Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 20th January 2001

Whatever happens in this match, I wouldn't predict a repeat of what happened last season at White Hart Lane when Southampton came to visit.  Not that anyone could have predicted that ... 0-1 and 1-2 down before ending up winning 7-2 !!  It's just not what you expect from a George Graham side is it ?

Especially as only three weeks ago, Spurs succumbed to the Saints at the Dell in a poor performance.  But that was away form home and now we are back on home turf, things could be different.  Spurs will have learned from that December game that Southampton will work hard to shut down the space available and even though there is a good home record behind them, they will have to match the Saints' industry to get anything out of the game.

James Beattie is the form striker in the side and he will be shooting on sight, so someone needs to stick tight to him and with Hassan Kachloul being available this time, his creativity will be a thorn in Tottenham's side unless they lock off that particular avenue of service.  Writing a couple of weeks before the game, it appears that all Southampton's injury worries should have cleared up before the match and barring any suffered in between time, there should be a full squad to pick from.  Dean Richards had a good game against us at the Dell, but if truth be told, there wasn't much to test him, except a string of high balls up to Rebrov.  Spurs will need to put more pressure on the Saints defence with better quality balls in.  Jones looked a little uncomfortable with the one good cross put in, so he may need to be worked a bit harder.  One player who won't be involved is Francis Benali, who has been sent out on a month's loan to Nottingham Forest and his place could be taken by new arrival Dan Petrescu who has come in from Bradford City on a free transfer and likes to get forward.

Many of the solid players at their club performed well in the previous meeting of the sides.  Dodd, Lundekvam, Draper and Bridge, while Parhars, Davies and Tahar played very well to give Spurs cause for thought this time out.  

With only a few weeks separating the matches, they will be familiar with what to expect and therefore, it will not be surprising for it to end ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham 1  Southampton 1

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



Tottenham  0  Southampton  0  -  Saturday 20th January 2001

Weather : -  Cold, dry.
Crowd : -  36,095
Referee : - Clive Wilkes (Gloucester)
Scorers : - None

Tottenham: Walker, Freund (Leonhardsen 77), Campbell, Perry, Anderton, Ferdinand (McEwen 21), Rebrov, Doherty, Young, Clemence, King.
Subs Not Used: Segers, Thatcher, Davies.

Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Lundekvam, Richards, Oakley, Draper, Davies, Beattie, Bridge, El Khalej, Kachloul (Pahars 83).
Subs Not Used: Moss, Marsden, Rosler, Soltvedt.
Booked: Richards.

In freezing cold conditions, I had half hoped that this match would have been called off.  While, in the old days, matches were played on ice rinks of pitches, causing all nature of slippage, this was not what was called for on this occasion.  It is forgotten that us supporters are not as hardy as those of yore.  We sit where once they stood.  We have hot drinks available, where they smuggled hip flasks in to warm their cockles.  We are molly-coddled and don't like sitting in the cold, whereas they had to be prised off the terraces with crow bars after a winter's game.

The match went ahead and then ended.  Not a lot happened in between really.  Ian Walker had a very good game in goal for the suspended Sullivan, making important saves from El-Khalej, Kachloul and Davies in the first half and engaged himself in keeping warm for most of the second half, when he hardly had a direct shot to deal with.  His shot stopping ability has been pretty sound over the years and he blocked El-Khalej's drive at the near post, denied Kachloul with a block at his feet and beat away Davies' attempted lob when Doherty's header back fell short.

Jones had little to do in the Southampton goal.  He fielded a straightforward header from Sol in the first few minutes and then watched as a quickly taken shot by Rebrov flew just wide of his post.  His next involvement came in the second half when he was left stranded by King's header which put Rebrov's cross onto the bar.  Clemence had probably the best chance in the first half, when he ran onto Rebrov's clever header and hit a shot that Jones managed to paw aside for a corner.  He perhaps should have finished better.

Short of these incidents, there was little to mention.  Lots of effort was put into the ball shuttling around in midfield, but Spurs could hardly have argued if the Saints had travelled back to the South Coast with the three points.  They passed the ball well and found space which was not filled by Spurs shirts.  Only their poor finishing let them down.  So, the unbeaten run goes on and so does the lack of scoring.  With a number of London derbies coming up, it will need Spurs to take the chances that present themselves if they are not going to create many more.


Pete Stachio


Out of Ammo


It seems that Spurs are currently having trouble getting the ball in the net.  This might have something to do with not having  a great number of shots on goal.  And not having a full complement of forwards available.  And not having much of a supply of decent ball from midfield. Where the players will come to resolve these issues, I don't know.  They don't lie in our reserves, that's for sure.

It is all very well that the manager moans (although he states that he isn't) of injuries and that the squad is not as deep as he would like, but he should be able to do something with the existing players available to him.  He appears to just choose a team and throw them out to fend for themselves with players out of position and seemingly not knowing what pattern they are playing.  Rebrov has still not been fully integrated into the side, while others are slotted in positions where GG thinks they will perform.  Also, you wonder what goes on during the week on the training pitch, as our set pieces were woeful.  Either corners failed to get over the first defender or free kicks were organised with three Spurs players around the ball.  Is that entirely necessary ??

With players suspended and injured it remained for Steffen Freund and Les Ferdinand to come out of the treatment room to feature for Spurs in what would have been a highly inexperienced side without them.  It was patently obvious that neither was fully fit and when Les limped off after 20 minutes with a recurrence of his hamstring problem, it followed his first serious sprint for a ball into the Southampton half.  Thankfully, the so far inept Korsten was not in the sixteen for the match, but McEwen got an unexpected 70 minutes.  He got a bit better as the game wore on, but his touch in front of goal proved not to be up to Premiership standard yet, when two chances of getting a shot in slipped away.

King was again a shining light among the dimness on display.  His skill gets him out of tight situations and he can pass the ball.  Sol didn't appear to be fully fit, but stuck at it and had a solid match, while Perry did reasonably well, making one block when he had played the So'ton forwards onside.  Clemence did OK, but he regularly seems to receive the ball on his right foot facing towards his own goal, when his left foot is supposed to give the side some balance.  He did get forward and forced Jones into a diving stop when set up by Rebrov.  Doherty did well, apart from his lapse that let in Davies, which Walker kept out.  Walker looked at home in goal and while a bit worrying from corners, he did well on his return to first team action. 

Freund didn't last the 90 minutes and Leo came on for him, but I can't remember him doing too much.  Luke Young was played up in midfield and played well, providing an outlet on the right.  However, the players appeared to think that he was Stephen Carr and expected him to take on the whole of that side of the Southampton defence on his own !!  He got a couple of corners and throw ins down by the flag, but he lacks Carr's pace to beat players down the flank.  He did keep hold of the ball though and showed composure that picked out a simple pass.  Anderton was having a wretched first half, running around without the ball or the touch to make anything happen, but in the second half, his industry was much more productive and he was tackling for all he was worth.  Unfortunately, he couldn't produce the ball that would open up the Saints defence, but the effort was there.

Sergei showed some nice touches, but the team still does not get him in the game enough.  Playing high balls up to him when marked by the 6 foot plus Dean Richards is a nonsense that you would have thought they could have worked out.  That was why he was substituted in the game at the Dell.  Playing the ball into his feet is the best option and the two best moments for Spurs both revolved around him.  It appears that he has been told to shoot on sight now, as his snap shot took Jones by surprise and missed the goal by just a few inches.  His skill made himself a little space for a cross in the second half and Ledley King got his head to it and it came back off the bar.  It was the closest Spurs got, but it wasn't close enough.

Something needs to change.  It won't be on the playing side until at least February, when ENIC take over and whenever the footballing authorities can get their acts together to sort out the EU transfer system.  Until then, George needs to get his best tactical management books out and get the side to play as a team.  It makes it easier for all of them.

The Funky Phantom

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