Blackpool (Away)
Premier League

Wednesday 22nd February 2011

Spurs meet Blackpool on Sunday in their first meeting in the Premier League, having had the original game back in December postponed. 

Blackpool were unbeaten for a while back then, but their fortunes have turned and they haven't won in six matches.  They are capable of mixing it with the big boys, as manager Ian Holloway has got them relying on their attacking instincts, much like Harry Redknapp has with Spurs, so they shouldn't be taken lightly.

It should be an open attacking game with goals and Spurs arrive at Bloomfield Road with two defeats in the last twenty games in all competitions in the lead up to this match.  With the Champions League matches showing Spurs in a very good light, the Premier League matches have been more of a battle for Tottenham, with hard earned wins against Blackburn Rovers, Bolton and Sunderland in their last three outings.

Going to Blackpool will be a test of character, as the tangerines will be piling forward and Spurs will have to organise themselves as well as the home team and then work at getting through their rigid 4-4-2 system.

With Matthew Gilks out injured, Richard Kingson has taken the gloves and has done well in recent weeks.  Had a mixed reputation while playing for Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, making the odd-ball error, but has appeared to have settled down to keeping in a more reliable manner.

The defence may be boosted by the return of Keith Southern, although he could replace suspended captain Charlie Adam in midfield.  A strong ball-winner in either position, Southern has been a stalwart at the club and would be giving 100% to make sure the team push on to get a result from the game.  Stephen Crainey is missing with an injury, but Neal Eardley, Ian Evatt, Craig Cathcart and Alex Baptiste have mixed an matched in the other defensive positions, with all of them coming up with Blackpool and Evatt and Edwards carrying a load of experience after playing numerous games for a number of clubs.  Alternatively, Baptiste could play, as he is a mobile central defender, who has a bit of pace and is good in attacking positions from free-kicks.

Ludovic Sylvestre is a new signing who has been trying to impress the manager enough to get a chance in the side having featured regularly so far, while loan signing Luke Varney from Derby County has made some valuable contributions - both in terms of scoring and making goals.  His fee might price Blackpool out of a permanent deal, which would be a shame for player and club alike.  David Carney played in Holland before joining, Blackpool and the Australian adds energy and fight to the midfield or defence, so Spurs will need to ensure that they don't take things for granted and knuckle down to earn the space and possession to be able to attack Blackpool.  Former Spur Andy Reid will be waiting to meet his old team, having joined from Sunderland in January and while he still has questions asked about his fitness, his ability to deliver a good ball into the box cannot be criticised.

Charlie Adam is the star performer for the Tangerines and his powerful displays from midfield attracted the attention of Spurs in the transfer window and but for a few minutes more near the deadline, he might have been turning out in a white shirt instead of a brighter hued one.  He has scored goals with his head, from distance, from free-kicks and even straight from a corner against West Ham United.  Many clubs have cast an envious eye on the Scot and he will be one who will have been noted by Harry Redknapp as a player to stop.

Welshman David Vaughan has been a fixture in wide positions in midfield and his crosses feed Taylor-Fletcher and DJ Campbell, so the supply top him needs to be cut out by staying tight to him, while French midfielder Elliot Grandin was brought in to add a little flair to the midfield.  Playing most games so far, he has found it tricky to come to terms with the pace of the English game, but is a trier.  Matt Phillips has also been a regular selection, so the absence of Adam might be off-set by moving him into the captain's position and playing a replacement on the flank.  Malaury Martin is a bit of an enigma, who can be influential when on form, but might disappear from the play when not.

The strike force is a little limited, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher, DJ Campbell and Brett Ormerod forming the threat up front.  Taylor-Fletcher is the target man, who can also use his feet as well as his head, while Campbell is pacy and tricky on the ball.  Both have shown the ability to score in the top flight, but with former Ipswich Town striker Billy Clarke sidelined with injury, veteran Ormerod might be called upon at some stage to get into the action and he is still lively in the box and has the ability to turn on a sixpence to hit the target.  They have been joined in the January transfer window by James Beattie, back down South from Glasgow Rangers, who offers a physical presence that might upset the Spurs central defenders.  Another new arrival is Jason Puncheon from Southampton, where he scored a good few goals and he looks quick and sharp in taking his opportunities.

Spurs will have had a rare week off from action and should be raring to go.  Still hit by injuries, it might be that a few fringe players are given a run-out form the bench, should the team go into the lead and if they can stand toe to toe with Blackpool in the early stages, they could go on to win with ease.  I can't see Tottenham running away with it, with van der Vaart and Bale missing, Defoe coming back and needing a goal, but despite what will be a heavy pitch, they should be able to impose their game on Blackpool, enough to get a result to travel back home with ...

PREDICTION : -    Blackpool    1      Tottenham Hotspur    3

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


BLACKPOOL :  -  Matthew Gilks (out - knee); Paul Rachubka (out - knee); Billy Clarke (out - knee); Stephen Crainey (out - ankle); Saleheddine Sbia (doubtful - fitness); Sergei Kornilenko (doubtful - fitness); Chris Basham (out - broken leg); - (-);

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (out - groin); Vedran Corluka (out - ankle); Tom Huddlestone (out - ankle); Gareth Bale (out - back); Rafael van der Vaart (out - calf); Younes Kaboul (out - knee); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); - (-); - (-);


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Blackpool   3    Tottenham Hotspur   1      (Half-time score : 2-0)

Premier League
Venue :  -  Bloomfield Road
Wednesday 22nd February 2011
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   16,069
Referee :  Chris Foy (St. Helens)
Blackpool kicked off and played towards the Mortensen Kop in the first half.
Weather :  -  Chilly, dry
Teams : - 
Blackpool :

28  Kingson

  5  Eardley
  6  Evatt
20  Cathcart
15  Baptiste

19  Sylvestre  (  4  Southern 58)
26  Adam  (c)
11  Vaughan

41  Kornilenko  (10  Ormerod 62)

44  Beattie  (23  Phillips 63)

Unused subs: 
29  Carney
42  Puncheon
43  Reid

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

13  Gallas
20  Dawson (c)
19  Bassong  (15  Crouch 72)
32  Assou-Ekotto

  7  Lennon
12  Palacios  (  8  Jenas 46)
14  Modric
40  Pienaar  (21  Kranjcar 59)

  9  Pavlyuchenko
18  Defoe

Unused subs: 
36  Khumalo
30  Sandro
25  Rose

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Adam (p) 18
Campbell 44
Ormerod 80

Tottenham Hotspur

Cathcart (o.g.) 90+3

Cards : -  

Evatt (foul) 42  
Adam 90 + 1 


Tottenham Hotspur  



Match Report : -  
Tottenham's biggest defeat of the season, going down 1-3 at Blackpool came after the side created nearly 25 chances on goal, but could only score one, thanks mainly to some poor passing and some inspired defending by the home team, who almost recorded their first clean sheet at Bloomfield Road this season.

Pienaar and Pav had efforts off target, before a move saw the ball played into DJ Campbell in the area.  As he turned near the newly laid turf in the penalty box, he went down under an untidy challenge by Sebastien Bassong and the ref pointed to the spot and Charlie Adam did the rest, firing home past Gomes, despite getting a hand to the ball.

Spurs came close to equalising twice in the first half, with Steven Pienaar hitting a shot laid back to him by Roman Pavlyuchenko, but it was blocked by a falling Craig Cathcart and then the South African went closer as Charlie Adam's thrashed clearance hit him on the shins and the ball went inches over the Blackpool bar.   The better chance came when Pav slipped the ball right to Jermain Defoe and as Kingson rushed out to meet him, his shot came off the keeper and was heading for the top corner until the Spurs striker saw Cathcart heading the ball out off the bar and into his keeper's arms.

Defoe was equally unlucky two minutes from half time, when a long cross by Lennon was fumbled by Kingson and Pav touched the ball back for Defoe to side-foot at goal from 15 yards out and Alex Baptiste cleared off the line.  As Blackpool reshaped, they got the ball and moved the ball from left to right and James Beattie's dinked cross to the far post was volleyed in by DJ Campbell to make it 2-0.

There was little time left in the first half to get anything back, but Spurs started the second half like a steam train, with a series of chances, but none of them would go in.  Neat passing created shots for Pienaar, Lennon and Pavlyuchenko, but the first two went wide and Pav's was easily saved by the Blackpool keeper.  Pav had a great chance to score when he had a header six yards out and put it low, but Kingson got down to it to save. 

A bizarre passage of play saw Lennon get away on the right and pull the ball across low with Pav missing the ball at the near post, then it was picked up on the far post by Modric, who played it in low once more and this time Jenas was just a little behind the ball to stretch, but not reach it with the goal gaping in front of him.

Modric then drove a good opening over the top from the edge of the box, Pienaar put one wide, while the strikers Pavlyuchenko and Defoe both missed with shots, before Jenas was put through, but Ormerod got back to nudge him enough to put him off balance and the midfielder's shot went well wide.

71 minutes in, Lennon put a right wing cross to the far post and Pav met it with a good header across the keeper, but Kingson got down to it to keep it out and then pounced on the loose ball to grab it as Defoe slid in hoping to knock it over the line.  It definitely looked as though it wouldn't be Tottenham's night. 

That was even more clear when Defoe put Luka Modric in on the left side of the box and he lifted the ball over Kingson, who took him out in the process.  As the ball went towards the line, Evatt was well placed to kick the ball away as it headed for goal.  So, no goal and no penalty.

With ten minutes left, some good passing released Matt Phillips with a run in on the box, where Assou-Ekotto took the ball off him, but instead of clearing it, he only succeeded in putting the ball into the path of Ormerod to slip it past Gomes for 3-0.

The only consolation was that Pavlyuchenko struck a 25 yard shot that flicked off Cathcart's heels to fly over Kingson's head to hit the net and salvage a little in making the score-line 3-1 as the game drifted towards the final whistle.  But there was precious little to write home about apart from that.

While Spurs played some good football in getting to a position around the goal, the final ball was just not good enough tonight and for all the chances they created, there were just as many that they could have made if the last pass had not been wasted.  Defoe was offside too much and there were too many hopeful balls into the area with no man being picked out in particular.

Blackpool has less chances, but finished better and looked threatening on the break in the second half, while Spurs toiled and looked less like a side who could beat AC Milan and more like a side who might also struggle against AFC Bournemouth.  Too many players were half-hearted in their attempts to win tackles, while Blackpool were more willing to do the dirty work.  Spurs need to look at Barcelona for all the hard work they do off the ball to win it back once you have given it away.

Euan Oosarmi


Fan Reaction : -



I think the defeat by Blackpool highlights the need for a top class striker or two - dare I say Defoe is approaching his sell by date.  Yes, he was unlucky, but when did he last score ?

We also missed van der Vaart / Bale ... oh for another Klinsmann or Chivers on a night like that.  Someone who is ruthless enough and professional enough to know how to score.

It reminded me of the England Poland game in 1974 at Wembley, but defeats against Wigan, West Ham and now Blackpool means nine points down the drain.

Look where we would have been had we just had a bit more commitment in these sort of "lower" games; games we should have won. 

I'm sorry, but that's why we just have not got there yet to compete year after year like Man U and dare I say Arsenal have done - in the top four year after year.  We seem to be putting all our eggs in one basket (i.e. the Champions League).  Of course, it would be fantastic to go as far as possible in the competition, but I feel it could have been us at Wembley this Sunday if we had shown a little more willing against Arsenal in the Carling Cup and a full strength side ... and as for our surrender in the FA Cup against Fulham.  Well, Bill Nick must have been turning in his grave.

As a Spurs fan, I want to see us win every game ... not just get pumped up for the big nights, which we have missed for so long.  One minute Harry's saying we can win the league with this squad and then the next he was saying it would be a miracle if we get in the top four again.  What message does that send out to his players ?

Stop fearing Chelsea / Man City and their money - we could easily be in the top four with this side, but they need to treat every game the same - like a cup final.  After all, that's what they get paid for.

I feel we are on the verge of having a really successful team, but it's not all about Champions League football, though sadly the money says otherwise.


I am gutted to lose to Blackpool and especially when you look at the stats.

How can we have so many chance sand only score once and then in the final seconds of the match ? 

At stages we looked like Arsenal did against Orient.  Passing the ball about and making chances, only not taking them.

I can see Pav going in the summer, although he had a half decent game and at least he did score.  Unless Defoe gets his shooting boots on between now and the end of the season, he might go too.

Where is the style of play we showed last year that got us into the Champions League ?  We have some tough games coming up ... including the repeat of last season's CL play-off at Eastlands.  Can we bank on Crouch coming up with the winning goal again ?  We might have to if this continues.

East Stan




Other scores this mid-week :
West Bromwich Albion 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Sunday
Arsenal 1 Stoke City 0 Wednesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 26 16 9 1 59 27 57 +32
2 Arsenal 27 17 5 5 57 27 56 +30
3 Manchester City 27 14 7 6 43 24 49 +19
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 27 13 8 6 39 32 47 +7
5 Chelsea 26 13 6 7 46 22 45 +24
6 Liverpool 27 11 6 11 35 32 39 +3
7 Sunderland 27 9 10 8 33 33 37 +0
8 Bolton Wanderers 27 9 9 9 38 37 36 +1
9 Newcastle United 27 9 8 10 42 38 35 +4
10 Stoke City 27 10 3 14 31 34 33 -3
11 Blackburn Rovers 27 9 5 13 34 42 32 -8
12 Blackpool 27 9 5 12 42 51 32 -9
13 Fulham 27 6 13 8 28 28 31 0
14 Everton 26 6 12 8 33 36 30 -3
15 Birmingham City 26 6 12 8 25 35 30 -10
16 Aston Villa 27 7 9 11 31 46 30 -15
17 West Bromwich Albion 27 7 7 13 35 52 28 -17
18 Wigan Athletic 27 5 13 9 27 45 27 -18
19 West Ham United 27 5 10 12 30 48 25 -18
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 7 4 16 27 46 25 -19


Position before the match :  4th
Position after the match :  4th
Position after the mid-week games :  4th


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