Charlton Athletic (Away)
Premier League

Monday 7th May 2007


With points a valuable commodity for both sides, this will be a tight fought affair with a close end result.

Despite lying near the bottom of the table, Charlton will put in a performance that will test Tottenham, especially in what could be their last home Premier League game.

Having managed to pull the score back to 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers last week, they then proceeded to crumble to end up losing 1-4, with a gaffe by keeper Scott Carson, an own goal by Herman Hreidarsson and two soft goals conceded through poor marking.  Given the same opportunities, the score-line might be just as large, but Pardew will try and ensure that this will not happen again.

Carson is said to have had an outstanding season and sure, he has had a lot to save, but remembering his appearance at White Hart Lane earlier this season, he looks like he is prone to mistakes.  Spurs will no doubt try him out and if they can create enough chances, they will get on the score-sheet.  The defence in front of him provides little protection.  Luke Young must have been glad he didn't move to West Ham, but regretting that he didn't move on to another side.  A good right back, he has been injured and now is in a struggling team and is finding it hard when having to defend for long periods.  Hreidarsson has been a useful Premiership defender in his time, but is now getting found out positionally and for pace.  With some of our forwards, he could be in for a tough time.  El Karkouri has been more noted for scoring goals than stopping them going in at his end and his propensity to back off players means that he could be attacked by Berbatov and Lennon,  Madjid Bougherra is a tough defender and might try to upset some of the Tottenham attackers, while Souleymane Diawara has not settled in well, having a tough time from the start.  I don't know much about Chinese captain Zhi Zheng, apart from the fact that he pops up in the opposition's penalty area quite often.  The treatment room at Spurs Lodge will be relieved that Ben Thatcher will not be able to play as he is suspended.

The midfield of Charlton boasts some experience, with Matt Holland, Amdy Faye and Bryan Hughes have been around for some time, but this also has it's dis-benefits in the lack of pace to cover back once they have bombed forward.  They might try and be a bit more compact knowing the damage that our runners can do from midfield and therefore sit a little deeper.  Jerome Thomas is a tricky winger, who, in the absence of Andy Reid will add width, has given up problems before, so he will need to be closely watched by Chimbonda and Darren Ambrose has the ability to make well-timed runs from deep to join the attack.  I don't know a lot about Alexandre Song Billong apart from the fact that he is a Gooner on a season long loan and has had his problems controlling his aggression.

The Addicks' strength is in attack and it is surprising that they have only scored 32 goals, but some of that can be put down to the injury to Darren Bent that kept him out.  A mobile and pacy striker, Bent has been linked with Tottenham, so a win over Charlton might hasten his big money move to White Hart Lane.  Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is now coming back to his twilight time and he still has the explosive shot that he always possessed, but his pace is not anywhere near what it used to be and it has become harder for his legs to carry his bulk around now.  He's still a handful to deal with and Marcus Bent is a bit of a mix of the two already mentioned.  Physical and fast, he can provide a more compatible partner for the other Bent.  one other option for Pardew would be to bring in the fleet of foot Dennis Rommendahl, who can get past most full-backs, but once there, his use of the ball or the position frustrates his team-mates and fans alike.

It is a little ironic that Spurs meet Charlton in a match where the need for points to keep them out of the InterToto Cup comes against a side managed by Alan Pardew, one of the players Tottenham brought in to play for them last time we were in that competition.  With Martin Jol needing the points to give his players an extra month off in close season, I am sure he will be able to produce a performance from his side that will unfortunately nudge Athletic nearer the drop.

PREDICTION : -  Charlton Athletic  1   Tottenham Hotspur   2

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


CHARLTON ATHLETIC :  -  Ben Thatcher (suspended); Andy Reid (hamstring); Cory Gibbs (knee)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -   Young-Pyo Lee (knee); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Anthony Gardner (broken leg); Dorian Dervite (knee); Mido (groin)


Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
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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
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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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
Planet football - (free - only available when match is on.)
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Charlton Athletic   0   Tottenham Hotspur    2      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue : -  The Valley
Monday 7th May 2007
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   26,339
Referee :  Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Weather :  -  Mild, dry
Teams : - 
Charlton Athletic :


El Karkouri

Zheng (Hughes 84)
Song Billong (Sam 71)

Marcus Bent (Hasselbaink 71)
Darren Bent (c)

Unused subs

Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)
Rocha (Gardner 46)

Lennon (Malbranque 60)

Keane (Defoe 84)

Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Charlton Athletic

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Charlton Athletic


Tottenham Hotspur

Berbatov 7
Defoe 90

Cards : -  
Charlton Athletic



Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
With the need for three points to push for a UEFA Cup place, there was little room for sympathy for Charlton who needed a win to stay up.  The lack of sympathy even extended to the Charlton crowd's booing of Jermain Defoe, who had the last word in this important win for Tottenham.

With Tottenham panicking a bit in the second half, they allowed Charlton to have some possession in dangerous positions, which was in contrast to the first period, when they held the ball well and kept Charlton at bay by staying in the Addicks half.  Only a couple o f half chances came the home side's way and Spurs should have finished more of the opportunities they created ... but that is the story of Tottenham's season

Spurs could not have asked for a brighter start.  Knocking the ball about comfortably, they looked confident and when Dawson headed out a low cross to Rocha, you could not imagine what was about to happen.  Luckily, Dimitar Berbatov did.  As King took the Portuguese defender's pass and played it down the left touchline, Berba manoeuvred in front of El Karkouri.  As the ball came to him, he flicked the ball past the Charlton defender with the outside of his foot and ran the other side of him.  Out-pacing the Moroccan, Dimitar ran towards the penalty area and kept his body between the defender and the ball, but before he got a chance to tackle, Berbatov had shot over the approaching Scott Carson to bury the ball inside the side-netting to register his 22nd goal and Tottenham's 100th of the season.  it was a goal that said much about the way the Bulgarian plays the game ... with poise and class.

Charlton hit back by trying to exploit the weakness Tottenham have in defending set-pieces.  A corner was played in low and the ball bounced up off Dawson as one of the Bents missed it, but luckily it popped up into Robinson's hands.  El Karkouri also did the same, when he might have done better, later in the half.  The Spurs keeper had a couple of nervy moments, with him coming to punch the bal and not getting it very far, but he was rarely directly troubled and the defence kept the ball away from the goal for the majority of the half.

Both sides played over-hit balls through into the penalty area, with Spurs also having chances from a Jenas long-shot and Tainio forced Carson to a dive to save with a 20 yard shot.  With Ricardo Rocha injured in an early tackle, Charlton tried to make the most of the time they had on their right wing with Luke Young getting into crossing positions, but not really making the most of them.  When Carson came for a cross near the edge of the area, it looked as though the threat had gone, but he dropped the cross outside his box and had to hack the ball clear before Tainio pounced.  From it, Charlton moved the ball upfield and in the second phase of play the long ball saw King get caught underneath it and Darren Bent ran on to fire a shot on goal, but Rocha's covering run made him hit it wide.  Before that, the best chance had been when Darren Bent had been played in by Song, but forced wide by Robbo, he crossed to the far post, where Song ran in and met it with his head.  It could have been a problem for Tottenham, but the Arsenal loan player failed to hit the target from about five yards out and a goal-kick was the result.

At half-time, Rocha was deemed not able to carry on and Anthony Gardner took his place in the side at left back for the first time since fracturing his fibula.  The half began much the same way as the first.  Tottenham keeping the ball, with lots of short passes, but at the end of them they turned possession over and gave Charlton the chance to attack them.  Luckily for Spurs, the home side liked to give the ball away equally as much and they had little threat going forward other than corners and free-kicks.

Dimitar makes the game look so simple.  Taking the ball about 30 yards from goal, he looked up nonchalantly, before unleashing a fierce dipping effort that Carson had to push out at full stretch.  A short while later, his through ball to Lennon just caught Aaron's heels, otherwise he would have been straight through on goal and another was just the wrong side of the little winger as he ran through.

With the need uppermost for Charlton to get back into the game, they threw players forward, but not too haphazardly.  However, the way they were playing left Tottenham the openings to hit them on the break.  Unfortunately, they did not make the most of them, especially the one when Berbatov, Keane and Jenas were up against three defenders, but failed to make the final pass tell.

It might have been costly, as Zheng Zhi made a run into the left hand side of the penalty area and went down under challenge from Michael Dawson, but it was a well-timed tackle and the ref saw it all the way and pointed for a corner.  From it Hreidarsson headed towards goal, but without any Charlton player in the vicinity, Robbie Keane smashed the ball away from in front of the goal.

Steed Malbranque came on to add some experience in keeping the ball, with Lennon going off for a rest and when Tottenham forced a corner, Jenas' cross found Berbatov, but falling backwards, his header lacked power and a little direction, as it flew a yard wide.  Dimitar was also involved soon after, when his pass to Steed saw the Frenchman fire hurriedly over as a tackle came in.  Twice Berba was prevented from receiving the ball by good defensive headers and when the play switched to the Tottenham end, the Chinese international produced his best action of the night, with a low cross in that hit Darren Bent rather than him responding to it.  Once more, Robbo found the ball in his arms without being stretched.   Hasslebaink got in the way of a Ambrose shot, which was the last proper threat on goal, apart from Ledley slicing a clearance off for a corner and Dawson blocking a shot from Matt Holland.

With Defoe coming on for the last five minutes for Robbie Keane, it looked as though he would not get much of an opportunity.  An offside decision and a last minute tackle robbed him of a shooting opportunity within a couple of minutes of his arrival, but it was not to be the only involvement he had.  After Robbo had smothered the ball as Hasselbaink ran into the area and it went for a corner, it was cleared by King, who had a good night, despite having trouble keeping his feet.

With time running out for Charlton, there seemed little urgency in their play, so when the ball was nicked off the toe of a defender by Defoe to Berbatov, he waited for his moment to slip a pass between two defenders for the little striker to blast a shot from outside the box that flicked off Luke Young's calf to fly past Carson and seal Tottenham's win and Charlton's fate.

It was about what both teams deserved from the game.  Charlton put in a lot of effort, while Spurs showed that they have the ability to dictate games for long periods, but need to be more clinical and more secure in possession.

We wish all the Charlton supporters the best for next season and hope they will be back in the Premiership soon.  As for Spurs, we move on to Thursday and Blackburn Rovers, as the quest for Europe continues.  Three more points should do it if everyone else wins and with two games left, I hope that the campaign does not fall flat as it did on this day at Upton Park last season.




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



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 36 28 4 4 83 26 88 +57
2 Chelsea 36 24 9 3 63 23 81 +40
3 Liverpool 37 20 7 10 55 25 67 +30
4 Arsenal 37 19 10 8 63 35 67 +28
5 Everton 37 15 12 10 51 35 57 +16
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 36 16 8 12 54 52 56 +2
7 Bolton Wanderers 37 16 7 14 45 50 55 -5
8 Reading 37 16 6 15 49 44 54 +5
9 Portsmouth 37 14 11 11 45 42 53 +3
10 Blackburn Rovers 36 15 5 16 48 50 50 -2
11 Aston Villa 37 11 16 10 41 39 49 +2
12 Middlesbrough 37 11 10 16 41 48 43 -7
13 Newcastle United 37 11 9 17 37 46 42 -9
14 Manchester City 37 11 9 17 28 42 42 -14
15 Fulham 37 8 15 14 37 57 39 -20
16 Sheffield United 37 10 8 19 31 53 38 -22
17 West Ham United 37 11 5 21 34 59 38 -25
18 Wigan Athletic 37 9 8 20 35 58 35 -23
19 Charlton Athletic 37 8 9 20 32 58 33 -26
20 Watford 37 5 12 20 28 58 27 -30


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