Portsmouth (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 28th September 2008


The presence of a number of ex-Spurs players in the Pompey side, the fact that Tottenham are bottom and Portsmouth have let in ten goals in two matches is almost taking second billing.

You would think that the latter two facts might lead to a glut of goals, but the need to tighten up by Portsmouth and for Spurs to score might pile a bit of pressure on that could produce a scrappy match with both teams needing to get back in the groove.

Jermaine Defoe's move to the South Coast will give him a point to prove against Juande Ramos, especially with his former strike colleagues having moved on.  He has been in good scoring form, with his partnership with Peter Crouch (another former Spur) expected to ignite soon.  Both players are also trying to get back into the England set-up regularly and might take this televised platform to show what they can do.

As far as the keeper is concerned, he is the current England number one, but David James has come under the microscope over the last couple of games and no doubt Fabio Capello will be watching carefully, so if Tottenham put him under pressure, it might force more errors from a player well known for them over the years.

The defence has been criticised and players such as Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin might be focusing on making sure the goals that have been let in will be cut out.  Although the side has injuries, there are enough of the team that won the FA Cup last season to take them forward.  Like Spurs, a few of the new players (including Younes Kaboul) have not yet settled, but there is a requirement for both sides to pick up points to take them where they want to be.

With the imminent return of Diarra into the midfield will add an aggression that they might have been missing and having sold Pedro Mendes, who makes a side tick, they could be without a leader in that part of the team, especially with Papa Bouba Diop's big presence missing in the midfield.

This game saw Tottenham's first away win of last season in December 2007, but realistically, THFC will still be bottom of the league on Sunday afternoon, as the points will be shared ... 

PREDICTION : -  Portsmouth  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

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


PORTSMOUTH :  - Sean Davis (groin); Niko Kranjcar (ankle); Jerome Thomas (back); Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring); Richard Duffy (groin); Lauren (knee); Ben Sahar (knee); - (-);

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); Gareth Bale (foot); - (-); 


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

Premier League
Venue : -  Fratton Park
Sunday 28th September 2008
Kick Off :  1.30 p.m.
Crowd :   20,352
Referee :  Mike Dean (Wirral)
Weather :  -  Bright, sunny
Teams : - 
Portsmouth :

  1  James

  3  Johnson
23  Campbell
19  Distin

Little (Utaka 61)

  9  Crouch      
18  Defoe (  5  Kaboul 90)

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

32  Assou-Ekotto
20  Dawson
39  Woodgate      
22  Corluka

  5  Bentley
  8  Jenas (c)
  4  Zokora  (17  Giovani 58)
24  O'Hara     
11  Gilberto  (  7  Lennon 46    )

  9  Pavlyuchenko  (10  Bent 74)

Unused subs: 
21  Sanchez
  6  Huddlestone
16  Gunter
14  Modric

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

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  

Defoe (pen) 34
Crouch 68

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  

Diarra (foul) 38  
Belhadj (persistent fouling) 57
Crouch (kicking ball away) 81
Hughes (persistent fouling) 85

Diarra (second yellow - foul) 88

Tottenham Hotspur 

Woodgate (foul) 26
O'Hara (foul) 33
Lennon (kicking ball away) 90   


Match Report : -  
Another gutless display leaves Spurs stuck to the bottom of the table like glue.  On this performance and what has gone before, going to Liverpool on the last day of the season looks like a game we might have to win ... if it gets that far.

Two points out of 18 leaves Spurs with at least another 38 to find and with only 32 games left, that is averaging more than a point a game.  Can you see it ?  No me neither at this moment in time.

The situation is something that needs to be addressed now, not to say everything will come right eventually.  We can all see what the problems are.  How is it that the management can't ?

For all the money spent, the side are a bunch of individuals gathered together in the hope that something might come off.  The rot set in when we won the Carling Cup and the team got complacent because they didn't have to play for the rest of the season.  Well, they are now carrying that on into this campaign.

With lots of possession in the opening stages, the lack of confidence in the team showed, as they did little with it.  In fact, Gomes had to pull out two good stops from Richard Hughes shots to keep Pompey out.  It was two occasions when Tottenham left the midfielder on his own to fire the bal in on goal.  Spurs did open up Portsmouth on the right wing, when Dawson's raking pass saw Corluka rush in to take the ball on his chest and beat Belhadj and as he laid it back for O'Hara, Diarra got back just in time as Jamie pulled back his foot to strike.  It was O'Hara who had another chance getting onto Bentley's deep cross and hitting a shot at goal, but it lacked real venom.

Spurs picked up a couple of soft bookings before conceding a cheap penalty.  A free kick came in after O'Hara got booked for a sliding tackle on Hughes, but as Jenas jumped for the ball, it was higher than he thought, so not able to get a leg to it, he stuck out an arm and Mike Dean pointed to the spot.  It was so predictable that Defoe would score, but giving him an easy shot with only the keeper to beat from twelve yards was a gift.  He buried the ball into the corner of the net and showed some respect in not celebrating his goal, which probably had nothing to do with the Spurs crowd singing "You're Spurs and you know you are."

Tottenham tried to hit back and Didier Zokora went on a twenty yard run that was ended by Lassana Diarra dumping him on the floor with a shove from behind.  It earned him a booking.  Despite having a bit of the ball and going forward, Spurs struggled to make any chances for their lone striker or the men who were supporting from midfield.  So at half time, Aaron Lennon was introduced for the anonymous Gilberto.

I am not sure how many free-kicks David Bentley has to take before he is deprived of the privilege.  Surely, his success rate is dropping faster than the confidence in banks.  Why is it that he is the only one who is allowed near a dead ball ?  I know Bale wasn't playing today, but Jenas and O'Hara can hit a good free-kick and I am sure Pav would like the chance to have a shot on goal at some stage.  The Russian did well to get his head to Bentley's cross, but did not get any power behind it and it dropped wide of the post by about a yard.

Gomes made another low stop as Traore cut in from the left, where he had a lot of space to fire a shot low across goal which looked like it would have crept in at the far post.  And then the moment that turned the match happened.  With Lennon breaking on the left wing, he produced a cross from close to the dead ball line and Diarra turned his back and threw an arm out to stop the ball reaching the goalmouth in a manner not dissimilar to Jeans in the first half.  Dean had a good view, but declined to give Tottenham a penalty. 

Dos Santos came on for Zokora to add a bit of attacking midfield play and tried running at Portsmouth's defenders, but often ran into them.  Bentley pulled a shot wide and Roman got on the end of a free-kick from the winger, but could not control the ball as he got his foot to the fiercely struck free-kick.  As usually happens, just when it looks like Spurs are getting back into the game, they shoot themselves in the foot.  Acres of space down our right hand side let Traore onto Defoe's pass and he drilled a shot at Gomes, which he managed to beat out, but the ball popped up and none of our defenders reacted quickly enough to stop Peter Crouch heading the ball into an unguarded net for 2-0.

Pavlyuchenko got round Distin and had a sight of goal, but as he got his shot away, Johnson dived in to block the effort, then a foul on Lennon on the edge of the area allowed O'Hara to bend a free-kick around the wall, but a bit too high and wide.  When Pav was replaced by Bent, the Spurs fans did not take it well, chanting "You don't know what you're doing" to Ramos.  Whether this was for just keeping one man up front or the fact that they felt Bentley should have been the one to go, I am not sure. 

As it was, Bentley fed Bent and he turned to hit a shot way over a couple of minutes after coming on.  The tackles were flying in and Crouch elbowed Dawson in the head, but only got a yellow when he kicked the ball away.  Nice to see referees have got their priorities right.  Hughes also got one after a long string of fouls, but when Diarra over-ran the bal and Assou-Ekotto got there first, the Pompey midfielder just went straight through him and got a second yellow and a red.

Just before that, Tottenham had forced James to his first proper save, when Lennon cut in from the left to curl a low shot that would have snuck inside the post had James not dived to palm it wide.  That was in the 87th minute.

Aaron hit another effort that was straighter at the keeper in added time and then belted the ball away when he had a free-kick given against him, as his frustration took hold.

That frustration was felt nowhere more than in the Tottenham end.  Another long journey.  Another pointless exercise and with no wins coming at home, you have to question the tactics for away games, which are not all that different from Jol's.  We still fail to get much from away games and that has got to change.  Playing just one up front has to change, as it leaves the home side with space and time on the ball, with no worry about the ball sticking up front.

Lots of talk has been made of Ramos now having to prove that he is the manager that everyone thought he was.  It is not even that.  He has to prove that he can manage a big club, albeit one that is at the bottom of the league.  That should have started from the day he stepped through the door at White Hart Lane.  It is getting too late and later with every game.





Reaction : -



Let's have a look at the team.

Gomes - OK.

Assou-Ekotto - not good enough.
Dawson - not good enough
Woodgate - OK
Corluka - Could be better

Zokora - not good enough
Jenas - Could be better
O'Hara - tries hard, but needs to improve
Bentley - not good enough
Gilberto - not good enough

Pavlyuchenko - feel sorry for him, as he looks like he wants to score, but can't do it all on his own.

Either Ramos has to wake up to the notion that this is serious or he has to start getting the team playing.

None of the game this season have been routs, but e can't keep losing to individual mistakes, with no threat of scoring up front.  Surely Gus can bring some of what he learned at Swindon and Leeds to Spurs and buck things up. 


No passion.

No pattern.

No hope. 






Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 1 Hull City 2 Saturday
Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 1 Saturday
Fulham 1 West Ham United 2 Saturday
Everton 0 Liverpool 2 Saturday
Middlesbrough 0 West Bromwich Albion 1 Saturday
Manchester United 2 Bolton Wanderers 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Saturday
Stoke City 0 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 2 Manchester City 1 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 6 4 2 0 12 3 14 +9
2 Liverpool 6 4 2 0 7 2 14 +5
3 Aston Villa 6 4 1 1 12 8 13 +4
4 Arsenal 6 4 0 2 12 4 12 +8
5 West Ham United 6 4 0 2 13 10 12 +3
6 Hull City 6 3 2 1 9 11 11 -2
7 Blackburn Rovers 6 3 1 2 8 12 10 -4
8 Manchester City 6 3 0 3 16 9 9 +7
9 Portsmouth 6 3 0 3 7 12 9 -5
10 Wigan Athletic 6 2 2 2 9 5 8 +4
11 Manchester United 5 2 2 1 6 4 8 +2
12 West Bromwich Albion 6 2 1 3 6 7 7 -1
13 Sunderland 6 2 1 3 6 8 7 -2
14 Everton 6 2 1 3 9 12 7 -3
15 Middlesbrough 6 2 0 4 6 9 6 -3
16 Fulham 5 2 0 3 5 6 4 -1
17 Stoke City 6 1 1 4 6 10 4 -4
18 Bolton Wanderers 6 1 1 4 5 9 4 -4
19 Newcastle United 6 1 1 4 5 11 4 -6
20 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 0 2 4 4 9 2 -5


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