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Premier League

Sunday 28th October 2007

There hasn't been much time for a preview of the game, with everything going on around the club at the moment. 

With Ramos in the stands tomorrow, hopefully the team will be out to impress the new boss, as they had stopped playing for the outgoing one.  Blackburn Rovers are one of those sides we rarely do well against, but Juande will need to start instilling a bit more bite in the team if they are to move forward and therefore, the missing players will be ones who might have made a big difference.

With injuries throughout the team except up front, Spurs will be patched up and will need to make sure they do not give Rovers the space to play, as they have players who can cause damage to our hopes of resurrecting some sort of form.  Benni McCarthy has pace, strength and an unerring knack for scoring a goal out of nothing, so Michael Dawson will need to be tight to him, while Morten Gamst Pedersen's speed down the line and his accurate crossing and shooting will cause the Tottenham defence some worries, if he is allowed into the game.  Roque Santa Cruz has proved in a short time in the Premier League that he is a goal-scorer who needs to be watched carefully, so his ability to drop off the back four will require someone to go with him, thus perhaps exposing our zonal marking system.

With the return of the annoying Robbie Savage, Blackburn have a player who is a "bits and pieces" midfielder, but he has the frustrating ability to break up moves and Spurs might need to make sure he is by-passed to get onto the Blackburn back four.  Alongside him in midfield is a player who we always make look good - Tugay.  Slow and old, he has been given too much time on the ball and he can pass well to cut open a defence, so Spurs will need to make sure someone shuts him down quickly to reduce his effectiveness.

At the back, Samba is a huge presence and Berbatov might find anything played up to him in the air will be won by the gargantuan centre half, but there could be some joy for Lennon, who looks back to form, as he will be up against Stephen Warnock, who is not blessed with the same sort of pace as Aaron.  It will be interesting to see who Clive Allen picks up front with Dimitar, as I feel a muscular presence may be the best bet and Darren Bent could play alongside the Bulgarian.

With all the turmoil over the last week or so, I am not too hopeful of getting anything out of this match, as Blackburn are playing pretty well at the moment, but I hope that the players show some pride and show that they can turn things around before Ramos takes control of the team.  A point might be the most we come out of the game with though ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  1    Blackburn Rovers  1

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (knee); Ricardo Rocha (knee); Paul Robinson (calf); Gareth Bale (foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Young-Pyo Lee (shoulder); Anthony Gardner (ankle); Jermaine Jenas (hamstring)

BLACKBURN ROVERS :  -  Jason Roberts (thigh); Ryan Nelsen (hamstring); Steven Reid (back/knee);  Bruno Berner (foot)


Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
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 (live coverage)
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Tottenham Hotspur   1    Blackburn Rovers   2      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 28th October 2007
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   36,086
Referee :  Rob Styles (Waterlooville)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Wet, chilly
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


YP Lee     

Malbranque (Bent 77)

Berbatov (Defoe 89     )
Keane (c)

Unused subs: 

Blackburn Rovers :



Savage (Mokoena 45)
Tugay (Pedersen 60     )
Dunn      (Derbyshire 83)

Santa Cruz     

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Blackburn Rovers
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Keane (p) 49

Blackburn Rovers

McCarthy 60
Samba 90

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Huddlestone (foul) 62
Zokora (unsporting conduct) 82
Lee (foul) 90
Defoe (
unsporting conduct) 90


Blackburn Rovers

Dunn (kicking ball away) 44
Warnock (foul) 48
McCarthy (foul) 70
Pedersen (foul) 80
Santa Cruz (unsporting conduct) 82


Match Report : -  
When you concede goals similar to ones you have been conceding all season, there is going to be no other outcome but another defeat and that was what happened to Spurs today against Blackburn Rovers, even though it was a better performance from the team.

There are still too many of the side performing below the level of performance they showed last season and that is hampering the team's need to get results.  Two aspects are of particular concern and that is the lack of leadership in the side and the missing of chances.  It is widely held that is is difficult for the team to keep a clean sheet, so any chances that come along (and lacking a bit of creativity in midfield, we are relying on a high level of conversion even more) must hit the net.  Berbatov, Keane and Lennon all had acceptable chances, which Friedel kept out.

On the other side of the coin, Rovers had about three shots and scored from two of them.  Now, I know when you are down luck goes against you, but the deflected first goal and the second when a free-kick was not cleared effectively are goals which we have seen go in past the Spurs keeper before.  Both came from not closing on the man in possession quick enough and this is an aspect of the Tottenham defending which Ramos will need to improve rapidly.

Four bookings was a little harsh, as Spurs were sinned against more than sinned themselves, but perhaps it showed a bit more commitment from the players as they did well, but one moment at the death undone all the good work they put in.

Spurs earned a penalty shortly after half time, when Kaboul launched Lennon on a run into the area and Warnock could only fall all over him from behind and Styles pointed to the spot.  Keano stepped up to take the kick, stuttered in his run up and slotted it high above Friedel's dive to score.

As with all Tottenham leads, it looked a bit shaky, even though we created a good chance for Lee, when Berbatov flicked him in and his shot from eight yards out was well blocked for a corner by the Rovers goalie.    From the corner Malbranque's drive was headed out by Emerton as it looked like it might rip into the goal.  Then, with 20 yards between McCarthy and goal, he let fly and Dawson stuck out a leg to stop it, but it flew into the net over Cerny, who had the original shot covered.

Again, we had a good chance to restore the lead, when Keane crossed onto Dimitar's head and instead of doing what you are taught as a schoolboy (head it down or where the goalkeeper had just come from), his effort was in the right place for Friedel to reach up and palm it over.

With the end in sight and a point being a good record for the Clive Allen/Alex Inglethorpe management duo, they suddenly learned what Martin Jol had been going through in the dug-out, as a free-kick was half cleared and Santa Cruz played the ball into the path of Samba on the edge of the area and he calmly bent his shot around a defender and past Cerny into the net with 93 minutes on the clock.  How many more last minute goals we are going to concede this season I don't know.

But it had all started well, with Berbatov and Malbranque hitting shots on target in the first few minutes.  In the tenth minute, Bentley took the ball around Lee on the edge of the area, but with only Cerny to beat, he hit his left foot shot well wide.  Eight minutes later, a Huddlestone free-kick was played in with pace and the ball fell just behind Michael Dawson's foot and he tried to back-heel it goalwards, but the ball plopped into Friedel's hands.

Tottenham's best chance to take the lead came in the 21st minute, when Steed's astute pass through the centre of the Blackburn defence played Lennon in, but the Rovers goalie was out like lightning and blocked his shot, with the ball bouncing off the little man, but the ref awarding a corner.  From it, the cleared ball was played back into the edge of the area by Lee and Keane ran onto it and as it came down, headed at goal, but the big keeper reached up to beat it out for another corner.

Five minutes before half-time, one of the few enjoyable moments of the afternoon happened.  Robbie was running across the pitch with the ball, when Robbie Savage slid in to foul him from behind.  Unluckily for the Welshman, but perhaps some sort of divine retribution, he lay on the turf with a knee injury from trying to foul someone else.  His plight worsened as he tried to get substituted, but Hughes waved him back on, only for him to finally exit just before the interval.

It was a quite bad tempered match, but you expect that with Blackburn.  Mokoena came on for Savage and adopted his role as chief aggressor, when most things had nothing to do with him, nor anything to moan about.  Dunn committed a knowing foul on Lennon as he got away, but Styles only decided to book him when he kicked the ball away.  Pedersen committed a studs up challenge on Dawson which could quite easily have been a leg breaker and it led to Zokora and Santa Cruz arguing about it and both picking up yellow cards too.

The lack of learning the team are doing this season means that mistakes are being repeated and the results keep going against us.

You have the feeling that Ramos will have to learn quickly about the Premiership, about the players, about the language and about the style of play.

We need to turn it around soon, otherwise our position will become more entrenched with each passing week.



Reaction : -



It was not just the way we lost ... another last minute goal ... but the way the Spurs fans rolled over without a whimper against Daniel Levy's heavy-handed prints all over the sacking of our Head Coach nor any pro-Jol singing to show him that he was really appreciated for what he had achieved in the last two seasons.

Maybe as Spurs fans we get the board we deserve.





Other scores this weekend :
Birmingham City 3 Wigan Athletic 2 Saturday
Chelsea 6 Manchester City 0 Saturday
Manchester United 4 Middlesbrough 1 Saturday
Portsmouth 0 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Reading 2 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Sunderland 1 Fulham 1 Saturday
Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 1 Aston Villa 1 Sunday
Derby County 0 Everton 3 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 10 8 2 0 22 7 26 +15
2 Manchester United 11 8 2 1 19 4 26 +15
3 Manchester City 11 7 1 3 15 13 22 +2
4 Chelsea 11 6 3 2 16 8 21 +8
5 Blackburn Rovers 10 6 3 1 15 9 21 +6
6 Liverpool 10 5 5 0 17 6 20 +11
7 Portsmouth 11 5 4 2 21 12 19 +7
8 Newcastle United 10 5 2 3 17 13 17 +4
9 Everton 11 5 1 5 16 13 16 +3
10 Aston Villa 10 4 3 3 14 13 16 +1
11 West Ham United 10 4 2 4 12 9 14 +3
12 Reading 11 4 1 6 14 23 13 -9
13 Birmingham City 11 3 2 6 11 15 11 -4
14 Fulham 11 1 6 4 13 17 9 -4
15 Sunderland 11 2 3 6 12 20 9 -8
16 Wigan Athletic 11 2 2 7 10 17 8 -7
17 Middlesbrough 11 2 2 7 11 22 8 -11
18 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 11 1 4 6 18 23 7 -5
19 Bolton Wanderers 11 1 3 7 10 17 6 -7
20 Derby County 11 1 3 7 5 25 6 -20


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