Hull City (Home)
Premier League

Sunday 5th October 2008

What Spurs needed was a win of any sort in midweek to gain some confidence to take into the Premier League battle for points, where they meet Hull City, who have made an immediate impact on the top flight with a shocking victory at Highbury to top off their first six games.

Although they lost 0-5 to Wigan Athletic at home, most of their games have been close and they will resemble the Bolton Wanderers side of Sam Allardyce, with Phil Brown as his number two.  Set up with a rigid 4-4-2, they will work hard and be disciplined in their system, but with an eye for getting a goal on the break and if they go a goal down, they will press on as they have nothing to lose.  The latter aspect of their play is one which I would like to see more from Tottenham, as the away form has been a worry for a long time.

With the Spurs side looking more comfortable with their own 4-4-2, it must see Fraizer Campbell take the field against the team he was on loan at last season, with Pavlyuchenko as his partner to give Darren Bent a break.  With the two men up front, the midfield need to be ready to roll up their sleeves to match Hull's energy and there will be a need for Luka Modric to make the most of the possession that comes his way, with chances against the Yorkshiremen likely to be at a premium.

Spurs need to watch out for former Manchester City man Geovanni and the Gabon striker Daniel Cousin, who both netted against the Arse last week.  For all the efforts of Dean Windass, he has not been able to get much of a look-in this season and has been employed picking his nose on the bench.  However, his robust attitude might upset the centre of the Spurs defence.  Former Watford and Wigan Athletic man Marlon King looks like he will miss the match and he has been a regular rather than prolific goal scorer since his Gillingham days.  Richard Garcia has also been a hard-working member of the Hull side for a number of years following his early career in East London.  A strong forward who can hold up the ball, he brings other players into the game.

The Tigers midfield contains some familiar names to older Spurs fans.  Dean Marney only got a brief spell in the first team, but his two goals against Everton in a 5-2 win at the Lane will be remembered.  And Nicky Barmby had the best spell of his career before he moved around without the same degree of success.  A mobile attacker back then, he now plays a more withdrawn role and pulls the strings from midfield.  Ian Ashbee has been deployed as a defensive midfielder in front of the back four, to add a layer of protection for them, while ex-Boro man George Boateng will no doubt cross swords again with Didier Zokora, as they have clashed in the past and Peter Halmosi is an Hungarian, who has made his way to East Yorkshire via Plymouth Argyle.  A creative midfielder, he is also strong on the ball and they have a tricky wide midfielder in Bryan Hughes who has seen Premier League action with Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City in his time.

Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill came through the Aston Villa youths system and he has done well by Hull over the years, still pulling out good reflex saves, but his positioning is sometimes not spot on.  In front of him might be the former Spurs central defender Anthony Gardner, who left to find some regular first team action, but has been injured since joining the Tigers, which was a situation he often found himself in at Tottenham; thus restricting his potential being realised.  Former Swansea defender Sam Ricketts can also play in midfield, but his wide play might be utilised from full back to snuff out the attacks on the flank by Spurs. 

On loan defender Paul McShane has experience of the top flight, but is a little short on pace, while his central defensive partner is likely to be Michael Turner, who is good in the air at the back and when he moves forward for free-kicks and corners.  Another well-travelled defender is Bernard Mendy, who is most likely to be on the bench, while Andy Dawson (brother of Michael) will fill the other full back slot to bring experience from all four divisions to the team.  It will be interesting to see what happens should both brothers come into direct confrontation.

With the need for three points becoming pressing before things start to get nasty behind the scenes, I think Tottenham will have been primed for what is necessary to win this one and while Hull will be keen to repeat their win in North London last week, I foresee a slim win for Spurs ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Hull City  1

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); - (-); - (-); 

Hull City :  - Craig Fagan (leg); Marlon King (back); Stelios Giannakolpolous (thigh); 


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Tottenham Hotspur   0   Hull City   1      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 5th October 2008
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   36,062
Referee :  Rob Styles (Waterlooville)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Overcast, raining
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

16  Gunter (  5  Bentley 55)
22  Corluka
39  Woodgate
  3  Bale

11  Lennon       (17  Giovani 74)
  8  Jenas (c)     
  4  Zokora 
14  Modric

  9  Pavlyuchenko (10  Bent 35     )
18  Campbell     

Unused subs: 
Cesar Sanchez
20  Dawson
24  O'Hara
32  Assou-Ekotto

Hull City :

  1  Myhill

17  McShane
  6  Turner
24  Zayatte
  3  Dawson

22  Marney
  4  Ashbee (c)     
20  Boateng     
22  Geovanni (16  Halmosi 71)

23  King (18  Folan 81)
25  Cousin (15  Mendy 60)

Unused subs: 
11  Hughes
12  Duke
14  Garcia
21  Ricketts

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Hull City
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur


Hull City

Geovanni 9

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Jenas (foul) 34
Lennon (foul) 73
Bent (foul) 81
Campbell (foul) 88 


Hull City

Ashbee (foul) 21
Boateng (foul) 37



Match Report : -  
Nearly a century has passed since Tottenham made such a back start to the football league season, but looking back we have made better starts than this and still got relegated, so things are bleak even as we head into October.  A 1-0 win for a hard working and time wasting Hull City side just made it all the worse for Tottenham, as their work ethic and team work was all that Spurs lacked.

For al the second half possession and attempts on goal, the plain 0 at the end of Tottenham Hotspur's name indicates that was what it counted for ... nothing.  Hardly did the efforts on goal cause Myhill any concern and apart from a couple of shots off the woodwork in the first half, the goal remained relatively unthreatened.

From the first minute when Andy Dawson hacked the ball away from the goal-line to the last kick when Bale swept a free-kick inches wide, it looked as though Spurs might get something out of the match, but the goal threat flattered to deceive and left Hull's single effort that found the net the difference between the two sides.  The first chance saw Jenas' corner unusually find a Spurs head - that of Corluka.  His knock down saw Bale shoot at goal, but Dawson was there to stop it getting into the net.

Tottenham still looked lax in defence, with Woodgate letting a ball behind him go and Geovanni could have got Hull ahead, but he blasted over the bar.  Then Spurs had an opening, as Campbell and Pavlyuchenko got in the six yard box and the ball bounced around until Roman managed to get a toe end to the ball, but it was easy for Myhill to grab the ball.  But Geovanni soon was in the action again, as Corluka bumped into King and the following free-kick, given by haphazard ref Styles, curled wildly past the wall and left Gomes standing as the ball hit the net in the top corner.  It was a classy free-kick and the sort of thing we had been hoping David Bentley would do for us.

A quick free-kick at the other end almost saw Jeans put Campbell in, but he hit the side-netting, while the next free-kick (and there were plenty of them thanks to some rough tackling by Hull and some over-fussy refereeing) saw Bale's dipping shot tipped onto the bar by Myhill.  Modric was given a shooting opportunity, but his body shape was all wrong and it flew a long way wide, when it would have been better for him to hit the target or hit it along the wet turf.  Another free-kick from Bale skipped off the turf, but lacked enough pace on it to beat the Hull keeper.

The yellow cards started to flow and had Styles applied the same judgement that the Spurs players suffered when getting their cautions, then City might have been reduced in numbers.  Especially as their players were time wasting from a point in the match when they were ahead and the keeper took a minute for each goal-kick, while their players hit the turf with increasing frequency.  Funnily enough, it was the new Spurs forward Pavlyuchenko who had to leave the pitch after an ankle injury.

The woodwork came to Tottenham's rescue when they allowed Hull time on the ball on the edge of the box and the ball fell to Marney, playing against his old side, who turned and hit a shot across Gomes, who stood watching as the ball hit the post and bounced out.  Spurs did their normal trick of having a corner, which, three passes later, was in the Spurs penalty area and only Jermaine Jenas, who had a very good game, racing back to slide in to dispossess Geovanni.  Then a Spurs attack saw the ball knocked in and Lennon's lobbed ball back in was swept towards goal by Woodgate, but his shot came off Turner and crashed against the post and out.  it was obviously going to be one of those days.

Tottenham were sent out early for the second half and ten minutes in, Ramos confounded the Tottenham support by bringing on David Bentley to replace Chris Gunter, who had a solid game, at right back.  Bentley did produce some good balls in, but he also put in some weak crosses which let Hull off the hook.  it was Luka Modric who almost provided the opening, with a dinked ball through the defence to Bent, who beat Myhill to it, but it was always going wide.  This was followed by a low Campbell header that went over, a Jenas shot deflected wide, Modric fired wide and Zokora had a shot that ended up just where you would expect ... way wide.

Jenas was breaking forward and played the ball square across the box to Darren Bent, but he took a touch and the shot was blocked out and when Jermaine did the same again, finding Campbell this time, there were too many Tigers' defenders in his way.  This was a familiar event with Spurs failing to break down the massed ranks of orange and black striped shirts.  The frustration was building and when Lennon was baulked as he turned towards the penalty area, taking a whack in the mouth, he scythed down a Hull player and found himself in the book.  Things almost got worse when City broke and Gomes had to prostrate himself to stop King slotting the ball past him on the break.

Modric had a shot deflected wide, then had an even better chance when Campbell lifted a cross to the far post, where the Croat leapt to do a scissors-kick, but only succeeded in volleying into the ground and over.  The Manchester United striker then took the ball off Boateng, who dived in to get it back, but took the legs of the forward and looked anxiously at Styles, but he need not have worried.  Following his mess up last week in giving Manchester United a penalty they did not deserve, there was no way he was giving anything in the box this week, having already failed to give a blatant free-kick for a foul on Modric right on the edge of the area.

Still Tottenham pressed forward, with Giovani hitting a ball that curled in low at Myhill, when a better delivery was needed, then bent failed to trouble Myhill with a header and an overhead effort from Campbell brought the now expected whistle from Styles for dangerous play.

When Zokora was nudged over by Boateng as he broke towards the penalty area, there was no hint of a yellow card (and the subsequent red one) from the match official and it was a major surprise he gave a free-kick, with seconds left.  Bale stepped up to take it and bent it less than a foot wide with the keeper flat-footed.

So, another home defeat and already games are running out.  The need to pick up wins to catch up with teams before they get the chance to pull away is pressing and the side, who did play better, but still look like strangers, will not have a great deal of time together before the next match in two weeks time, because of international calls.  Ramos and Poyet need to get the players to believe in themselves and to get into the habit of shooting.  Without that ticket, we are not just not going to win the raffle, but might end up with the booby prize.



Reaction : -



it's no disgrace to lose to a team that are third in the table is it ?





Other scores this weekend :
Sunderland 1 Arsenal 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Fulham 0 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 0 Middlesbrough 1 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 0 Manchester United 2 Saturday
Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 0 Sunday
Everton 2 Newcastle United 2 Sunday
Manchester City 2 Liverpool 3 Sunday
Portsmouth 2 Stoke City 1 Sunday
West Ham United 1 Bolton Wanderers 3 Sunday



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


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