Looking Forward

 

CHELSEA (Away) 

Premier League

Saturday 28th October 2000

For too many years Spurs have been unable to overcome their Pensioners Hoodoo.  With things at Stamford Bridge in turmoil following the sacking of Gianluca Vialli and the introduction of Claudio Ranieri, it could be a good time to cash in.  It won't be as easy as that, as having been knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Switzerland's St. Gallen (who ?) they will be trying to re-establish their position in the Premier League to ensure qualification for Europe next season.  The pressure on the club from outside financial sources means that they were required to win something big this season and now that does not look likely.  Vialli got the bullet because he failed to shoot the West London side to the Premier League title, so will the FA Cup be good enough should the new coach win it ?  Drawing with Man U was a good result, but losing 0-2 to Leicester and going down at Bradford hint at some inconsistency which has plagued their challenges in recent seasons.

There are a panoply of stars at Stamford Bridge now.  All familiar from big matches throughout the summer and since.  Le Saux, De Goey, Desailly, Hasselbaink, Flo, Bogarde, Zola.  But with Poyet currently out through injury, Di Matteo having suffered a triple break of his leg and Stanic struggling to get back after a muscle pull, the side may feature some other names we haven't heard of.  Melchiot looks good going forward, but he is yet to be noted for his defending, while Wise will be lucky to stay on the pitch from midfield where he moans and kicks (and pulls hair, pinches inner thighs, punches, etc).  

Having sold on the hapless Sutton, Flo is the other player who has been constantly disregarded, but can be crucial to their success.  His skill on the floor, as well as in the air, makes him a handful for any marker and now he appears to be more in favour with the new coach, he might link up with Hasselbaink to cause mayhem.  The worry with Chelsea is their defence.  Panucci has been on loan from Inter Milan, but could be gone by the time this match comes around, but others are suspect and if Tottenham can shake off their goal-scoring lethargy, they could capitalise.

PREDICTION : - Chelsea 1  Tottenham 1

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

 

 

 

Chelsea  3  Tottenham Hotspur  0   -  Saturday 28th October 2000
 
Goalscorers : Hasselbaink pen 13, 87, Zola 39 
 
Attendance - 34,966
 
Chelsea - DeGoey, Babayaro, Leboeuf, Desailly, Ferrer, Melchiot, Poyet (Flo 64) Wise, Della Bona, Zola, (Jokanovic 68) Hasselbaink
Subs not used - Cudicini, Bogarde, Morris
Tottenham Hotspur - Sullivan, Carr, Young, Perry, Vega, Sherwood, Freund, (Davies 80) Anderton, Clemence, Ferdinand, Korsten, (Doherty 80) 
Subs not used - Walker, Thelwell, King
 
Another wasted away trip. The pattern of the game went something like; Spurs knock it about, Chelsea score. Spurs knock it about, Chelsea score. Spurs knock it about, Chelsea score. It is becoming a familiar theme. The reason is that this Spurs side are sluggish and slow in their approach and lack any sharpness around goal and they have Coco the clown at centre back.

Luke Young replaced the injured Ben Thatcher. Freund came back from flu for Leonhardsen and with Rebrov injured also there was a rare appearance up front by Korsten. Apparently Willem had scored four goals for the reserves in their six nil midweek win. It must have been very poor opposition.

It was a miserable afternoon weather wise with steady rain increasing as the afternoon wore on. The East Stand at Chelsea provides no real protection against the weather so most Spurs fans got a soaking to add to their disappointment and frustration. Rather than build more on the West Stand, Mr. Bates would do well to invest some funds in the fast dilapidating East Stand.

Spurs started well. An early through ball by Anderton found Korsten beating the Chelsea offside trap. He cut across his marker and hit what looked a spectacular dipping shot which De Goey palmed away. It was only when you saw the replay you realised it was hit straight at the keeper. Shortly afterwards Korsten linked up well with Ferdinand and Les held off Desailly to hit a shot along the ground which De Goey again did well to palm away. It was now time for Ramon Vega (Coco) to make his key mistake of the day. He seems to make one in every game: Charlton, Coventry etc. As he went to head clear a high cross he came under challenge from Poyet. For some inexplicable reason his arm went up and palmed the ball away. The referee awarded a penalty. Realistically he was not going to give a foul against Poyet, so Hasselbaink struck home from the spot and the Spurs heads went down.  Tottenham were starting to look beaten. They had a good effort created by Ferdinand who chased down De Goey.  Korsten was not able to finish and scuffed his effort.

Then six minutes before half time came the second Chelsea goal. The horrible Dennis Wise outwitted two Spurs players wide on the right. He found time to whip in a cross. Hasselbaink stole in front of his marker Perry and flicked the ball on with his head. Zola got in front of his marker Young and headed home. Bit of a common theme there; getting in front of Spurs defenders.

10 years and 22 games since we have beaten Chelsea and now two nil down at half time. Only an eternal optimist or a fool could see Spurs fighting back. There were not many of either amongst the travelling fans who began to vent their frustration and anger on George Graham. The second half was more of the same. Chelsea hit a post through a Melchiot header from a corner. Hasselbaink hit wide after Sullivan had cocked up a clearance. With three minutes left Hasselbaink was given the freedom he needed to shape up and he hit a curling shot past Sullivan for the third. Spurs never looked like scoring and trooped off at the end well beaten to howls of derision from both sets of fans. It's hard to see when we will next win an away game at the moment, let alone beat Chelsea.

It was then suggested over the PA system that Spurs fans remain in their seats for fifteen minutes. Not entirely sensitive to the fact that we were all soaked and had just seen our team humbled. For some strange reason some of the exits were blocked, but others were open and Spurs fans left in droves. Outside the policing became farcical. As Spurs fans left they mingled with Chelsea fans leaving the East Stand. Both sets of supporters were then confronted with a Police cordon of vehicles and Police in riot gear. I and a Chelsea fan next to me asked why the police were doing this and the reply from an officer carrying a riot shield was that they wanted to filter the fans out whatever that may mean. A recipe to incite even the most mild mannered and I am sure there were many incidents as a result. Overall a bloody awful day and the ticket only cost 32!!
 

I can't even think of a Spurs man of the match.
 

Eric the Viking

 

Rainy Day Blues

 

What is realistically to be expected when 

a) we play away ?

b) it is Chelsea we are playing ?

There could only ever be one outcome at the moment.  And, lo and behold, that was the result.  A defeat.  Ignominious.  Little to come out of it that was positive.

The fact that Tottenham started brightly, only makes it more galling that every time Chelsea broke, they looked like scoring.  And that they did, firstly, thanks to Vega's handy interception.  Secondly, because our defenders were slow off the mark and were beaten to headers and thirdly, because nobody closed Hasselbaink down and Sullivan couldn't get down quick enough on the wet surface.  Even when Melchoit hit the post from a corner, there was no meaningful challenge on him.

And that corner came about because Sherwood failed to release the ball early enough and got caught in the centre circle, leaving Chelsea free to break again. Anderton was also at fault in this respect.  It is particularly frustrating watching this and while everyone says it is easy to see what is on for the players when you are watching , don't those same players get paid huge sums to know what is going on around them.  I'm sorry, but there appears to be no cohesion amongst the side and players seem reluctant to accept possession.  Surely, if someone has the ball and an opponent is coming towards him unseen, aren't team mates supposed to shout "Man on!" ??  That was what I was taught at school.  Also, players are supposed to move to give the player on the ball an option to pass to.  That is what is taught on the Spurs "Football in the Community" courses.  What goes on during the week at Spurs Lodge you start to wonder ?

Korsten looked the most lively player on show, which admittedly wasn't saying much, but still.  As for the rest, there appears to be no motivation to give 100% for the team.  It is like they are beaten before they even step out on alien turf.  Will Spurs ever win away again ?  Don't hold your breath.

Marco van Hip

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