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OPPONENTS Stoke City
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Wednesday 21st March 2012
VENUE White Hart Lane
PREVIEW

 

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PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Stoke City    1
 
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
STOKE CITY TEAM NEWS :
COVERAGE :

TV
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)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/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
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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.

 
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Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                                             Stoke City  1 (0)
Premier League
Wednesday 21st March 2012                                                                          Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Goal-scorers  
van der Vaart 90+3 Jerome 75
Cards  
     
Palacios (continued fouling) 43  

    

    
van der Vaart (dissent) 82   

    

Crowd :   35,172 Weather :  Dry, mild
Referee :  Mike Jones (Cheshire) Assistant Referees :  D. Cann; C. Breakspear
Fourth Official :  Anthony Taylor Match Delegate : G. Mackrell
Professional Game Match Observer :  W J Norbury
Stoke kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Stoke City : kit
24  Friedel

28  Walker
  4  Kaboul
26  King (c) (33  Nelsen 83)
32  Assou-Ekotto

21  Kranjcar (18  Defoe 46)
14  Modric
  8  Parker
  3  Bale

11  van der Vaart       

15  Saha (17  dos Santos 73)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
25  Rose
29  Livermore
30 
Sandro

    1  Begovic

28  Wilkinson
  4  Huth
17  Shawcross (c)
12  Wilson

16  Pennant
15  Diao (  6 Whelan 26)
40  Palacios       (18 Whitehead 57)
19  Walters

25  Crouch

33  Jerome  (24  Delap 83)

Unused subs: 
29  Sorensen
20  Upson
30  Shotton
  9 
Jones

 
Manager :  Harry Redknapp Manager :  Tony Pulis
Sponsor :   Aurasma Shirt sponsor :  Britannia
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

You can have a good bet at what you know you will get from Stoke.  Effort.  Tackles.  Time-wasting.  Such has become the needs of teams like them to stay in the top flight.  We see it so often at the Lane and frankly, the supporters of those teams are welcome to it, as the way they went about this 1-1 draw was nothing more than shameful ... especially when Spurs made a slow start and could have been there for the taking had the Potters minds not be so focused on a point.

Spurs were frustrating in the extreme.  The way that we have been playing we should be well in third and pushing hard on the heels of the Manchester clubs above us, but the profligate way we miss chances we create has cost us a place at the very top of the table.  And that is against run of the mill teams like Stoke as well as the top sides.

The whole shock of Saturday's FA Cup tie might have been having an effect on the Spurs team, but their "Get Well Soon Fabrice" T-shirts were a welcome good news message compared to those sported by Liverpool following the Suarez-Evra affair.  A minute's applause hopefully sent a get well from all the fans too.

The number of opportunities we had tonight compared with Stoke and we still finish 1-1 is almost beyond my comprehension.  Yes ... they are a determined, battling side, but if we had taken half the openings we made, we would have won a couple of games.  But we could easily have been behind early on, with our defence not reacting to the runs and flick-ons in and around our box.  Our first attack saw Kranjcar hit a half hearted effort at goal and that summed up his contribution, so it was not surprising that he did not appear after the interval.

Five minutes in and Cameron Jerome might have done better with a half volley from outside the box, but he went for power and the ball flew wide and then he got on the end of a knock down by Peter Crouch and the ball sailed over, but already unhappy murmurs were coming from the home support.  It was not only at our end that we were slow, when a corner came in and Begovic failed to hold it, there was nobody on hand from our team to seize on the loose ball.  Our first real chance came just after a quarter of an hour, when Rafael van der Vaart took the ball off Wilson Palacios, who rode his luck with some of his tackling, before hitting a low shot to Begovic's left and the keeper got down to save.  Then Bale slipped in Modric, but his shot went across goal and wide.  The same pair linked up again after Crouch had shot wide, this time the ball took a deflection before going wide, but might not have gone in anyway.  A few chances tonight were to fall to the little midfielder, who is not the best finisher.

Our poor record from our corners continued when Kaboul headed against the bar, but it was too good to be true and the ref gave a free-kick against him for pushing.  Assou-Ekotto had already pumped a free-kick on the edge of the box over the bar and a couple of shots from Kranjcar (too high) and Saha (tipped over by the keeper) were not to threatening.

Just before half time Palacios got his customary yellow card for a block on Kranjcar after about seven fouls.  Parker almost broke into the box in injury time, but couldn't sort out his feet to take Kranjcar's pass into a shooting position and that was it save for a Crouch header that went over, as did many of his efforts tonight.

The interval was a relief for the ball, which had been taking a bit of a kicking from the Stoke players.  So, when the second half started and Spurs were pushing forward, it was nice to see it played on the floor for a little while, but nothing came of it except a van der Vaart shot that was well off target.  When Spurs did get into the box, the massed ranks of red and white striped shirts got in the way.

When Stoke got up the other end they didn't look dangerous, with Walters missing a good opening just after the hour when Crouch flicked the ball on with his head and the Irishman could only get a weak effort straight at Friedel.  Our corners failed to trouble Stoke and when Gareth Bale had a shooting chance in the 74th minute, it dipped and swerved leaving Begovic helpless, but the ball hit the face of the crossbar and bounced out.  From that Parker fouled a Stoke player five yards outside the box and when it was swung in by Pennant, Huth was unmarked to head towards goal and Jerome was unmarked as he was first to react and prod it past Friedel from a couple of yards out.

The Spurs faithful were not happy.  And rightly so, as we should have been ahead not behind at this stage of the game an the worry was that the way we had been playing, it was difficult to see where a goal might come from.  Especially as the Stoke players were stepping up their time-wasting campaign, with Jones letting them get away with it.  None more obvious than when Rafa was getting booked and one of their players just kicked the ball away to waste a few precious seconds.

Trying to defend the goal they had scored, Stoke pulled everyone back and invited Spurs onto them.  This is usually a winning formula, but despite trying to kill time with the ball in the corner of the pitch, the five added minutes the fourth official displayed might have been a safe bet, as it looked like Spurs could have played all night and not scored.

Just into the added time, Bale fired in a shot that the keeper kept out, but the ball ran loose and a defender hacked it away before van der Vaart could get to it.  But a minute later, he did get to it, when Bale put in a  fierce cross and the Dutchman flew in between Huth and Shawcross on the edge of the six yard box to power a header past Begovic much to the relief of the Spurs fans.  The roar was there to greet a point, but it might not be enough in the long run to get a third place finish, as news of Arsenal's winning position meant they would go above us if the results stayed the same. 

It was odd that when Stoke had a throw near the Spurs box, they dawdled more than usual ... not that the referee noticed or did, but took no action.  Right at the death a Bale run won a corner, but guess what, it was easily cleared and then the ref blew for full time.

As I said, a frustrating night and one that was emotional for the players after just four days since Fabrice Muamba's collapse, but maybe this will be good therapy to return to playing and while it could have been worse, a point is better than none.  But once more, the games come thick and fast, so they will have to step up their game again on Saturday against Chelsea, in what is being titled as a game we can't afford to lose ... or it will cost us 30 million.

Ashley Warren

 

 
 
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What you thought
Stan Chun I would be pleased if I never had to watch a Tony Pulis side again at White Hart Lane.  It is not Stoke as such, but their manager who I dislike and his tactics are straight out of the lower leagues where he had such great success.

A FA Cup final appearance and an ultimately capitulating campaign in the Europa League probably equals the level of success he strives for.  One would hope that his board become bored of the football he plays and while the fans are all vocal in his praise, one wonders if this is what they aspire to.

   
 

 

 

Other scores during this mid-week :
Aston Villa P Bolton Wanderers P Tuesday
Blackburn Rovers 2 Sunderland 0 Tuesday
Everton 0 Arsenal 1 Wednesday
Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1 Wednesday
Queens Park Rangers 3 Liverpool 2 Wednesday

   

 

 

League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 29 22 4 3 73 27 70 +46
2 Manchester City 29 21 3 4 71 21 69 +50
3 Arsenal 29 17 4 8 58 39 55 +19
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 16 6 7 53 35 54 +18
5 Chelsea 29 14 7 8 49 35 49 +14
6 Newcastle United 29 13 8 8 41 41 47 0
7 Liverpool 29 11 9 9 35 29 42 +6
8 Swansea City 29 10 9 10 36 36 39 0
9 Sunderland 29 10 7 12 36 33 37 +3
10 Everton 29 10 7 12 28 32 37 -4
11 Stoke City 29 10 7 12 28 40 37 -12
12 Fulham 29 9 9 11 37 40 36 -3
13 West Bromwich Albion 29 10 6 14 35 37 36 -3
14 Norwich City 29 9 9 11 39 46 36 -7
15 Aston Villa 28 7 12 9 31 35 33 -4
16 Blackburn Rovers 29 7 7 15 42 60 28 -18
17 Queens Park Rangers 29 6 7 16 32 50 25 -18
18 Bolton Wanderers 28 7 2 19 31 57 23 -26
19 Wigan Athletic 29 4 10 15 25 54 22 -29
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 5 7 16 30 63 22 -33

 

Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  4th

 

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