Real Sociedad (Spain)

Saturday 12th August 2006




Tottenham Hotspur   2    Real Sociedad (Spain)   1      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Venue : White Hart Lane  
Saturday 12th August 2006
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   ,
Referee :  Steve Bennett (Kent)
Weather :  -  Overcast, some bright spells, some light rain
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :



Davids (Ziegler 79)
Jenas (Huddlestone 79)
Lennon (Ghaly 79)

Defoe (Murphy 71)

Unused subs: 

Real Sociedad (Spain) :



Novo (Felicio 62)
Uranga (Aranburu 68)
Rekarte (Garrido 82)

Kovacevic (Cerio 74)
Prieto (Rossato 85)

Unused subs: 


Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Real Sociedad (Spain)
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe 37
Dawson 62

Real Sociedad (Spain)

Uranga 44

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  




Real Sociedad (Spain)

Riesgo (dissent) 35
Alonso (foul) 65  


Match Report : -  
With a stunning strike by Jermain Defoe and a first goal from Michael Dawson, Spurs saw off the robust Real Sociedad side that showed a cynical side which I hope we don't see too often in Europe.  A good practice for what we might meet in the UEFA Cup was watched by a half-filled White Hart Lane, which I hope won't be the same when it comes to the real thing.

The new England manager Steve McClaren watched on as two of his first squad hit the net and there were impressive performances from the other English members of the team.  Most outstanding was the new Tottenham signing from St. Etienne - Didier Zokora.  His warm-up saw him energetic and all over the place.  This was reflected in his match performance, as he covered a huge amount of ground and passed well too.  His purchase might well mean we don't miss Carrick too much.

The game itself was more competitive than the Inter match, with Real closing down Spurs very quickly and not afraid to stick a tackle in, the two bookings could easily have been doubled at least.  Lennon's pace was a constant threat to the Spanish defence and he looked to be enjoying himself (apart from the kicks he got).

The early minutes of the game were played out in midfield, with only a couple of crosses into the Tottenham area causing concern, with Dawson and Assou-Ekotto dealing with them effectively.  With the new signing from Lens on the left and Lee switched to the right, the full-backs showed a desire to over-lap and get forward.  Unfortunately, Lee's crossing was nto a whole lot better from the right and Assou-Ekotto failed to receive the ball when he was in acres of space.  It is something that Spurs might be able to utilise in the coming season.  

The Tottenham goal came out of nothing.  Robinson's long punt was helped on by Berbatov's overhead kick, but it fell to a Sociedad shirt.  A loose bit of control allowed Davids to nick the ball away and slip the ball through to Defoe.  With a striker's natural predatory skill, he latched onto it and took two strides before hitting it with great power past Riesgo in the Real goal.  27 minutes gone and Spurs 1-0 up with a fine hit from Jermain, just outside the box.  And Tottenham almost went two up when a Zokora corner was headed on by Dimitar and Jenas was on the spot to fire in a shot that rose up and smacked back off the bar and away.  The keeper had done well to get in front of Jermaine, but he didn't do so well when he chased after the referee to remonstrate about a supposed foul on a defender and a yellow card was flashed in his direction after he appeared to lay a hand on the official.  It was more than he did with Defoe's shot.

Spurs were playing the ball to Defoe's strength.  On the ground and through the defence, the supply was seized on, using his pace to test the visiting back line.  He got away again, but a low ball across the face of the goal failed to reach Aaron Lennon as Rekarte blasted it out of play for a corner.  From that, Sociedad broke upfield and passed the ball around the edge of the area and when it came to Uranga, he curled a shot past Robinson, who saw it late when Davenport ducked.  There was a lack of shutting down and Uranga was allowed too much time on the ball to get his shot away from five ards outside the box.

Coming just before half-time, it was not the best time to concede, but even I could not describe it as well as the Babel Fish translation from the Real Sociedad ... "Gari Uranga it has written down a goal of beautiful invoice from outside the area with a flat firing with spiral."

The second half began with the same line-ups on the pitch, with Spurs attacking the Paxton Road end with Defoe being fed in the area by Assou-Ekotto and he wriggled away from two defenders before crossing to Berbatov, who was unable to get sufficient power in his header to trouble Riesgo.  The Bulgarian was just over the bar with a volley when Lennon's cross was sliced into the air and had a shot blocked well.

Dimitar was also instrumental in the construction of the second Spurs goal in the 61st minute.  Zokora hit another long corner and Berbatov nodded the ball back into the heart of the penalty area where Davenport challenged the hesitant keeper and when the ball dropped to ground, Michael Dawson was on the spot to smash the ball into the net from six yards out.  Only a lineman's flag stopped the central defender claiming a second ten minutes later as he scored in similar fashion.

In between the two Dawson "goals", the Real side started to lose their cool.  Alonso cynically tripped Lennon as he raced away from the Sociedad midfield and the number 3 committed three bad fouls without seeing a card from the referee somehow.  With the substitutes coming and going, the game started to exhibit a lesser number of flowing moves, but one such string of passes saw Jenas and Zokora exchange passes before Berbatov was released on the right.  As he cut in, it looked as though he would unleash a shot on goal, but he unselfishly tried to set up Reto Ziegler, who was in space in the area, but Leon dashed back to intercept at the cost of a corner.

There was on last moment of panic for Spurs, as a ball into the area was nto adequately dealt with and it took Tom Huddlestone to sort it out with a clearance, but the final whistle was not far away and the game ended with victory for Spurs.

It was a good show by Spurs, as they made some neat passing moved and as an exercise in some of the World Cup players getting back into the groove after a break from action.  Another win and the mentality that Martin Jol wants to instil in the side has been primed for the League campaign once again.

Barry Levington

Reaction : -



This was a reasonable work-out for Spurs and introduced the new signings and returning internationals to White Hart Lane.

However, the impact made by Andreas Brehme look-a-like Morten Skoubo was one which the Spurs players felt rather than made for themselves.  His persistent fouling went unpunished by the ref, while others picked up yellow cards for lesser offences.

Spurs moved the ball around well and restricted the Sociedad chances to just a few and the goal they scored was a good one, but should have been prevented by the Spurs defence, who stood off Uranga, who placed his shot beyond Robinson's reach.

That equalised Defoe's fierce drive when put through by Davids, then it was left to Michael Dawson to net his first Spurs goal, lashing in a loose ball outside the six yard box from a corner, to win it for Tottenham.

The game was played a little more than training ground pace, so the impressions gathered from this match must be tempered with that in mind, but Zokora covered a huge amount of ground and Defoe looked sharp too.  Lee looked happier at right back, with Assou-Ekotto slotting in nicely on the left.

The abiding memory will be of the Park Lane singing "Dawson, Dawson give us a wave" and Paul Robinson berating him for not doing so.  Dawson complied and both received a cheer from the fans behind Robbo's goal.

Clive Martin



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