by the ref to make the score 0-2.  Not that I am saying that it affected the outcome of the game, but there is little that can be done when the odds are stacked against you.  It was no surprise when I got home to switch on Sky TV's football soap opera "Dream Team" to find the very same ref, Andy D'Urso, sending off a player in the tunnel.  Not many refs could claim to have dismissed two different players in two different games on the same day.  But then, D'Urso is no ordinary referee.

The turning point of the match was really Hoddle's substitution of Richards to bring on Rebrov.  It was tactically naive as, although Spurs had to try and save the game, it left the defence open to the counter attack ... and that was what happened.

With Teddy playing another stinker, yet still insistent on taking all the free-kicks (badly), Spurs lacked the link play that had been a notable part of the teams approach.  Anderton was not fit again and the crossing from all the players was woeful.  Les did get on the end of one cross from Shaggy, but it hit the post, when he should have hit and empty part of the goal from five yards out.

Chelsea are an objectionable bunch.  La Saux consistently mouthed off to the ref the whole game ... and this is when they were getting every decision going.  Jesper Gronkjaer hit the floor more readily than apples falling off a tree.  He should have his own laws of gravity.  In one incident, he managed to dive no less than three times.  Perhaps he has been room sharing with JFH ?  Desailly was annoying in his arrogant attitude.  If he is such a great player, why does he act like a sulky twelve year old.  Then there is Hasselbaink himself.  "In the box, go down" must be an old Dutch adage, as he likes a tumble more than a zealous circus performer.  Petit never misses a chance to push someone when there is an argument to be had.  He's more Pony Club than Pony-tail.

So it wasn't easy for the ref, but he didn't make it easy for himself.  Or Tottenham.

The yard (at least) that Gudjohnsen was offside for the second goal, was obvious to more than half the crowd, so how comes the people in the best position didn't see it ?   Also the elbows that Jokanovic perpetrated on Sherwood and the persistent late challenges that Lampard and Petit were getting away with in midfield.  It was as though there was a blue colour blindness going on.

The game had to be chased and Spurs were unable to do it.  They certainly didn't chase back when the Icelander went through for his second, but by then they were 0-3 down with La Saux scoring after Sherwood stepped on the ball and left him with a clear run on goal.  Luckily for Spurs, the little erudite one blotted his copybook by raging into Treacle and receiving his second yellow card for his troubles.  The sweetest thing was that it was right in front of the West Stand, where England manager Sven Goran Eriksson was seated.  Graeme ... wave goodbye to your World Cup hopes, even after what you had said in all the papers.  Mind you, Ted will be sitting at home watching the games from Japan in the comfort of his own sitting room too.  He has faded away quicker than a Leeds United title hope.  Anderton didn't do much to inspire aspirations for a place on the plane to Japan either.

Chelsea wanted the win more than Spurs and that was all there was too it.  They had willing allies in the officials, so it made it harder than it should have been, but having won once and won well, it was unlikely that that particular bolt of lightning would strike twice.

Another season when high hopes are dashed and as such, the team have failed on the big occasions.  There are things that need to be done between now and next May, but will they be the things that make a difference.  It's not just the assistant referees seeing what a player going the final yard means in terms of a borderline decision.  It is whether the board are willing to go that distance too.

Barry Levington

Where do we go from here? 

We are rubbish, Hoddle has got massive problems. Simon Davies is probably our best player, but at which position?  Get Iverson and Rebrov going up front and f**k Sheringham & Ferdinand off now. They aren't the future for us.

Off load Sherwood, Anderton, Ziege, Tarrico, Perry, Richards and then get the board to put some money up to buy the Quality we so dearly need. 

I believe that Freund still offers us some protection, as we give to many goals away. So what do we need ?????

Damian Butcher

Once again our complete lack of ambition as a club (continued from Sugar's days) have come back to haunt us.  Just as in '95 when the lack of vision allowed a promising team, of which Klinsmann was the inspiration, to disappear into oblivion. When, oh when will we learn?  I don't think anybody believed we would beat Chelsea again, but the manner of the defeat is embarrassing.
ENIC must put up or **** off.  To compete we must spend money. Since November, when a Champions League spot was still achievable, I have been saying we must buy a quality midfielder and goalscorer.  This is identical to our situation in 1995.  Spending money does not have to be reckless, but without key quality players we will continue this mediocrity.
The way Hoddle and ENIC have treated Rebrov is unjustifiable.  In my opinion they are playing 'silly buggers' and holding on to him until after the World Cup, so he can be used as a bargaining tool.  Well lads, this was always too clever by half; we do not have the luxury of time and once again our management team have proven themselves to be naive.
Where to now?  Slagging off individual players is a waste of effort but I have to say that I am now wondering if we will ever return to our 'glory days'.  The damage is tangible.

Martin, Sydney Spurs

I'm also absolutely gutted after yesterday.

To be honest, if some of the senior players could not get out of bed and perform in a Worthington Cup Final or an FA Cup Quarter Final then you wonder just what does the future hold.

Maybe we all had rose tinted specs for most of the season.  It looked good but were we kidding ourselves?  Looking at the team at Cardiff, at Man U last week and against Chelsea on Sunday leaves me with major doubts.  Is there really light at the end of the tunnel?  Senior (for that read old) players no longer at their best, young players with much to learn, serious gaps in quality and no Europe so no new players of any quality to come in during the summer.  I hate being pessimistic but will it ever get any better?  It just seems every year is another wasted season, looking for scraps of comfort while the mob down the road just keep on going.  During
the inevitable slagging I got today, one Gooner reckoned not one Spurs player would get in the Arsenal team.  I didn't admit as much but at the moment he's probably right isn't he? And how I hate it!

What is wrong with Sullivan?  Through his legs and weak hands at Cardiff, flapping at the corner on Sunday - he's a real Dracula (afraid of crosses) if ever I saw one.    Point for discussion - we've seen Ferdinand with two one on ones recently, both missed.  We've seen Sullivan facing a couple of one on ones, both no effort at all for the opposing striker.   Says it all? 

At least Les seemed to be trying on Sunday.  Another appalling miss - why try that corner and why telegraph it so much the keeper knew where to go? Still, as I say, a few marks out of ten for at least making some effort. 

Sheringham doesn't deserve to go to Japan on that or recent showings.  What has happened to him? Goals have dried up, lazy passes, caught in possession, and so on.  Can't believe his sudden loss of form .  It looked as if he wasn't even bothered but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.  The inevitable mocking chants have started - heard one on Gooner Gold (aka Capital Radio) this morning.

Turning to defence, maybe we've relied on the youngsters at the back too much.   Most teams rest young players and nurse them along.  We've relied on Ledley all season and now he's crumbling.  The Cardiff goal was criminal and he seems a shadow of his former self.  I actually liked Gardener as much or more, but he was another absentee on Sunday, while Richards has looked anything but an 8 million  player.  Hopefully Doherty will be back soon to fill the gap.  Perry has tried but needs to improve his distribution.   And what has happened to Bunjevcevic??  Not in the team, not on the bench, not mentioned in the injury list on the web site?  Is he AWOL like the rest of the defence?  Is there a problem?  Another Korsten in the making? Another injury we cannot solve?

Will Carr ever be fit?  Another triumph for the medical team!  Oh how we need his commitment.   It would allow Taricco to go back to the left side where he belongs.  He's tried hard on the right, even though he's out of position and is one person I at least blame less than the rest for our predicament.  Thatcher on the other hand is never Premiership class.  Ziege too just wasted every crossing opportunity on Sunday and was one of the senior players who I would have expected much more of.

And midfield.  Sherwood should be taken out and shot for that third goal.  Hoddle should have taken him off immediately. It was criminal.  What was he thinking of?  I don't know about giving his win bonuses to charity - it hasn't cost him much has it?  I think he should be ashamed to take any wages at all for that diabolical shambles.   Come back Freund - you were player of the season until that injury.

Anderton's was another can't be bothered to get up display, just like Cardiff.  Time to give up here I wonder?  If he can't do it on those stages he'll never do it for the club.  Japan?  Disneyland Tokyo maybe but not the World Cup!

Poyet tried I suppose but another anonymous display - maybe the season is just too long for a player his age.  We're going to be stuck with some golden oldies who'll be worse next year but we won't have the money to replace them even if decent players would come, which they won't.

Finally, Rebrov!!  When is Glen going to give up.  Let's take anything we're offered.  I heard the Gooners were interested!!  What a laugh if they'd give us what we paid for him!  He looks worth about 10,999,999.98 less though.

Steve Gediking

Back to homepage