Fulham (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 20th January 2007


Perhaps luckily for Tottenham, Fulham's FA Cup replay winner was scored by our very own Wayne Routledge, who is not able to play under the terms of his loan.  The little winger is ripping up the line down at the Cottage and has become one of Coleman's targets in the transfer window, but he feels that Spurs will debag him over the price (according to his comments).  With one supply line gone missing, it might make things a bit harder for the front men to get the service they need.  

For some reason, Tottenham always seem to struggle at Craven Cottage (and even when they played at QPR).  The forward line of McBride, Radzinski and now Montella could give us problems and having returned against Cardiff, Anthony Gardner will need to be on his guard to make sure we don't let them in, especially early in the match.

When it is not the forwards who trouble us, the defenders get in on the act.  Bocanegra got the last minute winner last time out at Fulham, after Michael Dawson had been dismissed.  They have some big old boys in their side and with Queudrue having been signed to put in good crosses from dead ball situations, we need to be strong in the air.

Conversely, we need to make sure that we use their weaknesses to our advantage.  With Keane back in the side and Defoe already in place, we need the nippiness and pace they possess, with Berbatov's guile becoming a major weapon in our armoury too.

Steed Malbranque will be up for the game against his old club.  He has been showing a good attitude down the left, with a few goals and a lot of effort to match.  Steed will have to make sure he controls his efforts into beating Fulham and not getting wrapped up in the abuse he will no doubt get from the Cottage faithful.

Antti Niemi is out with a neck injury picked up in the Christmas game with Watford and he ahs been a main tormentor for Spurs, as he usually has a good game against us, but on this occasion he will be replaced by Tony Warner, who has also turned in good performances against us in the past.

The relative league positions would suggest a win for Tottenham, but we are away.  Admittedly not far away, but the lessons have yet to be learned from our previous poor away form.  Playing like we did against Cardiff is more likely to get us a win than playing cautiously and we have lost so many games away form the Lane that we might as well have a go at playing like we do at home.  And with both teams having hit four goals in FA Cup replays in midweek, we could be in for a feast of goals.

On the other hand, I think it will be a drab draw.

PREDICTION : -  Fulham  1   Tottenham Hotspur  1

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


FULHAM :  -  Antti Niemi (neck); Wayne Routledge (unable to play as on loan from Spurs); Clint Dempsey (not match fit); Zat Knight (broken jaw); Papa Dioup (thigh); Jimmy Bullard (knee); Ahmad Elrich (knee); Mark Pembridge (knee); S Elliott (calf)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jermaine Jenas (ankle); Paul Stalteri (knee); Mido (groin); Ledley King (foot); Edgar Davids (groin & flu)


Sky Sports 1 - Football First  -  20.25 (Highlights)
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30  (highlights) [repeated Sunday 07.35]
Sky Sports 1 - Goals on Sunday -  Sunday 11.00 (Highlights)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.45 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live 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
Planet football -
http://play.www.planetfootball.servecast.net/downloads/sky/spurs-pl04-kean0.ram (free - only available when match is on.)
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.




Fulham   1   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Premier League
Venue : -  Craven Cottage
Saturday 20th January 2007
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   23,580
Referee :  Mike Dean (Wirral)
Weather :  -  Dry, chilly
Teams : - 
Fulham :



Volz (Dempsey 81)
Radzinski (Montella 71)


Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


YP Lee

Ghaly (Lennon 61)
Tainio (Zokora 27)

Defoe (Keane 67)

Unused subs: 

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

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Montella (p) 84

Tottenham Hotspur

Chimbonda 88

Cards : -  

Helguson (foul)
Queudrue (foul)
Brown (handball) 86

Helguson (second yellow - foul) 53

Tottenham Hotspur 

Malbranque (foul) 44
Defoe (foul) 66
Dawson (handball) 83


Match Report : -  

While not quite the drab 1-1 the preview suggested, it was none the less, an important, but once more a disappointing point brought back from West London in a game that only came alive in the last ten minutes.

Spurs had barely threatened in the first half, when the only notable chance was Anthony Gardner's header from Huddlestone's corner that failed to hit the target.  Perhaps the early change of Zokora for Tainio might have disrupted the pattern, but this was another away day that saw Spurs second best for most of the game.  Any serious hope of making a challenge for a top six placing must be put off for yet another season while the team continue to play in such a withdrawn fashion.

The atmosphere for Steed Malbranque had been hyped up by Chris Coleman and members of the playing staff, while the normally flaccid fans finally had something to get excited about.  Other than that, they found their voice to cheer when ex-Spur Michael Brown struck a volley which Chimbonda managed to get in the way of and they thought they had scored when McBride hit the side-netting from an acute angle.

While Spurs had the ball for periods of the first half, they failed to trouble Lastuvka and in comparison, Paul Robinson was the busier keeper.  When Bocanegra put in a low cross, Helguson showed great invention to try to back-heel it past ENO, but he reacted well to save from just four yards.  The Icelander showed a little less class when he clattered Malbranque as the feeling spread from the terraces to the pitch.

Michael Dawson was a tower of strength in the back four and made many important clearances and when he wasn't there, Robinson showed good hands behind him.  His save just before the break when Helguson hit the ball well from six yards out, showed that the doubters comments about his place in the England side are not worth the newspaper they are written on.

The second half carried on the same as the first.  With the home team keen to pressurise the Tottenham defence, but the closing down game back-fired on them when Helguson was given his marching orders for bringing down Huddlestone, just when he was about to spread the play.  But since when has playing against ten men been much advantage to Tottenham ?

Spurs deemed it safer to move forward a bit more, but Berbatov, Huddlestone and Zokora had unconvincing efforts on goal that they dragged wide.  With Keane and Lennon on, Spurs showed a bit more of an attacking ambition, but then Fulham brought on their new signings Montella and Dempsey to show they wanted to win the game too.

Villain of the piece Malbranque almost broke the deadlock when he hit a shot that Lastuvka took low down, but when play moved to the other end, McBride shot and Michael Dawson was punished for handball as he tried to chest the ball away in the manner that John Terry regularly gets away with.  Mike Dean disagreed and pointed to the spot and up stepped Montella to send Robinson the wrong way with shimmy in his run-up and we were 0-1 down with six minutes left on the clock.  At least Daws only picked up a yellow card and thus avoided being sent off here for the second successive season. 

Spurs tried to up the pace of their game and Berba hit a shot that Pearce blocked and not for the first time.  However, it took one good ball from a Huddlestone free-kick and a good piece of thinking by Pascal Chimbonda, who stole in on the blind side around the back of the defence to pop up at the far stick to slightly mis-hit a low shot that managed to confuse the Fulham goalie and grab a late equaliser.

It looked as though there would only be three minutes to hold out, but when three added minutes were shown, it needed a strong constitution to see them out, especially when Ian Pearce rose to a corner and met a free header, but it looped up and over the top and Tottenham had a point much to the dismay of Chris Coleman, who rushed onto the pitch to confront referee Dean.

We all like to think that the ref is against our side and not the other way round, but on reflection, it is usually fair.  They got a penalty, but when Pearce did the same thing at the other end, it is never a pen.  Well, that was what the ref agreed at the time and you just have to take it.  If Coleman was unhappy about the late goal Tottenham scored, he should be look at how many late goals his side have scored and then look at his defence.

Additionally, he was banging on about the Tottenham goal being offside but shot down his argument as he admitted that Queudrue flicked it on last, so it could not be offside.  He said he would apologise if the assistant ref had seen that touch, but because Coleman thoguht the linesman had not seen it, the decision should have come their way.

As for Tottenham, grateful for the point from another stilted display, we need to get some points from our travels, as we are still not at the 40 point total yet and we have Man U. and Bolton as our next two home matches.  Tough enough at home, but away we are little more than dogs who roll over to have their bellies tickled.

What we need is a bit more bite and not any more bark.






Reaction : -



What is it about Spurs that makes them struggle against a reduced number of players on the other side ?

Having to play against ten men for half an hour saw Tottenham get pushed back by the Fulham side who raised their game, while we seemed happy to sit back.  Like we always do away and what happened ?  What always happened away from home .. .we went behind and only salvaged a goal right at the death with a bit of luck and a dodgy goalkeeper diving over Chimbonda's shot.

I am getting fed up with the way we play away from the Lane.  It is costing me money and costing us points that would have had us in a Champions League place.  Losing games and points to crap sides is not what we should be settling for.

Cup football is great, but one incident and you can be knocked out.  Although we are in three cup competitions, recent history shows that the sides who win trophies domestically have been from the top four and we usually fail to beat them (home or away).  The UEFA gives us a chance, but there are still a lot of good teams in there.

We should be qualifying for Europe through our league placing.  We should be good enough to do that. 

But we are not.

And that makes me sad when it looked like we were on the verge of progressing from last season's finishing position.

So, this will be just another transitional season.

Ben Thompson



Other scores this weekend :
Aston Villa 2 Watford 0 Saturday
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0 Saturday
Manchester City 0 Blackburn Rovers 3 Saturday
Middlesbrough 5 Bolton Wanderers 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 2 West Ham United 2 Saturday
Portsmouth 0 Charlton Athletic 1 Saturday
Reading 3 Sheffield United 1 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 0 Everton 2 Sunday
Arsenal 2 Manchester United 1 Sunday
Other scores from mid-week :
Watford 2 Blackburn Rovers 1 Tuesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 24 18 3 3 53 18 57 +35
2 Chelsea 24 15 6 3 41 19 51 +22
3 Liverpool 24 14 4 6 37 16 46 +21
4 Arsenal 24 13 6 5 45 20 45 +25
5 Bolton Wanderers 24 12 4 8 28 26 40 +2
6 Portsmouth 23 10 7 7 35 24 37 +11
7 Everton 24 9 8 7 30 22 35 +7
8 Reading 24 10 4 10 34 31 34 +2
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 24 9 6 9 29 32 33 -3
10 Blackburn Rovers 24 9 4 11 28 33 31 -5
11 Middlesbrough 24 8 6 10 29 29 30 0
12 Newcastle United 24 8 6 10 28 38 30 -4
13 Manchester City 24 8 6 10 19 28 30 -9
14 Aston Villa 24 6 11 7 26 28 29 -2
15 Fulham 24 6 11 7 26 36 29 -10
16 Sheffield United 23 6 6 11 18 30 24 -12
17 Wigan Athletic 23 6 4 13 23 38 22 -15
18 West Ham United 24 5 5 14 17 38 20 -21
19 Charlton Athletic 24 5 4 15 19 43 19 -24
20 Watford 23 2 9 12 14 32 15 -18


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