Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 9th December 2000

Bradford, under their new manager Jim Jeffries, are struggling for their Premiership life and although they have been in trouble since the season kicked off, Tottenham should not take the result for granted.  They have taken some impressive scalps at the Bradford and Bingley stadium, so Spurs will have to guard against complacency to ensure that they get the points they need on their travels.

Last seasons match should be a salutary reminder to the visitors that things don't always go the way you think they will, even if you have a large proportion of the attacking play.  Although Spurs had about 20 shots on the Bradford goal, only one went in and that was equalled by a late strike by Stuart McCall for the Bantams.  He is still there and while there have been some comings and goings, the Yorkshire side have tried to strengthen with quality to bolster their survival in the top flight.  The troubled Collymore and the temperamental Carbone have been introduced in attack alongside Ashley Ward and the existing forwards of Windass, Saunders and Beagrie.  Supplying them from midfield are Jamie Lawrence, who scored at the Lane last season, Petrescu and Billy McKinlay, who they have picked up on a free.  Lee Sharpe is still at the club although his appearances are limited these days.

In defence, Gunnar Halle should be back from injury and feature alongside Andy O'Brien and the ex-Sheffield Wednesday pair of Nolan and Atherton.  Behind them is the exceedingly capable Matt Clarke who has impressed with his shot stopping, although he can be a bit rash in coming for crosses in moments of misjudgment.

Stalwarts Wetherall and Hopkin (who usually has a good game against us) are both out injured and Blake and Rankin are both out on loan, but there is now depth in the squad too, so expect some changes to the side especially as Jeffries will be trying to stamp his mark on the team.  And that is the problem for Tottenham.  The Bradford players will want to impress both their new boss and their home fans, so will probably play with renewed vigour.  Spurs again have to match that and then go on from there.  It will not be a place for faint hearts, so each player will have to stand up and be counted.  It could be a new experience for the younger players if they are selected and it will be interesting to see how they meet that challenge.

Tottenham should have enough class on paper to ride the storm, but they have to finish the job too, with any chances created being stuck away as they took so well against Leicester City.

PREDICTION : -  Bradford City 1 Tottenham 3

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



Bradford City  3  Tottenham  3    -   Saturday 9th December 2000

Goalscorers –  Bradford City; Lawrence 9, Windass 69, Carbone 89
                          Tottenham; King 1, Campbell 21, Armstrong 54

Attendance – 17,225

Bradford City – Clarke, Myers (Sharpe 59), Molenaar, O’Brien, Atherton,  McCall, Lawrence (Petrescu 64), Carbone, Beagrie (Blake 82),  Windass, Collymore.
Subs not used – Walsh, Nolan 

Tottenham Hotspur – Sullivan, Carr, Campbell, Perry, Thelwell, Clemence, Freund, Sherwood (Vega 90), King, Ferdinand, Armstrong (Korsten 87).
Subs not used – Walker, Davies, Doherty


Ledley King scored the fastest goal ever in the Premier League after only 10 seconds of this match. A great way for Ledley to open his account, but it was not however enough to earn Spurs their first away win of the season. They contrived to throw away a 3-1 lead to end up with only a point and for the second season running they conceded a last minute equaliser at Valley Parade.

Bradford is a very depressing place, living in the shadow of Leeds. In the vicinity of the ground many of the shops and buildings are run down. Valley Parade stadium is undergoing refurbishment at present, as a new main stand is under construction, which has been completed in one corner and joins with the stand for home fans behind the goal.

Pending completion one side of the ground has open seating where fans are given those white plastic ponchos to wear in the rain; they needed them for this game. The visiting fans are housed in a very small two-tier stand behind the other goal with the bare minimum of facilities. This will end up being a very lop sided ground when the building work is complete and it is also difficult to imagine they will fill all the seats back in the Nationwide. To put things in perspective the crowd at Old Trafford was over four times the size of that at Bradford.

Steffen Freund came into the Spurs side for the suspended (hard man) Anderton.

A great start as from the kick off Ledley received the ball from a Bradford defender. He drove his shot hard and low, saw it take a deflection off a Bradford player and deceive Clarke in the home goal as it nestled in the far corner. The Spurs players were delighted and one detected they were equally delighted for Ledley. Holding the lead was more difficult as Spurs played as though they expected Bradford to equalise and equalise they did fairly quickly, as Lawrence seemed to get the final touch to deflect the ball home from a corner after only 9 minutes. The goal was given to Lawrence although it looked perilously close to a Ferdinand own goal.

The game then settled and Spurs started to gain control and again took the lead after 21 minutes when Sol Campbell took advantage of space at a corner and stooped to nod home. Tottenham then began to play as if they believed they would get that first away win. They led at half time and increased the lead shortly after the break. Some excellent work by Les Ferdinand saw him break free down the right, beat Molenaar to the ball and square a pass for Chris Armstrong to slot home. It looked at this stage as if Tottenham may get more, but Bradford, urged on by their new Manager Jim Jeffries, battled back. Peter Atherton was allowed to cross and Windass dived to head home. This really got the Bantams tails up and they pushed men forward to get an equaliser. After Windass had hit a post, another cross from the Bradford left from Sharpe was nodded back across goal by McCall and Carbone was unmarked and volleyed home from close in. Spurs’ defending during this period was appalling. Sherwood and Freund both seemed to run out of steam and failed to track back. George Graham then made a strange decision with scores level and a minute to go he sent on Vega for Sherwood. Tim was not playing well, but sending Vega on just gave Bradford hope. Fortunately, time ran out before Ramon could do any damage. Disappointment again for the travelling Spurs fans. Two points lost and we are slipping down the table again.

For Spurs, Ferdinand worked hard and Armstrong put in plenty of running. At the back Campbell looked after Collymore, but the rest of the defence had poor games. Thelwell was given the run around by Carbone, but kept bouncing back and is learning quickly. The midfield was generally poor apart from Ledley and allowed Bradford to push on too much.

Now for the North London derby.


Eric the Viking


The Big Draw


When Ledley King pulled the trigger on his tenth second shot on Saturday, little did he know that he might be fired into the record books for scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history.  However, the killjoy FA panel may yet deprive him of that honour by turning it into an own goal and Ledley will have to await his first goal in a Spurs shirt.  Not only did Ledley buy a ticket with his long range shot, but he also won the lottery.  Jeez, I wish I knew what numbers he had for the   Saturday night prize draw !!  However, even the dream start turned into the usual Tottenham away nightmare.  When the first goal went in, my immediate thought was "wait until the last minute" and unfortunately, like last season, that proved just as vital as the first.  The inability of the side to keep hold of a 3-1 lead and then succumb to a late surge from the home side casts grave doubts about the resilience within the team.

With Anderton out and Freund in, King played a bit further forward and was the pick of the midfield, with Sol shining at the back and Les doing well upfront, but the rest should look at their performances and aim to improve to get Spurs further up the table.  A win at Valley Parade would have taken Tottenham into sixth place - where GG wants to be ... and this with hardly any contribution from points gathered on their travels !!  With even half the points up for grabs the club could be sitting pretty in the top four, but then this isn't likely with the away from being demonstrated.

The Spurs goals were all reasonably taken - the third was the sort of goal you expect Tottenham to score away from home.  Breaking away Les set up Armo for a tap in.  The goals Bradford scored were scruffy and could probably been avoided reasonably easily.  The first came off Jamie Campbell's backside or Les' shoulder; the second a free header for Windass and the final equaliser found Carbone given the space to volley home like he was a man without anti-perspirant.  As for the one that hit the post, it was like the defenders had gone AWOL and let Windass attack the ball at the far post.  Lucky that he was unable to wrap his head around the ball any more than he did.

Bradford City were shocked by the early goal and although they got back into the match, Spurs could have strolled it, but they didn't.  Another example of neither being able to kill off a game nor being able to defend a lead.  It is this dual failing and the indecision when put under the most basic form of pressure (the long ball), that will prevent the club moving on and upwards.

Stan Chun


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