Norwich City   1   Tottenham Hotspur    5      (Half-time score : 1-2)

Venue : -  Carrow Road
Monday 28th July 2008
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   ,
Referee :  Mick Thorpe (Ipswich)
Weather :  -  Warm, dry
Teams : - 
Norwich City :


Stefanovic (Shackell 61)
Bertrand (Russell 39)

Fortheringham (c)

Hoolahan (Chadwick 81)
Cureton (Martin 70)

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


King (c)  (Assou-Ekotto 46)
Dawson (Huddlestone 28)
Gilberto (Bale 61)

Modric (Lennon 46)

Dos Santos (Taarabt 82)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Norwich City

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Norwich City

Cureton 15

Tottenham Hotspur

Stefanovic (o.g.) 10
Bent 44
Bent 56
Bent 70
Bent 76

Cards : -  
Norwich City



Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
With the news of Robbie Keane's departure breaking on the way to the game, it was not the greatest way to go into the first UK pre-season friendly for Spurs.  But the Keane is Dead, Long Live The King.

Ledley's return was a welcome sight, as his fitness is a major boost to the club's potential success.  However, with Robbie a fading memory and our captain managing 45 minutes and not entirely a distinguished 45 minutes, it was the chance for others to grab the limelight.  And Darren Bent did just that.

The Canaries are about 11 days from their league kick-off and have a large number of players who have joined the squad this summer, following a bit of a clear-out by manager Glenn Roeder.  For Spurs, they had two training ground friendlies under their belt and one game against a Spanish Second Division side.  So, the early stages looked fairly even, with Tottenham having a fair bit of possession, but with Norwich perhaps being a little more direct in going forward. 

An early sign of the link-up between Luka Modric and Jermaine Jenas, saw the Englishman put in, only to be blocked put by the yellow shirted defenders diving in front of him.  However, on nine minutes, Giovani Dos Santos took on loanee Ryan Bertrand and fired the ball low into the six yard box.  Fortunately for Spurs, Dejan Stefanovic could do nothing when the ball hit his standing leg and ricocheted past David Marshall into the Norwich net.  It was a spell when Tottenham had been playing little 1-2s and playing the ball in behind the full backs, but Norwich fought back well.

A Croft cross flew across the face of the goal, Cureton managed to hit a shot on target that Gomes saved well and when a move developed down the right wing, a pass inside to the edge of the penalty area saw the Tottenham captain coming across to cover.  Instead of clearing the ball into the stand, Ledley was caught in two minds and only managed to fall flat on his face.  This left Jamie Cureton the opening to slip the ball past Gomes to level things up on the quarter of a hour mark.

Following the home goal, Tottenham held the ball well and knocked it around with confidence, although Gilberto tracked back slowly on occasions.  The team looked comfortable in possession and gave it away less than they managed last season.  With some tough tackles flying in from the City players, Spurs rode them well, but Michael Dawson could do little to get out of the way of Hoolahan's elbow and the split under his eye that spilt blood everywhere ended his involvement in the match.

With Giovani and Modric showing good skill on the ball and a nippy change of pace when they need to get away from markers, Tottenham eased their way back into the game.  A free kick on the right taken by Dos Santos produced a header from King that was going wide, but the keeper pushed it wider for a corner, although Marshall did better when a 25 yard effort from O'Hara was taken easily above his head.  With the game heading towards the interval, a lucky bounce of the ball from a tackle by a Norwich player fell for O'Hara to slide in Darren Bent inside the right hand corner of the box.  Taking a touch on the ball, he steadied himself and struck the ball low across the keeper to give Spurs a 2-1 lead.

The break saw King go off and Modric leave the play, while a change around saw Benoit Assou-Ekotto go to left back and Didier Zokora go into the centre of defence, while Lennon started on the right wing, but dropped inside and roamed around behind the front two.  The moves sparked a wave of attacks, as Spurs passed the ball accurately and sharply with City losing their shape and any chance of getting back into the game.

Giovani was on the en do some neat passing around the edge of the area and was denied by the Norwich keeper with a good diving save and a block with his legs, as a low shot flew in.  However, he was left helpless in the 57th minute, as Assou-Ekotto put in a low cross from the left wing that bounced up and found Bent running in ahead of Stefanovic to power a header past Marshall.  It was a good piece of anticipation by the Tottenham striker and the sort of ball he will thrive on.

Spurs continued to dictate the tempo of the game and while Norwich piled bodies in front of the ball and their own goal, Spurs moved it about until the chance for a telling pass could be made.  Once more, Giovani was played in around the edge of the penalty area, hitting a low effort that Marshall stopped, but let get away from him - a fatal mistake, as Darren Bent seized on the loose ball to knock it home through the goalie's legs for his hat trick.

Norwich were in no way able to stop the way Tottenham were playing and a flowing move down the right hand side of the game saw the ball end up with Chris Gunter moving up the wing and his first time cross low into the box was perfectly placed for Bent to strike another shot between the keeper's legs to round off his four goal haul in front of a crowd who were jeering him because of his Ipswich Town connections.  Each goal as different and each was taken very well, leaving Juande Ramos a selection dilemma, with Berbatov stuck on the bench - supposedly having a calf strain and unable to even make a sub's appearance.

With the game sewn up in the 75th minute, it was really just a matter of seeing out time, although the pressure still moved towards the Norwich goal.  It was only about five minutes from time when Fotheringham managed to get on the end of a pass and manufactured a shot that Gomes had to get down to smartly to turn around for a corner.  Apart from a cross that he lost his bearings under and had to turn over the bar, Gomes had little to do and the hit and miss coming for crosses of the first half were erased by this good stop.

While there is a large gulf between the two sides, it is pleasing to see Spurs play in this fashion.  They will not get as much space in the Premier League nor will they be untested at the back, but for half a first choice side to play with a comfortable ease on the ball and to finish chances created means it could be an interesting few weeks ahead ... even without players some might think we will miss.





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