Brighton and Hove Albion
|COMPETITION||League Cup Round 4|
|DATE||Wednesday 29th October 2014|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
Having suffered a poor run of results, Spurs come into this League
Cup tie on the back of some media criticism and fans calling for the
head of Mauricio Pochettino already. Brighton are similarly
placed in the Championship to our most recent opponents Newcastle
before we kicked off on Sunday, but there are a number of
differences to the gap. The additional league between where
Newcastle were and where the Seagulls lie is a big one. Spurs
overcame Notts Forest in the last round and they are nearer the top
of the Championship than Brighton, so with all things being equal,
you would expect Tottenham to progress to the quarter finals of this
But in that statement lies a number of imponderables. Will Spurs be switched on for 90 minutes, will they move the ball sharply and pull Brighton out of shape and will they take chances which they create ? Many Spurs fans have expected the new manager to take things forward at the same pace as has happened over the last few years. However, we have seen many managers come in and make an immediate impact, only to have their star burn bright for a short spell and then extinguish just as rapidly. Coming up to Fireworks Night, Poch might be a slow burner and that could benefit the club in the long run.
Getting the maximum out of our players is his aim, but that will be within his system and using his tactics. Having to rotate players within the squad to give them games is not easy to formulate a steady line-up, but players should be able to come in and drop into a position as a like for like replacement. Some players might appear in this game who have not had much playing time recently, such as Soldado, Stambouli and Townsend and they need to make the most of their selection.
Brighton have some familiar names, such as the former Fulham keeper David Stockdale, Craig Makail-Smith and Jake Caskey-Forster, son of former Spurs midfielder Darren Caskey.
Stockdale left Fulham in the summer as part of the massive exodus and has been first choice at the Amex Stadium, even though he is sometimes prone to mistakes, but you can be rest assured he won't make any on Wednesday night. Former Aston Villa keeper Casper Ankergren is available as a back up if needed, but his best days have be behind him now.
The defence will include Lewis Dunk, a rangy 6' 4" central defender who likes to get in the opposition box for set-pieces and has been linked with Tottenham as well as other Premier League clubs. There may be a start for another ex-Cottager as Aaron Hughes now plays at Brighton and his experience alongside Dunk might come in handy. With right back Bruno likely to be out injured, Rohan Ince might cover for him, with Scottish international Gordon Greer, a hard tackling defence-man another option. Joe Bennett is on a season long loan from our next Premier League opponents Aston Villa and Inigo Calderon is a no-nonsense Spaniard, who has been known to have a rush of blood and get red-carded.
Kemi Agustien joined form Swansea City and is getting a bit of first team football ,whereas he faded from the first team scene at the Liberty, while Kazenga Lua Lua is a likely starter if fit, being a replica of his older brother, with pace, a fierce shot and an acrobatic goal celebration (which I hope we won't see). Joao Teixeira was brought in on loan from Liverpool and has been picked by Hyypia and Duthcman Danny Holla is just starting his career in England with Albion. Another youngster on loan from Villa is Gary Gardner, younger brother of WBA's Craig and he is an England Under-21 international. Spaniard
Up front, they will miss Baldock, who is a good goal-scorer, but ex-Barnsley forward Chris O'Grady will need to be watched, as he likes to run at players and is happy to shoot from outside the area and he might lead the team, with only one forward likely to be picked. He could be joined up front by mazy dribbler Paddy McCourt, who previously played for Barnsley and Glasgow Celtic. He is good on the ball, can cross well and knows how to finish.
Goals have been a problem for Brighton with just 13 in 14 league games, but defending has been more of an issue, with 16 conceded - too many when you aren't scoring a lot. The same could be said for Spurs with 11 for and 13 against in 9 league matches. Cups have seen them score more, as have the South Coast team, so the outcome might be close or Spurs might turn it on like they did against Asteras last week.
I think Brighton will be
more difficult opponents than the Greeks, but I expect Tottenham to
go into the quarter finals - albeit after a bit of a battle, as
Hyppia will want his team to at least to put in a good performance
against a side from the top flight. For Tottenham, it will be
about getting shots on target to test Stockdale.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Kyle Walker (hip) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) are both out, while returning to the squad are Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Federico Fazio, after a one match ban.
BRIGHTON & HOVE
ALBION TEAM NEWS :
Having already played in the competition for Bristol City, Sam Baldock is cup-tied and is out injured. Kazenga Lua Lua returns after sitting out the last match as he was banned.
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Tottenham Hotspur 2 (0)
Brighton and Hove Albion 0 (0)
League Cup Round 4
Wednesday 29th October 2014 Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Fazio (foul on Lua Lua) 32
|Crowd : 33,537||Weather : Drizzly rain, mild|
|Referee : Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)||Assistant Referees : Mr. R. Ganfield; Mr. E. Smart|
|Fourth Official : Andy Davies||-|
|Brighton kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 4 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Brighton and Hove Albion :||kit|
9 Roberto SOLDADO
Ignagio CALDERON (c)
Paddy McCOURT (17
Joao TEIXEIRA 66)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Sami Hyypia|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : American Express|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Nike|
A fifteen minute delay to the kickoff because of heavy traffic in the Tottenham area produced a slow start for Spurs in this League Cup tie with Brighton and Hove Albion, but it was not as bad as the hour the clock went back in the weekend in their defeat by Newcastle United. Tottenham left it until the second half to score the goals against a frankly poor Brighton team, but it was enough to progress to face our opponents from Sunday in the quarter final.
As usual, there were a large number of changes, with Vertonghen being the only returning Spur and they faced a much changed and weakened Brighton side, who put goalkeeper Mark Walton in for his debut.
There was some disquiet among the fans before the match after Sunday's dire performance in the second half, but there was a bright start here under the drizzly N17 sky. Early pressure with some swift passing brought a series of corners, but of course, wee didn't score from any of them. There can be little work done on set-pieces in training, as we rarely seem to profit from them. Dembele had a shot blocked from a short corner, Lennon was denied by another block and Fazio headed wide as he stretched backwards to try and wrap his head around his effort. On ten minutes, a Townsend corner flew to the centre of the six yard box and the ball hit Aaron Hughes, before bouncing in front of goal, but Lewis Dunk was there fore the Seagulls to hack the ball clear. Soon after, Lennon stood up a cross to the far post and Harry Kane headed it back into the middle of the box, where Soldado got it and laid it back to Kane. As he moved into the box, he went down under challenge from Ignatio Calderon, but referee Clattenburg waved play on, which was something he did a lot tonight. pi
Andros Townsend smacked a shot well wide from way out and another one over the bar, but then the keeper was tested when Vertonghen went on a run from halfway and hit a low shot that Walton dived to his left to hold. It was just after the 15 minute mark that Spurs goal came under threat for the first time, when Rohan Ince put a through ball to Kazenga Lua Lua (younger brother of Lomano) but his control meant when he shot the ball was too far away from him and he missed the target from 18 yards. Spurs brought Walton into action five minutes later, when Ben Davies' left wing cross nearly caught the England Under-19 keeper out at his near post, but he diverted the ball wide for yet another corner.
With half an hour gone, Aaron Lennon, captain for the night, found himself on the end of Soldado's cross from the right wing and managed to get a bit of his leg on it, but it only took the ball over the bar. An Andros corner was played in and Lennon found space six yards out, but his shot on the volley from went out nearer the corner flag than the goal. The Spanish striker went closer later in the half, with an acrobatic scissors kick, which flew over the top from a narrow angle. Ten minutes before the interval, Kane and Soldado worked a move on the right wing tight to the dead ball line, but Roberto smashed a low shot at goal that the goalie kept out with his legs. Still Spurs pushed forward and Naughton's drive was blocked by Dunk and then the full back slid a cross across the face of goal with a bit of pace on it, but there wasn't a white shirt to finish it off. Stambouli joined in with the fun and tried his luck from outside the box, but the shot went wide. The half finished with Kane trying his luck with a free-kick from about 25 yards out and while he got the ball over the wall, it did not unduly trouble Walton, who caught the ball just before the half-time whistle blew.
The interval saw Kyle Walker revive his Halloween role of the clocked mystery man from last season but this time to judge a scary fancy dress competition. Lamela was warming up the hardest during the break and it was no surprise that he came on, replacing hamstring victim Lennon, albeit at the last minute, as everyone was waiting to start when the Argentine emerged from the tunnel.
During the second part of the first half, the passing got a bit slower and Brighton broke play up before handing the ball back to Tottenham with a stray pass or by putting one out of the pitch. They didn't look great, but then neither did Newcastle on Sunday in the first half. Accepting that it wasn't a top class front-line, Brighton rarely troubled Fazio or Vertonghen and hopefully, they might be able to develop a partnership and get a good understanding between them.
Naughton particularly started the second period well, with a ball to Soldado in the box being returned to him, but just too far in front of him; then Stambouli played him in wide, with his cross being cleared, before he did get one across and Kane dived in to head it, but his glancing effort took the ball wide and too far away from Soldado coming in at the far post. in the 55th minute, Spurs finally broke the deadlock, when not a lot seemed on. Erik Lamela picked up the ball 25 yards out, played it in to Soldado in the area, with his back to goal and the return pass allowed Erik to show his determination to shrug off Dunk and knock the ball across the keeper with his right foot from close in. It was a goal which relaxed the side a bit and they then played with a little more adventure.
Kane fizzed a shot just wide from outside the area, Naughton slid a cross across the six yard box without a Spurs player gambling on getting there and then Soldado was played into the right corner of the penalty area by Townsend and Robbie turned and hit a rising shot that smacked back off the crossbar. Finally Brighton managed to get into the Tottenham box and as Fazio came in to tackle Lua Lua, the Seagulls midfielder hit the ground, but it was nothing more than a bumping together and he got nothing from Clattenburg.
Soldado drove another low shot in on goal with twenty minutes left, but Walton was down to stop it, before Ince came in to stop Soldado's progress after Stambouli had played him into the Brighton penalty box, but once more Clattenburg stood firm. The ref made few errors in the game, which was shame, as I wanted to slate him for not using his "Ed" and being guilty of "Sheeran" incompetence, but for once, he had a good game ... not that the visitors' fans thought so. With Brighton's first shot on target - a weak curling effort from Colungo in the 74th minute, Tottenham went up the other end and sealed the win with a second goal. Harry passed to Townsend, now on the left wing, where he took the ball to the dead-ball line and cut it back to Soldado at the near post. His shot was blocked by Calderon, but the ball ran away across the six yard box and Kane was there making sure he got enough on the ball to take it over the line.
Brighton's best chance came with four minutes left and Colungo hit a shot from inside the penalty area on the left, but Vorm was behind it all the way and took it at the second attempt. At the end of added time ,Chadli had a chance when he ran at the Seagulls defence, but his effort at the end of it was curled wide of the target, when he should have got it on goal.
So, it was not a stunning performance, but Spurs forced numerous corners and had a lot of shots, with a good fair few on target. They will need to replicate that performance on Sunday, when they travel to Aston Villa, who, I would imagine, will put in a better showing that Brighton did. The Albion fans were noisy and enjoyed their night out but their concern will be at the wrong end of the Championship, where their team will need to do considerably better than they did tonight against Spurs if they have any hope of surviving.
A re-match against Newcastle was Tottenham's reward and there was much talk of revenge and having the chance to smash them when they return to the Lane in November for the quarter final. That might be a bit hopeful, but if Spurs can get a run going, the confidence could build and who knows ?
Brighton were helped on their way when they were first formed when they were first seen running out onto the pitch and everyone shouted that they "Hove" into view.
The Seagulls former ground
was sold because prospectors thought that there was gold in them
thar terraces, mistaking the Goldstone Ground for gold stones buried
in the ground.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
|Other scores in this round :|
|Bournemouth||2||West Bromwich Albion||1||Tuesday|
|MK Dons||1||Sheffield United||2||Tuesday|
|Manchester City||0||Newcastle United||2||Wednesday|
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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