malky mackay's latest squeeze


Tottenham Hotspur Reserves  0   Watford Reserves  1   (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier Reserve League South
Venue : -  Broadhall Way
Monday 5th March 2007
Kick Off :  7.00 p.m.
Crowd :   800
Referee :  A. Hendley
Weather :  -  Rainy
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


Mills (Martin 16)

Mtandari (Hutchins 62)
Lee (c)


Unused subs: 
Alex Smith

Watford :


Chambers (c)
Powell (Parkes 59)

Bangura (O'Toole 62)

Kabba (Campana 70)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
 Tottenham Hotspur



Rinaldi 38


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 

O'Hara (obstruction) 45
McKenna (persistent fouling) 54  



Bangura (persistent fouling) 45  
Williamson (foul) 52


Match Report : -  
This was much more like an old-fashioned reserve team match, but the thanks for that must go solely to Watford.

Most teams in the Premier Reserve League put out teams that are not much more than Under-21 sides.  With the recent visit of Reading, the eleven who represented the Biscuitmen was not far off the eleven who turned out against Manchester United the following weekend.  Watford also must not be experienced in the ways of the Premiership as their side was close to a side they might field in the league.  About eight players had Premier League experience as opposed to Tottenham’s one – Phil Ifil.

But the biggest thanks must go to Watford for the long-lost incomprehensible Scottish reserve team manager.  The aching for those glottal emanations has long been felt since Colin Calderwood left for Forest.  The lack of Scottish coaches at reserve team level has been notable amongst other clubs and with Malky shouting instructions to the yellow shirted players, I had a warm feeling when I saw the blank uncomprehending looks on their faces.

The game itself was also reserve standard.  Played in driving rain, with a committed attitude from the visiting players, there was an edge to the match which sometimes is missing at this level.  This resulted in the referee having to show five yellow cards and stop/start the game with a series of free-kicks.  The passion also nearly spilled over onto the touchline as Clive Allen had his usual rant, this time at one of the Hornets substitutes.

The argument arose when a Watford player was injured and Spurs threw the ball back to a visiting player, but he was then put under pressure.  The sub obviously said something to Clive, who pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that, in an earlier incident, that Watford had taken a throw when a Spurs player was injured and knocked the ball back ... to their own goalkeeper, who then played on.  For such a family club, it was a prime piece of unsporting play of which they should be ashamed.

In fact, Al Bangura proved to be a revelation with his whingeing throughout the match.  Even to the extent of wanting a free-kick when Mills fairly won a header against Brazilian midfielder Rinaldi, but clashed heads after the ball was on it's way forward.  Clive pointed out to the fourth official that Bangura was wrong in his assertion.  The player was later booked for a succession of fouls and he was joined by Williamson, while Jamie O'Hara and Kieran McKenna (who got away with a very rash challenge early on) also picked up yellow cards.

Mills' collision brought up an immediate lump on his head the size of a medium egg, which meant he had to leave the field and on came Joe Martin.  By this time, Tottenham had created a good chance with McKenna switching play to Hallfredsson, whose first time pass put Daniels in inside the full back and he flashed a cross-shot wide of the target as he burst into the area.

Douglas Rinaldi (or Ronnie to his friends ... there's one for the teenagers) was impressive in his thermal gloves.  A tall player, he showed a good touch and was probably the best Watford man on show, which makes it all the stranger that the watching Aidy Boothroyd and Keith Burkinshaw haven't seen fit to put in him their ailing side.  On loan until June with the possibility of buying him outright, it would make sense for the Hornets to have some creativity in their team in the Championship.

While Watford adopted a high pressure closing game, with some tough challenges, Mackay did chastise James Chambers for a needless stud-up challenge on O'Hara.  Spurs were struggling to break through the solid midfield of Watford and the lone striker Andy Barcham was paired against two hulking centre-halves, leaving him little time or opportunity to get in on goal.  Mtandari was quiet wide on the right, while Hallfredsson on the other wing, seems unlikely to be staying on at Tottenham beyond this season.  He has strength and ability, but tonight he failed to show much of either and he looks a shadow of the player who starred in the stiffs before going off to Malmo on loan.

The nearest Tottenham got to a goal was when Charlie Lee's cross was headed goalwards by Rinaldi, bringing Loach into action with a low catch.  Within a short time, Watford had gone ahead, with Williamson doing well to get to the dead-ball line and pull the ball back to the near post, where the Brazilian dug out a shot that beat Forecast at his near post.  But Tottenham hit back straight from the kick-off, with Hallfredsson setting up Barcham with a similar effort to the goal, but the shot was caught by the keeper.

Across into the Spurs area caused panic and Forecast lost the flight of the ball and was lucky that it dropped to one of the Spurs defenders around him to clear away.  The ball came straight back though and McNamee put in a cross for Hoskins to head downwards, but Forecast dived full length to push it around the post.  Signed from Rotherham United, Hoskins looked a different class to reserve team football and it was not a good one.  It appears that he thinks he is above this, as he put in little effort and was the focus of a lot of shouting from the coaching duo of Mackay and Alec Chamberlain.  In contrast, his Millers team-mate Williamson put himself about and Kabba up front, while not looking likely to threaten the goal in any way, did a  lot of work hassling the defenders on the ball and chasing lost causes.

What former West Ham striker turned agent Paul Goddard and Charlton reserve team coach Mark Kinsella made of it all, we will not know.  I guess that Pat Holland, who was also watching would have been a little disappointed that many of his charges at U18 level had not shown their true potential on the night.  But while Boothroyd might have been looking as to who he might step up to the first team, for the watching Spurs personnel, missing Martin Jol and Chris Hughton for once, it is more like who will be released and who are the ones to watch come through.  Personally, I have been disappointed with Phil Ifil for a while now and he is a player who seems to have gone backwards in his development after looking such a talent when he broke through.  He appears to have a touch of the Robbie Keane's "someone else's fault" attitude.  I hope he can turn it around, but he looks like he lacks urgency and drive and his throw-ins are no better than some of our first team's.

Rinaldi was causing problems into the second half and when released to run into the Tottenham box, he brought Forecast out quickly off his line to block his shot with his legs.  Spurs almost got level on the hour, when Hallfredsson headed a corner at goal and Bangura hacked it away from the post and then Charlie Lee put the ball back towards goal and the same player was there to clear once more.  It would have been a bit of an injustice if Spurs had equalised, as Watford just about deserved the win.  A Watford kick out held up in the wind and gave Jamie O'Hara the best chance to get back in the game, when he volleyed it straight back from inside the centre circle, but the ball went wide with Loach scampering across his goal.  Two late headers from Barcham and Archibald-Henville slipped past the post and the match ended in torrential rain.

For me, the leggy central defender took the man of the match stakes, with a good defensive performance and some good distribution, when everyone around him was giving the ball away.  To say he was head and shoulders above everyone else might be overdoing it, but his height coupled with some good vision certainly made him stand out above the crowd.





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