Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 12th January 2002

With only three weeks passed since the previous meeting, there will not be too much difference between the sides.  However, it is a differing Ipswich Town side, as their victory at White Hart Lane set them off on a nine point Christmas and a win over Dagenham & Redbridge, in a tricky FA Cup tie.

With the return of Marcus Stewart in the place of Finidi George, who is in Africa on international duty, there is alike for like swap.  However, Stewart might lack in the unusual that George supplies, although he is a classy finisher and notched on his return to the team in last week's cup tie.

With Spurs without Sheringham for the whole match this time, it will be interesting to see if Rebrov is paired up front with Les.  If not, it is only a question of time before he departs, as we have no other striking option, unless Hoddle decides to play Iversen alongside Ferdinand.  Richards returns to add experience to the back line, while Sherwood will come in to replace the injured Freund, who is ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.  

The match in December turned on the Sheringham sending off, although Spurs played valiantly with ten men.  The problem that Spurs had was that too many players had an off day up until then and Ipswich worked hard to keep Spurs from playing their passing game.  Matt Holland was particularly effective in this respect, but they were restricted to few opportunities themselves.

Spurs had a poor Christmas and the week off when the FA Cup tie was postponed might have helped.  A tough match against Chelsea on Wednesday should not have a great effect on the team, but they must ensure that, like they did against Chelsea, they work to earn the right play their own game.  It should be a more workmanlike team anyway, without Sheringham, but they still have to create chances.  Compared to Wednesday, they also need to get someone on the end of them too.

Ipswich will be confident, but are just one place off the bottom of the table and need to pick up whatever points they can.  If Tottenham concentrate better than they did in the December 22nd match and pass the ball around to make Ipswich do a lot of running, they could manage a result like this ...

PREDICTION : -   Ipswich Town  1  Tottenham  2

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




Ipswich Town  2   Tottenham  1                              (Half time score: 1-0)
Saturday 12th January 2002
Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Cold, misty.
Crowd : -   25,077
Referee : -  Mr. M. Messias  (York) (replaced by Mr. R. Styles in the 71st minute)

Scorers : -  Ipswich Town  -   M. Bent 12, King (o.g.) 80
                  Tottenham   -  Poyet 58


Ipswich Town :  None

Spurs :   Poyet (foul) 82


Ipswich Town : Marshall; Venus, Hreidarsson, McGreal, Makin; Holland, Wright, Magilton (Peralta 64), Reuser (Clapham 46); Bent, Armstrong (Stewart 57)
Unused Subs : -  Sereni, Naylor

Spurs :  Sullivan; King, Perry, Richards; Taricco (Etherington 85), Anderton, Poyet, Sherwood, Ziege (Davies 46); Ferdinand (Iversen 30), Rebrov.
Unused Subs : -  Keller, Gardner


Ipswich Town :  Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks

Spurs :  White shirts, Navy shorts, white socks






Losing for the second time to Ipswich in a matter of weeks was like deja vu all over again.  Having had most of the game in terms of possession, losing our star striker and getting done twice at our own end, meant this was like some bad Groundhog Day experience.

There was a complete lack of learning from the first corner after 12 minutes that led to Bent heading in after gaining a couple of yards away from Ledley in the box.  Albeit 68 minutes later, but McGreal was unmarked by Spurs players (perhaps for fear of getting sent off if he went near them) and his header cannoned off King past Sullivan.

Spurs had their chances.  Mostly through Sergei Rebrov, who looks like a player desperately lacking confidence.  When he poked Iversen's cross wide from five yards out, it looked like it would have been easier for him to score.  Especially a player of his skill.  Other opportunities that came his way were spurned with weak shots mainly straight at Marshall.  With a keeper only playing his second League game for the home side and always dodgy, we should really have tested him with more efforts that made him work harder to keep out.  The closest we came was through Anderton's drive that went just wide, which was matched by Bent's curler at the other end.  The former Blackburn striker also forced Sullivan into a terrific one handed save to keep out a close range header.

Ipswich aren't the worst team in the Premiership, but we should have had had at least four points from our two games against them and that would have helped us keep in touch with the top six.  These dropped points are really going to cost us in the long run.  What is the worst thing about Ipswich Town is that bloody awful music that they run out to and it doesn't stop until the teams are just about to kick off.  "Singing the Blues" might be the title, but it is more like giving everyone the blues, the volume it is played at.

With Sheringham out, Hoddle showed his intentions in this match by starting with Rebrov up with Les, but more importantly than losing the game, the loss of Ferdinand and Ziege with injuries could determine the success of our season.  Les, for all his faults, was just starting to find some form and now Christian is out, one of the supply lines into the forwards has been removed.  Options are limited, with Carr still on his way back to full fitness, so Ben Thatcher might be recalled to replace Ziege.

Undoubtedly, Poyet was Tottenham's best player.  Apart from scoring the Spurs goal, when he was expertly put in by Rebrov's astute pass to drill home past Marshall at his near post, he was everywhere.  He popped up all over the field and in defence too, but his vision is amazing.  He sprayed the ball around and when he tried a shot from just inside the Ipswich half, the ball dropped just a foot over the bar with the keeper struggling.  He was also unlucky when his cross-cum-shot was headed in by Rebrov and was disallowed for offside against the Ukrainian.  Fortunately, Rebrov righted the matter within a minute to set Gus up for the goal.

Other good performances came from Sullivan, returning in place of Keller; Richards, getting his long legs in just in the nick of time and Perry, who stuck to his man like glue and looked more like the player who played for Wimbledon.  Also, an honorable mention for Tim Sherwood, who usually gets stick, but moved around well and passed to keep moving the ball between Spurs players.  While we will miss the "nutty" Freund, Sherwood might put a bit of crunch in the midfield.

As for the rest, they did well, but, as so often as happened in recent weeks, failure to make the superiority we had in the first half pay cost Spurs in the end.  One thing that showed up clearly, was that we need a goal-poacher, who can put away the half-chances in the box more often than not.  Such a player, whoever it is, could make a big difference to games like these.

Ritchie Watson

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