Besiktas (Away)
UEFA Cup Group B

Thursday 19th October 2006

Spurs take on Jean Tigana's side who sit third in the Turkish Super-Liga and the Black Eagles will want to break their duck of not having beaten an English side in Europe to date.

Perhaps the loss of some of Tottenham's first team squad will boost the confidence of the home side who are sure to have a fierce army of fans supporting them in an intimidatory atmosphere, but some of the Spurs team have experience of such surroundings and will be able to handle it.

I do not know much about Besiktas, but imagine that they will press hard for a goal and then hope it breaks Tottenham's resolve, but with the pace in the Spurs side (should Aaron Lennon be selected), it is a great opportunity to break fast and catch Besiktas out.

Dimitar Berbatov has played them before, as has Paul Robinson and their performances will be key, along with that of Didier Zokora, who is looking more impressive each game.

Without any other reason than the side are gelling better now and looking more solid, I predict a close win for Spurs in the white hot atmosphere of the Black Eagles nest.

PREDICTION : -  Besiktas  1   Tottenham Hotspur   2


BESIKTAS :  Ibrahim Akin (ankle); Matias Delgado (stomach); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Steed Malbranque (hernia); Teemu Tainio (hernia); Mido (thigh); Hossam Ghaly (hamstring); Calum Davenport (nose);  - (-); 


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

UEFA Cup Group B
Venue : -  Inonu Stadium, Istanbul
Thursday 19th October 2006
Kick Off :  6.00 p.m. (BST)
Crowd :   26,800
Referee :  Nicolai Vollquartz  (Denmark)
Weather :  -  Dry, warm
Teams : - 
Besiktas :


Sedef (Bobo 46)

Tatan (Akin 66)

Marcio Nobre

Unused subs


Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)

Murphy (Ziegler 80)
Ghaly (Lennon 83)

Berbatov (Defoe 89)

Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  


Tottenham Hotspur

Ghaly 32
Berbatov 61

Cards : -  

Tatan (foul) 38
Toraman (foul) 52


Tottenham Hotspur 

Chimbonda (dissent) 19
Ghaly (kicking ball away) 58


Match Report : -  

The Heathrow Spur



Reaction : -



Well, this is a bit more like it !!

A controlled passing display that showed strength and character in what might not have been the most intimidating atmosphere some of the team might have experienced, although it is probably the loudest for the length of the match and beyond.  They also showed the ability to create numerous chances, but to also take some of them.

The while team did well and here is my run-down on their performances ...
Robinson - didn't have a great deal to do, but when called upon he made the saves.  Troubled from another long range free-kick, which he pushed up, but recovered well to punch it away from under the bar under pressure.
Chimbonda - Solid in defence and keen to get forward.  With every passing game, he looks better.
Dawson - A towering presence and with King back in harness, the Turkish side never looked like scoring.
King - Our key defender.  The side look so much more content with him in the side.  Never flashy, but always there.
Assou-Ekotto - Worked the line well and has an eye for supporting the wide midfielder, but still has a tendency to stand off his opponent allowing them to get crosses in.
Huddlestone - Came in for Zokora and showed a different presence to the Ivorian, but did what he had to do simply and without any fuss.  Had a very impressive performance.
Murphy - Showed what he could do and his European experience came in handy as he played little passes to link play and then opened play up with a longer pass.  Worked hard and perhaps we are now seeing the best of him.
Jenas - The boy has massive reserves of energy and covered a huge amount of ground.  Some of his passes were a little off target, but he broke down Beskitas' attacking moves and prompted Tottenham's own.
Ghaly - Surprised me with his willingness to get up and down the line, as he has not showed that before.  Always a skillful player, he seems to have added some graft to his game and although there was a huge slice of luck about his goal, he got into the position well and could have had another.
Berbatov - This is what he is all about.  Perhaps he is more at home in Europe than the Premier League at the moment, but gave a fine example of the target man's art.  His performance was highlighted by his movement which always gave an out ball for the defence and he held the ball up well and brought others into play.  His goal showed his foresight in knowing exactly what he was going to do when faced with opponents and I hope he can translate this form into the game at home.
Keane - Robbie hit the bar missed another couple of presentable chances and tried his flicks and tricks; many of which didn't come off tonight.  Frustrated, he moaned at everyone else, but needs to look at his own game and revert to doing what comes simply before going for the glory ball.  Disappointing.
Ziegler - Looked very rusty.  Shows good determination, but might need a run in the first team or reserves to keep up to speed.
Lennon - Little time to show what he does best, but raced past a defender, but failed to find a white shirt with his cross.  Will have enjoyed getting back on the pitch again.
Defoe - Only had a minute, but could have had a goal had he turned Assou-Ekotto's low cross in instead of wide.  Will be pleased he is getting in the right positions, but will be hoping to convert the opportunities that come his way.

This was as good an away performance in Europe as I have witnessed in many a long year by Spurs and should go some way to building confidence for the forthcoming games.  Brugge's draw with Bayer Leverkusen in the other game on the night showed that neither side will be a pushover, so there are still tougher tasks to come, but with some more wins like this under our belt before we face them, it might be a well-timed run in to the other group games.



His name is Tom Huddlestone, a talent that I've been championing since
before Carrick's departure.  One can only imagine where we'd be now if Jol had given
young Tom the nod, instead of ageing Edgar.

We may well have kept our streak against Everton, not to mention some of the other avoidable setbacks suffered so far.  Still, he's there now and hopefully will get a run in the side.  I told you all that he's the business and how sweet it is to be proved right.




Other scores in the groups :
Group A
Livorno (ITA) 2 Glasgow Rangers 3 Thursday
Maccabi Haifa (ISR) 3 Auxerre (FRA) 1 Thursday
Group B
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 1 Thursday
Group C
AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 3 Braga (POR) 0 Thursday
Liberec (CZE) 0 Sevilla (SPA) 0 Thursday
Group D
Odense BK (DEN) 1 Parma (ITA) 2 Thursday
Osasuna (SPA) 0 Heerenveen (HOL) 0 Thursday
Group E
Basle (SWI) 1 Feyenoord (HOL) 1 Thursday
Wisla Krakov (POL) 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Thursday
Group F
Austria Vienna (AUS) 1 Zulte Waregem (BEL) 4 Thursday
Sparta Prague (CZE) 0 Espanyol (SPA) 2 Thursday
Group G
Panathaniakos (GRE) 2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0 Thursday
Rapid Bucharesti (ROM) 0 Paris St. Germain (FRA) 0 Thursday
Group H
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 2 Palermo (ITA) 1 Thursday
Newcastle United 1 Fenerbahce (TUR) 0 Thursday

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