heartless

Wimbledon (Home)  22.4.2000

On finding out that Spurs were starting with Korsten in midfield and Clemence at left back, I began to wonder about the depth of our squad again.  Having sold Justin, do we not have adequate cover in that department then ?  It appears not.  Having witnessed Korsten's lethargic displays in the reserves and the few moments of action he has had in the first team, I was surprised that Simon Davies didn't get a chance.  Willem looks like he has lead in his boots, he just ambles about the pitch seemingly unconcerned that he should be exerting an semblance of energy.  On one occasion, he gave the ball to a colleague and instead of going for a return pass, he stopped where he was.  He may have been instructed to play a "holding" role, but surely that is what Freund is there for ?  When he did summon up the will to take a couple of layers on and hit a shot from the left edge of the box, he looked a decent player, but it is happening all too infrequently.  The management must have seen something in his play to spend out on him, but he has yet to show the fans exactly what he is capable of.

It was pleasing to see so many of the young signings on the bench today.  Matty did well when he came on and showed that he is not afraid to try and take players on.  His confidence will grow with each outing and he will surely become a Spurs star of the future.  Davies, I hope, will get an opportunity to play before the season's end.  He too will impress, when he gets the chance.  For McEwen and Gardner, their time will come and with Gary Doherty looking on, there is a core of young players who we hope will push those in the first team for a starting place.

Steffen Iversen has been having a lean scoring time lately, but at least he showed today that he is more than just an out and out striker.  On this sort of showing, he displayed how well he could play alongside someone like Solskjaer or a similar striker.  He set up both goals and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself.  The first goal came straight out of the Wimbledon training manual.  Walker kicks long, Iversen wins the header and Armo powers the ball past Sullivan.  Route One - One-nil.  The second saw Stef playing more of the role he is used to with his national side.  Picking up a pass from Clem, he slid a ball through to the edge of the area where Anderton had timed his run to get there first and poke the ball along the ground and into the net off the post.  Anderton was my man of the match as he showed much more offensively than he has done since his return.  There are still some worries as he is giving the ball away a fair amount and when he was put through by a Ginola back-heel, he started to look around as if acknowledging that he didn't have the pace to go on his own.  He was really up for it today though and showed what he can add to the Spurs side when he turns it on. 

As for the rest, Carr was his reliable self, Perry was solid and Clemence did well slotting in on the left side.  Sol was determined not to suffer the same fate as befell him in the Villa game against tall forwards and really wasn't troubled.  Walker had two long range efforts from Hughes to field, but apart form that and the Euell chance, was pretty unemployed.  Freund did an effective destroying job today and although he does go unnoticed, he does a lot of work and even linked up with the attack at times.  Dav was at his skillful best.  Leaving defenders with a sharp turn, flicking the ball here and there and almost stealing the show with a lob that just cleared the bar with Sullivan stranded.  However, there is a time and place for his tricks and 1-0 up is not the time.  Having been turned over last Saturday, we could have waited until the game was (assumedly) safe before he began showboating. Armstrong worked really hard as usual and was well worth his goal.  His confidence is showing now and although he is still on celebration strike, he is winning over the fans as his scoring record of late should be applauded. 

As for Wimbledon, it was remarkable to see a Dons side which had almost lost the will to live.  The Norwegians brought in (even if they are all Iversen's pals), are substandard to even what Wimbledon are used to.  Lund, who shone on trial in our reserves, looked like a fish out of water and if he is one of Iversen's recommendations, then I think the scouts should make up their own minds !!  There was no blood and thunder.  There were few crunching tackles and stretchers called for.  In fact. there was hardly anything at all.  The transformation from the start of last season when Spurs lost 3-1 at their place is almost complete.  We have swapped places with them and in Egil Olsen, they seem to have found their own Christian Gross - someone who the media can't take to, but whether or not he can save them from relegation like the Swiss manager did for us remains to be seen.  If they do stay up, it might have something to do with the lack of quality below them, rather than what they have done themselves.

Still, another three points and perhaps this Stewart Houston is the manager we have been looking for all along !!

GARY SAMPSON

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