Wisla Krakow (Poland) (Home)
UEFA Cup First Round First Leg

Thursday 18th September 2008

Wisla Krakow are a bit of a mystery to me other than the fact that they beat Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying tie, but they were 0-4 down from the first leg and were facing a shadow Barca team in the leg in Poland.  However, this does not mean that they should be taken lightly.  They too are suffering a bad run of results in their own league with a defeat to Lech Poznan at the weekend.

The onus will be on Tottenham to get their game right and be ready to battle the White Stars as they will be coming to have a go at Spurs at the Lane, with their fiercely partisan crowd behind them back in Krakow.  With a reliance on effort and energy, Spurs will once more find themselves closed down quickly, as they were on Monday and will need to play at a high tempo to try and counter any Krakow game plan.

It might not help that the team will be changed around once more.  Campbell might come in for his debut, with Modric out injured and Corluka and Pavlyuchenko out cup-tied.

A clean sheet is a necessity, so any errors at the back must be eradicated, with the midfield working hard to match the opposition.  Hopefully, Campbell's much publicised pace will be a key weapon, as long as we play the right ball to him and also to Darren Bent, who has been starved of decent supply which suits his game.

If it all goes right, then I think there will be a win for us, but if it all goes wrong, people won't be happy ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Wisla Krakow  0



TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); Vedran Corluka (cup-tied); Roman Pavlyuchenko (cup-tied); Luka Modric (knee); - (-); 

WISLA KRAKOW  :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 


Setanta Sports 1 -  (live coverage)
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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   2    Wisla Krakow   1      (Half-time score : 1-1)

UEFA Cup First Round First leg
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Thursday 18th September 2008
Kick Off :  8.10 p.m.
Crowd :   35,751
Referee :  Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Mild, dry
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter (24  O'Hara 57     )
39  Woodgate
26  King
  3  Bale

  5  Bentley
  8  Jenas
  4  Zokora
  7  Lennon (18  Campbell 57)
17  Giovani (32  Assou-Ekotto 70)

10  Bent

Unused subs: 
21  Sanchez
20  Dawson

11  Gilberto
  6  Huddlestone

Wisla Krakow (Poland) :

81 Pawelek

  2  Singlar
  4  Baszczynski
25  Cleber
15  Diaz

  9  Boguski (19  Malecki 72     )
  7  Sobolewski     
20  Cantoro
17  Zienczuk
23  Pawel Brozek (18  Niedzielan 79)

16 Jirsak  (21  Lobodzinski 61)

Unused subs: 
12  Juszczyk
  3  Guedes Filho
  6  Glowacki
28  Barreto

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Tottenham Hotspur

  Wisla Krakow
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Bentley 33
Bent 73

Wisla Krakow

Jirsak 34

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

O'Hara (foul) 88 


Wisla Krakow

Sobolewski (kicking ball away) 44
Malecki (foul)  


Match Report : -  
Not one of the greatest European nights in Tottenham's history but an important one and one which might not yet see us through to the group stages of the UEFA Cup, but the 2-1 victory over Wisla Krakow was the first win of the season and one which might boost the confidence of the newly formed side.

It wasn't a smooth performance, but the team played well enough to win and allowed a one goal advantage to be taken to Poland for a second leg which will be played in an intimidating atmosphere if the attendance of their fans at White Hart Lane was anything to go by.  The fact that they popped up all around the ground when their goal went in and prompted a rush of stewards to where they were and also the fact that their fans sung incomprehensible songs and jumped up and down all game will no doubt give them the benefit of the doubt when the referee is giving decisions.

But back to this game and Spurs approached it with a changed time from Monday night due to injury and cup-tied players.  Pavlyuchenko and Corluka were made to sit out and Modric had to be sidelined with his knee knock, while in came Bentley, Jenas and King, as well as Gunter and Giovani, with Huddlestone and Dawson standing down from the starting line-up against Villa.

The side looked a bit better balanced, but Bent was still up front on his own, which meant there was often a big gap between him and the midfield.  Our general play saw us lose the ball a little less and look a bit more solid, but the final pass still went astray too often and chances went begging when we might have made more of certain situations.  Unfortunately, David Bentley had a mare and his crossing was way below the level expected.

Spurs looked to start at a high tempo, which was something that seemed to suit Krakow, who wanted to play the same way.  A first minute scramble after Wisla keeper Pawalek fumbled a low cross saw Bent go in and hit the deck, but nothing was given.  Breaking on the Tottenham goal, too much space was given to Sobolewski, who hit a shot that missed the goal by about two feet.

Wide positions were well created, but the resulting crosses from Bentley and Lennon failed to find a Spurs shirt.  One corner from Bentley eventually landed on Woodgate's head at the far post, with his header forcing Pawalek to flap it wide with a desperate dive in the 23rd minute and a minute later, Tottenham were indebted to their captain Ledley King how got in the way of a volley from Boguski.  King looked a bit off the pace and I am sure that his ability to only play the odd game here and there will not help his or the team's game.

On the half hour, Bent seized on a mis-judgement by Cleber, who missed a Bentley pass and it took the Krakow keeper to bravely come out to meet the Spurs forward and block the ball away.  it was only a brief respite though, as Lennon skipped past a challenge on the left wing and dragged a left footed cross low to the far post behind the defenders who had run in towards goal.  Luckily, for once, Spurs had a man at the back post and David Bentley swept the ball left footed, first time past the keeper and into the side of the goal where the goalie had just come from.  It is the cross that Lennon might find more productive with players rushing into the box, it makes defenders think twice about making contact with the ball and it might let our players in with an opportunity, as it did in this case.

It was the goal that we had hoped would calm the team and give them something to build on.  Unfortunately, the Poles built on it by plastering the ball past Gomes as the Spurs defence bricked it.  A soft throw-in was conceded inside the Spurs half, when Zokora could have wellied it up-field and when it was taken, a soft challenge and then suddenly, Tottenham plumbed the depths of naive defending by King and Zokora both playing the scorer Jirsak onside, while not marking anyone nor going towards the ball.  67 seconds it took.  Fast workers these Polish.

Tottenham looked to get back into the game and a Bale cross to Bentley at the far post saw him blaze a volley, which the keeper pushed out, but looked to be going wide anyway.  The England wide man seemed to be the one who ahs been delegated to take free-kicks, but in a match when his delivery was not that great, it might have made sense to let Gareth Bale have a go, as he is just as good with his left as Bentley is supposed to be with his right.

Gomes was forced to dive to knock the ball wide when Krakow had a chance when Boguski knocked the ball towards goal five minutes before the break.  The Portuguese referee had been lenient until just before the break, when Sobolowski fouled a Spurs player in the middle of the pitch and the referee only showed him the yellow card when he threw the ball away.

After the break, we saw the same Spurs eleven re-enter the field.  When a defensive header fell to Bentley, he drove on towards the area and hit s shot that the keeper put over the top and then Jenas' clever ball through to Giovani opened up a chance in the area, but the Mexican chose to look square for Darren Bent rather than go for goal himself.  Bent was denied ten minutes into the half, when Spurs played some near passing football on the left wing and Jeans put a low ball into the near post, where Darren put the ball away neatly, only to see the lineman raise his flag for an offside for the first time in the game.

Almost immediately, Lennon and Gunter were replaced by Fraizer Campbell and Jamie O'Hara.  It seemed an odd move, as Lennon was doing well on the flank and the formation suddenly switched to a 4-4-2.  The loan striker was quickly in action, with a cross to the far post, where a defensive header took it away from Bent on the hour.  At the other end Sobolewski hit a long shot wide and then Bale and King allowed Lobodzinski's ball to be got by Cantoro, but he panicked and fired well over from just outside the six yard box.

The Spurs midfield were starting to link better and Jermaine Jenas slipped Bent through and he got a shot away, but it flew off a defender for a corner.  On 72 minutes, he did even better.  Campbell used his pace and trickery to get away down the right wing, taking the ball to the line.  He looked up and stood up a cross to the far post, where Darren came in and rose above an opponent to put his header past the keeper.  The relief was palpable after his previous netting had been ruled out.

It kicked Tottenham into action and Bent set up Bale, whose shot was arrowing into the far corner before Pawelek pushed it out and a defender got to the loose ball before Campbell.   A well-timed tackle by Woodgate and a block by Bale stopped Wisla threatening Gomes' goal, with a late effort from Zienczuk going over the bar.

A win is a win, but the ferocious atmosphere Tottenham might find themselves entering in Krakow could unsettle them in their current fragile state.  A one goal lead is handy, but two might have made it a more comfortable trip.  You feel an early goal either way in two weeks time might settle the end result.



Reaction : -



Rarely have I seen as many police at White Hart Lane for a game, what with the helicopters and police vans and horses too.  But when I got inside, I realised why.  With the away section full and the red shirted fans in blocks of seats in the West Upper and Lower and in the East Upper, there were far more Wisla Krakow fans in the Lane than there will be Spurs fans out in Poland for the away leg.

It added to the atmosphere, but goodness knows what they were singing even though they were all to familiar tunes.

Their side settled for the 1-2 defeat at the end, but looked to hit Tottenham on the break, knowing that without a win this season, they would be fragile.

Spurs looked more lively than they had been in league games and with Giovani on the left, he looked a bit more at home there than Modric had on Monday before he got injured.  Bentley played without a lot of confidence, it seemed, even though he was in his more natural right sided midfield position.  With Bent up front, Ledley at the back and Gunter at right back, the side looked a bit more solid.

However, the passing was still a bit off and the movement lacked urgency, while the possession was conceded too cheaply again.  Luckily, Wisla failed to take advantage of that.

Spurs did enough and might have to do a fair bit more in the second leg, but quite why the firemen paraded around the edge of the pitch in the second half, I don't know.  It's not as though Tottenham played so well that they were setting the Lane alight.


Frankly, having seen Fraizer Campbell in action for the first time, that we don't have an option on him at the end of his loan spell.  He is just about everything we need in a forward.  Physically strong, good in the air, really quick, willing to run back and close down, good vision to lay on chances for others and he looks like he will be able to take chance ... once we start providing him with them !!

Having lost two strikers (and three in Defoe), we need to bolster the ranks in attack.  Without seeing Pavlyuchenko settled into a partnership, I think Campbell's pace will be a vital weapon, so perhaps it is no surprise that Old Red Nose wants him back.

For the away leg, I would play one up front and that would be Campbell.  Krakow will be coming at us, so, if we are to hoof the ball out of defence, who better to give chase and cause the opposition a problem ?

The only thing is, if you are playing him in attack, you would have to have Lennon in the side, as he would be the only other eon in the team who could keep pace !!








Other scores in this UEFA Cup round :
Apoel Nicosia (CYP) 1 Schalke 04 (GER) 4 Tuesday
FA Nordsjaelland (DEN) 0 Olympiakos (GRE) 2 Tuesday
Hertha Berlin (GER) 2 St. Patrick's (RoI) 0 Tuesday
AC Milan (ITA) 3 FC Zurich (SWI) 1 Thursday
Litex Lovich (BUL) 1 Aston Villa 3 Thursday
Everton 2 Standard Liege (BEL) 2 Thursday
AS Nancy (FRA) 1 Motherwell 0 Thursday
Polytechnica Timisoara (ROM) 1 Partizan Belgrade (SER) 2 Thursday
Borac Cacak (SER) 1 Ajax (HOL) 4 Thursday
Omnia Nicosia (CYP) 1 Manchester City 2 Thursday
Banik Ostrava (CZE) 0 Spartak Moscow (RUS) 1 Thursday
Bellizona (ITA) 3 Galatasaray (TUR) 4 Thursday
Besiktas (TUR) 1 FC Metalica Kharkiv (RUS) 0 Thursday
Portsmouth 2 Guimaraes (POR) 0 Thursday
Borussia Dortmund (GER) 0 Udinese (ITA) 2 Thursday
Sporting Braga (POR) 4 Artmedia Petrzalka (SVK) 0 Thursday
Brondby (DEN) 1 Rosenborg (NOR) 2 Thursday
Young Boys (SWI) 2 Club Brugges (BEL) 2 Thursday
Vitoria Setubal (POR) 1 Heerenveen (HOL) 1 Thursday
CS Maritimo (POR) 0 Valencia (SPA) 1 Thursday
Cherno More (BUL) 1 VfB Stuttgart (GER) 2 Thursday
Sampdoria (ITA) 5 Kaunus (LIT) 0 Thursday
FC Moscow (RUS) 1 FC Copenhagen (DEN) 2 Thursday
Racing Santander (SPA) 1 Honka Espoo (FIN) 0 Thursday
Sevilla (SPA) 2 Salzburg (AUS) 0 Thursday
SSC Napoli (ITA) 3 Benfica (POR) 2 Thursday
Austria Wien (AUS) 2 Lech Poznan (POL) 1 Thursday
MSK Zelina (SVK) 1 Levski Sofia (BUL) 1 Thursday
Brann Bergen (NOR) 2 Deportivo La Coruna (SPA) 0 Thursday
Slavia Prague (CZE) 0 Vaslui (ROM) 0 Thursday
Slaven Koprivnica (CRO) 1 CSKA Moscow (RUS) 2 Thursday
Feyenoord (HOL) 0 Kalmar FF (SWE) 1 Thursday
Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) 1 St. Etienne (FRA) 2 Thursday
Wolfsburg (GER) 1 FC Rapid Bucharest (ROM) 0 Thursday
Hamburg (GER) 0 AFC Unirea Urziceni (ROM) 0 Thursday
NEC Nijmeigen (HOL) 1 Dinamo Bucharest (ROM) 0 Thursday
Kayserispor (TUR) 1 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 2 Thursday
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Sparta Prague (CZE) 0 Thursday
Rennes (FRA) 2 Twente Enchaede (HOL) 1 Thursday

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