In A Nutshell


Birmingham City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1 Saturday 29th July 2000   (Friendly) 
Goalscorer - Iversen 31
Birmingham City - Bennett, Eaden, Burrows (Robinson), Holdsworth, Marcelo (Gill), Lazaridis, O'Connor, M. Johnson, Williams, Luntala (A. Johnson), Furlong, (Adebola)
Tottenham Hotspur - Walker, Carr. Thatcher, Campbell, Perry, Freund, Sherwood (Clemence 65), Anderton, Leonhardsen (Ferdinand 65), Iversen (Young 65), Rebrov
Spurs came to their first friendly of the new season in England at St Andrews fresh from a Scandinavian tour which had seen them score 14 goals in three games with nil conceded. A good start by anyone's standards and Birmingham City would be a tougher ordeal, but Tottenham ran out worthy winners by 1-0 .
St Andrews has been rebuilt on three sides and is becoming an impressive stadium.  The crowd was however sparse despite an entrance fee of 10 on the gate.
The first real attempt on goal came from a Darren Anderton free kick which was driven just over the bar. Shortly afterwards Leonhardsen felt he had a good shout for a penalty, but referee Paul Rejer waved away the claims.
After 31 minutes Spurs took the lead. Some excellent work by Rebrov saw him find Iversen on the edge of the area. Steffen immediately took control ghosted past a Blues defender and hit a superb shot with the outside of his right foot past Bennett in the Birmingham goal. Spurs continued to dominate the first half. A new free kick routine resulted in Sherwood squaring the ball to Carr who blasted over. Campbell also went close with a header from Anderton's corner.
After the break Birmingham showed more purpose but did not create a real opening. Rebrov had Spurs best effort when he hit a screamer with his left foot which Bennett just clawed away.
Spurs made three substitutions on 65 minutes introducing Young and Clemence in midfield and Ferdinand up front. It was good to see Les back.
New signings Thatcher and Rebrov both played the full 90 minutes although Sullivan stayed on the bench. Sergei Rebrov looks a class act. He is quick and nimble, has an awareness of what's going on around him, a strong shot and wins a surprising number of headers considering his height. Thatcher looked strong and determined and has a natural left foot which he puts to good use. Sol is still recovering from his Euro 2000 experience but overall the defence has a solid look about it. Iversen was bright and alert with his blonde hair bleached by the sun (?) (Ed : - Obviously not the English sun this summer).
Ginola also spent the afternoon on the bench despite the calls for him from the travelling fans. The Birmingham fans were also wondering whether he will be joining their deadly rivals, Villa. Maybe deadly Doug was lurking in the Stand waiting to pounce. I can't believe Ginola would move from London to Birmingham.
So another friendly win and no goals conceded from 360 minutes of play.  Already I am full of optimism.
Eric the Viking


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