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 Ferdinand (4') (1-1) Weir (7')
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Match Reports
 


 
Spurs v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Spurs 31
 Everton 14
 Draws 19
 Premiership
 Spurs 6
 Everton 0
 Draws 3
 Last Season:
 Spurs 3-2 Everton

 
Jesper Blomqvist was a depressing absentee, having injured his ankle in training on Thursday.  And to make things worse, it took Les Ferdinand just four minutes to score his customary goal against Everton.  

A free-kick by Gascoigne came back out, off Taricco, but David Weir smashed in a fantastic right-foot volley to equalise on 7 minutes.

A minute later, and Ferdinand should have scored again!  And that's how the first half continued as Spurs proceeded to slice worryingly into the Everton defence.  But Everton held firm and started to take the spark out of a faster, livelier Spurs side.

A good spell saw Ferguson produce a towering header on-target at 35 mins which Sullivan saved well.  Stubbs headed fractionally wide from the ensuing corner.

The game flowed well with both sides attacking in some degree of urgency and the pace continued into the second half, with Everton defending resolutely against wave after wave of Spurs attacks.  Alexandersson eventually went off after hurting his heavily strapped finger, to be replaced by someone called Peter Clarke (Walter Smith must have finally found the reserves teamsheet!).

Spurs continued to press with a barrage of corners — more than a few of which should have been goal-kicks.  Simonsen made a second brilliant save from a header by Davies as the tension built into the last few minutes of the game, with both sides still showing just the one early goal each.  

The game was perhaps crying out for Chadwick to come on and score but it was Joe-Max Moore who subbed a very popular but largely ineffective Paul Gascoigne, and played very well for the last few minutes. 

The massed Everton fans were in uproar as Gemmill was clearly fouled in the area, but the referee — consistent in his bad decisions all day — waved play on.  More errors ensued for the ref as Everton defended desperately, with Rebrov coming on late for Spurs as they threw everything but the kitchen sink at a beleaguered Everton.

A flying header by Iversen on 90 mins hit the crossbar, and Everton survived miraculously!  A very, very well-earned point!!!



M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 23
3:00pm  Saturday 19 January 2002
White Hart Lane, London
Referee: Clive Wilkes (Gloucester)
Att: 36,056
Position: 13th
Line-ups Subs not used
Tottenham Hotspur: Sullivan, Perry, Gardner, Richards, Davies, Anderton, Sherwood, Leonhardsen (74' Etherington), Taricco (87' Rebrov), Ferdinand (46' Iversen), Sheringham.  Kelly, King. 
Everton: Simonsen; Naysmith, Unsworth, Stubbs, Weir, Hibbert; Alexandersson (61' Clarke), Gemmill, Gascoigne (82' Moore); Campbell, Ferguson.  Gerrard, Tal, Chadwick. 
Unavailable:  Blomqvist, Cadamarteri, Gravesen, Pembridge, Pistone, Radzinski, Watson (injured); Xavier (virus!); Nyarko (on loan). 
Playing Strips Formations
Tottenham Hotspur: White shirts; dark blue shorts; dark blue socks 4-4-2
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; white socks. 5-3-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Tottenham Hotspur:
Everton: Weir (28'), Ferguson (55') 
 
Premiership Scores
Saturday
Derby  1-3 Ipswich
Leicester  0-0 Newcastle
Liverpool  1-1 Southampton
Man Utd 2-1 Blackburn
Middlesbro 1-0 Bolton
Sunderland  1-1 Fulham
Tottenham  1-1 Everton
Sunday
Chelsea 5-1 West Ham
Leeds 1-1 Arsenal
Monday
Charlton 1-2 Aston Villa
Tuesday
Man Utd 0-1 Liverpool
Wednesday
Leicester 1-3 Arsenal
 


Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 45
2 Arsenal 44
3 Newcastle 43
4 Liverpool 43
5 Leeds 42
6 Chelsea 37
7 Aston Villa 35
8 Tottenham 32
9 Fulham 31
10 Charlton 29
11 Sunderland 28
12 West Ham 28
13 Everton 27
14 Southampton 26
15 Blackburn 25
16 Bolton 25
17 Ipswich 24
18 Middlesbrough 23
19 Derby 19
20 Leicester 17
 After 23 January 2002
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Paul Preston Conjunctural and Reglamentary
Squire of Beckeneham Good in the air?
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

White Hart Lane.  Not exactly our happiest of hunting grounds.

Last years 3-2 defeat after we had led 2-0 still stings but the fickleness of the Spurs fans also sticks in the memory.

If you look at Spurs and the Messiah that is Glenn Hoddle, you may begin to appreciate just how harshly the press and Evertonians have treated Smith over the last few months.  A comparison of the last 6 premiership games of the respective teams sees that Spurs have won once in their last 6 games picking up just 5 points, whilst we have won 1 picking up 3 points - all this time whilst the minority have bayed for Smith's blood and the Spurs fans have heaped praise on Hoddle.

In the summer, Spurs recruited Poyet, Sheringham and Buncejevic and shortly into the season wrestled Richards from Southampton for Ł8m.  They lost Campbell

Everton bought Radzinki.  We lost Ball, Jeffers and Myhre.

The press, up to a few weeks ago, was lauding Hoddle and the new Spurs - how many "New" Spurs teams do we see a decade?  At the same time, Smith was being castigated.  As Hoddle fails to get anything out of Rebrov, an Ł11M signing (admittedly not by him), Smith watches as Campbell, Ferguson and Radzinski double up in the treatment room.

If any club benefits from a London aura and great relationship with the Southern-biased press it is Spurs.  What they hell have they won?  Oh yeah, a few Cups in the last 20 years - even when we were fighting relegation we nipped off to Wembley to beat United!  In the last 10 years, the highest they have finished is 7th, usually coming in around 10th-12th and they have failed to get past the semi-finals of the FA Cup.  Despite all this they still get massive media coverage and are "tipped" for great things !

Enough ranting.

What we will expect on Saturday ?

Spurs do actually have a few people out.  Ziege will definitely be missing - which I am delighted about, that bloke is class and Liverpool really buggered up in letting him get away - Freund is also out and there are mixed stories about Ferdinand - I am sure every Evertonian joins me in wishing him all the best... for Sunday - please give us a break, Les!

We sound like there will be a few people coming back.  Watson seems sure to be back and Dunc has shaken off the flu; Xavier we aren't sure about but it sounds like we're not trying to keep him anyway now so he probably wouldn't be first choice.

Smith probably won't consider it but if Watson isn't fully fit then why drop Hibbert?  The lad has managed 2 full 90 mins (West Ham away last season and last week) and the defence has not conceded a goal in either.  He seemed to carry the brunt of the blame for Blackburn's goal earlier in the season but Watson has hardly been error free.  I said last week that I wanted to see Hibbert given a chance and now I would love to see him given an extended run in the 1st team.

Watson doesn't really deserve to lose his place but players should be shown that if they come in and perform then they will keep their places - perhaps others then won't be quite so keen to take a week off when they get a "knock" if they know there is no guaranteed 1st team place awaiting them.

Gerrard, Gravesen, Watson, Pembridge and Xavier on the bench would certainly ensure that those on the pitch kept on their toes and resisted a small "twinge".

The only reason why Hibbert maybe shouldn't keep his place is the ability of the man he'll be competing with: Gus Poyet.  This player oozes class.  He seemed to have gone off the boil at Chelsea last year but 7 goals and 4 assists so far this year has reaffirmed his ability and his contribution to Spurs is immense.  His interaction with Sheringham (back from suspension for this game) and Anderton is genuinely a joy to watch and our midfield will have to work exceptionally hard to keep chasing and denying these three extremely talented players time and space to weave their patterns.

Upfront Spurs have not always made the most of their approach play.  Ferdinand has scored 7 in the league so far and if he does overcome the aforementioned injury then he will have to be closely marshalled.  Rebrov and Iversen have simply not looked the part so far (1 goal between them this season) and if Ferdinand does miss out then our defence could be capable of looking after them.

At the back, Spurs can look vulnerable.  Another two goals conceded against Ipswich from set pieces on Saturday suggests that we could get at them.  Richards is a good player - could we really have signed him for a free when we choose Gough instead - but not the International class player Hoddle tries to claim.  At fullback/wingback Spurs really miss Steve Carr and the loss of Ziege further weakens them.  Davies replaced him and Taricco - he of THAT TACKLE (on Gravesen) - is on the other flank.

It's down the flanks that I think we can get something.  Nick seems to enjoy having Blomqvist on the other side.  Despite Thatcher playing his first full game for Spurs reserves on Monday, Saturday may still come a bit soon for him and Nick should have enough about him to keep Davies, who is really a midfielder, penned back and still assist Watson/Hibbert in watching Poyet.

Blomqvist could terrorise Taricco and if he does then we can look forward to seeing who can them do something with the supply line.

The Forwards!

Well, Campbell is back and answering the call again but completely unfit; Dunc should be available but again has missed 5 days training of the last 10 because of the "flu".  That said, even if they are only both half fit (and Campbell not even that) then I can see us scoring.  Gazza is playing as well as he has for us and his and Jesper's supply from set pieces with Campbell, Dunc, Weir and Stubbsy forward (and possibly Unsworth) we could easily garner some reward.  Nick Chadwick may once again get another 5 minutes but the game should be up by then.

If Poyet plays then I am a touch concerned; however Spurs are in the middle of a serious run of matches with Chelsea last midweek, Coventry this evening (Wednesday) and Chelsea again next midweek.  They are a relatively old team (kettle pot black I think!) and that run of games could take its toll.  If we can stick with them through the first 30mins of the 1st half and 15mins of the 2nd then we can get something from this game.

I reckon we could pinch it 1-0 but more realistically 1-1 would be acceptable from (another) one of our bogey grounds.

But if Zamora signs in time .....

A win could take us to the fringe of the top 10 with Orient to come at home in the 4th round of the Cup.  Top half and 5th round of the cup come February?  Would you have believed it two weeks ago - strange season isn't it ....

BlueForEver

 



Conjunctural and Reglamentary

by Paul Preston

The news of Blomqvist's injury and consequent absence was a big blow.  He has been increasingly influential of late. Moreover, as I and my 12 year-old son approached the ground in the company of a couple of Spurs supporters, it was obvious that the team line-up announced on the radio seemed stronger to them than we knew it would be.  In other words, they were worried about Ferguson and Campbell as a formidable combination while we knew that they would not be all that threatening for both long- and short-term (or, as we say in my profession, for both structural and conjunctural) reasons — always static and now unfit.

We had barely got seated when the expected happened. Quick move down their right, cross over and Ferdinand heads in his reglamentary goal against Everton.  Three minutes into the game and it looked like we were in for a hammering.  

Spurs play good football, make excellent use of their wings and also have some seriously niggly, sly old lags (Sheringham, Sherwood, Taricco and Perry to name but a few).  Moreover, to assist them in getting the most out of this group of shirt-pulling cheats, they had the determined and shameless support of a referee who combined ineptitude with open favour for the home side. 

Spurs are thus no push-overs despite their recent poor form.  However, we replied quickly.  On five minutes, a deflected cross from Gascoigne came over and Weir swung at it, connected sweetly and nearly burst the back of the net.  It was a wonderful goal which also, coincidentally, made Weir our joint top scorer with four goals (the reason why a potentially top-ten team languishes where it does).

It looked as if we might be in for a high-scoring game but, in the event, it was not to be.  The match fell into a pattern that was set for the next 85 minutes.  They bombarded us for about 70% of the time and, when not pressed into our own penalty area, we attacked back.  

The imbalance was largely the result of the fact that every ball going out of play at our end, irrespective of how it got there, was deemed to be a corner by the referee... while every ball going out of play at their end, irrespective of how it got there, was deemed to be a goal-kick.  It was also a reflection of our weak midfield.  Our defending was deep, dogged and courageous.

Simonsen was not flawless but he is good for morale.  He seems to have a good rapport with the rest of the back four and does not berate them for his or their mistakes.  He commanded the area well and made at least two crucial saves.  We had lined up - or so it seemed to me - in a 3-5-2 formation: Unsworth, Stubbs and Weir as back three; Hibbert and Naysmith as wing backs; Gascoigne, Gemmill and Alexanderssen in midfield proper; and then Campbell and Ferguson up front. 

The back three were strong throughout, with all three making crucial and brave interceptions.  Hibbert showed flashes of inexperience when up against the cynical Taricco which may go some way towards explaining Walter's reluctance to throw him in at the deep end.  On the other hand, there were moments when he was reminiscent of Michael Ball, with some athletic chasing back culminating in crisp and decisive tackles.  Naysmith was all that and more — his usual efficient and energetic self, storming up and down the left to good effect.

Gascoigne had some lovely touches although he was being wound up by their midfield.  Several bits of argie-bargie saw him unfairly penalised with free kicks for Anderton just outside the right of our penalty area (which is what they had been looking for in the first place).  

Gemmill was less effective than he can be although he worked hard.  For me, Alexandersson was the pick of the midfield until taken off (I presume for injury).  He showed why Walter presumably rates him.  His movement was good and he got over some good crosses and he harried back tirelessly in support of Hibbert.

As mentioned earlier, my expectations of Ferguson and Campbell were not high given the lack of match fitness of both.  In the event, I thought they both did quite well and Campbell, under the circumstances, remarkably so.  His ability to control the ball and lay it off while being sexually molested by three defenders was quite remarkable.  He lacked pace for obvious reasons, but I didn't think that he was being lazy.  He didn't run after lost causes but he didn't stint energy.  Ferguson was brave as usual and got a number of crucial headers, in both attack and defence.  The understanding between him and Campbell is still lacking but today I thought it was as good as I have seen.

And finally, the nice surprise of the day was the introduction after 59 minutes of Peter Clarke.  What a prospect!  When Alexandersson went off, Walter reshuffled the side to 4-4-2, with Weir moving to right back, Unsworth to left back and Clarke aligning with Stubbs in the middle, thereby allowing Hibbert to move onto the right of midfield.  This made tactical sense (to me, at least) given the way we were under pressure. 

Clarke is very athletic, seriously pacey for a central defender and has tremendous smarts.  He was caught out on one occasion when a good tackle in our penalty area saw one of their forwards go down theatrically.  Fortunately, no penalty nor a yellow card for diving for the prima donna in question (I couldn't see who it was).  Otherwise, he showed acute positional sense and was decisive in either doing a Row Z or bringing the ball out himself.  If he can be coaxed along, we will do without Xavier.

So, overall, a good battling performance with a makeshift side.  We could have had at least two penalties from a more sympathetic referee — Ferguson being barged over on one occasion and Campbell being blatantly pulled back at least twice.  The referee was appalling, on incident after incident, the only excuse for his failure to whistle for many a Spurs foul was, in the bon mot of Mike Burke sitting next to me, that his view was blocked by five yards of air.



"He's good in the air... 
Aye, an' so was Douglas Bader..."

by the Squire of Beckenham

“He is the best player!…  Why, I could act as well as he myself.  I am sure, if I had seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done just as he did…”  (Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, 1749).

Tottenham.  A club who, traditionally, have harboured aspirations that far outstrip their potential; ambitions and expectations that are usually banished in very short order by the cold, fetid January breath of harsh reality;  a tradition for flair and artistry based on a very flimsy 40-year-old premise;  a sense of historical self-importance that has been over-inflated by their camp followers to resemble pomposity on a Zepplinesque scale.  In short, the Cockney counterparts of Everton (except with more money).

So, given this historical synchronicity between the Lilywhites and ourselves, why do I enjoy my visits to White Hart Lane as much as I do a sinus wash?  It’s not the stadium, which has been progressively redeveloped and enhanced in a functionally efficient, if not aesthetically rewarding way… is it the increasingly vague memories of derring-do on the Seven Sisters Road in the late seventies and early eighties, which given my talent for the 100-metre dash allied to my rank cowardice, I was usually well away from?  Or is it just that, after the gradual redevelopment, the place doesn’t seem to have the warmth or the patina that somewhere like Highbury has?

I think that the truth probably lies in our unerring ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at White Hart Lane.  Whenever we go to Highbury, we go in the knowledge that we are almost certainly going to suffer an absolute hiding, and we can work on our ‘gallows humour’ for the post-match inquest over a beer or two; the whole experience has an almost ethereal air of the inevitable about it.

At Tottenham, however, we arrive with a sense of expectation: a conviction that we can get a result out of the game, a conviction reinforced by Tottenham’s renowned inconsistency…  And then we go two goals up and throw it all away in the second half with a piece of slack defending, or a misguided substitution, or a slice of pure bad luck, usually in the 86th minute. The frustration that accompanies these defeats is something that all Blues know well.

Still, this was far from my mind as I paced with trepidation outside Highbury and Islington tube, awaiting the almost touchingly tardy arrival of Stevie Taylor the Tooting Toerag.  A route march to meet up with the usual suspects at the Antwerp Arms followed, and we were gifted by the presence of the former head of the Independent Blues, Ian MacDonald.  A more passionate Evertonian would be difficult to find, but he wears a cloak of sadness following all the recent “behind the scenes” shenanigans and the way in which the club has taken a constructive opinion and turned it into a vendetta.  One day, the board will actually come to realise that while supporters are the dependable foundations of any club, we can also be the rocks upon which a club will perish.  By then, I fear it will be too late.

Much of the pre-match opinion was given over to late injury to Blomqvist, and to the usefulness (or otherwise) of Duncan Ferguson.  During the panic over the lack of a shirt sponsorship deal a few years ago, a joke did the rounds that our new shirt sponsor would be Tampax, “because we’re going through a bad period”.  However, Ferguson, Blomqvist and some of the other crocks have given the joke a new punchline; like Tampax, they’re “in for a week, and out for a month…”

Once the totemic talisman of a generation of supporters, Big Dunc is now regarded as yet another symptom of the club’s decline.  The man who advised Tony Adams to deck Mickael Madar after the comedy Frenchman spat at the Arsenal captain now makes Madar looks like a powerhouse of positive energy.  Wisdom had it that, if a good performance was not provided by Ferguson, and quickly, then he’d be on his way so fast that his nose would bleed.  This wisdom, however, did not extend to predicting just who would want to take a chance on him.

Given the decimation of our wafer-thin squad through injury, the selection wasn’t a surprise:  Simonsen in goal; Unsworth, Weir and Stubbs as three centre backs; Naysmith on the left, Hibbert on the right; Gemmill, Gascoigne and Alexandersson in midfield; Campbell and Ferguson up front.  Spurs were playing a 4-4-2 and, if we’d have had Blomqvist and played the same formation, I reckon we would have had a rip-roaring seesaw of a game.

However, we didn’t have Blomqvist, and so we had to sit and bite our nails as Spurs flew out of the traps and straight at us.  Spurs’ movement and passing was far, far more fluent than ours and you could sense that continued pressure like this would see us defending around the box and relying on the hopeful punt to Rodin’s Effigy of Balzac up front.

The inevitable Les Ferdinand opener came on four minutes.  A cock-up between Naysmith and Gemmill (I think) led to the ball being whipped into the box by Leonhardsen, which Ferdinand met with a towering header and buried it low to the right of Simonsen.

At this point, we were thinking that Tottenham might just take a leaf out of the book of their North London neighbours and stick about four or five past us… but just like us, they are fatally flawed (bless ‘em).  Three minutes later, we were level when a deflected cross from Gascoigne was only half cleared, and as the ball dropped fifteen yards out it was met on the volley by our super striker Davie Weir, who smashed it past Sullivan with much aplomb.  A fantastic strike, and no mistake.

Spurs continued to press, and only the profligacy of Ferdinand allied to some resolute no-nonsense defending and superb goalkeeping kept us in the match.  Meanwhile, at the other end, the Totem Pole managed to wake up for just long enough to get his head onto a cross and force the save of the game from Sullivan.

A word about our ‘talisman’: in this game, he wasn’t just peripheral — he was useless!  Duncan seems to think that all he has to do now to earn his money is to haul his arse up into the air and try to get on the end of the hopeful punt.  Given the pattern of our play for the last few seasons, I could almost forgive him for this is he would only make an effort to use his legs and drag himself into some space away from Campbell every now and then, and give an outlet for whoever has the ball.  Sad to say, even this most basic of footballing concepts now seems beyond him.  Put it this way: I’m four stone overweight and I’d still outrun him over 90 minutes.

He was joined in his conservation of effort by Alexandersson, whose total ‘effort’ could have been surpassed by a hibernating hedgehog.  Admittedly, he was playing slightly more infield than he’d like to accommodate the 3-5-2, but frankly he was appalling.  He contributed nothing of any value and merely succeeded in confusing the hell out of Gemmill and Hibbert and making every move of note break down.

The second half started with Ferdinand being replaced by Iversen.  I thought at first that he’d been rewarded for his wastefulness with an early bath but it turned out that he’d been concussed after a clash with our tricky left-winger, Rhino.  Spurs started to play the ball down the inside channels and turn our defence rather than raid down the wing but, other than a few hairy moments, our defence weren’t fooled and held out well.  Hibbert, in particular, was a real eye-opener: yes, he’s inexperienced and sometimes his over-exuberance can leave him a little exposed.  However, his tackling was superb, and his prodigious workrate should have embarrassed the hell out of his, err, more senior “colleagues”.

Gasoline had a fair game, and gave everybody one glimpse of the past when he shimmied past three Spurs players on the right before laying off an intelligent ball into space (which, as usual, was wasted) but, with the lack of effort from some of the other players, he tired as he ran himself into the ground.  When the board came up to signal the introduction of Joe-Max Moore, we all anticipated the demise of Duncan and a bit of effort up front… instead of which, off came Gazza.  We were astounded, and reflected that Duncan must be leading a charmed life…

We’d earlier seen the introduction of Peter Clarke for Alexandersson (hurrah!), and the lad gave a steady performance, despite having an unfortunate passing resemblance to Anthony’s divvy mate Darren from “The Royle Family”.  The substitutions didn’t have a great deal of overall effect, but at least it shows that Walter might actually have realised that he has one or two little gems in the squad that deserve to do more than make the tea at Bellefield.

The game eventually petered out in a maelstrom of wasted possession and absolutely surreal refereeing decisions.  A special mention here to Mr C Wilkes, the latest student of the David Elleray Blind School to take up top-drawer officialdom.  The pearl among his pigshit refereeing must have been the turning down of a blatant shove on Gemmill in the box which occurred three yards in front of him and would have probably given us all three points. S till, we can’t afford to buy referees these days can we?

And so, after surviving a late scare when Simo pushed a stinging Rebrov effort onto the bar (“Goal Kick”, cried the ref), the whistle went and we left clutching a welcome point — but with the innate sense of frustration still burning within us.  Not, this time, because of Tottenham, but because a player with so much talent, so much potential, and so much backing from the supporters in the past, just can’t be fagged anymore.

Why is it always us?



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