FC Twente Enschede (Holland) (Home)
Champions League

Wednesday 29th September 2010

I don't know a lot about Twente, so this will only be a short preview.

Having seen the highlights of their game with Internazionale, it appears they retain the well organised shape of a Steve McClaren side, even though the manager has moved on to Wolfsburg.  The main threat seems to come from midfielder Theo Janssen, who scored a top quality free-kick against Inter and grabbed both goals at the weekend against Ajax.

Not a team of big names, except for Michael Schimpelsberger and Tuomas Rannankari, Twente won the title last season for the first time.  They also possess the Austrian Peter Crouch in 6'5" striker Marc Janko, who Spurs looked at when he was at Salzburg Red Bull.  He will be a target for out balls from the Twente defence, so will need watching, but with few fit centre-halves, that might be a tall order.

Much will really depend on how Spurs get going with the midfielders being expected to put a lot of work in linking with the back four and with the front two.  Harry will probably play a 4-4-2, as the players will be more comfortable with it and it will help provide a bit more cover for the back four, who will probably be Hutton, Corluka, Bassong and Bale/Assou-Ekotto.

Spurs have to win their home games to stand a chance of progressing, by which time some players might be fit, so Heurelho Gomes' return to goal might come at a good time, but with a strange defensive line-up, it might be confusing as to who does what.  Corluka has not looked that comfortable in the middle of defence before.  But with Inter still to visit White Hart Lane, the draw in Germany looks a good result, but the win in this game could be vital to the future involvement in the Champions League.

So Harry will go for it, so hopefully, that will mean a midfield of Huddlestone, van der Vaart, Lennon and Modric.  With Crouch and Pav up front, there should be enough movement there to trouble the Dutch side's defence, although they will have been practising with Janko against their own defence to give them an idea on how to handle Crouch.  Spurs need the movement to make some space and then the midfielder's need tog et into the box to load up the goalmouth for when the ball comes in.

Having said that the need to ensure that we do not leave the game too open, as it looked in Bremen for a lot of the second half, otherwise we might get punished for it again.

I fear that with the chances we do create going untaken and the injuries hitting us at the back, it could be a disappointing result for Spurs ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur    1      FC Twente Enschede    1


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Younes Kaboul (out - hamstring); Vedran Corluka (possible - back); Jermain Defoe (out - ankle), Michael Dawson (out - knee & ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin), Jamie O'Hara (out - back);  William Gallas (out - abductor); Ledley King (out - knee); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (doubtful - knee); - (-); 

FC TWENTE ENSCHEDE :  - - (-); - (-); - (-); 


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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
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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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.


Tottenham Hotspur   4    FC Twente Enschede   1      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Champions League Group A
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 29th September 2010
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   32,518
Referee :  Terje Hauge (Norway)
Twente kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Wet
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1 Gomes

  2  Hutton
26  King (c)
19  Bassong
32  Assou-Ekotto

14  Modric  (  7  Lennon 82)
  6  Huddlestone
11  van der Vaart                
  3  Bale 

 15  Crouch  (  8  Jenas 66)
   9  Pavlyuchenko  (10  Keane 89)  (p)    (p)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
22  Corluka
  8  Jenas
21  Kranjcar

FC Twente Enschede :

13  Mihaylov     

  3  Kuiper     
  4  Wisgerhof
  6  Brama
19  Franco

15  Rosales     
  7  Landzaat  (  9  de Jong 69)

11  Bajrami (22  Chadli  28  )
10  Ruiz

21  Janko

Unused subs: 
1  Boschker
  5  Bengtsson
14  Parker
36  Schrimpelsberger
27  Vujicevic

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

All white with navy trim

Red shirts, red shorts, off red socks

  FC Twente Enschede
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

van der Vaart 47
Pavlyuchenko (p) 50
Pavyluchenko (p) 64
Bale 85

FC Twente Enschede

Chadli 56

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

van der Vaart (foul) 42

van der Vaart (second yellow - foul) 61

FC Twente Enschede

Mihailov (gamesmanship) 40
Kuiper (dissent) 53
Rosales (foul) 80   


Match Report : -  
The referee was the centre of controversy as Spurs ran out 4-1 winners over Twente Enschede, while playing the last half hour with ten men and having been handed three penalties.  The match officials appeared spot-on, but not as far as Twente manager and former Belgian national goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme was concerned.

For Spurs, it was the culmination of a season and more's hard work.  The first Champions League proper game at White Hart Lane.  And for the early stages, it looked as though they had been over-awed by the occasion.  The ground was half empty to start with, as there were travel problems and a number of fans were locked out by a fire alarm automatically locking the turnstiles in the Paxton Road, keeping them out of the stadium for 20 minutes.

system with Aaron Lennon on the bench.

Set up with five men in midfield, it seemed like Twente were set to stack the midfield with players and hopefully take a breakaway goal.  With bean-pole striker Janko up front, his inability to hold the ball up cost his side good territorial advantage, while the team were mostly restricted to long-range shooting.  Ruiz's low shot made the returning Gomes dive to claim the ball, but he was not over-stretched by the effort.  The Brazilian keeper's kicking showed that he was perhaps less than 100% fit, but he dealt with what came his way in a competent fashion.

Tottenham's best opening attack came in the sixth minute, when van der Vaart picked out Bale with a pass that just went over the defender's head and Gareth hit a first time volleyed cross, which saw goalkeeper Mihaylov get there just before Peter Crouch.  When the ball was moved to the Spurs end, Janssen took a quick free-kick on the right hand side and Landzaat fired in a shot that Sebastien Bassong had done well to get back to and throw a block in front of the drive.  Then the attacking was at the other end, with Bale racing down the left wing and trying to get the ball before it crossed the line, which he did successfully, Rosales took him into the advertising hoardings, with the Welshman needing treatment to continue.

Huddlestone set up Pavlyuchenko for a shot from outside the box, but he only managed to slice it wide and then Gomes came to Tottenham's rescue, when Ruiz ran through, after Bassong had been dispossessed, with the keeper delaying committing himself until the Twente player tried to lift the ball over him, but it only got up about three feet high, leaving Gomes the opportunity to slap the ball away with his right hand reaching up above him as he went down.

An incident in the centre circle may have left things ending very differently.  Janko chased Tom Huddlestone, tugging his shirt to pull him back.  As Tom tried to shake him loose he move an arm backwards and Janko went down like he had been struck by a Haye-maker punch.  Not surprising as Twente were demonstrating a cynical and theatrical side to their game, which, as the Good Doctor said to me, wasn't what we had waited all these years to see.  The referee ajudged Janko as the guilty party, giving a free-kick to Spurs and maybe by crying wolf, his team-mates had done him an injustice, when another official might have sent Tom off.

It was only fifteen minutes gone when van der Vaart, who was to be a key player in the game, had a curling shot from the left hand corner of the box to force Mihaylov to dive to his left and palm the ball away and then eight minutes later, the Dutchman's free-kick almost picked out Crouch's head.  As has often been the case this season, Bale's marauding runs on the left wing were bewildering the defenders and he took on Rosales, putting in a low cross pulled back that took the keeper out of the game and it was only the intervention of Wisgerhof that stopped it reaching wither Crouch or Pav.  The other Twente full back Kuiper was getting forward and put a low cross in that the Austrian Janko met on the volley and his shot was hard, but slightly off target.

van der Vaart entered the action again with a drive that rose over the bar from 25 yards out and then had the ball played into him with his back to goal, flicking the ball up for his own home-made volley that went straight at Mikhaylov with 36 minutes gone.  It was two minutes later, when Crouch was dragged to the far post turf by Wisgerhof as van der Vaart's cross came in that the Dutchman was proved fallible.  The whole Twente team pursued the referee, the goalkeeper wasted time and got a yellow card for his troubles and then, as Rafael placed the ball down, having calmly stood waiting for the histrionics to end, the players tried to persuade the referee that the ball was not on the spot.  It was, but the distracting tactics must have affected our number 11, who put his shot halfway up the goal to the keeper's right and he dived the right way to tip it onto the woodwork and away - although half-time replays showed the goalie well off his line before it was kicked.   The miss upset van der Vaart, who was booked a minute later for a sliding tackle on Kuiper.

Never one to stay out of the action, a Twente dead ball move broke down and Assou-Ekotto played a long ball beyond the last Enschede defender and van der Vaart took one touch and then cracked a dipping shot on the half-volley as the ball bounced up and it was a little too straight, allowing the goalie to acrobatically push it over the crossbar.

The half-time whistle brought the curtain down on a vigorous first half, with Spurs perhaps having the more chances, but the penalty aside, Twente should have scored with the Ruiz opportunity.  Keane warmed up in the half-time interval and it was a surprise when the team that ended the first half started the second.

It was a good move by Harry Redknapp, as within two minutes they were ahead.  Huddlestone dinked a ball to the far post, where Peter Crouch headed it down and Rafael took the ball on his chest on the edge of the six yard box and then swivelled to volley the ball past the keeper and a defender on the line.  It was a well taken goal and he really enjoyed it.

Spurs seized the moment and got bale in on the left and as he broke into the box, Rosales could only slide in to floor the Welshman.  After consultation with the official behind the goal, the referee pointed to the spot and this time Roman Pavlyuchenko stepped up to stroke the ball past Mihaylov into the bottom corner that the keeper didn't dive to.  So, two goals in four minutes and the game had been turned on it's head, but not as much as it would be in four second half minutes coming up to the hour.

The delay in the restart obviously annoyed the Twente manager and players, as the ball had been booted out of the net and Ledley king was running back to his own box, when a Twente player started pushing him and the Dutch side had distracted the referee by complaining about the goal celebrations.

King was soon involved in some football action, as he threw himself in front of a Ruiz shot and then when the ball was played back into the box, Huddlestone headed away with a Twente player lurking behind him.  54 minutes were showing on the clock, but it found Spurs on the back foot.  Janssen, the free-kick expert, put one into the mixer and Tom headed out, but only as far as Janko, who reacted quickly to head back at goal, but it landed on top of the goal instead of in it.   When another free-kick came in from Janssen, it ricocheted around the box until it ran loose to substitute Chadli who struck it past a group of players and into the net.

For the first time in the match Twente put Spurs under a period of sustained pressure with some neat one-twos around the edge of the box.  A proud man the Twente manager may be, but he will no doubt be kicking himself that the team he sent out were set up so defensively, with only the rare break forward, until they were 0-2 down and then they started to play a bit and if they had approached the game in this manner, Spurs may have been more troubled.

But four minutes after the goal, the turning point was reached when, just a minute after van der Vaart turning his backside into Landzaat to stop his progress, a high ball out of the Spurs defence saw Rosales leaping high on the touchline to win a header, but the Dutchman went in without much hope of winning the ball and sent the Twente midfielder spinning to the floor.  It was a needless challenge and one which should have been avoided, as the red card that was produced was a little obvious in coming.  So 61 minutes gone and Spurs down to 10 men.

It looked as though Tottenham might have a bit of hanging on to do, as Ruiz drove a shot over the top from outside the area.  However, within three minutes of Rafael's sending off, Spurs were 3-1 ahead.  A neat exchange of passes ended with the ball being presented to Pavlyuchenko's feet and hr drilled a shot on goal, which Kuiper blocked on the edge of the box.  From where I sit in the Lower East stand, it looked as if the defender had clearly moved his arm towards the ball to protect his face.  It took a conversation with the linesman to get the referee to once more point to the spot and it was our Russian striker who stepped up to take his second penalty of the game.  This time, he decided to chip the spot-kick at goal and luckily, Mihaylov's weight had shifted the other way, leaving unable to react to the shot and the ball arced through the air and in the centre of the goal.

Once more, cue red shirted players surrounding the ref as the award was made, before the kick was taken and when they went to kick off again.  This time it was because Spurs wanted to replace Pav, according to the fourth official, but it was Crouch who eventually made way for Jermaine Jenas to add some fresh legs to the midfield and protect what Spurs already had.

They needn't have worried too much, as Twente took a liking to shooting from long range and Janssen missed by a considerable distance, while an effort worked inside the area saw Janko hit a weak shot straight at Gomes.  Spurs did manage the odd break, with Pav freeing Modric through the middle and Douglas stretched a long leg out to block the ball, just as the Croatian let go a shot.  Gomes had not had too much to deal with in the air, but one cross saw him come to punch it and it went straight to Chadli, who tried to measure his volley, but only managed to put it wide and high.

Substitute de Jong had a great chance to score, when he took one touch in the box to get around Bassong, but with only Gomes to beat, he swung at the ball and missed by a long way, leaving Spurs to collect the bal land launch another attack.  Within two minutes the ball was in the Twente net.  Some good passing football had seen Spurs take the steam out of the Twente revival, but some quick movement of the ball saw Brazilian defender Douglas not get enough on a header back to his keeper and this allowed the athletic Bale to race onto the ball in the area and slide a shot past the keeper Mihaylov and make the score 4-1.  At this stage, even Twente had given up trying to persuade the ref it shouldn't have stood as a goal, settling for arguing amongst themselves to hide their embarrassment of losing to ten men.

This time Pavlyuchenko did come off, replaced by Robbie Keane, who had two good chances to run through the middle of the Dutch defence, but both times played the ball against the defenders' leg when he could have played team-mates in.  There were little to speak of in the four minutes of added time, with Spurs weathering the storm of Twente pressure without too many scares.

With Tottenham, you know you are never going to get an easy ride, but this was something else.  Surely not every Champions League game can be as incident packed as this.  But if they are half-filled with as many, they will be compulsive watching and the Spurs defence will need to be considerably more alert when they face Internazaionale in the next two matches.

burton coggles


Fan Reaction : -



With a rash of penalties (what is the collective noun for them ??), Spurs won the game 4-1 with the luxury of missing one spot kick.

It was a very good attacking performance and I have long thought that the way we have played for many years, that attack is the best form of defence.  Especially, as we have been well noted of not being able to defend a lead (nine years to the day after leading Manchester United at the Lane 3-0 ... you know the rest).

The midfield showed good resolve, with some good movement and creativity to make openings, with van der Vaart and Modric playing in tandem and looking very impressive.  With Huddlestone sitting in and Bale charging forward, it gave Twente plenty of problems to think about.

It must have been one of the few games Spurs have ever won on penalties !!

benny the ball




Other scores this weekend :
Internazionale (ITA) 4 Werder Bremen (GER) 0 Wednesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Internazionale 2 1 1 0 6 2 4 +4
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 1 1 0 6 3 4 +3
3 FC Twente Enschede 2 0 1 1 3 6 1 -3
4 Werder Bremen 2 0 1 1 2 6 1 -4


Position before the match :  2nd
Position after the match :  2nd


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