Middlesbrough (Home)
League Cup 3rd Round

Wednesday 26th September 2007

Everything is building up pressure on Martin Jol these days.  Players not getting a fair crack of the whip.  Former players saying current players should leave.  The board reportedly offering Jol's job to all and sundry.  And the results on the pitch are not as great as the Press expect.

So, does a League Cup tie give Jol the ability to experiment or is it a shot at the big time, with a chance to win some silverware ??

With a number of Middlesbrough players out injured, especially in the attacking department, it is likely that they will field some inexperienced players and with the array of talent at Tottenham, he could give some of those who have not had a lot of time on the pitch a chance to show what they can do.  Taarabt, Defoe, Boateng and Routledge might be featured, as the Coach will no doubt take the opportunity to rest some of the bigger names.

Games with Boro tend to generally be dour affairs, so it is down to Tottenham as the home side to set the pace to provide some entertainment for the assembled crowd.  With everything to gain,  as there are a number of other all Premiership ties being played this round, Spurs need to push on and I hope that they will show some good football and some clinical finishing.

Boro will fight to prove that their fringe members will be able to stake a claim for a first team place, so it will be closer than I might like it to be ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2     Middlesbrough  1

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (knee); Anthony Gardner (knee)

MIDDLESBROUGH : -  Julio Arca (knee); Mido (hamstring); Tuncay Sanli (calf/shin); Jeremie Aliadiere (hamstring); Chris Riggott (back); Emanuel Pogatetz (knee); Matthew Bates (knee); Robert Huth (foot); Gary O'Neil (cup-tied)


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)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 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
Singapore 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 :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   2    Middlesbrough   0      (Half-time score : 0-0)

League Cup 3rd Round
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 26th September 2007
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   32,280
Referee :  Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Weather :  -  Rainy at first, chilly
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson (c)


Jenas (Zokora 69)

Defoe (Keane 69)

Unused subs: 

Middlesbrough :


Young (Davies 80)

Boateng (c)
Rochemback (Owens 76)
Shawky (Craddock 46)


Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Bale 72
Huddlestone 75



Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Dawson (foul) 44
Tainio (foul) 60 



Rochemback (retaliation) 40
Cattermole (persistent fouling) 82   


Match Report : -  
With the inability to defend set-pieces still obvious, Tottenham managed to get past Middlesbrough reserves with a two-goal blast in five minutes halfway through the second half to see them progress to Round 4 of the League Cup.

The goals came just after some of the Spurs fans roundly booed Martin Jol for removing Jermain Defoe from the action, to be replaced by Robbie Keane.  Tottenham had missed a large number of chances up until that time, but then stuck two away in double quick time to see off the Tees-siders.

Firstly, Spurs broke with Keane playing a ball forward from the left to Gareth Bale, who took the ball on, rounded Boro keeper Brad Jones and squeezed it in from a narrow angle as a defender slid in to try and stop it in vain.  Then, from the next attack by the visitors, Robinson kicked accurately up to Lennon on the right wing, where he easily outpaced the porky Rochemback and then dinked a cross for Tom Huddlestone to rise and nod the ball down back past where the keeper had come from.

From the first minute free-kick, which Bale took hitting it into the wall and then smacking the second shot just wide after it had taken a deflection.  From that narrow escape, the Boro goal was under pressure for most of the game.   This lead to three successive corners, but they came to nothing and as Boro broke away, they made their first attack with Rochemback striking a low shot that bounced just in front of Robinson and he had to push the ball aside for a corner to make sure it didn't sneak past him off the skiddy turf.

Either side of the ten minute mark, Spurs went close.  Firstly, Defoe lifted pass over the Boro defence and Jermaine Jenas ran through, but tried to place the ball over Jones into the top corner and over-cooked his effort, placing it over the bar.  Then Tainio played in Defoe, but the goalie was out to his feet to clock his shot very quickly.

Michael Dawson nodded a Jenas free-kick into the side-netting, then fed a long cross-field ball to Bale on the left wing and he got around Boateng easily, but as he cut inside, he hit a right foot shot that flew well wide.  Defoe looked desperate for a goal, as he lashed a loose ball in the box with great force, but little accuracy, while a flick header from Younes Kaboul to Bale's pacy free-kick produced a very good low save from Jones, who pushed the ball out after seeing it late.

Just before the half hour, Berbatov brought down a long ball and smashed a shot just wide and then Defoe broke away taking on defenders in the right hand channel, but rather than trying to score, he picked out a lofted cross to Tainio, who tried to get some power on the header, but only succeeded in making contact with his shoulder and the ball looped gently into the air for Jones to take easily.

Spurs came the closest yet in the 36th minute, as Hud fed Tainio and his shot ballooned up into the air and Defoe reacted quickest to head the ball goalwards, but Jones arched backwards to get a hand on the ball and push it onto the crossbar.  The failure to convert these chances nearly cost Tottenham dear as the ball dropped from a free-kick and was thrashed at goal by Riggott, but he could not keep it down and it flew over to the relief of Spurs fans in the stadium.

The half-time break did not draw boos.  This was saved for Defoe's substitution in the 69th minute.  By then, Downing had his shot blocked wide by Dawson and Craddock fired wide when well placed.  On the hour, Lennon burst into the area and Wheater made a rash challenge, which looked to take Aaron's legs from under him, but the referee was only willing to give a corner and even then only after the linesman had corrected his original award of a goal-kick.  Stroud was suckered in by Rochemback's easy falls too many times and a string of free-kicks that caused Spurs problems.

Just before Defoe went off, he headed Chimbonda's cross to the far post downwards and Jones once more plunged to the turf to keep his effort out.  Jol obviously felt that Jermain had had his chance and brought on Keane in his place, while Jenas made way for Zokora to come on.

Within three minutes, Spurs were ahead and three minutes later, it was all over.

In added time, Zokora was put through by Tom Huddlestone and with his first goal looking a cert, he fired a left foot shot (!!) a mile wide.  A consolation was almost won by Wheater, when he rose to head a corner just wide, with nobody marking him as Downing's ball came in.

A win was what the team need, as they start to put some results together (three without a defeat now), but it was a less than clinical performance against a very inexperienced Middlesbrough team and one where it needed late goals to take the tie, but a full strength Spurs eventually came out on top.

So, one more point proved by Jol and a place in the last sixteen of the competition saw Tottenham supporters leave happy (well, most of them anyway), as the boos for removing JD turned to supportive chants for Martin Jol shortly after.  Fickle ?  Spurs fans ?  Never !!



Reaction : -












Other scores this round :
Arsenal 2 Newcastle United 0 Tuesday
Aston Villa 0 Leicester City 1 Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers 3 Birmingham City 0 Wednesday
Blackpool (After extra time; 1-1 at full-time) 2 Southend United 1 Tuesday
Burnley 0 Portsmouth 1 Tuesday
Fulham 1 Bolton Wanderers (After extra time; 1-1 at full-time) 2 Wednesday
Hull City 0 Chelsea 4 Wednesday
Luton Town (After extra time; 1-1 at full-time) 3 Charlton Athletic 1 Tuesday
Manchester City 1 Norwich City 0 Tuesday
Manchester United 0 Coventry City 2 Wednesday
Reading 2 Liverpool 4 Tuesday
Sheffield United 5 Morecombe Town 0 Tuesday
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 3 Wednesday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Cardiff City 4 Tuesday
West Ham United 1 Plymouth Argyle 0 Wednesday


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