COMPETITION Europa League Qualifying Play-off Second Leg
DATE Thursday 25th August 2011
VENUE White Hart Lane






Arriving for the second leg 0-5 down, you could say that all there is for Hearts to play for is national pride after Scottish football took a battering in the Press following the first leg.  I expect that there will be a few Braveheart performances and that they might try to take some with them if they are going out.

For manager Paulo Sergio, it was a bit of a baptism of fire, but to be honest, the result was about right, as Spurs put in a fine performance and left Hearts chasing shadows.  If nothing else, Hearts will be putting in a lot of effort to stop that happening again and they will not afford Tottenham time on the ball nor space to pass it around.  However, their attacking options were a little limited to set pieces and throwing high balls into the box, so it might be that the Scots side try and aim to maximise the potential from those areas.  With Gomes likely to return in goal, they might feel he is a bit vulnerable at the moment.

The injury hit midfield is where Spurs will feel the absences most, although Jenas might return to add some experience, but the youthful approach will have a double benefit to the Spurs team.  Young legs full of running will test the Jambos endurance and they will also have a surprise factor, as the opposition will not have seen them play or know what they are capable of.  And much will go the same for the Spurs crowd..

Hopefully 5-0 is not a lead that Spurs can throw away, with an extension to the aggregate score o the cards, but not getting near the club's record score unfortunately.  Only five early goals for Hearts could make the outcome in doubt, with Tottenham having enough to control the game and to qualify for the group stages, where tougher matches will lay ahead.

As for an appearance by Luka Modric ... don't put any money on it.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    3       Heart of Midlothian  0
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :  Spurs' injury hit midfield will again be decimated, with the only light in that particular tunnel being Jermaine Jenas' possible inclusion after an Achilles injury.  Youngsters are likely to be given a run out, with Harry Kane, Tom Carroll, Andros Townsend and Jake Livermore all destined to get a game.  Tottenham's injury list in full is ... Ledley King (knee), Alan Hutton (knee), William Gallas (groin), Sandro (knee), Wilson Palacios (knee), Danny Rose (ankle) and Steven Pienaar (groin), although there is a slight possibility that Luka Modric (head and hamstring) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle) might be able to play.

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Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)     Heart of Midlothian  0 (0)       (5-0 on aggregate)
Premier League
Thursday 25th August 2011                               Kick off 20:00
White Hart Lane
None None
     Pavlyuchenko  (foul)  26 
  Townsend  (foul)  86


    McDonald (foul) 29


Crowd :   32,590 Weather :  -  Mild, dry
Referee :  Anastossis Kakos (GRE) Assistant Referees :  Christos Akrivos (GRE), Gagas Dimitrios (GRE)
Fourth Official :  Ilias Spathas (GRE) -
Hearts kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Heart of Midlothian : kit
23  Cudicini

22  Corluka
Dawson (c)  (  4  Kaboul 46)
19  Bassong
46  Carroll

43  Fredericks (21  Kranjcar 61)
29  Livermore (47  Nicholson 76)
  6  Huddlestone
31  Townsend

 37  Kane

Unused subs: 
11  van der Vaart
18  Defoe
32  Assou-Ekotto

  30  McDonald

17  McGowan
  4  Jonsson
  3  Grainger

22  Saliukas  (c)
27  Robinson  (21  Taouil 78)
12  Templeton

22  Smith  (  7  Suso 82)
19  Skacel  (31  Mrowiec 72)

Unused subs: 
11  Driver
13  Obua
16  Stevenson

Manager :   Harry Redknapp Manager :  Paulo Sergio
Shirt Sponsor :   Investec Shirt sponsor :  Wonga
Kit Supplier :   Puma Kit Supplier :  Umbro
Match report

A snore draw of a game enlightened only by the support for the Hearts side heightened because of their opposition being of a Sassenach persuasion, this match was only really notable for four young Spurs players making their debuts in a comfortable 0-0 draw against a more organised Scots team than we faced in the first leg.

Paulo Sergio had obviously learned lessons from the game a week ago, but it was still inherent in the Jambos intention to get back into the tie to score an early goal.  However, the closest they came was when Gordon Smith turned on a ball in from McGowan on the Hearts left and from inside the box the box and cracked a shot that rattled the cross-bar with Carlo Cudicini beaten with just 12 minutes gone.  After that, I can only recall a Templeton shot that curled too high and a late shot by Suso, the substitute, that had Carlo diving to his right to hold the shot, which lacked real power.

As for Spurs, they stuttered, because, with many new faces in the side, there was a lack of cohesiveness in their play.  Players were not accustomed to making the runs they should be making, nor to put the ball into areas where the regular players may have wanted it.  Thus Roman Pavlyuchenko looked to have one of those games where he is disinterested, but it is hard to do what he is in the team for (score goals), when he gets little service.  One low ball pulled back for him by Corluka saw him shoot on the half-turn at the near post, but he did not keep it down.  One other effort which might have showed his frustration came fro a short corner, but almost went off for a throw-in !!  Symptomatic of the team, as the same thing happened with van der Vaart on Monday night.  .

Pav had been closer in the ninth minute, as Kane was sent through by a smart pass from Tom Carroll and the striker passed to the Russian, whose shot was well pushed round the post by McDonald in the Hearts goal.  Then just after the Scots hit the bar, Kane was played in on the right side of the box but over-ran the ball resulting in him just getting a toe end to the ball and McDonald gathered at his near post.  Cudicini had to be alert at his near post to beat away a free-kick bent in by Grainger, but the shot was a bit obvious, as he shaped up to the ball without looking at who was in the middle.

The three youngsters who started were doing OK.  Kane was trying to make runs in the right channels, while Carroll might have seemed lightweight, but was doing plenty of running to make up for that, as well as producing some good passes.  Fredericks was a little hesitant on the right wing, but there were moments when he got away from his man and crossed, but often hit the near post, where the keeper or defenders picked his crosses off.

A link up straight out of the youth side came in the 28th minute, as Carroll fed a tight pass between two Hearts men and played Kane into the box on the left hand side.  As McDonald came out, he clattered Harry, as the ball was nudged past him and the referee had to give a penalty.   The keeper was booked and Kane got up to grab the ball to take the spot-kick, but the goalie guessed the right way and kept the ball out to his right.  On the Jumbotron, the angle from behind the kicker showed Kane had kicked a bit of the penalty spot, thus making the effort less powerful than he might have hoped.

At half-time Spurs brought Spurs and Hearts legend Dave Mackay out to take the applause of both sets of fans, although the aging star looked a little bemused by what was happening and surprisingly was not interviewed at all.  In addition, the presence of another man who played for both clubs was a little more enlightening, as Tom White - the brother of John White - was interviewed about his part in the memorial match for his brother who tragically died when struck by lightning on a golf course in Enfield.  The game in 1964 saw Tottenham play a Scotland XI and Tom was invited to play for Spurs, which remains an abiding memory of the man who was on his first visit back to WHL since that day.  But he was playing for Hearts at the time and it was revealed that he had to sign for Tottenham to be able to play in the match and then sign back for Hearts afterwards !!  On a  day when Spurs made the loan deals for Emmanuel Adebayor and Yago Falque, it seems a long way from the Tom White move, but then there weren't even substitutes back then !!

Anyway, back at the action (or inaction), Dawson failed to appear for the second half and Corluka took the armband as Kaboul took Dawson's place in the back line, which was reduced to a three with Tom playing just in front of them.  It didn't work that well and they did revert to a 4-42 later in the half.  Every time Hearts broke into the Tottenham half, they tried to run the ball at our defence, but were usually picked off with white shirted men to spare.  There seemed to be a lack of belief in the Scots side that they might be able to score.  The best chance came in the 67th minute, when Novikovas picked out a cross from the right wing onto Smith's head, but unmarked, he put a free header well wide, with the goal right in front of him.

Pav had his shot over the top and then sliced a shot from 20 yards out well wide of the mark.  Towards the end of normal time, Zaliukas glanced a header over the bar, with Tottenham's marking lax once more, then Cudicini stopped Taouil's low curler and the same player put a shot wide with the last action of the match.

It was an indication of the state of the play when the fourth official held up the board to show three minutes of added time, the Spurs contingent booed heartily.  Last season we would have been wanting to wring every drop out of the Champions League campaign, but this time, it looked like we were glad to get this qualifier over and done with, but there will be much more of this to come and against who, we will find out tomorrow.

Whoever it is, I hope that performances will pick up, otherwise there will be many more empty seats than the alleged 1,000 or so that the official attendance claimed.  Perhaps a drop in ticket prices might help fill the ground for these "Glory Glory Nights" !!   No point getting a 60,000 capacity stadium with people rattling around in it is there ??  Either that or Levy will have to get more loan players to fill the seats in the half empty West Stand.  Is that why we have really signed them ??

Martin Pilkington


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What you thought
Steve Abbott What a bore.  This was one of our free cup games and putting out the reserves is all well and good for 'player development', but what does it do for our reputation in Europe ?

I don't mind seeing practice matches, but would expect to pay accordingly for them and not top dollar for European ties against Inter or AC Milan or Real Madrid.

I avoided the Athletic Bilbao game because of this and got stung without even being given the option.

Chopping and changing the team is not good practice either, with Hearts no kind of preparation for facing Manchester City as it proved with the United game.



Other scores from the qualifying round second leg ties :
AEK Larnaca (CYP) (win 2-1 on agg.) 2 Rosenborg (NOR) 1 Thursday
Alania Vladikavkas (RUS) 0 Besiktas (TUR) (win 3-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Anderlecht (BEL) (win 4-3 on agg.) 2 Bursaspor (TUR) 2 Thursday
AS Roma (ITA) 1 Slovan Bratislave (SVK) (win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
AZ Alkmaar (HOL) (win 7-2 on agg.) 6 Aalesunds FK (NOR) 0 Thursday
Birmingham City (win 3-0 on agg.) 3 Nacional (POR) 0 Thursday
Club Brugge (BEL) (win 5-3 on agg.) 2 FC Zestafoni (GEO) 0 Thursday
CSKA Sofia (BUL) 0 Steaua Bucharest (ROM) (win 2-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Dinamo Bucharest (ROM) 2 Vorskla Portava (UKR) (win 5-3 on agg.) 3 Thursday
Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 1 AEK Athens (GRE) (win 2-1 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (RUS) 1 Fulham (win 3-1 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Dynamo Kiev (UKR) (win 2-1 on agg.) 0 Litex Lovech (BUL) 0 Thursday
FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) 0 Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS) (win 2-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Gaz Metan Medias (ROM) 1 Austria Vienna (AUS) (win 3-2 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Glasgow Rangers 1 NK Maribor (SLO) (win 3-2 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Guimares (POR) 0 Atletico Madrid (SPA) (win 6-0 on agg.) 4 Thursday
Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) (win 4-1 on agg.) 4 Ekranas Panezavys (LIT) 0 Thursday
Helsingborgs (SWE) 1 Standard Liege (BEL) (win 4-1 on agg.) 3 Thursday
Karpaty Lviv (UKR) 0 PAOK Salonika (GRE) (win 2-0 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Panathinaikos (GRE) 2 Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) (win 4-2 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Paris St. Germain (FRA) (win 6-0 on agg.) 2 Differdange (LUX) 0 Thursday
Partizan Belgrade (SER) 1 Shamrock Rovers (IRE) (win 3-2 on agg. a.e.t.) 2 Thursday
PSV Eindhoven (HOL) (win 5-0 on agg.) 5 SV Ried (AUS) 0 Thursday
Rapid Bucharest (ROM) (win 4-2 on agg.) 1 Slask Wroclaw (POL) 1 Thursday
Rabotnicki Skopje (MAC) 1 Lazio (ITA) (win 9-1 on agg.) 3 Thursday
Red Bull Salzburg (AUS) (win on away goals; 2-2 on agg.) 1 Omonia Nicosia (CYP) 0 Thursday
Rennes (FRA) (win 6-1 on agg.) 4 Red Star Belgrade (SER) 0 Thursday
Schalke 04 (GER)  (win 6-3 on agg.) 6 HJK Helsinki (FIN) 1 Thursday
Sevilla (SPA) 1 Hannover 96 (GER) (win 3-2 on agg.) 1 Thursday
Sion (SWI) (win 3-1 on agg.) 3 Glasgow Celtic 1 Thursday
Sochaux (FRA) 0 FC Metalist Kharvik (UKR) (win 4-0 on agg.) 4 Thursday
Sparta Prague (CZE) 1 FC Vaslui (HUN) (win 2-1 on agg.) 0 Thursday
Spartak Moscow (RUS) 2 Legia Warsaw (POL) (win 5-4 on agg.) 3 Thursday
Sporting Lisbon (POR) (win 2-1 on agg.) 2 FC Nordsjaelland (DEN) 1 Thursday
Stoke City (win 5-1 on agg.) 4 FC Thun (SWI) 1 Thursday
Trabzonspor (TUR) P Athletic Bilbao (SPA)  (Awarded walkover as Trabsonspor go into Champions League as Fenerbahce withdrawn) P Thursday
Young Boys Of Bern (SWI) 2 Sporting Braga (POR) (win on away goals; 2-2 on agg.) 2 Thursday



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