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League Cup Fourth Round

Wednesday 31st October 2007

Blackpool have failed to win their last five games, so in a way they are in a similar position in their respective league to Tottenham.

Having managed to hold onto their manager, Simon Grayson, despite interest from Norwich City, they have failed to capitalise on their good start in the Championship after gaining promotion via the play off final.  I must admit that I do not know a great deal about Blackpool's side, but they have been well organised in the past few years and like to attack too.  Their boss will get them motivated for the game, as they have nothing to lose and can have a go at a fragile Spurs defence with no fear of losing, as that is all many expect of them.

The match is more about Tottenham and how they perform in their first match under Juande Ramos.  The players will (hopefully) be out to impress the new man in charge and his footballing philosophy will be interesting to see in action.  With a few injuries and with priorities lying elsewhere, you might have thought this would be a chance to give a few fringe players an outing, but they will only get an appearance if the absentees allow. 

It will be a strong team Ramos fields as this competition might be viewed as our best route into Europe for next season.  They need to be focused for the ninety plus minutes and show exactly what they are capable of.  It might act as a confidence booster for games to come and so I predict a difficult game, but one that can be won ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Blackpool  0

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), Ricardo Rocha, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Anthony Gardner (all ankle); Gareth Bale (foot); - (-); 

BLACKPOOL :  -  Ben Burgess (ankle); Ian Evatt (knee); Adrian Forbes (knee); 


Wednesday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
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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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




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

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 31st October 2007
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   32,196
Referee :  Chris Foy (St. Helens)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Dry, but chilly
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


Kaboul      (Tainio 56     )
YP Lee


Berbatov (Bent 72)
Keane (c) (Defoe 60)

Unused subs: 

Blackpool :


Michael Jackson (c)  (Coid 68)

Flynn (Welsh 78)

Vernon (Morrell 69)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 18
Chimbonda 58



Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Kaboul (foul) 49
Tainio (foul) 84






Match Report : -  
With a new manager to impress, Spurs set about progressing to the quarter-finals of the League Cup with a functional performance against a spirited Blackpool team, who had their chances to make a name for themselves.

Juande Ramos will be left none the wiser for this 2-0 victory over the Seasiders, but the changes he made appeared to make a difference and the team played with a style that indicated that they may be an attacking force in the future.  However, Ramos' success might rely on what he makes of the defence.

Spurs still looked shaky at the back and from a first minute free-kick, Flynn hit the rebound off the wall way over the bar.  Paul Robinson was going to be put under early pressure to test his mettle, but he just about made a punch to a cross and then Gorkss struck an effort over the top when he turned on a ball played in just behind him.

At the back, Blackpool showed how it should be done when Barker got in first, ahead of Keane at the near post to stop him reaching Lennon's pass into that area.  Both Zokora and Chimbonda panicked in front of goal and drive shots way too high when well placed, then an aberration by Zokora, who left the ball for Kaboul, who then slipped as he as faced by Fox, who had picked up the ball, left the Blackpool man in on goal.  With Robinson facing him, the midfielder tried to slide the ball past the Spurs keeper at his near post, but got his shot wrong and it hit the side-netting, letting Tottenham off the hook in the process.

A couple of minutes later and a long kick out by Robbo saw Berbatov rise to win a header and Robbie Keane ran onto the flick to delicately lift the ball over Rachubka as the ' Pool goalie came out to meet him.  It was a lead that was scarcely deserved, but in the situation Spurs are in, it was one that they needed.

At this stage, Tottenham started to build some pressure, with some good passing, but the build-up was still too slow.  They won a few corners and Malbranque struck one into the Park Lane fans, while Dawson got on the end of a loose ball in the area, but his shot on the turn was blocked.  Steed almost picked out Berba with a chipped pass into the box, but with the Bulgarian striker standing near the penalty spot, his touch only took the pace off the bal for the keeper to claim it.  A firmer touch might have had Rachubka struggling.

Didier Zokora must have been trying to impress Ramos, as he wanted to get on the score-sheet, but his shooting was as off-target as you could get and his status as the new Steffen Freund gathers momentum.  Jenas was closer with a 25 yard effort, while Keane's attempted overhead kick went wrong and the ball was comfortably taken by the goalie.  At the other end, Robinson's continuing problems of dealing with crosses saw him punch straight to Taylor-Fletcher, who, gratefully, hit his shot over the crossbar.

That was a couple of minutes before the teams turned around.   Paul Stewart extolled the virtues of both of his former clubs in the interval and when they came out for the second half, Taylor-Fletcher should really have had Blackpool level within two minutes.  A cross by Parker from the right wing saw the midfielder lose Chimbonda and earn a free header, which he should have buried rather than hitting the bar from a couple of yards out.  Immediately, Spurs hit back with an almost identical move that ended with Keane lifting the ball over Rachubka, but this time it drifted just wide, with Kaboul closing in.

Five minutes into the half, Fox fired in a free-kick, which Spurs did not defend well and it flew across the six yard box with two Blackpool players just unable to get on the end of it, while a minute later, they came even closer to being on level terms.  A cross from the right wing again found Chimbonda dreaming, as he left Taylor-Fletcher once more and this time the player hit a volley to shoot Parker's cross into the top corner from the edge of the six yard box.  However, Paul Robinson somehow leapt upwards to turn the ball over the bar with a fantastic save.  Having seen on Sunday how goalkeepers can be worth points when Friedel had a fine match, Robbo proved himself worthy of his selection with this stop.  Later he had a couple of nervy moments when he slipped taking a goal-kick (which ironically went to a Spurs shirt and ended up with Defoe having a good opportunity) and he let another shot bounce off his chest in front of goal, but got away with it.

With 35 minutes left, Ramos had seen enough and took Kaboul off, which the Frenchman wasn't happy about, bringing on Tainio at right back and moving Chimbonda into the middle of defence.  It might have been a reaction to the two chances Blackpool had, but once alongside Dawson, he looked more steady and Dawson played a bit better too.

It proved an inspired substitution, as three minutes later, Chimbonda went forward to head home Steed's left wing corner at the far post, although a defender got a final touch to it as it crossed the line.

Defoe replaced Keane and his first action was to hit Robinson's mis-kick with great power at goal, forcing Rachubka to push it over the bar.

The second goal killed the game, although Fox tried a long range shot that went over the bar and with four minutes to go, Defoe hit another shot that Rachubka could only push wide for a corner.  Fox tried again from way out, but had the same result, while Darren Bent came on and slid a low cross across the face of the six yard box, but Lennon and Defoe were unable to reach it.

At the end, the Spurs players gave their shirts to the Blackpool player and Juande Ramos could relax after starting with a win.  It was by no means convincing, but they are through to the last eight with seven more Premiership teams, so the next tie will be a lot more difficult.

But by then, Ramos will have had the side together for a few weeks and will have assessed their abilities.  From this performance, they still have a lot of work to do together.



Reaction : -



Without wanting to seem a bit if a pessimist, did anyone notice the difference between Jol's team and the way this one played under Ramos.  Same players and the same performance, only winning through two well taken goals and the inability of Blackpool to take their opportunities.

Their manager said before the match that the way they played they would make chances and so it proved.  One before we scored in the first half and then two very good ones at the start of the second half should have seen them go home with a goal against their name at least.  The Tottenham defence is worryingly out of form if they can't keep Blackpool's striker shackled for 90 minutes.

Malbranque ran and ran, Lennon looked better than previously this season although his final ball still lacks penetration.  Berbatov looked like he knew he had to look like he was trying harder and Tainio did well in an unusual position for him.

It will need a classier performance to even beat Boro on Saturday.

Let's hope the extra two days training helps.


Did anyone notice the game go all 1996 just before half-time, when the fourth official appeared with a big yellow card in his hands and held it up to signify one minute of time to be added.

This continued in the second half, with substitutions and then added time at the end of the game.

Did Spurs have to revert to the old fashioned way of showing the crowd these bits of information because the pay-off to Jol and the amount of compensation and size of salaries paid out to the new management team meant that they could not afford batteries for the electronic board ??

I think we should be told !! 








Other scores this round :
Sheffield United 0 Arsenal 3 Wednesday
Bolton Wanderers 0 Manchester City (a.e.t; 0-0 at FT) 1 Wednesday
Chelsea 4 Leicester City 3 Wednesday
Luton Town 0 Everton (a.e.t; 0-0 at FT) 1 Wednesday
Liverpool 2 Cardiff City 1 Wednesday
Portsmouth 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 Wednesday
Coventry City 1 West Ham United 2 Tuesday


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