Tottenham are doing playing against a giant of the modern game like SCBC,
I just don't know. While Tottenham strive for a European place
there is no such worry for the Saints fans (especially that huge porker
who was wobbling his belly at the Sunderland game recently).
With the unflappable Paul
Jones in goal, with the even safer Neil Moss, who came from high flying
Bournemouth, in reserve.
The defence has been a
major success for new manager, Gordon Strachan, who left the security of
his Coventry City post for the big job he had been craving. With
him he brought the outstanding Paul Williams, who is often to be found
out standing while forwards run past him. Major signing, Jason
Dodd (£50,000 from Bath City) is a pillar (I think that's what they
said) of the defence, while Francis Benali has seen it all ... mainly go
past him or red cards flashing in front of his face.
Some foreign stars have
made the pilgrimage to the New Dell to ply their trade. Tahar El
Khalej came from Morocco and Lundekvam from Norway . None would look out
of place playing in any of the top teams in the country (as long as that
country is American Samoa). The last, but not least, one likely to
feature is little Wayne Bridge from their youth system, who looks like
he can fill the boots of Benali and might actually make the move to an
even bigger club one day.
Big Jo Tessem has been
out of favour with the new boss and could be looking to move on, while
big Matt Le Tissier is probably in his last season at the New
Dell. The star who burned so brightly in the Saints side, might
have to say halo to a new club after not featuring for the majority of a
season and a half. Even record signing, Rory Delap (£4 m from
Derby Co.) has found it difficult to break into this team of superstars.
More likely to play is the highly experienced Chris Marsden, who has
worked his way through the Midlands clubs to reach the promised Land of
St. Mary's. Sometime Romanian international (as he prefers club to
country), Dan Petrescu could play if he has overcome his recent injury
worries, while the Saints will be hoping that Matt Oakley can be fit
too, as he really makes things tick in the midfield (his hobby is
restoring old clocks). But they are without the influential Mark
Draper, who is out until March and Kevin Gibbens 'til the New
Year. Newcomer Anders Svensson bosses the midfield with a swagger
and Paul Telfer, who might break into the Scottish squad for some
pre-World Cup friendlies works hard and has a great skill for timing his
shots so they just go over the bar. Tahar El Khalej came from
Morocco via Benfica, as the lure of the red and white stripes proved too
overwhelming to turn down.
Up front, the England
international Stuart Ripley will not be able to terrorise the Spurs back
line as he has done so many defences this season and Agustin Delgado,
who has been talked about as a possible Ecuadorian cap, is unlikely to
feature until the Third Round of the Cup. However, there are ample
reserves in this area, with young James Beattie, who nearly secured a
dream move to Crystal Palace last season and youngster Kevin Davies, who
set Chesterfield alight in his time there.
The names that feature
here are truly frightening. Marian Pahars, who might have a girl's
name, but knocks them in regularly for Latvia and new signing Brett
Ormerod, who has been a goal machine for Blackpool in the Third
Division. German hit-man Uwe Rosler has been on loan to West Bromwich
Albion and could be a sub if he is available, as a player of his
experience tries to force his way into the terrific squad at the New
It's quite frightening
having run through the quality and depth of the SCBC squad and it is not
hard to see why they are where they are in the league this
Christmas. A daunting task for Tottenham coming of the back of the
defeat against Ipswich Town. I can see no other result than ...
- Southampton 3 Tottenham 0
(no, not really ... it's going to
be Southampton 1 Tottenham 4)
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
(Half time score: 0-0)
|Wednesday 26th December
|Kick Off : Noon
|Weather : - Cold,
|Crowd : - 31,719
|Referee : -
Mr. P Jones (Loughborough)
Scorers : - Southampton
- Beattie 56
Tottenham - None
Tottenham : Gardner
(foul) 3, Richards (foul) 87, Taricco (dissent) 89
: Jones; Bridge, Wiliams, Lundekvam, Dodd; Telfer, Svensson,
Marsden, Delap; Beattie, Parhars (Ormerod 82)
Unused Subs : Moss, El Kahlaej, Petrescu, Le Tissier.
Spurs : Sullivan;
Gardner (Davies 76), King, Richards; Taricco, Anderton, Freund (Sherwood
71), Poyet (Rebrov 86), Ziege; Ferdinand, Sheringham
Unused Subs : Keller, Perry
With one defeat to
relegation strugglers, Ipswich Town, under our belts, Spurs travelled to
the New Dell and came home empty handed to another lowly club. In
what as possibly our worst away performance since Blackburn Rovers,
there were still enough chances to win the game.
like Saturday, Tottenham could have won this game after dominating
periods of it, but let the game go when conceding a soft goal. In
the first half especially, Tottenham played with a style that intimated
that they could have swept Southampton aside, as the home side looked so
out of sorts that Spurs created chances that were either blocked or off
target, almost at will. Gus had a shot deflected wide at one end,
while Delap headed over when unmarked at the other. Ziege, Teddy
and Ferdinand brought good saves out of Jones, while Les missed the sort
of opportunity that he has been slotting away recently. Anderton
lofted a shot over the bar and Sheringham was denied by a good tackle by
Bridge, while at the other end Sullivan had been virtually
untroubled. In fact, just before half-time, Gus had an effort
blocked on the line and Les blazed wide form 10 yards out, when he could
have taken us in at the break in the lead.
that was to change when the second half started. The half time
team talks must have been radically different, as Southampton came out
roaring at Spurs who were a bit taken aback. Sullivan had to
produce sharp saves from Svensson and Parhars, but in between all was
lost. A long high ball was pumped into the box by Williams from
around the half-way line. Sullivan, with the sun in his eyes, came
for the ball, but was beaten to it by Beattie, who nodded it over him
and into the goal.
second half was not entirely one way though. Les had a great early
chance, but put Freund's cross wide with his head and Teddy was free
inside the area, but his effort was stopped on the line by Dodd and
cleared. Anderton again tested Jones, who touched his shot over
the bar, while Sullivan had to be on his toes to prevent Delap extending
the home side's lead.
the first half, when Gorman and Strachan try to start the Battle of the
Little Big Men, it was the best entertainment of the day. That
says a lot.
|MEHSTG TOP MAN : - NEIL
|Losing to a big club is no
shame. Losing to SCBC therefore comes into this category and if
you look at it carefully, there are many parallels with the game against
Liverpool at Anfield. Having the best of the first half without
scoring, being hit with an outstanding goal and the home side holding
out for a narrow one-nil win.
In truth, Tottenham should have
wrapped the match up in that first half, but the chances that went
begging like a vitriolic comment held within Rupert Lowe's vacuous mind,
cost Spurs dearly. For SCBC, the only decent attacks by the home side
had were the
ones that Chris Marsden had on Christian Ziege. Referee Mr. Jones
is obviously no relation to the one who was booted out of the South
Coast club, as he allowed the Saints to sin regularly.
Obviously, Gordon Strachan had
blasted his side for having too good a Christmas dinner, so they
came out in the second half looking to recover from their cold turkey,
while Spurs played like ones. For once they looked the huge
sleeping giant that are and out of the blue they scored. Or
should that be out of the yellow, as a NASA sponsored cross from Paul
Williams dropped out of orbit and out of the sun for James Beattie to
head over Sullivan, who had still to unwrap the present of a goalie's
cap that lay in the back of his net, where the ball was on it's way
to. Although there were no extra buses put on for the match, Route
One had never been so popular.
Sir Les almost got Spurs back on
level terms, but missed. Teddy did the same and Dazza was jeered
for forcing their keeper to a save. How sad the Saints fans
are. And where were their 80 shirt lifters ?? A number of
the Arsenal squad were most upset they had a morning kick off and
couldn't be there to see them in action !!
Don't know if it was just me, but
did this remind anyone of the pre-season match at Reading in terms of
ground and crowd ?? A sell-out and all the atmosphere of a pub on
the moon. New ground, old story. Three points thrown away,
but then at least they went to a deserving cause ... and it is the
season for giving.