OPPONENTS Nottingham Forest
COMPETITION League Cup Round 4
DATE Wednesday 24th September 2014
VENUE White Hart Lane






Forest approach this game top of the Championship and unbeaten, although they have two draws in their last three Championship games.  But Forest also arrive on the wave of emotion as they commemorate the ten year anniversary of Brian Clough's death.

We will see a sea of green, with the Cup sponsors donating green jumpers to all the travelling Forest fans to replicate Clough's favourite attire.  It was in an FA Cup game at the Lane in 1971 that he started to come to notoriety as a manager with the club that he went on to win two European Cups with.

But those days are long in the distance and this is will only be the third meeting since the Tricky Trees fell out of the Premier League in 1999.  However, with Stuart Pearce, a disciple of Clough, in charge, he is hopeful of bringing the good times back to the City Ground and this might be a good test to see how his side might cope should they gain promotion at the end of this season.  Like many clubs (including Spurs), Forest have had a merry-go-round of managers in recent times and maybe Pearce can give some stability of the new owners of the club stick with him.

As for the playing staff, there are few names remaining form the Premier League days, with only one name familiar to Tottenham supporters likely to ring a bell.  Andy Reid is still producing decent performances as he uses his experience to drive Forest forward.  Around him, he finds a mixture of ex-Prem players and youngsters on their way up.

Matty Fryatt has top flight experience with Hull City and Leicester City, while Dexter Blackstock (Southampton), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea) and Danny Collins (Sunderland & Stoke City) have all played in the Premier League.  Soon to follow them will be promising goalkeeper Karl Darlow and Jamal Lascelles who signed for Newcastle United and have been loaned back to Forest ... but that does suppose the teams don't pass each other in opposite directions at the end of the season.

Greg Halford played in the Premiership with Reading and Wolves; Danny Fox at Southampton and Henri Lansbury was at Arsenal. Defender
Jack Hunt is on loan from Crystal Palace, while David Vaughan played midfield for Sunderland and Blackpool in the top division and Jack Hobbs was at Liverpool as a highly rated up and coming centre half, but he failed to make more than a handful of appearances.

Pearce has got the team organised to be solid at the back and quick to break with Lansbury, Reid and former Sheffield Wednesday and
Reading winger Mikael Antonio ready to switch defence into attack quickly. With new signing Britt Assombalonga from Peterborough United
looking dangerous having made the step up to the Championship, they have a potent goal-scorer who is fast and strong on the ball. Having had trouble with dealing with Saido Berahino, Assombalonga is a similar striker.

Darlow is a keeper who interested Spurs, but he chose to move to Newcastle with much touted centre half Jamal Lascelles. Darlow looks a good shot stopper and is a brave goalie, but he looks like he needs to cam down sometimes, especially when crosses come in, as he seems to think he can get anything that is thrown into the box and he sometimes over-reaches himself. Lascelles looks a composed defender, with QPR close to signing him in the summer to partner Steven Caulker, but he has been allowed to return to Forest after also signing for the Toon.

Another defender known to Spurs is Michael Mancienne, who played a few games at Chelsea before de-camping to Hamburg. A ball playing
centre-half, Mancienne has a bit of pace and likes to bring the ball out from the back, while alongside him might be Kelvin Wilson, a strong centre-half who has returned from Celtic for personal reasons, but has not had many chances this season.

Tottenham will need to work hard to make sure they equal the effort that Pearce will demand from his Forest team. The tempo we play at can determine how Spurs take the game to Forest. A slow build up will allow numbers to get back behind the ball and make it hard to break them down. Any time that Forest break forward from the back, Tottenham need to capitalise on any space that might be available to move into.

Against WBA, the movement off the ball was not good, allowing them to tie Spurs up, but moving the ball quickly and pulling Forest players
around might give opportunities to whoever plays up front.  And playing two up front might give the Championship side more problems at the back than having four against one.

Forest will play a strong side and look to hit their wingers early, who, in turn, will play early balls into the box.  For Spurs, the key will be the transition from back to front and then the ability of the player son the end of that to take their chances. 

It might take longer than 90 minutes, but I can see Spurs sneaking it even though the team will be much changed from Sunday.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Nottingham Forest    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Andros Townsend is fit after recovering from a kick on his leg in Belgrade last week, with Michel Vorm possibly being given a chance between the sticks and Roberto Soldado could start up front.
Forest will be without midfielder Chris Cohen, defenders Jack Hobbs and Jack Hunt for the match.  They are joined on the sidelines by midfielder Andy Reid and striker Matty Fryatt.

Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
League Cup Highlights  (BBC 2) -  Wednesday 23.05 (highlights)  Also available online.

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)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/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
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  3 (0)                                                                  Nottingham Forest  1 (0)
League Cup Round 3
Wednesday 24th September 2014                                                                                               Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Mason 72m 34s
Soldado  83m 03s
Kane 91m 42s
J. Grant  61m 54s




Crowd :   31,912 Weather :  A little chilly; dry
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. M. Perry; Mr. E. Smart
Fourth Official :  Michael Bull -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Nottingham Forest : kit
12  Michel Vorm

21  Federico FAZIO
33  Ben DAVIES

25  Benjamin STAMBOULI  (38  Ryan MASON 65  )
42  Nabil BENTALEB

17  Andros TOWNSEND
  8  PAULINHO  (18  Harry KANE 64  )
  7  Aaron LENNON (c)

  9  Roberto SOLDADO    (11  Erik LAMELA 85)

Unused subs: 
24  Brad Freidel
  5  Eric DIER
23  Christian ERIKSEN

  29  Dorus de VRIES

  3  Dan HARDING
  6  Kelvin WILSON (c)
16  Jamaal LASCELLES
13  Danny FOX

24  David Owen VAUGHAN (32  Robert TESCHE 46)
21  Jamie PATERSON
37  Jorge GRANT    (35  Oliver BURKE 86)
30  Stephen McLAUGHLIN

38  Ben OSBORN

14  Lars VELDWIJK  (32  Dexter BLACKSTOCK 74)

Unused subs: 
  1  Karl DARLOW
  5  Danny COLLINS
15  Greg HALFORD
34  Tyler WALKER

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :   Stuart Pearce
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Fawaz Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

This League Cup tie was bereft of much excitement until the 62nd minute when Nottingham Forest scored and Tottenham decided to start playing, following a couple of shrewd substitutions by Mauricio Pochettino.  The 3-1 result flattered Spurs, with the last goal coming in added time, but at least they were pushing on until the end and taking their chances at last.

Match stats showed Tottenham had 20 shots at goal, with only five on target, some of which was due to the 'ambitious' shooting of Andros Townsend.  I can't remember de Vries being called upon to make many saves and for the majority of this match, the now familiar pattern of the last few matches was played out against Championship side Forest.  Ball retention was the main aim so it seemed, with no concern about going forward to pressurise the visitors' defence.  One up front, once more meant that the ball failed to stick up front often enough, with the midfield not quick enough to support Soldado on his own up top and when we did get into good positions, too often the delivery into the box found a red shirt, the keeper's hands or flew too high and deep. 

With Forest fielding a weakened side, it was a good opportunity for Tottenham to test out the new, improved Poch style, with some tempo and intent.  What it turned out to be was a turgid first half, with Spurs lucky to be going in level.

While Spurs seemed to control the play well, knocking the ball around comfortably, it was the other side who posed a greater threat when they went forward.   Jan Vertonghen had taken a shot when he rampaged forward, but his final touch before his shot took the ball too close to Wilson, who blocked his shot as he met the ball.  Our Belgian defender held his foot after de Vries had to dive to his right to push the ball wide.   Benjamin Stambouli was crunching into tackles and Aaron Lennon chasing back to win the ball off Forest as they looked to go forward.  It was a disjointed performance in the first half, with Paulinho not contributing much and Soldado starved of supply, it left him running trying to close down opposition defenders.  Paulinho did hit the ground after winning the ball off Fox in the Forest penalty area and seemingly being pulled back, but Marriner was having none of it.  The ref did see fit on two occasions to stop play for Forest players on the floor - neither of which were head injury victims and got up to play on without any treatment.  It was another masterclass from the school of how not to referee.

Halfway through the first period, Ben Osborn broke forward in the right hand channel from halfway and found Spurs players backing off, so he moved inside to a central position, past Fazio and he fired a shot that beat debutant Michel Vorm, but not the crossbar, with the ball coming back off the face of the woodwork and away.   A low cross came back in, which Vertonghen half cleared to McLaughlin, who bent a shot on goal, but it was straight at Vorm, who caught it easily in his midriff.  Townsend began his carpet-bombing of the Park Lane crowd, Naughton let fly from way out and Lascelles stopped it getting through to the goal with his face and then Fazio strode out of defence to hit a 25 yarder that fizzed just over the bar.

There were a smattering of boos at half-time as the teams headed for the dressing rooms, but an interview with Paul Allen, mainly about the 1991 FA Cup Final lightened the mood a little.  Paul Coyte made a comment about the many memorable Spurs-Forest games of the past, but you felt this wasn't destined to be one of them.

The second half kicked off with Tottenham looking a little more urgent going forward, but they failed to threaten that much.  In fact, Osborn had the first chance of the second half, hitting a shot across goal and missing by a couple of yards to the right.  Tottenham's best chance came from Ben Davies' left wing cross that came in thigh high and Paulinho flicked out a foot to divert it towards goal, but the ball missed the far post by inches.  It was the pre-cursor to the opening goal of the match, but it came at the other end.

A shot by lumbering centre-forward Lars Veldwijk was blocked by a challenge from Naughton, with the ball spinning wildly left towards the dead ball line, but it didn't go out.  Fazio went to close down Veldwijk, but he crossed the ball low back towards the penalty spot and picked out Jorge Grant, who had the simple task of putting the ball over the line from four yards out with nobody in front of him.  It was a lax piece of defending allowing too much space and time in the box.  Davies had been left with two players at the far post and was split between them, allowing Grant to get to the ball first.  The boos rang down and the team had not really looked much like scoring all night and a shock exit looked on the cards.

The concession of the goal did seem to kick Spurs up the arse a bit, with Paulinho flicking a header wide from Naughton's cross, but it was the last part he played, with Kane coming on for him and Ryan Mason replacing Stambouli.  This immediately seemed to pick up the tempo, with Mason passing the ball around sharply and with the two subs joining Townsend and Bentaleb form the Under-21s, they knew each other's games, so linked better.  Having Kane up front also seemed to share the load on Soldado, who suddenly was finding the ball and space around the box.

With twenty minutes left, Vertonghen tried to charge forward and shoot again, which he did, but the block took the ball wide to Davies, who put in a well-placed cross, which Kane met with his head, but planted it straight at the goalie.  A minute later, Spurs worked a good spell of possession and Ben Davies fed the ball infield form the left to Ryan Mason, who took a little back-lift and drilled a shot at goal.  The next thing we knew, the ball had rippled the net and was nestling behind de Vries, as it dipped and beat his late dive.  It was a bolt out of the blue and just what Spurs had needed, showing if you do buy a ticket, you can win the raffle !!  Mason had made his debut at Wolves six years before and had seemed like the perennial one who might make it, but this time he took his opportunity, with a good performance, linking play and getting forward with smart passes that found their target.

The goal suddenly gave Spurs new impetus and a clumsy foul on Kane by Lascelles on the edge of the box saw Andros line it up and we all thought we knew where it would end up.  However, he surprised us all by dipping it over the wall and leaving the keeper standing, as the ball smacked against the bar.  Then Mason and Bentaleb both pulled shots wide of the goal before Spurs went ahead for the first time in the game.  Mason received the ball 25 yards out, but this time, he back-heeled it into the path of Townsend, who drilled in a low shot that was going wide, until Roberto Soldado reacted quickly to divert it up and over the keeper and into the net for 2-1.  The crowd cheered, because, for all the lack of appreciation he appears to get from the media and the analysts, the Spurs crowd generally want him to do well and the goal was greeted by his usual mauling by Townsend, so expect more Twitter bant !!

Forest looked disheartened and lethargic after that goal and when Erick Lamela immediately replaced Soldado, the visiting players must have been haunted by the thought of what he might do to their tiring limbs.  He enjoyed a brief cameo, running at the red shirts and leaving them in his wake, trotting out a few tricks.  When he got the ball from Mason on the halfway lien, he ran forward and played a 'look-away' pass to send Kane in on the right side of the box.  Having missed chances like this already this season, Harry set himself to strike the ball low inside the side netting on the other side of the goal, beating de Vries' dive to make it 3-1 into added time at the end of the match.  It was a good goal and showed that he had learned from previous situations he had been in and it rounded off a good substitute's appearance from him.

Prior to the goal, Naughton had a go from 30 yards out and his shot was easily fielded by de Vries, as it was straight at him, but when Lamela embarked on a run from 35 yards out straight at the heart of the defence, his shot ended up kissing the bottom of the keeper's left hanf post and going wide, in what would have been a very unfair score-line for Notts.

Forest had enjoyed their day out.  The team had shown that they could live with a Premiership side and Grant will have a goal he will always remember.  Their fans sung well and threw plenty at the Spurs crowd, but, wearing their free green jumpers to commemorate Brian Clough's death ten years ago, by the end, they were looking a little green about the gills.  There were few worries apart form the shot that hit the bar and the goal, whereas, Tottenham did cause Forest plenty of problems and they still have to work on being more clinical. 

It will be a totally different side that takes to the pitch against Arsenal, but a repeat of the first 70 minutes will see us get a spanking. A repeat of the last twenty minutes might see us give them a game, but it will need everyone to be on their toes.  Looking comfortable on the ball and making it pay are two different things and Tottenham have to turn one into the other.

James Martindale




Nottingham Forest were not named after the dense woodland around Nottingham, but about the defect in the wood of a tree therein, which resembled the ham produced in nearby Gotham  (Knot-Gotham in Forest).

The club bear two stars over their club crest on their shirts to signify the two star players that have graced those shirts throughout their history - Terry Hennessey and Jon Olav Helje.


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What you thought
The Funky Phantom Heard someone on the phone on the platform at Northumberland Park station, "Yeah. Some guy called Manson scored the first goal for Spurs."
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 1 Southampton 2 Tuesday
Cardiff City 0 Bournemouth 3 Tuesday
Derby County 2 Reading 0 Tuesday
Fulham 2 Doncaster Rovers 1 Tuesday
Leyton Orient 0 Sheffield United 1 Tuesday
Liverpool (win 14-13 on pens a.e.t) 2 Middlesbrough 2 Tuesday
Milton Keynes Dons 2 Bradford City 0 Tuesday
Shrewsbury Town 1 Norwich City 0 Tuesday
Sunderland 1 Stoke City 2 Tuesday
Swansea City 3 Everton 0 Tuesday
Burton Albion 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Wednesday
Chelsea 2 Bolton Wanderers 1 Wednesday
Crystal Palace 2 Newcastle United 3 Wednesday
Manchester City 7 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Wednesday
West Bromwich Albion 3 Hull City 2 Wednesday


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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