Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 3rd February 2001

With the injury to goalkeeper Dean Kiely, Charlton have lost the man who got them three points in the League match at the Valley. His outstanding performance (although not unusual for a goalie when playing against Spurs) was the main reason behind the Valiants taking the spoils, even though it was Jonatan Johanssen who got the goal.  Since then, Spurs have been a different team.  In personnel if nothing else.  Ramon Vega who stood statuesque in defence when the goal went in has departed to jump through hoops in Scotland and Ledley King is now firmly established in the Tottenham midfield.

As for Charlton, they have proved themselves to be a handful in the top flight.  Manchester United drew at the Valley and Arsenal were beaten, but like many teams they are unable to take their form on the road consistently.   With a tight defence, they have been hard to break down (apart from a 0-5 mauling by the Irons) and Rufus has done considerably better this time around in the Premiership now that he is more mature.  Alongside him, Mark Fish has experience and Chris Powell, the Bulgarian Kishishev and young Paul Konchesky of whom they have great hopes.  Old timer Carl Tiler is out of favour as is Greg Shields, but Derby assistant boss' son Andy Todd has been played in the centre of defence this season.

In midfield, Mark Kinsella might miss the match after having knee surgery in December and suffering a groin strain in his comeback match this week.  It is an area in which Charlton are strong anyway.  Gritty Steve Brown will dig in in front of the back four, Klaus Jensen will intercept anything loose and break forward alongside Spurs fan Scott Parker, who has really made the difference after progressing from MacDonald's adverts in the early 1990's.  Graham Stuart has taken the captain's armband in the absence of Kinsella and has done well in leading the side, with Shaun Newton, a tricky customer who can chip in with important goals (like the one that got them through the replay against Dagenham and Redbridge), coming back after injury, there is variation in the side there.  Johns Salako and Robinson work the lines to good effect and give the South London side width and a supply line.

In the forward department, Charlton are also well served by Bartlett, Pringle, Lisbie, Svensson, Hunt, Mendonca and Johnasson.  While the last three are set to still be out injured, with Pringle only just returning, there could be a pairing of Bartlett and Svensson to face Tottenham.  Spurs were rumoured to be interested in bringing the South African Bartlett to England from his Swiss club FC Zurich on loan, but Charlton stepped in and he has scored three goals in his short career there.  Svensson has been around for a while with Palace and Portsmouth, but can pull defences away from his partner to create space to good effect.  He also has three goals for the season.

The threat in the absence of Johansson, who is far and away their top goalscorer, will be the midfield, especially from set pieces.  Spurs must make sure they do not give away free-kicks in the area just outside the box and in open play should not lose their markers as Charlton break well and fast.  With Tottenham struggling to score and Charlton on a run that includes a win over Leicester and a draw at Upton Park, the result should be fairly close.  However, Andy Booth's presence could upset the middle of the Addicks defence and I go for ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham  2    Charlton Athletic 1

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



Tottenham  0  Charlton Athletic  0  Saturday 3rd February 2001

Weather : -  Dry, cold.
Crowd : -  35,368
Referee : - David Elleray (Harrow)
Scorers : - None

Tottenham: Sullivan, Campbell, Perry, Freund, Anderton, Leonhardsen, Clemence (Etherington 65), King (Sherwood 65), Rebrov, Doherty, Booth.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Korsten, Young.

Charlton: Ilic, Rufus, Brown, Todd, Powell, Kishishev, Parker, Jensen (Salako 82), Stuart, Svensson, Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Tiler, Newton, Lisbie, Caig.

Another goalless afternoon, so nothing unusual there, but no excitement, that was something new for the home crowd.  The away form that has plagued the team this season has come home and although the side are still not scoring nor conceding, the bits in between are missing.

The goalmouth action restricted itself to a Freund shot that was saved and one which went past the post, a Leonhardsen break into the box (thanks to an astute pass from Rebrov) which he couldn't wrap his foot around and a Booth effort that was blocked by a lunging defender.  Sullivan was forced to dive smartly at his near post as Klaus Jensen curled a free-kick at goal when a cross was expected and in the second half, he denied Bartlett in a one on one, when the ball broke for him off Sol's shinpad.  Tottenham's best chance came when Sol freed Stephen Carr ... oh, no, it was Steffen Freund breaking up the right wing.  His low pull back into the box found Rebrov, but his low effort was straight at Ilic. It was a poor finish.  Leo headed wide with Ilic needlessly and dramatically diving across his goal in a bid to impart some thrill into the match.  Apart from that the keepers were left to collect easy crosses and clear back-passes.

In midfield the ball was given away charitably and mis-hit towards non-existant forwards.  Defenders were happy to clear the ball anywhere and Spurs were committed to using the aerial power of Andy Booth by humping long balls in his general direction.  The loan player didn't do badly considering he has only been at the club for four days.  He put in a lot of energy in the first half and consequently faded a bit in the second, but won a few headers and looked willing, if not particularly familiar with his team-mates or surroundings.

Another point nearer safety and still floating around in mid-table, so we should be happy with that, but then there could be so much more.


Pete Stachio


Shot Shy


When you have to start trying to think of the worst London derby match you have ever seen, perhaps the task is not so hard when you look at the entertainment on display in front of you.

My first article was going to be about the stylish way we went about demolishing Charlton, but there is little to add to a performance that was as cold as last week's leftovers.  It was never going to be a classic, with both sides having injury problems and Spurs attacking options limited to Rebrov, who still hasn't gelled and Booth, who has been brought in to get things moving up front, but looks like he could run through brick walls without being particularly skilled in scoring goals.  He tried, just like I did to find something to commend this game to you, but that was the hard part.  Both sides battled and when Doherty passed the ball behind Clemence in the first half to give Charlton a throw-in, nobody was surprised.  However, they were surprised to find that he had deliberately kicked the ball out to allow a Charlton player to get treatment.  Well, that's what he said anyway !!

The confidence of the players available to Tottenham this afternoon looked rock bottom. Anderton's passing was off, nobody wanted to take responsibility for having a shot (except Freund, but then he has very little to lose when he pulls back the trigger) and the fact that four players stood over every free-kick just limited Spurs' options from the dead-ball.  The statistic that this equalled the Premier League record held by Arsenal for consecutive scoreless matches was no surprise to the Spurs fans who have had to endure this run.  Don't bet against it being extended when Spurs visit Manchester City next week.

The crowd got very excited when Spurs made a double substitution bringing on Etherington and Sherwood for Clemence and King, but others were lucky to be overlooked.  Not sure why they got excited as little changed in the match - perhaps they were on a win double for player substituted and time of substitution.  Etherington did make a difference, as he made more attacking runs in 25 minutes than anyone else in the rest of the match.  Shame his most memorable contribution will be his booking for chopping a Charlton player !!

Truth be told, Charlton were not a lot better, with some good passing, but little end result on target.  It must have made the  bookies very rich men when taking first goalscorer bets, but not if any Spurs fans correctly went for another 0-0.

Oh, and by the way, the only other London derby we could remember being as uneventful was the 0-1 loss to Palace when Gross was waiting to take charge.  Any other suggestions ??

Tony Brennan


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