Charlton Athletic (Home)
Premier League

Saturday 9th December 2006

Expect a buoyant Charlton to arrive at the Lane after their first win in come time and a newish manager installed following Iain Dowie's dismissal.

Playing one up front in the form of Darren Bent, they support him from midfield with Andy Reid playing just behind the big man.  Bent is mobile and strong and has a good scoring record for someone playing in a poor side.  Jimmy Hasselbaink is returning to fitness, but may have to settle for a place on the bench and while he is not the pacy striker he once was, he possesses the ability to hold onto the ball and hit the target.

The midfield could contain two wide men and the inclusion of Bryan HUghes of late has precluded Rommedahl or Thomas being selected.  Lloyd Sam has been one who the new manager has some faith in and experience in the form of Matt Holland and Darren Ambrose is also available.  The midfield will shut down any space and with Reid in their too, it will make it hard to find any time or space to dwell on the ball.  Spurs have found it difficult to play against such teams this season and will need to ensure they work hard to earn the right to play, with Tom Huddlestone a must to win the ball and play some through passes from this area of the pitch.  Hopefully, Malbranque and Lennon can tie up their wide midfielders and push them back rather than let them get forward.

Hreidarsson, Diawarra and Young will make up the rest of the defence alongside incoming Kishishev.  It will be interesting to see how Berbatov shapes up against the Charlton defence and with Mido back in the squad, he might be a useful option from the bench, as he has scored against Charlton previously.  Defoe is always keen to do well against the side who he was with as a junior and always gets stick from the Charlton fans too.

With Carson on loan from Liverpool, they have a sound goalkeeper and Spurs will need to be clever to beat him.

Bearing in mind that Charlton have not won away since last October and Spurs have solid home record, there is every expectation that Spurs will win, but they have to be disciplined and determined.  They cannot expect to turn up and be handed the points, as the Addicks players are fighting for their Premiership lives.  However, Tottenham should make enough of their abilities to take the points ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  3    Charlton Athletic  1

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (knee); Jermaine Jenas (ankle); Didier Zokora (suspended -  1 of 3); Mido (knee); Edgar Davids (eye); Robbie Keane (knee)

CHARLTON ATHLETIC :  Djimi Traore (hamstring)


Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - 22.30  (highlights) [repeated 07.35 a.m. Sunday]
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - 22.00  (highlights)
Sky Sports 1 - Football First  20.30 p.m.  (highlights)
Sky Sports 1 - Goals on Sunday  10.30 a.m.  (highlights)
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.




Tottenham Hotspur   5    Charlton Athletic   1      (Half-time score : 2-1)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Saturday 9th December 2006
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,565
Referee :  Mike Dean (The Wirral)
Weather :  -  Sunny, dry, cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


Chimbonda (Stalteri 82)
King (c)
YP Lee

Malbranque (Murphy 70)

Berbatov (Mido 76)

Unused subs

Charlton Athletic :


Young (c)
El Karkouri

Reid (Hasselbaink 67)
Kishishev (Rommedahl 54)

D Bent

Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Charlton Athletic
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Berbatov 31
Tainio 33
Malbranque 55
Defoe 64
Berbatov 66

Charlton Athletic

Dawson (o.g.) 42

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Dawson (foul) 4
Malbranque (celebrating goal) 56 



Charlton Athletic

Hughes (foul) 11 
Reid (foul) 32
Sam (foul) 85
Diawarra (foul) 87


Match Report : -  
With a good ratio of goals to shots, Tottenham punished Charlton Athletic for a woeful defensive performance and to run up a useful addition to the goal difference with a 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane.

Dimitar Berbatov showed that he is able to perform to a high level in the Premiership and not just in Europe, while goals came from midfield as well as Jermain Defoe getting his customary goal against the team where he started his career.  Spurs had been quiet in the early part of the game, but on the half hour they came alive.

While the Addicks had a large percentage of the possession, they failed to make much of it and Paul Robinson had to wait until the 87th minute to make a save in anger.  Amdy Faye was the player who went closest most often.  In the first half, he skied an early effort, struck a first time volley from 25 yards across the goal but wide and then put three near post chances wide in the second period. 

Michael Dawson let Darren Bent know he was there early on and got a yellow card for the foul, which meant that he had to be careful not to offend again, but his performance was one of control and excellent timing of his tackles.  The man is really a star.  He put his body in the way of shots on goal, won most things in the air and found time to make a raid down the right wing before being body-checked in the box by Faye, but the ref did not want to know.

Having set his stall out early, the ref booked Hughes for a tackle from behind on Lennon and it looked for all the world that the game would not end with 22 on the pitch.  However, Mike Dean had a sensible second half (apart from booking Malbranque for celebrating his first goal for Tottenham) and the game passed without a dismissal.

Half an hour in and Tottenham took the lead, a little against the run of play.  Tom Huddlestone made a run forward and ignoring the crowd's exhortations to shoot, played a disguised pass right to Aaron Lennon on the edge of the D and he nimbly flicked the ball forward to Dimitar Berbatov.  He let the ball hit his thigh and as it dropped was on it like a flash to extend his leg to divert the ball past the static Scott Carson in the Charlton goal.  Once more he has shown a fine piece off finishing and that explains why we paid 10.9 million for him.

Before we knew it, the score was 2-0 and Lennon was involved again.  His cross was knocked out by El Karkouri, but only to Tainio, who struck a  low shot into a crowded penalty area and it took a slight deflection off the heel of a defender to leave Carson stranded and leave Spurs in the driving seat.

Unfortunately, the Tottenham hit the skids a couple of minutes before the break when Andy Reid, playing in a withdrawn central midfield role, found himself out on the left wing and hit a low ball in to the near post.  Michael Dawson went in for the ball with a Charlton forward and sliced it upwards and towards his own goal, where Paul Robinson could only parry the ball up and then just failed to keep it out as it dropped with Luke Young following in.

At 2-1 it was not as comfortable as it was a few minutes previously and Spurs almost restored their two goal advantage when Aaron Lennon took the ball off the Charlton defence to run at goal and was felled on the edge of the area ... just outside according to the referee.  So a free-kick rather than a penalty resulted and Jermain Defoe's shot was deflected behind off a defender's backside.

The half-time whistle came and we all expected the visitors to come out after the restart to try and get something from the match.  But that didn't happen and Spurs had it easier than they might have imagined against a side who had won for the first time in a while on Tuesday and were fighting for points.  Defoe tried a couple of 25-yarders but one was weak and straight at Carson and the other dipped, but too late to trouble the keeper.    Ten minutes into the half, it was 3-1, as Tainio lifted a cross from the left to Berbatov at the far post.  He rose and headed down for Steed Malbranque to take a touch and then hit a left foot volley past Carson and into the left corner of the net.  He was so overjoyed that he rant o the crowd, for which he got booked.

Huddlestone was immense in midfield and despite sitting deep, he is becoming a greater influence on the attack, as he uses intelligent passes to prompt his team-mates and spread the play to the flanks.  He kept bringing Lennon into the game and the twinkle-toed winger made a timely challenge on the halfway line, which took the ball back towards the Athletic goal.  Onto it was Defoe, who took a couple of steps forward with the ball before blasting it with little back-lift, so powerfully that Carson had little opportunity to do anything than wave a hand at it and say bye-bye as it ripped into the net past him from 30 yards out.  It is good to see Jermain scoring again, as he cast a sad shadow of his former self when he was out of sorts.  He was born to score goals and he does it very well.

When a Charlton attack broke down with King blocking a ball into the area and it falling for Robbo, the keeper's throw out found Berbatov on halfway.  The Bulgarian let the ball run and then made his way down the left wing and into the box, where he took on two defenders, got the luck of the bounce and as the ball fell, he shot low through Carson's legs at the near post to record his second of the match.  It rounded off a poor game for the Charlton keeper, who will be questioned over four of the five goals and his only redeeming memory will be one late save from a Huddlestone drive.

Andy Reid departed a forlorn figure as Hasselbaink was thrown on to try and add something to the Addicks attack, but little changes until Tottenham made some substitutions to give some other players some time in play.  As the game drew to a close Huddlestone made space for himself on the edge of the Charlton box and curled an effort just over, before Faye played a straight bal through the centre of the Tottenham defence, requiring Robinson to rush from his goal to tackle Bent on the edge of the box and then quickly get up to clear the ball.

Rommedahl's introduction did not have the impact Les Reed would have hoped and his late shot from a narrow angle was pushed out for a corner by Robinson, although the ball looked as though it was going outside of the post and a minute before the end of the 90, Darren Bent raced left with King in pursuit and shot, but pulled it a little too far and it went across the face of the goal and wide.

This performance by Spurs was helped by being against a team who didn't have the wherewithal to hit back, but they finished well and have not looked like handing out a drubbing like this to anyone this season so far.  The goals were well created and well taken, the team moved well for each other and worked hard to get behind the ball when it went to the other side.  The home form continues to yield a good haul of points.  All we need now is some form the away games.




Reaction : -



Charlton really looked poor and their defence and goalkeeper will not be good enough to keep them up.

I am not saying that because they were bad, they made Spurs look good, but we should have gone for the jugular when we were 5-1 up with 25 minutes left.

Scoring five was good compared to some of the stuff we have seen this season, but the goal difference would have come in handy and would have given great confidence to the side ahead of a busy Christmas period.

Great to see Berbie and Defoe linking up now and I think that they make a better pairing than Dimitar and Keane.  Defoe is more of a natural born goal-scorer than Keane is and with Lennon coming back into top form and Zokora roaring through from midfield, I think that there are goals in this team from a number of sources.  Tommy Hud  can also hit a shot and is a hugely impressive talent, who will grace our midfield for years to come.

While we have been back to our inconsistent best, I reckon that the team are getting it together after the new players have finally settled in.

Ben Hartley

Having been to the last couple of matches at the Lane (working a lot on Saturdays has limited my chances to get to matches), I have to say that Tom Huddlestone is one of the best things to happen at the club for many years.
He reminds me so much of Le Tiss and Hoddle.  He never panics and just seems to have so much time on the ball.  MJ has to see that he's got a real gem and use him as much as the boy can take. 
Berby's looking good too, so things are brightening up after the woeful performance against the Arse.






Other scores this weekend :
Blackburn Rovers 1 Newcastle United 3 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 4 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Liverpool 4 Fulham 0 Saturday
Middlesbrough 1 Wigan Athletic 1 Saturday
Manchester United 3 Manchester City 1 Saturday
Portsmouth 2 Everton 0 Saturday
Watford 0 Reading 0 Saturday
Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1 Sunday
Sheffield United 2 Aston Villa 2 Monday
Other scores this mid-week :
Wigan Athletic 0 Arsenal 1 Wednesday
Chelsea 1 Newcastle United 0 Wednesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 17 14 2 1 38 9 44 +29
2 Chelsea 17 12 3 2 27 9 39 +18
3 Arsenal 17 8 5 4 27 13 29 +14
4 Portsmouth 17 8 4 5 23 14 28 +9
5 Liverpool 17 8 4 5 23 15 28 +8
6 Bolton Wanderers 17 8 3 6 19 15 27 +4
7 Reading 17 8 2 7 19 21 26 -2
8 Aston Villa 17 5 10 2 21 17 25 +4
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 17 7 4 6 20 21 25 -1
10 Everton 17 6 6 5 20 17 24 +3
11 Wigan Athletic 17 6 4 7 20 22 22 -2
12 Manchester City 17 5 5 7 14 20 20 -6
13 Fulham 17 5 5 7 16 27 20 -11
14 Newcastle United 17 5 4 8 15 19 19 -4
15 Middlesbrough 17 4 5 8 14 22 17 -8
16 Sheffield United 17 4 5 8 13 22 17 -9
17 West Ham United 17 4 2 11 10 24 14 -14
18 Blackburn Rovers 16 4 4 8 14 21 16 -7
19 Charlton Athletic 17 3 3 11 13 28 12 -15
20 Watford 16 1 8 7 10 20 11 -10



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