|Glasgow Rangers 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0 (Half-time score : 2-0)|
|Friendly (Walter Tull Trophy)||Venue : Ibrox|
|Wednesday 28th July 2004||Kick Off : 19.45 p.m.|
|Crowd : 35,750||Referee : Mr. M. Mc|
|Weather : Warm, but rain late in the match|
|Teams : -|
Ricksen (Hutton )
Novo (Arveladze 66)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Cards : -|
|Match Report : -|
|A nearly full Ibrox saw a
slack Spurs defence leave Rangers chances to win the Walter Tull Trophy
as the rain lashed down at the end of the match.
While Keane and Defoe worked well up front to earn some corners that Johnnie Jackson swung into the Rangers goalmouth and Ricketts found space wide, but failed to make the most of his crossing opportunities, Tottenham knocked the ball around well without threatening the Glasgow side. A flying tip over from Robinson in the 20th minute from a corner when Prso got a powerful header in was the first meaningful chance of the evening.
Five minutes later the ball was in the Spurs net. Ricksen's long ball into the Spurs half saw Gardner and a falling Ledley King let it through for Nacho Novo to hit it past Robinson for the first goal of the match. It was a poor goal to concede and is getting a bit typical of the side pre-season.
Robbie Keane almost hit back straight away, when he got into a shooting position and only a strong challenge from Marvin Andrews stopped him doing so. It left Keano laying prostrate on the turf holding his right ankle and was stretchered off following Stephen Kelly's exit on Sunday. The booing of him during his time on the pitch and the cheering as he went off was sick ... but then all that should be expected from the Rangers fans. This injury brought Dean Marney on and saw Ricketts join Defoe up front, while Marney settled on the right side of midfield. After the game we heard that the problem was just a jarred knee, so not as bad as first thought. Thank goodness !!
Coming up to half time, Ricketts came into the game by setting up Jermain, who made himself a yard of space and curled a shot that Klos could only parry and grab at the second attempt. Then the game went to the Spurs end and Paul Robinson got a fine hand to keep out Lovenkrands' header before King knocked it out for a corner. Defoe went down in the box after a neat turn, but it was never going to be a penalty.
Then right on the half-time whistle, Carr lost the ball allowing Loverkrands made a break from the half-way line running 40 yards without a challenge and Prso, standing in the six yard box turned it into the net. It was another poor goal to concede and if this is the way that we are going to defend this season, then it will be a long hard slog again.
The start of the second half saw Gregory Vignal make an appearance on loan from Liverpool, but it was Spurs who had the first go on goal, when Rae brought down Defoe in a central position a couple of yards outside the box, but Jermain hit it straight at the wall. Rangers striker Novo then hit another shot but this time too high, as he continued to cause the Tottenham defence problems and later he drove in a fine shot from the back of the penalty area, getting to the second ball from a corner.
Marney hit Vignal late and slightly from behind, leaving him needing treatment and a weak decision gave Rangers a free-kick from what seemed like a fair tackle, making the game hard to get a flow going. Not that Tottenham were holding on to the ball that well. The passing was a bit sloppy and players seemed to lack the confidence to hold onto it. Vingal's nudge into Defoe's back gave Spurs a dead ball situation right in the middle of the goal in the "D" and a good chance. It was Mendes' pass that had put Defoe away, but it was his last action as he was replaced by Mabizela. The free-kick was another wasted effort, with Jackson hitting the wall and Marney scuffing his shot as it came back.
While Rangers ran at Spurs, Bunjy actually had a decent game. He was managing to nick the ball away from the home players as they tried to move forward and also got into some good positions to clear crosses into the box. Amid a flurry of rash tackles, Defoe got a yellow card for alleged use of the arm and Dean Marney got caught and left the field to be substituted by Mark Hughes. Then Davis went off with what appeared to be a slight groin problem and the Ginger Pele came on up front to partner Jermain, with Ricketts dropping back into midfield.
It is no wonder Juventus are interested in Chris Burke, as he got the ball in the middle of the Tottenham half, strode forward and hit a dinked attempt that just cleared Robinson and the bar. Spurs then had their best opportunity of the half, when Jackson got the ball into Rohan Ricketts, who struck his first shot against a player and then the second way over the top.
The game added little to the hope that the previous friendlies had shown. If there was any truth in this being the first choice XI for Santini, then perhaps it is time to start worrying !! The training has supposedly tough and perhaps that has left the team tired, but they must begin to train up for games as they will come thick and fast at the start at the season. Brown was not fit, Redknapp rested, Davies recovering from his op, Taz missing and Kanoute getting over a virus, so maybe this team did not match up to the hoped line-up on August 14th. With some of the players getting knocks, there might even be some more newcomers by the Liverpool match to flesh the squad out.
The high point was the Spurs contingent who were noisy for their numbers and although the Rangers fans had stuff to sing about, they were quiet for long periods before their goal. The "Premier League, you're Having a laugh" song is getting tiresome, but they didn't like it when our fans sang "Enger-land, Enger-land, Enger-land" at them. Strange, as I thought they wanted to be English and be in the PL ??
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - PAUL ROBINSON
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