Twente Enschede (Holland) (Away)
Champions League - Group A

Tuesday 7th December 2010

With the prize of top spot in the group table at stake, Spurs perhaps have the more difficult task of playing away at Twente Enschede, while Internazionale host Werder Bremen in Milan, with the Germans out of form and out of the competition already.

However, with a number of injuries already accrued by the Spurs squad, Harry Redknapp might take the opportunity to rest some stars and play some fringe players, especially as some of the Twente players have made it clear that they will give Spurs a "warm welcome" and you can read between the lines on that one, after they felt they were cheated out of the result in the first meeting at the Lane.  We saw a consummate display of cynical fouling, time-wasting and gamesmanship which did not pay off as they lost out 1-4.

Spurs won that one quite convincingly, even though we lost Rafael van der Vaart through a needless sending off.  Spurs will be without the player who would be making a trip back to his homeland, as he is suffering with a hamstring injury, while Kaboul, Huddlestone, will all miss the trip, but Harry hopes to have Jermain Jenas and Robbie Keane fit for the game.  Luka Modric going down with flu leaves him a doubt for the match, but Michael Dawson will once again be in the squad after recovering from his ankle and knee injuries.

Twente also have problems with injuries and four of their key players are out, but goalkeeper Sander Boschker is back and midfielder Tiendalli and defender Bengtsson are back in the fold.  With Marc Janko having committed the most fouls in the Champions League this season - not bad for a forward - we can look forward to a physical encounter, with Theo Janssen also just back from a domestic suspension and two players about to incur one in Europe should they get booked in this game.

And Janssen is a player to watch for another reason, because he and striker Chadli score most of the Twente goals and the team have scored only six goals from 28 shots on target and 24 off !!  not a great ratio, but it does show they get into goal-scoring positions and some of this is by using the height of Janko - another Crouch-a-like - but they also make the most of their set-pieces.  Danny Landzaat played for Wigan Athletic for a couple of seasons without distinction, but is a destroyer, who can then turn play in the other direction with good passes and Luuk de Jong has scored a few goals at home and in Europe, so needs to be watched.

As for the result, it is obviously advantageous to finish top of the group and thus avoid other teams who end up in first place in their groups (i.e. Barcelona, etc.), but Spurs could find themselves pitched in against one of the big names of European football in the first knock-out round because of considerations for regional avoidance (we can't play an English club until the last 16) and for TV organisational reasons.

Having beaten De Graafshap 2-0 at the weekend and Nijmegen 4-2 the week before, Twente will be keen to press on with their winning ways, but Tottenham will have the added bonus of topping the table should they win.  With all things considered, I reckon the points may have to be shared, with big games coming up at home, Redknapp might keep some of his powder dry to ensure the side stays near the top of our domestic table too ...

PREDICTION : -    Twente Enschede    1      Tottenham Hotspur    1


TWENTE ENSCHEDE : -  Nicky Kuiper (out - knee); Bryan Ruiz (out - knee); Emir Bajrami (out - ankle); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (out - groin); Giovani dos Santos (out - groin); Michael Dawson (out - knee and ankle); Tom Huddlestone (out - ankle); Jamie O'Hara (out - back); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Rafael van der Vaart (out - hamstring); Jermaine Jenas (doubtful - calf); Younes Kaboul (out - hip); David Bentley (doubtful - calf); Robbie Keane (doubtful - ankle); - (-); - (-); - (-); 


Sky Sports 4 - (live coverage)
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)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

For travelling fans who may wish to make use of some hostelries who are offering food/drink/accommodation,
please click here and see if there are any such facilities who have contacted MEHSTG in the area near to the ground.

Twente Enschede   3    Tottenham Hotspur   3      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Champions League
Venue :  -   FC Twente Stadion
Tuesday 7th December 2010
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   24,000
Referee :  Carlos Velasco (Spain)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the home end (North-West stand) in the first half.
Weather :  -  Very, very cold
Teams : - 
Twente Enschede :

  1  Boschker

  1  Wisgerhof (c)  (o.g.)
33  Tiendelli
19  Douglas
15  Rosales 

  6  Brama
  7  Landzaat 
  8  Janssen
22  Chadli 

21  Janko  (27 Vujicevic 73)
  9  De Jong

Unused subs: 
13  Mihailov
  5  Bengtsson
23  Buysse
34  Leugers
14  Parker

44  Ola John

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

22  Corluka
13  Gallas  (c)
19  Bassong
32  Assou-Ekotto

21  Kranjcar    (15  Crouch 86)
  8  Jenas       (  7  Lennon 34)
12  Palacios
  3  Bale

18  Defoe   
  9  Pavlyuchenko (10  Keane 73)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
  2  Hutton
20  Dawson
17  dos Santos

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Twente Enschede

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Twente Enschede

Landzaat (p)  22
Rosales  56
Chadli  64

Tottenham Hotspur

Wisgerhof  (o.g.) 12
Defoe 47
Defoe 60

Cards : -  
Twente Enschede



Tottenham Hotspur  

Jenas (taking too long to leave field)  34


Match Report : -  
Once more Spurs proved that they are capable of scoring goals in Europe, but are just as capable of shipping them at the other end in this entertaining 3-3 draw, that, coupled with Bremen's 3-0 win over Inter, left Spurs as top of the group and hoping to avoid some of the big boys in the draw for the last 16.

With the night starting to freeze in the chilling temperatures, Spurs took to the field with Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar and Jermain Defoe all starting.  But it was Twente who mad ea bright start, with Heurelho Gomes having to be nimble to dive sharply to his right to push a 25 yard drive from Brama round for a corner.  Spurs broke away and Bale had a cross cut out for a corner that came to nothing, before a cheap free-kick conceded outside the box, allowed Janssen to fire one of his trademark efforts a yard wide and another free-kick from the right saw the ball skid into the six yard box, with Twente players not getting a touch, leaving Gomes to claim the ball as it headed for the line.

But, then, in the 12th minute, Spurs went ahead in bizarre style.  With the front men closing down the home defenders, they were given little time to dwell on the ball, which prompted captain Wisgerhof the poor pass back to keeper Boschker, but the ball was directly in front of goal and when it hit a bump with the keeper already in the process of his kick, it skidded past him to enter the empty net behind him.  It was a shame for the veteran keeper, who was being given a game in the Champions League for the first time.

Eight minutes later, an equally odd piece of football saw Twente level.  A cross was cleared to the right side of outside  the penalty area.  Rosales set himself and unleashed a powerful volley that may have been hitting the target, but then Assou-Ekotto turned his back on the ball and lifted an elbow to protect his face.  The ref thought differently and after disallowing the first goal for encroachment, he allowed Landzaat to step up (in a stuttering style) to beat Gomes, although the keeper got his legs to the ball that went straight down the middle to make it 1-1 with 22 minutes gone.

The goal helped settle the Dutch side, but the freezing pitch made keeping your feet difficult and players slipped over or slipped passes too far ahead of their intended targets.  A cross by Chadli saw Gomes dive forward to push it out and he was grateful to Bale and Gallas, who blocked Janssen's follow-up shot.  Then it was Boschker in action, making up for his gaffe with a full length dive to his left to turn aside a powerful shot from Roman Pavlyuchenko from 25 yards out.  Another rich piece of refereeing followed, when Jermain Jenas went down with a recurrence of his calf problem and having called a stretcher for him, the match official was peeved that he got up to walk off, producing a yellow card for him that rules JJ out of the first leg of the next round, if injury doesn't do it for him.

Aaron Lennon was the replacement and Kranjcar moved infield, allowing the little winger to take up his normal place on the right, but it was the Croatian who burst forward and hit a shot, but it went well wide.  With the game moving from one end to the other, Twente had a golden chance in the 41st minute, when the ball dropped to Janko inside the box following a corner, but having taken a touch, he chose to shoot on the spin and sliced his shot embarrassingly wide, when he could have paid it on a plate for his captain Wisgerhof, who was just behind him.

Tottenham came on strong at the end of the half, when Bale put in a dangerous cross that had Boschker reaching for it and just getting enough on it to take it away from the Spurs players behind him and then Palacios played the Welshman away down the left and his near post cross was met by good movement from Defoe, who got across his marker and managed to manufacture an effort that flashed over the bar.

That was the last of the action for the first half and it was Defoe who had the first meaningful say in the second half.  Just two minutes in, another Bale cross was misjudged by Douglas and he could only deflect the ball to the far post.  When Lennon took the ball down, it looked as though he was heading into the middle of the pitch to have a shot, but he produced a clever reverse pass to Defoe to leave him in on the keeper and as he dived out at his feet, the England striker coolly stuck it past him to give Spurs a 2-1 lead.

Gomes had already had to hit the ground to grab Douglas' flicked header from a corner before Janssen got away on the left and he put in a cross along the edge of the box, where Rosales had timed his run to perfection and rose ineffectually challenged by Assou-Ekotto and Bassong to head firmly past Gomes to tie it up again at 2-2 in the 56th minute.  The header was all the better as there was little pace on the cross and the midfielder's header had to imply most of the power to the ball.

The status quo lasted for only two minutes, with Wilson Palacios poaching the ball off the prostrate Janssen after he slipped over in his own half and the Honduran fancied a goal himself.  Taking the ball into the box, Wilson hit a low curling shot that Boschker did well to get two hands to, but his low save only took the ball back in front of goal and Defoe was on hand to score the sort of predatory goal that is often his bread and butter.  So, 3-2 to Spurs and plenty of time left.

Five minutes later the score was all square again, as Lennon caught Janko as he was about to shoot, five yards outside the left hand corner of the penalty area.  With Janssen and Chadli over the ball, there was a double threat to the Tottenham goal, so, with Palacios being bumped on the end of the wall and allowing a gap to develop, Chadli hit the ball over the wall and in by the right hand post of Gomes' goal to make it 3-3.

Gomes made a fine save reminiscent of the earlier one from the same player, when Brama hit another drive from 25 yards out, getting his fingertips on the ball which was enough to take it out for a corner.  With 12 minutes left, it was Boschker who was alert to make a reflex stop from Douglas, who tried to stop a low Bale cross from the left, but only succeeded in getting it on the target of his own goal.

With Keane on and Kranjcar picking up an injury, Crouch's introduction saw Robbie move back to midfield and the game faded away, with only Tiendalli going close with a shot that Gomes always had covered.

When news came through of Inter's defeat and it became clear that the point was enough to put Spurs top of the group, the draw seemed even better.  There was a lot to say for Tottenham's approach, which, with the knowledge they were already through, helped them adopt such an attacking style, but the second goal was well made and the third saw Defoe back to his sharp goal-poaching form.

The defence is a question that Redknapp will need to address, as, whoever Spurs are drawn against in the next round, they are likely not to be as lenient in their finishing as Twente were.  But Tottenham can progress with the confidence of a good run in the competition so far and not many teams will relish a trip to the Lane, without packing the midfield to try and stifle the life out of the game.

But, hopefully, as the team have shown, they have the ability and style to overcome this now.  Roll on 17th December when the draw is made.

bob young


Fan Reaction : -



To see Spurs progress to the knock out stage of the Champions League is something to behold, but to see them do it as group leaders, thus avoiding some of the bigger clubs left in the tournament is absolutely fantastic.

It is just a shame that we couldn't hang on to a win to make it even more emphatic, for while we are to be feared at home, I fear when we go away, as we are as good as anyone, we do seem to be unable to stop teams getting through and scoring ... almost on a regular basis.  While we have managed to get away with it up until now, but when we come up against some decent sides we might get found out in a way we did against Sevilla a couple of seasons back in the UEFA Cup.

Dawson's return might help, with his experience adding to that of Gallas, but the side need to be a bit more compact away from home.  I still like the idea of scoring one more goal than the opposition, but it is a throwback to the days of Ossie Ardiles' management.  And we know what happened there.

Not that I am saying Harry will get the sack, but to go as far as we deserve, the team needs to be a tighter unit, to prevent opposing players having the time to make free runs into the box (Rosales) and others getting time on the ball.  It's hard work, but that is what our run to qualify for the Champions League last season was based on.

This game was one that we could sit back and enjoy to a certain extent, having already qualified for the next stage, but it was still frustrating to see three leads all slip out of our hands.

It is a shame the referee didn't have the same sort of sight that Jermain Defoe has for goal.  The penalty he awarded against Spurs was harsh, as Assou-Ekotto was turning his back on the ball, but I suppose if you raise your hands and the ball hits it, you know a penalty is going to be given.  And the free kick that gave Twente their last equaliser was a little harsh, with Lennon running behind one of their players and his foot touching the Spurs winger to take him down.  Strange that Pav seemed to be cleared out from behind a couple of times without getting the same result.

Anyway, a point was enough in the end, with Inter losing to Bremen ... on the evidence of the games against us by both teams, it was a hard one to work out how that happened.

Onto the next part of the competition and Friday 17th can't come quick enough.

Steve Brabham




Other scores this weekend :
Werder Bremen (GER) 3 Internazionale (ITA) 0 Tuesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 3 2 1 18 11 11 +4
2 Internazionale 6 3 1 2 12 11 10 +1
3 FC Twente Enschede 6 1 3 2 9 11 6 -2
4 Werder Bremen 6 1 2 3 6 12 5 -6


Position before the match :  1st
Position after the match :  1st


Back to homepage