Looking Forward


Charlton Athletic  (Away)

Premier League

Wednesday 16th March 2005

Following the exit from the FA Cup, Tottenham's only route to Europe is through a good finish in the league and so this game assumes even more importance.  With a poor run in London derbies behind us with a win over Fulham, it is time to push onwards to make ground by winning our game in hand to jump over Charlton.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester City, the Addicks have had a bit of a rest, but then Spurs will be keen to put things right which went against them on Sunday.  For that, martin Jol must pick the side up and organise them into a unit that will make Charlton's task of beating them a hard one.  Having faced them in his first game in charge at the Lane, we were 0-3 down before he brought Carrick on to prompt Spurs forward.

For this match, Spurs will have to attack much like they did against Newcastle, but with a tighter back line to keep Charlton from getting a foothold in the game.

With Dean Kiely looking to play on until he is 40, perhaps he will have a day off tomorrow, as he is usually man of the match against us and with the two keepers in our last two matches having won that award, maybe, for once, he will have a 'mare.

There are a number of familiar names among the Charlton defence.  Luke Young, Chris Perry and Paul Konhchesky are all known to us and they were players who were not retained at White Hart Lane.  Perhaps with our new players in place, they will be able to take advantage of our inside knowledge, whereas the Valley residents will not know too much about our new personnel.  There are no other new names in the Valiants defensive line-up.  Radostan Kishishev can play in midfield too, but his right wing play is limited and thus Andy Reid might find some joy against him.  With Davies back to his best, he might like to get at Hreidersson, although his long legs might get in the way.  The Icelander is dangerous at set-pieces, but also likes to attack up the line as well.  Jonathan Fortune is a big old boy who plays centre half and Mark Fish also adds choice there, but has been out of favour for some time.  More likely to feature in that part of the back four is Tahar El Karkouri, who has got the goalscoring bug with five this season, as well as some outstanding displays at the rear.  How he might cope with the nippiness of Defoe is questionable, but he might be able to shepherd Fredi out of harm's way. 

In midfield, the options are a little more limited, with only one new singing this season in the shape of someone who didn't want to join Spurs because of the new managerial set-up.  The fact that he will play most weeks probably suits Danny Murphy, who might have been worried by the competition for places at WHL.   The former Liverpool man has taken a little while to settle in, but appears to be a star man for the Addicks, adding some clinical passing and only one goal, but then you can bet he will score against us !!  Captain Matt Holland drives the team forward and has energy between both boxes.  He might not have quite reached the levels of performance that he has done previously, but is still a fierce opponent to face.  Danish wide man Dennis Rommedahl has bags of pace and he might be thrown in to trouble Thimothee Atouba after Dyer's success against him on Sunday, but maybe Jol will give Thim a rest and bring Edman in to add some strength out side.  Striker turned midfielder Jonatan Johansson is unlikely to feature, but Bryan Hughes, the old Birmingham midfielder, is more likely to find favour under Curbishley.  He can get wide and works hard, but if our midfield operates to their potential, he should be nullified.

The forwards at Charlton will pose different problems for Spurs.  Shaun Bartlett provides a physical presence, but is not in the top echelon of strikers, although his two goals against us show that you cannot give him a yard of space ... unless you are Fulham and then you can give him time and space in front of goal and he will step on the ball and fluff the chance !!  Jason Euell is similar player, but his desire to get away from the Valley has cast him out of the first team picture on a regular basis.  He has made only seven league starts and he is not the player he once was, with some rumours that his falling out with Curbishley came about his role in the side.  Ex-Gooner Francis Jeffers has not set the Valley alight since his move from Highbury, where he was a big money flop.  He is the player described by Wenger as a "fox in the box", but has failed to realise the potential he once had.  Another former Highbury graduate is Jerome Thomas, who is a strong lad with some trickery in his game.  He opened Spurs up in the game at home earlier this season, but the need for our players to close the Charlton forwards and wide men down quickly should restrict his freedom to play.  Speedy forward Kevin Lisbie is available again after suspension, but is more likely to start on the bench. 

Without a league win since January 15th and with three straight draws in their last three games, Charlton will be looking to get back into winning ways, but Tottenham will be looking to improve their away record of three losses on the trot.  I think that Spurs will edge it, but there will be goals at both ends, with the score ending up ...

PREDICTION : -   Charlton Athletic  2   Tottenham Hotspur  3

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



TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Pedro Mendes (broken toe); Dean Richards (Achilles); Michael Dawson (shin)


TV :
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Other countries live coverage click here.

Radio :  
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BBC Radio London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/sport/localradio/index.shtml



Charlton Athletic   2     Tottenham Hotspur   0      (Half-time score : 1-0)
Premier League Venue :   The Valley
Wednesday 16th March 2005 Kick Off :  20.00 p.m.
Crowd :   26,870 Referee :   Chris Foy (St. Helens)
Weather :  Rain before the game
Teams : - 
Charlton Athletic :


El Karkouri 

Thomas (Fish 76)
Rommedahl (Johansson 54)

Bartlett (Euell 72)

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


Pamarot (Kelly 87)
King (c)

Carrick (Davis 71)
Ziegler (Defoe 61)


Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Charlton Athletic Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Charlton Athletic

Thomas 4
Murphy 86

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  
Charlton Athletic

Thomas (foul) 60
Euell (kicking the ball away) 79


Tottenham Hotspur

Pamarot (foul) 55
Edman (foul) 60
Brown (foul) 62
Reid (foul) 70


Match Report : -  
Another early goal that consigned Spurs to defeat in the league this time, but there was late goal to bookend the game from none other than a man who turned Tottenham down. 

A former Gooner started it with Danny Murphy wrapping up the points in this London derby (so we should have known the result) at the Valley.    Three minutes in and Konchesky won the ball, drew it back to Thomas on the edge of the box and his shot arrowed in off the post up near the angle, leaving Robinson little opportunity to stop it.  It was a stunning shot and one that seemed to arise because nobody closed down the left sided midfielder.

But then Spurs might have been on level terms within three minutes, as Reid's cross from the right found Robbie Keane's head and it looked a certain goal, but the chance slipped past the post.  There were some moments of panic in the Tottenham defence and Edman, King and King all made important interceptions.  But when Kanoute failed to get on the end of Reid's cross, it looked like it was going to be another of those games.

Keano and Brown had shots from outside the box and Fredi was well set up by Ziegler's pass, but El Karkouri managed to stop the chance before Kanoute got his shot away.  In fact Fredi was put through one-on-one with Kiely thanks to Robbie's perceptive flick, but the Irish keeper stopped his shot and when it bounced out to Andy Reid, he should really have done better than hit the ball over the top.

In between, Murphy tried a lob over Robinson, but Ledley got a touch on it to take the ball away from the target.  Murphy was obviously trying to prove a point, as he picked out Rommedahl and only a well timed tackle from Edman stopped his progress.  An equally well timed tackle saw Pamarot upend Thomas and incur the wrath of the home crowd.  Not quite as much as Jermain Defoe, who slaughtered him for leaving the club for West ham when a youngster.

Robbie Keane had another chance straight after the interval, but his 20 yard drive failed to cause Kiely too many problems.  Spurs were on the end of a number of yellow cards with Pamarot being punished for his foul on Thomas, but it was more the crowd's reaction to the one before the break that earned him his caution.  Thomas picked up a yellow for a foul on Brown, then the roles were reversed for Brownie's yellow.

Anthony Gardner somehow missed an opportunity in the first half when the ball fell in front of him in the box and in the second half, he made the wrong decision to cross rather than get a shot in on goal on the hour.  The closest Spurs came to a goal was Andy Reid's free-kick which was knocked off the line by Bartlett's head.  The former Forest man was involved in the action and was booked for an unsubtle block on Thomas near the halfway lien as he broke away and then produced another free-kick out of his repertoire, but Kiely was well placed to grab it.

At the other end, Murphy's dead ball effort went in off the post via Robinson's hand to condemn Tottenham to defeat once more.

There was a 'goal' that Reid thought he had scored with a shot the equal of Thomas', but it was ruled out by the ref, without seeing too much wrong with it.  While Spurs had played well enough to earn a draw, they didn't get that because they failed to score - it's as simple as that.

So it is now three straight defeats, three games without a goal and three games when Spurs have enjoyed the biggest share of the possession, but have failed to ram home the advantage.

It is about time that was put right and about time that we stop fluffing our big chances to step up.  Beating SCBC was one, the FA Cup tie at Newcastle was another and this game the third.  All have gone.  We quickly need the return of the top mentality to start picking up points again.


Mike Flaherty 




It is one of the unwritten rules of football (and yes, I know they are laws) that Tottenham will inevitably fail in London derby matches ... whoever the opposition.  I was hoping for a good outcome of the game at Highbury this season, but have shelved any optimism as the depressing record of matches against our local rivals will be pulled out and used against us.

The failure to keep a clean sheet early on left Spurs chasing the game once more.  It is difficult for Tottenham at the moment to break down teams how pack the midfield and the five man Charlton engine room made it difficult for our four to cope with and they utilised the extra man to get wide, especially on the left hand side.  It was there that the early goal came from and Pamarot failed to close down Thomas quickly enough, allowing him to hit a shot that flew past Robinson and into the top corner, through King's legs.  It was a goal that looks great, but was one of them that was hit more with hope than precision.  Anyway, it left Tottenham chasing the game and they went on to dominate the majority of the remainder of the second half with Reid providing chances into the Charlton box.  Keane got on the end of the first one, but could not direct his header on target and then Kanoute made what looked like a cursory attempt to get a foot on another ball in from the Irishman, but it was without a great deal of conviction and only being a couple of yards out, any contact would have made Kiely work a bit at least.

King covered well to get across Murphy as he broke away and tried to clip the ball over Robinson into the far corner of the goal, but Ledley's touch on his effort took the ball wide.  For some of the time, the Spurs players seemed more intent on getting involved with the Charlton players, with Keane a particular culprit.  He wanted to maintain a feud with Luke Young, when he would have been better served by getting up into attack to bolster our presence in the area.  Brown also looked like he was getting riled by some of the opponents with Thomas being the main target and responder to the bristly confrontations they had.

It was to be another game where the chances came, but they were not converted.  With players like Kanoute, Keane and Defoe in the side, you would think that one of them would net the opportunities that came their way, but Fredi's shot at Kiely when through on goal showed a lack of confidence that has left Spurs goal-less for three matches.

The second half was another one where Spurs enjoyed the biggest share of possession, but the massed ranks of the red shirts got in the way and kept Tottenham out.  It was frustrating that Reid had Tottenham's two best efforts with a free-kick knocked away on the line by Bartlett's head and then another being plucked out of the air by Kiely, only for Spurs to go down to a late Murphy free-kick that left Robbo struggling and hit the post and the back of Paul's hand as it went in.  You could have guessed he would score !! (Ed: - See preview above !!).

Charlton were not two goals better than Spurs on the overall balance of the game, but they were two goals better than Spurs on the scoresheet.  They worked hard and Curbishley managed to change their formation to frustrate Spurs in their efforts to get back into the match.

Spurs seemed to ignore Reid as the main supply line in the second half and with Ziegler stuttering on the left, the main thrust became more and more central, an area where Charlton had packed players.  Tottenham lacked the guile to get around that and when Sean Davis appeared for his comeback appearance, he was left with little time and opportunity to open up the Addicks side.  His direct running at players and the ability to give a 1-2 and make ground, might make a difference in the attacking.

Martin Jol looked like he would have to make do with the players in the 16, with Mido not making it and Simon Davies being rested, but there should have been enough talent to trouble Kiely more than they did.

The Manchester City game is one that will not be easy.  An early goal is essential ... for Spurs that is !!

The Polyphant


Other scores this mid-week :
Chelsea 1 West Bromwich Albion 0 Tuesday
Liverpool 0 Blackburn Rovers 0 Wednesday


League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 29 23 5 1 54 9 74 +45
2 Manchester United 29 18 9 2 47 17 63 +30
3 Arsenal 29 18 7 4 67 32 61 +35
4 Everton 29 15 6 8 34 30 51 +4
5 Liverpool 29 13 5 11 41 30 44 +11
6 Bolton Wanderers 29 12 7 10 37 34 43 +4
7 Charlton Athletic 29 12 7 10 34 38 43 -4
8 Middlesbrough 29 11 9 9 43 39 42 +4
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 11 6 12 35 33 39 +2
10 Aston Villa 29 10 8 11 34 37 38 -3
11 Newcastle United 28 9 10 9 40 44 37 -4
12 Manchester City 29 9 9 11 34 32 36 +2
13 Birmingham City 29 8 8 13 31 37 32 -6
14 Blackburn Rovers 29 7 11 11 24 36 32 -12
15 Fulham 28 8 6 14 33 46 30 -13
16 Portsmouth 29 8 6 15 31 45 30 -14
17 Crystal Palace 29 6 8 15 32 45 26 -13
18 SCBC 29 4 12 13 30 44 24 -14
19 West Bromwich Albion 29 3 12 14 25 50 21 -25
20 Norwich City 29 3 11 15 29 58 20 -29

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