Monday, October 31, 2011

Scott Parker the 'New' Dave Mackay

Scott Parker had high praise lavished on him after Tottenham's victory over Queen's Park Rangers when his manager compared his display with that of the Spurs' legend from the successful era of the 1960s, Dave Mackay.  Parker was thoroughly deserving of his 'Man of the Match' award for an all round performance that allowed Spurs to showcase all their skills as they overcame their west London rivals.

Scott Parker - the 'new' Mackay
Since joining Tottenham at the end of the summer transfer window, Scott Parker has played in seven Premier League games and helped Spurs to six wins and a draw.  That sequence of results followed on from the two heavy defeats by the Manchester clubs when they conceded eight goals.  At the end of the home loss to City, Spurs looked a thoroughly demoralised and dispirited side.

Throughout the summer, Harry Redknapp made it clear that Parker was the player he really wanted to sign but the transfer saga dragged on to the bitter end with neither Spurs or West Ham willing to come to an agreement.  Then  other teams became interested and it looked as if Parker would once again complete a transfer but not to White Hart Lane.  Coming from West Ham, Parker was not every Spurs supporters favourite player and even though he'd won the Player of the Year award last season, many weren't convinced about this thirty year old.  However, he signed on the last day of August and has brought experience and an authority to central midfield.  With his style of play, Parker's presence in midfield has granted Luka Modric a greater freedom to use his sublime creative skills further up the pitch to the benefit of the attacking force of Rafael Van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

Composed on the ball, determined when not in possession, tough in the tackle and careful in his distribution, Parker has brought a decade of Premier League experience to White Hart Lane and the team has a much better balance in its play.  Parker captained the side at Blackburn in the absence of the injured Ledley King and even without the armband he leads by example, going in where it hurts and not afraid to hold back when looking to win the ball.  His reading of the game enables him to intercept passes that could have led to dangerous situations if the move  had been completed and his energy throughout is such that he appears 'out on his feet' before the end of a gruelling match.

On Saturday, Tottenham displayed all their attacking skills and freedom of movement, especially in the first half, as they took a two goal interval lead against QPR.  The second half was less swashbuckling as Rangers greatly increased their efforts but at the end while people discussed Tottenham's exciting, intricate and pacy attacking play, the excellent goals they scored and Gareth Bale's and Rafael Van der Vaart's contribution to the victory, there was a universal acknowledgement that it was Scott Parker's display which deserved the 'Man of the Match' award.

It's unusual after an exciting attacking performance with a player scoring twice, for the central, holding midfield player to be receiving such praise.  Even in the first half when Spurs were totally dominant Parker was putting in a hard working performance to win the ball, pass it on to an attacking player and then be there to disrupt any thoughts Rangers might have had on putting pressure on the Tottenham defence.  It was his endeavours throughout the game which allowed Spurs the freedom to attack on all fronts and he gave his best display in a Tottenham shirt, allowing everyone to see why Harry Redknapp was so insistent on signing him for Spurs.  If Tottenham had been more clinical in their finishing, Rangers could have suffered another heavy defeat.

Dave Mackay 'Legend'
To have been compared with the legendary Dave Mackay is an incredible accolade.  Spurs supporters are only too aware of the tremendous influence Mackay brought to the 'Double' team and he received a tremendous reception when presented to the crowd at White Hart Lane in the Europa League game against Hearts.  The success achieved during the 1960s was greatly dependent on his 'never say die' approach, his total commitment and his amazing skills.  Such praise from his manager will give Parker something to live up to but if he goes anywhere near achieving the standards of the great Scot, Spurs will have spent the £5 million they gave to West Ham United very wisely.

So often Spurs supporters think, 'If only we had Dave Mackay in the present team.'  If Harry Redknapp is correct we might have the next best thing, another Scott - Scott Parker.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tottenham 3 QPR 1

Tottenham maintained their unbeaten run as they defeated Queen's Park Rangers at White Hart Lane.  Two goals from Gareth Bale and one from Rafael Van der Vaart secured the three points as Spurs return to fifth in the Premier League, level on points with Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Queen's Park Rangers 1
                            Scorers: Bale (2), Van der Vaart          Bothroyd 

Team: Friedel; Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Parker (Sandro), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart, Adebayor.  Subs: (unused) Cudicini, Gallas, Bassong, Livermore, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko.
Tottenham opened with an obvious intent to score an early goal against their London neighbours.  The team showed one change from last week's success with Ledley King restored to central defence in place of Sebastien Bassong.  William Gallas was on the bench for the first time this season.  

Two goal hero - Gareth Bale
Rafael Van der Vaart could have scored in the opening moments but Kenny saved as the Dutchman looked to score for the fifth successive game.  Spurs were playing fluent football, creating more chances which came and went as they dominating possession and chances.  Emmanuel Adebayor headed narrowly wide but in the twentieth minute Gareth Bale scored his first goal at White Hart Lane since New Year's day in the one goal defeat of Tottenham's next opponents, Fulham.  It followed a Friedel goal-kick, flicked on by Adebayor to Van der Vaart who passed to Aaron Lennon coming infield to find Gareth Bale free on the left to shot past Kenny.

Spurs continued to enjoy their football and created patterns of passing and movement all round the pitch.  Such a passage of possession ended with Van der Vaart unmarked and in front of goal as a shot from Ledley King was deflected to him.  He scored with ease from the edge of the area.  That goal was Van der Vaart's sixth in the last five Premier League games.  Two goals up and cruising to such an extent that Spurs should have had four goals and could easily have had six if they hadn't spurned so many of the chances they created. 

In the second half it all changed.  Neil Warnock introduced two substitutes with former Spur Adel Taarabt being substituted and Queen's Park Rangers came out fired up to put Spurs under pressure.  This they did and gradually came into the game - no longer were Spurs able to play their intricate passing game and after an hour they scored a well deserved goal.  Jay Bothroyd who had made a nuisance of himself since coming on at half-time was on hand to head in from a corner which Spurs failed to clear.

Tottenham took five minutes to regain their composure and then created a couple of chances to add a third when Kenny denied van der Vaart.  Then on 72 minutes Bale received the ball from Lennon to shoot past Kenny from the edge of the box.  The goal drained Rangers confidence as Spurs started to control the game again.  They failed to add to the score and it took two goal line clearances by Lennon and Bale in injury time to preserve the three points as QPR made a late effort to snatch a point.

if Rangers had succeeded in that late final surge Spurs would have been thoroughly down-hearted as they had so dominated the game in the first half and failed to make the most of it before relinquishing the advantage to QPR in the second period.

Another win takes Tottenham to fifth place, level on points with Chelsea and Newcastle United.  Undefeated Newcastle visit Stoke tomorrow night and a defeat by two goals would see Spurs move above them on goals scored and with a game in hand.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tottenham's Joy of Winning the Cup 8 (1963)

Tottenham had just failed to reach the Final of the previous season's European Cup competition but had qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup by retaining the FA Cup with a victory over Burnley at Wembley.  No British team had ever triumphed in a European competition so Tottenham's gave Spurs another first to add to their collection.

1963 European Cup Winners' Cup Final
Tottenham Hotspur 5 Atletico Madrid 1

Spurs Triumphant in Europe 
Dyson & Greaves
Tottenham had been disappointed not to have achieved the ultimate prize of lifting the previous season's European Cup and were rightly aggrieved at the nature of the semi-final dismissal by Benfica.  However, the FA Cup victory over Burnley assured them of another European campaign and another opportunity of Cup glory.  the journey to the Final in Rotterdam took in four countries - Scotland and the former countries of Czechoslavakia and Yugoslavia.

Road to the Final 
1st Round (1st Leg) v Glasgow Rangers (h) Won 5 - 2 Norman, Allen, White (2), Opp. o.g.
For the first game which had been built up as the 'Battle of Britain' only Bobby Smith was absent from the Tottenham which had successfully retained the FA Cup a few months earlier.  Les Allen was the automatic replacement and he showed his value to the team by scoring Spurs' third goal.  There was great rivalry ahead of this game with Spurs having three Scots in their team - Bill Brown, Dave Mackay and John White who had been so pivotal in Spurs' success of the previous two seasons.  

John White was the star of the night in a hard fought match which was all about pride.   He headed Spurs first goal after four minutes from a Jimmy Greaves corner but Rangers equalised five minutes later.  Another Greaves corner enabled White to head his second before Les Allen made it three. The Rangers defence were under pressure and conceded an own goal for 4-1 but almost immediately Rangers managed to score a second. Ten minutes from time another Greaves corner saw Maurice Norman score the fifth and final goal.  This result gave Spurs a comfortable lead to take to the second leg at Ibrox Park.

1st Round (2nd Leg) v Glasgow Rangers (a) Won 3 - 2 Smith (2), Greaves  (Agg. Won 8 - 4) 
Bobby Smith returned for this game and contributed two goals as Tottenham progressed to the next round and silenced the partisan Rangers fans in the 80,000 crowd packed in to Ibrox.  Jimmy Greaves started the misery for them after eight minutes when he scored Tottenham's first to give them an unassailable four goal aggregate advantage.  Bobby Smith, returning to the team for the first time since August, started the move which gave Spurs a lead they held until half-time.  However, two minutes after the interval Rangers levelled but three minutes later Spurs regained the lead through Smith who scored from White's cross.  With fifteen minutes remaining, Rangers again equalised but four minutes from time Smith completed the scoring and justified Bill Nicholson's decision to drop Allen.

2nd Round (1st Leg) v Slovan Bratislava (a) Lost 0 - 2
Tottenham were fortunate to get off so lightly in a game where they were out-classed and out-played.  Only two goals behind, they still had a chance to progress but it could have been so much worse.  Tony Marchi replaced the injured Danny Blanchflower who had been missing since the win in Glasgow.  Frank Saul replaced Terry Medwin on the right with instructions to work back in defence if it wasn't going well for Spurs.  On a heavy, muddy pitch Spurs found themselves a goal down after half an hour and two behind ten minutes into the second half.  Fortunately, the home side were satisfied with that scoreline and failed to take the extra goals that were there for the taking as Bill Brown made a number of important saves to keep Spurs in the tie.

2nd Round (2nd Leg) v Slovan Bratislava (h) Won 6 - 0  
                               Mackay, White, Smith, Greaves (2), Jones       (Agg. Won 6 - 2)
Tottenham opened determined to put the visitors under intense pressure from the outset but it wasn't until a nine minute spell after half an hour that saw them regain the initiative in this tie at White Hart Lane.  They had taken the visitors by storm with Mackay from the front but the goalkeeper had kept Smith and Jones at bay.  Mackay pulled one goal back from near the by-line after thirty one minutes, then Greaves levelled the score and Smith put them ahead, ten minutes before half-time.  White Hart Lane which had been in a frenzy was now rocking.  In the second half, Mel Hopkins who was playing in place of peter Baker, hit the cross bar.  Twenty minutes in Greaves scored his second and with fifteen minutes remaining Cliff Jones and White both scored within a minute.  Spurs were in  the semi-finals.

Semi-Final (1st Leg) v OFK Belgrade (a) Won 2 - 1 White, Dyson
Spurs returned to London with a goal advantage from the first game thanks to a goal from Terry Dyson, twenty minutes from time.  By then Spurs had been playing with ten men for fifteen minutes after the shock of having had Jimmy Greaves dismissed for the first time in his career.  He was dismissed for kicking out at a Belgrade defender and became the first Tottenham player to be sent off in a competitive match for nearly forty years.  However, Spurs with ten men were even more accomplished and deservedly took a lead into the second leg match.  

John Smith played in midfield in place of Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson returned on the left wing.  John White had put Tottenham ahead after twenty six minutes of the first half only for OFK to level from a penalty nine minutes before the break.  Tottenham had one foot in the Final with the home leg to come.

Semi-Final (2nd Leg) v OFK Belgrade (h) Won 3 - 1 Mackay, Smith, Jones  (Agg. Won 5 - 2)
Danny Blanchflower had returned to fitness and captained a side without the suspended Greaves.  Marchi retained his place with Mackay moving forward and scoring the first goal.  Jones returned on the right wing with John Smith dropping out.  While the scoreline suggests comfortable progress to the Final, it was far from it with the Spurs defence putting in an heroic performance.  Mackay was everywhere - stopping OFK one moment, then creating and scoring the next.  Spurs took the lead after half an hour, only for the visitors to level six minutes later.  In the midst of all the Totenham anxiety Blanchflower remained calm and from his controlled pass Mackay set up Dyson to score two minutes before half-time.  Spurs survived an early second half onslaught from OFK before Smith headed the third which secured the passage to the Final in Rotterdam.

Final v Atletico Madrid (Rotterdam) Won 5 - 1 Greaves (2), White, Dyson (2)
Tottenham went into the Final without Dave Mackay due to injury.  Tony Marchi stepped in but it was a player who rarely received recognition who stepped up and made himself a hero, Terry Dyson.  It is said that Bill Nicholson was too profuse in his praise of the Atletico players before the game but Blanchflower stepped forward and reminded everyone of the talent and achievements of Spurs in last three years.  Tottenham survived the nervous opening minutes and were two goals ahead by the interval through Greaves and White.  They conceded an early penalty in the second half but then Dyson came to the rescue, inspiring all around him.  Spurs weathered the expected storm and when Dyson scored the third after an hour, Spurs were on course once again.  Greaves quickly added a fourth following Dyson's cross and the left winger completed a wonderful for himself and Spurs by scoring the fifth.  Dyson had scored twice and created two other goals as Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy - a great night to remember for the 4,000 who had travelled over for the game.
Terry Dyson
Terry Dyson was the unexpected hero on a great night for Spurs.  At the end of the game Bobby Smith jokingly suggested he should retire immediately as he'd never play as well again.  Dyson, a left winger, had joined Spurs in December, 1954 and made his League debut the following March against Sheffield United at White Hart Lane.  However, for the over six seasons he made only 37 appearances being understudy to George Robb, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones.  

It was only at the start of the 1960 - 61 season that he managed to become a regular in the team, making 40 League and 7 Cup appearances, scoring 17 goals including the second goal of the Final against Leicester City, having created the first for Bobby Smith, as Spurs clinched the 'Double'.  He then lost his place in the team to Terry Medwin for the 1962 Final but regained it towards the end of the 1962 - 63 season.  In the semi-final and Final (three games) of the European Cup Winners' Cup competition Dyson scored three goals and created four.  It was a tremendous night for Tottenham and Terry Dyson and as he admits himself, it was the best game he ever played for Spurs.

Dyson remained at Tottenham until joining Fulham in the summer of 1965 for £5,000.  He made 209 League and Cup appearances for Spurs, scoring 55 goals.  He also holds the distinction of being the only Tottenham player to score a hat-trick against Arsenal.  He achieved that in August, 1962 in a 4 - 3 win at White Hart Lane. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

They Played for Tottenham and QPR

Over the years many players have pulled on the shirts of both Tottenham and Queen's Park Rangers.  Three of the current QPR squad are former Tottenham players, Luke Young, Adel Taarabt and Radek Cerny.  Clive Allen who is currently on the coaching staff  at White Hart Lane had two spells at Loftus Road as well as a very productive time with Spurs.  Two former Tottenham and QPR players have also managed the club, Les Allen and Terry Venables who has also managed Tottenham.

Les and Clive Allen
The famous footballing family pairing have both had time playing at Tottenham and QPR.  Les Allen was a member of the Tottenham 'Double' winning team in 1960 - 61 and a few weeks after winning the FA Cup at Wembley his son, Clive, was born.   

Clive Allen (Son)
Les Allen (Father)
Les Allen joined Spurs in 1959 from Chelsea and formed a superb goal scoring partnership with Bobby Smith.  The duo scored 60 League and Cup goals in the 'Double' winning triumph with Allen contributing 27 himself.  

Allen was unfortunate to be displaced when Jimmy Greaves was signed the following November but he remained at the club until 1965 when he opted to join Queen's Park Rangers for £21,000.  After being part of the successful QPR team which won the League Cup in 1967 as a 3rd Division club and also gained successive promotions to the 1st Division he took on the manager's role in 1968, remaining in charge for three years.

Clive Allen had two spells with Queen's Park Rangers.  he started his career at Loftus Road and then had a season away at Arsenal, without playing, and at Crystal Palace before returning to QPR.  Three years later, in 1994 he signed for Tottenham for £700,000.  Injury restricted his appearances in his first two seasons at White hart Lane but at the beginning of the 1986 - 87 season, under new manager, David Pleat, Allen scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa.  in that season Allen set new goalscoring records at Tottenham, beating those set by legendary goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves.  Playing as a lone striker, he scored 33 League goals and 16 in the two Cup competitions.  Unfortunately, this didn't lead to trophies as Tottenham managed to fall short in each competition - 3rd in the League, losing FA Cup Finalists and losing League Cup semi-finalists.  In total he scored 60 League goals from 105 appearances in his four years at the club before joining Bordeaux for £1 million.  He played for England on five occasions but failed to score.

Terry Venables
Terry Venables joined Spurs from Chelsea in May, 1966 for £80,000 and the following season helped Tottenham win the FA CupHe remained at the club for three seasons before joining QPR for £70,000 but was never totally accepted by fans who had been spoiled by the skills of the team of the early 1960s.  He was at QPR for five years and then moved to Crystal Palace but injury forced him to retire.  he then turned to coaching and became manager at Crystal Palace.  He then went to QPR in 1980 and helped them  reach the 1982 FA Cup Final where they lost to Spurs after a replay.  He had three seasons in Spain as manager of Barcelona before returning to manage Spurs.  He brought star players like Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne to the club and in a difficult financial situation he led Tottenham to the 1991 FA Cup Final triumph.  He was also instrumental in working with Alan Sugar to save the club from going out of existence.  However, in the early 1990s, just as the team was showing promise, he lost his position of Chief Executive at Spurs because of disagreement with Sugar over the financial issues at the club.  He later went on to manage England.

Another, player who had a distinguished career at Tottenham and who later had a time as manager of Queen's Park Rangers was Alan Mullery.  The former Tottenham and Fulham player was manager at Loftus Road for six months from June to Cecember, 1984.

Roger Morgan
Twins, Ian and Roger Morgan were part of the exciting QPR team of the late 1960s and scored their first goal at Wembley as they won the League Cup.  In 1969 Bill Nicholson paid £110,000 to sign Roger.  It took him time to settle in to the team but early in the 1970 - 71 season he sustained a serious knee injury playing against Swansea Town in the League Cup, a competition that Spurs went to win.  He never fully recovered and although he made attempts at a comeback he never regained full fitness and was forced to retire in 1973.

Terry Fenwick
Terry Venables gave Terry Fenwick his first chance at Crystal Palace and then took him to QPR.  He also followed his mentor to Spurs in 1987.  He took time to settle but scored eight goals for Spurs, all in the one season, 1988 - 89 and all penalties.  He broke his leg in 1989 and on recovering he broke his ankle early in 1991 in pre-match preparation for an FA Cup tie at Portsmouth, missing the opportunity to appear in the Final against Nottingham Forest.  He joined Swindon in 1993 and was manager at Portsmouth for three years from 1995.

QPR Current Squad
Luke Young made 76 appearances in four years at Tottenham.  He played mostly at full back but with Stephen Carr having such an influential role in Spurs play Young's opportunities to develop his career were limited.  He joined Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2001 for £4 million and shortly after that Carr suffered a knee injury which kept him out for the whole season.  If only he had been a little more patient.  however, he progressed at The Valley and after six seasons was transferred to Middlesbrough.  He also represented England and joined Aston Villa in 2008, returning to London and QPR in the summer.  An industrious player, he has an eye for goal, scoring for Boro against Spurs with an absolute screamer.

Adel Taarabt joined Spurs in Janauary, 2007, on loan, from Lens.  He completed his transfer the following summer.  A very talented player, Taarabt has great skill but Spurs found it difficult to harness his obvious talent into a team situation.  He made 15 substitute appearances for Spurs and went out on loan to QPR in March, 2009.  He remained there on loan until QPR signed him in August, 2010.  He captained their team to the Championship title scoring 19 goals and being the inspiration behind their exciting play.  He has lost the captaincy to Joey Barton but will have a point to make against Spurs.

Radek Cerny joined on loan as reserve goalkeeper at Tottenham, behind Paul Robinson for three seasons from 2005.  He was an experienced and reliable goalkeeper when required to play.  He joined QPR in 2008 but has now dropped down to third choice at the club. 

Of the current Tottenham team, Kyle Walker spent the first half of last season at Loftus Roald, helping them in the initial stages of their promotion to the Premier League.  He was highly regarded and they had hoped to keep him for the season but Spurs preferred him to get experience at the higher level with Aston Villa.

More Players who Played for both Clubs
Many players have appeared in both the white of Tottenham and the hoops of QPR although not all have been direct transfers between the clubs.  Some younger players have also had periods on loan at QPR to further their development.  Stephen Kelly and Dean Marney spent time at Loftus Road to gain experience before they played for Spurs.

Les Ferdinand started his League career at QPR before joining Newcastle United and then Tottenham.  Mark Falco left Spurs for Watford but later had a time at Loftus Road while Andy Sinton was at QPR for four years before he signed for Spurs from Sheffield Wednesday.

Others were: Ossie Ardiles, Alan Brazil, Steve Hodge, Neil Ruddock, Andy Gray, David Kerslake, Paul Walsh, Clive Wilson, Steve Slade and Dave McEwen.

Older players who were at both clubs were defender Horace Woodward who played for Tottenham in the 2nd Division after the war before moving to QPR in 1949.  Harry Gilberg also had two seasons at White Hart Lane after the war until 1948 and was with QPR in the early 1950s.

Three payers from Tottenham's earliest days in the Football League, Frank Drabble (goalkeeper), Bert Middlemiss (winger) and Charlie Rance (defender) spent time with QPR towards the end of their careers.

Middlemiss was in the Tottenham team that made its Football League debut in September, 1908 defeating Wolves 3 - 0.  He was an ever present that season scoring 13 goals as Spurs won promotion to the 1st Division.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tottenham's Home Record against Queen's Park Rangers

Tottenham return to White Hart Lane for their fourth home Premier League of the season on Sunday.  It is the last day of the month, making it is rather amazing that Spurs have played so few home games, even allowing for the postponement of the match against Everton.  Queen's Park Rangers will be Spurs' second London derby of the season, having defeated Arsenal at the beginning of October.

Tottenham Hotspur v Queen's Park Rangers

Rangers arrive at White Hart Lane for the first time since December, 1995 when a single Teddy Sheringham goal was sufficient to give Spurs the points and complete the 'double' over their west London rivals.  Last weekend QPR defeated Chelsea in a fractious encounter at Loftus Road when an early penalty by Helguson won a match where the visitors were reduced to nine men for nearly an hour.  Rangers have had an encouraging start to the season having gained promotion as Champions last year and are currently tenth in the League, four points behind Spurs.

Their results have been a mixed - beating Chelsea (1 - 0) and winning at Wolves (3 - 0) but losing at home to Bolton (0 - 4) in the first game of the season and at Fulham (0 - 6).  Other impressive results have included a win at Everton (1 - 0) and draws against Aston Villa and Newcastle United who were both undefeated at the time.  They lost at Wigan (0 - 2) and drew at home to Blackburn two weeks ago.

Their leading goalscorer is Heidar Helguson with two goals in the last two games while DJ Campbell, Joey Barton, Alejandro Faurlin and Tommy Smith have one each.  Neil Warnock has developed QPR into a very hardworking side with experience and players capable of producing moments of flair.  Former Tottenham defender Luke Young joined QPR in August from Aston Villa, Anton Ferdinand came from Sunderland and Barton from Newcastle United have all brought experience with Barton taking over the captaincy.  Campbell and Smith have both played in the Premier League while Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright-Phillips bring pace and flair to the team.

They Played for Tottenham
Adel Taarabt who was the star and captain of last year's promotion winning team will be determined to show all his skills at White Hart Lane, having left the club just over a year ago.  He made 9 League appearances for Spurs.  He has made over 100 League appearances for QPR, scoring 27 goals.  he has represented Morocco in 11 games and scored four goals.

Luke Young has been Rangers hardest running player in their past two games, involved from right back although it would be hoped that Gareth Bale will keep him occupied on Sunday.  Since leaving White Hart Lane in 2001 for £4 million, Young has played for Charlton Athletic, Middlesbrough and Villa.  He has also represented England on five occasions.  He made 58 League appearances for Spurs and has played almost 300 League games for his other four clubs.

Radek Cerny is another former Tottenham player at Loftus Road although he has now dropped to third choice keeper.  At Tottenham he was understudy to Paul Robinson and made only 16 appearances in three seasons.  He joined Rangers in 2008 and has played 73 league games for them.

Premier League Record (Home) v QPR
P  4  W  2  D  1  L  1  For  6  Ag  5

Home League Record v QPR 
P  21  W  11  D  7  L  3  For  36  Ag  21

Last 7 League  Games v QPR at White Hart Lane
Dec. 1995  PL Won 1 - 0  Sheringham  
Oct. 1994  PL  Draw 1 - 1  Barmby
May 1994  PL  Lost 1 - 2  Sheringham
Feb. 1993  PL  Won 3 - 2  Sheringham (2), Anderton
The first game of the Premier League era saw Tottenham take a three goal lead but two late goals by the visitors gave Spurs a few nervy moments.
Sept. 1991  Div. 1  Won 2 - 0  Lineker (2)
Mar. 1991  Div. 1  Draw 0 - 0
Sept. 1989  Div. 1  Won 3 - 2  Lineker (3)

Memorable Match v QPR
Phil Beal
In January, 1969 Spurs met QPR at White Hart Lane for the first time in the 1st Division.  they won the game 3 - 2 which over time has turned out to be quite a regular scoreline between the two clubs.  Phil Beal who played over 400 games for Tottenham scored only one goal in 13 seasons.  He made his debut in place of Danny Blanchflower in September, 1963 against Aston Villa but it was a number of years before he established himself a s a regular member of the team.  In the latter half of the 1960s he formed a very effective central defensive partner ship with Mike England and together they went on to win numerous trophies in the early 1970s.  The goal that Beal scored against QPR was a goal to remember.  He broke up an attack on the edge of the Spurs area and carried the ball forward, exchanging passes with Jimmy Greaves and on reaching the edge of the Rangers box, he cracked an unstoppable shot, in off the bar.  Alan Gilzean and David Jenkins scored the other Spurs goals.

Another Sunday game for Tottenham so they will be playing catch-up once more, knowing the results of the matches for the teams around them.  Tottenham will be looking to make home advantage count against a team who will be high on confidence following last week's win over Chelsea.  As it's a London derby, both sides will be totally committed and Spurs will know what to expect from a team managed by Neil Warnock.  They won't give Tottenham the time nor the space to play their football and will look to hit them quickly on the break with the defence being put under pressure at every set-piece opportunity.  Hopefully, Spurs will start as they did against Liverpool and get into a high tempo quickly with Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale looking to cause difficulty from wide on the wings with Kyle Walker as another option.  Rafael Van der Vaart will be looking to continue his goal scoring form and Emmanuel Adebayor will want to get back on the score sheet after a number of blank games although he has contributed well to the overall performances of the team.  Tottenham had a poor record against the promoted teams last year so will be looking to get a better return from this game in order to improve on last season's record.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tottenham's 1990 FA Youth Cup Winning Team

Tottenham Hotspur have won the FA Youth Cup on three occasions, the last time being in 1990 when Spurs had one of their most successful youth teams, winning three trophies that season.  However, being a member of a winning team in the country's most prestigious youth tournament is no guarantee to having a successful career in football.

May, 1990  FA Youth Cup Final (1st Leg) v Middlesbrough (a) Won 2 - 1 Potts, Houghton
                                                   (2nd Leg) v Middlesbrough (h) Drew 1 - 1 Morah
Tottenham Won 3 - 2 on agg.

Team: (1st Leg) Walker; Smith, N., Hendon, Tuttle, Hackett; Hardwicke, Howell (Nethercott), Smith, K., Houghton (Fulling); Morah, Potts.

(for the 2nd Leg Fulling started in place of Howell who replaced him during the game.  Nethercott replaced Morah) 

Tottenham's youth team of season 1989 - 90 retained the South East Counties League Division for a fifth successive season, won the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 1974 and only the third time in Tottenham's history and defeated Arsenal in the Final of the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup, coming from a goal down after losing the first leg at Highbury to win 2 - 1 on aggregate.

This was the club's most successful youth team, in terms of winning competitions, since 1970 when the youth team included Steve Perryman and Graeme Souness.  The team was managed by Keith Waldon who regarded the team's win over Manchester City at Maine Road in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup as their best performance of the season.  Spurs won 2 -  and in Waldon's words, "The scoreline really flattered City. I thought we were far superior on the day.  To beat City on their own ground and to do it so convincingly, was magnificent."

The manager was also very complimentary to the players while adding a word of caution that it was up to the individual players to continue to improve in order to fulfil their potential.  He regarded Ian Walker and David Tuttle as the most outstanding players throughout the whole season for the fact that they rarely made mistakes and were very solid, holding the team together when things got difficult.

What Happened to the 1990 FA Youth Cup Winners?
Ian Walker, Tottenham
Ian Walker was the most successful of the group, having been regarded by Waldon as 'one of the most outstanding youth team goalkeepers that he had ever seen'.  He went on the make 260 League appearances for Tottenham and won 4 England caps.  he made his first team debut in season 1992 - 93 but it was 1995 - 96 season before he made the goalkeeping position his one.  For the following five seasons he was first choice and played in the 1999 Worthington Cup win over Leicester City.  It was a difficult period for Spurs and Ian Walker irritated many fans due to what they regarded as his carefree attitude when things weren't going well for the team.  The arrival of Neil Sullivan from Wimbledon in 2002 saw Walker lose his place in the team and he moved to Leicester City for £2.5 million the following summer.  He spent three years with Leicester before going to Bolton as understudy.

Neil Smith was the most versatile player in the youth team, having played the previous season as a striker and being the team's leading goalscorer.  He moved into defence but could also play in midfield.  He left Spurs in 1991, signing for Gillingham after a period on loan.   After six years he moved to Fulham and played against Spurs in the FA Cup, scoring Fulham's goal, past former youth team colleague, Walker, at White Hart Lane in a 3 - 1 defeat in 1998.  In 1999 he joined Reading and after three seasons he moved into non-League football.  Smith helped each of his three League clubs achieve promotion.

Warren Hackett played at full back in the successful youth team but was released at the end of that season.  He went to Leyton Orient and in four seasons made 76 League appearances.  after a year at Doncaster, he spent four season with Mansfield Town, making 117 appearances.  He had two years at Barnet before retiring due to injury.  He made 21 international appearances for Saint Lucia.

Ian Hendon was captain of the youth team and the England youth side.  Waldon viewed him as quite an accomplished player who had a lot of work to do to prove he wasn't just a good youth team footballer, but was capable of going all the way to play in senior football.  He progressed to the Tottenham senior team, making 4 substitute League appearances for Spurs and also playing for the England Under-21 team.  He was a member of the FA Cup winning squad and the squad for the Charity Shield at the start of the next season.He went out on loan and was transferred to Leyton Orient in 1993 for £50,000.  After four seasons he went to Notts County and two years later moved on to Northampton Town.  He joined Sheffield Wednesday in 2000 and had a short time with Peterborough before joining non-League Barnet.  he helped them win promotion to th eFootball League and spent six seasons there, including time as manager.

David Tuttle had started as a centre forward in youth football but was moved in to central defence the previous season and in the words of his manager, 'showed a lot of promise.'  That promise was fulfilled as he made it into the League team at Spurs, making 14 appearances before being transferred to Sheffield United in 2003.  He also signed for Crystal Palace, Barnsley and Millwall.  He became assistant to Colin Lee at Millwall and in 2005 was appointed manager.  He left the following summer having failed to avoid relegation.  He is at MK Dons as chief scout and manages on non-league football.

Vic Hardwicke played in midfield but was released by Spurs at the end of his successful youth team season.

Greg Howell played in midfield in the first leg of the Final and was substitute for the second game.  He left Spurs on a free transfer in the summer of 1993 without progressing beyond the reserves.  He was at Enfield Town for three years from 2005.

 Kevin Smith was a physically strong midfield player for the youth team.  He made a few reserve team appearances the following season but was then released by Spurs.

Scott Houghton was a speedy winger who could use both feet.  He scored a goal in the 1st Leg of the Final at Middlesbrough.  He made his Spurs debut in September, 1991 as a substitute against Manchester United.  In his next game, he came on as  a substitute against Luton Town and scored twice as Spurs won 4 - 1 at White Hart Lane.  it was a memorable match as Luton had gone ahead just before the interval.  The second half was interrupted for fifteen minutes when the light failed but on their return Spurs came alight and scored four, Gary Lineker scored twice as well.  (see the goals here)  Houghton made 10 League appearances, all as a substitute before joining Luton in 1993.  He played for a number of lower League clubs, having his best spells at Peterborough, Walsall, Southend United and Leyton Orient.

Ollie Morah was a first year apprentice in the Cup winning team who scored 28 goals that year, including the goal in the 2nd leg of the Final.  He remained with Spurs until August, 1992 when he signed for Swindon Town.  He failed to make any League appearances there and after two years dropped into non-League football with Sutton United.  He later played for Cambridge United and Torquay United.  He is became a coach at Tottenham in 2005 with the Academy Under-13 players.  

Andrew Potts was another first year apprentice when wining the FA Youth Cup.  He was leading scorer that season with 30 goals, including a goal in the Final.  He was released in the summer of 1993.

Lee Fulling was released by Tottenham a few weeks after the Final.

Stuart Nethercott was a first year trainee when he made his substitute appearances in the FA Youth Cup Final.  He made it to the Tottenham first team and made hid debut in 1993 in a 1 - 1 draw at Chelsea.  He made a number of appearances over the next eighteen months but at the start of the 1994 - 95 season, Ossie Ardiles selected him to partner Sol Campbell at the heart of the Tottenham defence, ahead of Gary Mabbutt.  It was in the attacking, care-free days of Jurgen Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham and the defence was left over exposed, leading to Ardiles removal as manager.  Nethercott had a further three seasons at the club playing when others were injured.  one such occasion was the FA Cup semi-final against Everton and unfortunately for Nethercott he had a poor game at full back as Spurs lost 1 - 4 and their Cup winning dream was shattered.  He went to Millwall in 1997 and made over 200 appearances in seven seasons, helping them to promotion to the Premier league and an FA Cup Final although he missed it as he had been loaned out to Wycombe for whom he signed in the summer of 2004.

Only Ian Walker made himself a regular team member with Tottenham and only a small number of the players managed to have a career in lower League football.  As with the 1995 FA Youth Cup team, being part of a successful youth team gives no assurance of making a career in League football.  Tottenham continue to spend vast sums of money on their Academy in the search for quality young players but even with all the expert coaching provided there is no certainty that any of those young players will progress to the first team, never mind make themselves a regular and vital member of the team.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

They Played for Tottenham and Blackburn Rovers

The Tottenham team which defeated Blackburn Rovers 2 - 1 at Ewood Park in the Premier League had former Rovers keeper, Brad Friedel in goals while the former Spurs goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, was in the Rovers team.  A third goalkeeper to have played for both clubs is the Rovers' goalkeeping coach, Bobby Mimms.

'The Good, the Bad and the Old Man' of Goalkeepers

From a Tottenham perspective the 'bad' can only be Bobby Mimms who joined from Everton where he had been understudy to Neville Southall.  Terry Venables signed him in February, 1988 for £325,000. However, his Tottenham career is remembered for a series of mistakes and as the blunders increased so his confidence diminished.  He was sold on to Blackburn in December, 1990 for £250,000 having only played 37 League games for Spurs.  During his time at Ewood Park he helped the club return to the 1st Division and establish themselves as a top club.

Paul Robinson
The 'good' is Paul Robinson who joined Tottenham from Leeds United for £1.5 million in 2004 and made himself a firm favourite with supporters with his excellent performances as Tottenham showed steady progress under Martin Jol. He established himself as 'England's Number 1' and looked set for a long career with Spurs.  However, his form took a dip and with it, his confidence, so that he became less reliable for both club and country.  He came under much scrutiny and lost his place at Tottenham during Juande Ramos' short time at the club.  However, he returned to the team in time for the Carling Cup win over Chelsea.  The following summer, Ramos signed Heurelho Gomes from PSV and Robinson realised that he needed to move on to further his career.  He joined Blackburn in July, 2008 for £3.5 million where he has seen his form return as he has put in more confident and reliable performances.  During his time with Spurs he played 137 League matches and scored one goal against Watford at White Hart Lane.

The 'old man' can only be Brad Friedel who at 40 years of age joined Spurs from Aston Villa in the summer on a free transfer.  He has immediately become first choice goalkeeper and has brought a confidence and calm to the Tottenham defence, something which tends to be missing when Gomes is playing.  In spite of conceding eight goals in his first two games, Friedel is showing that his age doesn't prevent him from turning in Premier league standard performances each week.  

Friedel had been a reserve at Liverpool for three years before joining Blackburn in 2000, making 287 League appearances at Ewood Park.  During his time at Ewood Park, he turned in a match winning performance in the League Cup Final of 2002 to deny Tottenham at Cardiff.  He then joined Aston Villa in 2008 and played 114 League games.  He made 82 appearances for the United States before retiring from international football in 2005.

Other Goalkeepers
A fourth goalkeeper to appear for both clubs is William Arthur Hughes, known as 'Archie', who made two League appearances for Tottenham in the late 1940s before moving to Ewood Park.  He had been a 'guest' player at Spurs during the war, playing regularly in 1944 and was one of only two 'guest' players who were to sign permanently for the club at the end of the war.

 A fifth goalkeeper who played at Ewood Park early in the 20th Century was 'Tiny' Joyce.  He spent a year at the club and then returned to Millwall.  After Tottenham had entered the Football League, he came to White Hart Lane from 1909 to 1915.  He was known as 'Tiny' because of his size and played 73 games for Spurs.  He scored a League goal for Tottenham against Bolton in 1914 and was the only goalkeeper to score a League goal for the club until Paul Robinson matched him in 2007.

Other Players
Mike England was an experienced Welsh international centre-half when he joined Tottenham from Blackburn for £95,000 in the summer of 1966.  He quickly established himself in the middle of the Spurs defence and helped Tottenham to FA Cup victory over Chelsea the following May.  He was a vital member of the successful teams of the early 1970s winning the League Cup and in Europe.  He scored in the UEFA Cup Final 1st leg match against Feyenoord at White Hart Lane but after drawing at home Spurs lost the away leg in Holland.  England was a threat when he moved forward for set-pieces and he played at centre forward on occasions.  He developed a good understanding with Pat Jennings and Phil Beal who were the mainstay of the Tottenham defence for a period of over eight seasons.

Ossie Ardiles went on loan to Blackburn at the end of his Tottenham career for a period in a bid to help them win promotion from the 2nd Division.  while he was there he met up with Steve Archibald who was also on loan at Ewood Park from Barcelona. 

Tim Sherwood who is currently responsible for the Tottenham 'Development' squad was at Ewood park during their most successful period at the start of the Premier league era and captained them to the title in 1995.  He joined Tottenham in 1999 but missed out on their Worthington Cup success a few weeks later.  He was a member of the losing Tottenham team in 2002 when Brad Friedel's goalkeeping display brought success to his former club.  With the current uncertainty at Ewood Park, Sherwood is someone who has recently been mentioned as a possible candidate for a Director of Football role at the club.  He is also considered a possible replacement for Harry Redknapp at Tottenham if he should become manager of England next summer.

Noel Brotherston, a Northern Ireland international winger made one appearance for Spurs in 1976 before joining Blackburn in July, 1977.  

Three forwards who played for both clubs in the early years of the last century were:

George Crompton, a centre forward played for both clubs in the early 1900s, making 9 League appearances for Spurs, with his only goal coming in an abandoned match.  

Ted Harper had two spells at Blackburn.  He joined Spurs from Sheffield Wednesday in 1929 before leaving for Preston in 1931.  He rejoined Rovers two years later.  Harper was a prolific goal scorer and set the Tottenham record of 36 goals in a season in 1931-32.  Bobby Smith equalled it in the 1950s, Jimmy Greaves broke it in the 1960s and Clive Allen claimed the record in the 1980s.  Harper's record could have been even greater had he not had to miss six of the final eight games through injury.  In total he scored 83 goals for Tottenham in 78 appearances.

Ronnie Dix had a season at Blackburn in the early 1930s.  He joined Tottenham in 1939 but the outbreak of war seriously interrupted his Spurs career.  He played for the club for two years after the war but went to Reading in 1947.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Blackburn Rovers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Tottenham won their fifth Premier League game out of six and moved ahead of Liverpool into fifth position with one game in hand.  It was a hard earned win as bottom of the table, Blackburn showed great endeavour as they tried to snatch a late equaliser.

Blackburn Rovers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Scorers:  Formica                      Van der Vaart (2) 

Team: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Rose), Parker, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe), Adebayor  Subs: (unused): Cudicini, Sandro, Livermore, Townsend, Pavlyuchenko.

Tottenham showed one change from last week's team at Newcastle United with Aaron Lennon returning after injury in place of Jake Livermore.  The Europa league goalscorer, Roman Pavlyuchenko was joined on the bench by Jermain Defoe who scored last weekend and Sandro who was still feeling the effects of his injury.  With Ledley King absent through injury, Scott Parker captained the team for the first time.

Two goals from Rafa Van der Vaart secured another win for Spurs and maintained their recent good form.  He gave Spurs the lead after fifteen minutes, following good work on the right by Kyle Walker.  Emmanuel Adebayor set Walker free on the right wing and his strong run into the penalty area took him to the bye-line and he pulled the ball back to Van der Vaart who stroked it past former Tottenham goalkeeper, Paul Robinson.
Spurs could have been two up when Bale's run and cross found Adebayor whose shot was easily saved by Robinson.  Then another cross was headed towards his own goal by a Rovers player but again The goalkeeper was able to tip the ball over fro a corner.  Then, in a repeat of last week's performance at Newcastle, Spurs let Blackburn back into the game after half an hour.  The conceded a free-kick and when Samba out jumped Younes Kaboul, he found Formica who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

Level at the interval, Van der Vaart restored Spurs lead when he received the ball after it bounced off Benoit Assou-Ekotto in a promising Tottenham attack and curled his shot in from twenty yards.  From then on Tottenham looked to hold what they had and while it wasn't pretty and they were under considerable pressure they managed to hold off Blackburn.  Brad Friedel playing against his former club was under serious pressure as Rovers launched a series of high ball attacks from free-kicks, corners and throw ins.  Relief was the major feeling for Tottenham supporters at the end of a long final half hour at Ewood Park.

This result keeps Spurs in a strong position with one match in hand and maintained their recent good form at Ewood Park, three wins in the past three seasons which sees them continue to be five points up on the same fixtures last season.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Tottenham's record at Blackburn Rovers

Tottenham have shown great improvement in recent weeks and will look to improve on their draw at Newcastle United last weekend.   Undefeated in five Premier League games as they go to Ewood Park to play Blackburn Rovers, they will have to match last year's result to maintain their progress and assault on a Champions League place.

Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur

Blackburn have had a difficult start to the season and are currently in twentieth position in the Premier League with five points.  They have won only one of their eight matches, although it was a rather stunning performance, coming from behind to defeat Arsenal at Ewood Park.  They were behind at the interval (1 - 2) but scored three second half goals to lead 4 - 2 and held off a late surge from Arsenal to win 4 - 3.  Last weekend they drew 1 - 1 at QPR and they also gained a point at Fulham.  They have lost their other three home games to Wolverhampton Wanderers (1 - 3) on the opening day, to Everton (0 - 1) and Manchester City conceding  four second half goals.  They have also lost at Aston Vila and Newcastle United.  In the Carling Cup they have enjoyed home successes over Sheffield Wednesday and Leyton Orient.

In the Premier League, their leading scorer is Ayegbeni Yakuba who has two goals while Reuben Rochina has scored four in League (1) and Cup (3).  Last week central defender and captain Christopher Samba who was reported to be a possible signing for Tottenham during the summer scored their goal at Loftus Road.  Manager Steve Kean has been under pressure since taking charge from Sam Allardyce last December.

Recent Results at Ewood Park 
Feb. 2011  Won 1 - 0  Crouch
For the second successive season, Peter Crouch was the match winner for Tottenham at Ewood Park.  In the third minute he rose above the defence to head in a diagonal cross from Rafael Van der Vaart.  A hard-working team performance and some good saves from Heurelho Gomes ensured that Spurs held out to take the three points.

Dec. 2009  Won 2 - 0  Crouch (2)
Two goals from Crouch secured victory for Spurs.  The first came at the end of a first half which had seen Rovers in the ascendancy.  Tom Huddlestone had attempted a long range shot which went awry and ended up as a perfect pass to Niko Kranjcar on the right. His cross was headed in off the bar by Crouch.  The second was scored with seven minutes left when Crouch was put through by Jermaine Jenas, he advanced towards the penalty area to shoot past Paul Robinson.  It was a hard-earned win which many previous Spurs teams would not have gained.

Apr. 2009  Lost 1 - 2  Keane
This was a match which Spurs dominated but lost in the final ten minutes as Blackburn were assisted by some debatable refereeing decisions.  Robbie Keane had given Spurs an early first half lead which they held until late in the game.  With ten minutes left the referee send Wilson Palacios off for a second bookable offence but two minutes poor defending at a corner gifted Rovers an equaliser.  One minute from time rovers snatched an undeserved winner - Spurs had thrown away three points.  

Apr. 2008  Draw 1 - 1  Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov put Spurs ahead after seven minutes but Blackburn levelled after half an hour.  Spurs, having won the Carling Cup a few weeks earlier were in a run of poor results that lasted through to the end of the season.

Since 1996 when Spurs Won 2 - 0 at Blackburn on the opening day of the season with two Chris Armstrong goals they have started a run which has seem them lose on only three occasions in 14 games.  They have won 6 times and drawn on 5 occasions with only three defeats.  That win in 1996 also saw Gary Mabbutt break his leg and be out for the rest of the season. 

Overall League record at Blackburn:
P  47  W  14  D  11  L  22  For  51  Ag  71

Premier League Record:
  P  17  W  7  D  4  L  6  For  19  Ag  14

Memorable Result at Ewood Park:
The Tottenham victory in February, 1998 was totally unexpected as they were struggling under Christian Gross in a relegation battle.  That day Spurs showed an previously unseen togetherness and determination to battle for the points which they took with three goals from Nicoli Berti, Chris Armstrong and Jurgen Klinsmann.  It was only their second away win of the season, since success at Everton in Gross' first match as manager.

Tottenham have completed the 'double' over Blackburn for the past two seasons and to maintain this season's upward progress will need to take three points on Sunday to keep the pressure on the teams around them who are striving for fourth place.  The lack of fit central defenders is causing a problem as only Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong are fit and Jake Livermore had to stand in against Rubin Kazan in central defence on Thursday evening's win in the Europa League.  With Blackburn again having a difficult season, Tottenham will be hoping to add to their misery by winning at Ewood Park for a third successive season.  


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Rubin Kazan 0 Europa League

Tottenham had Roman Pavlyuchenko to thank for the goal which was enough to earn the three points to take them to the top of Group A in the Europa League.  With seven points they are clear of PAOK who have five with Rubin on four.  Spurs' next match is in Russia and they know that it will be a difficult task to take anything from that encounter.

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Rubin Kazan 0
                                            Scorer: Pavlyuchenko

Team: Gomes; Walker, Livermore, Bassong, Rose; Lennon (Modric), Sandro (Kaboul), Carroll, Giovani Dos Santos (Assou-Ekotto); Defoe, Pavlyuchenko.  Subs (unused): Cudicini, Kane,Townsend

SuperPav Super Strike Wins it For Tottenham
Roman Pavlyuchenko
Roman Pavlyuchenko shook off his lethargy to fire an unstoppable free-kick high into the Rubin Kazan net after thirty three minutes to win this Europa League encounter against his fellow countrymen.  From the outset Pavlyuchenko was out to show his prowess, taking the every opportunity to shoot. 

As was to be expected from a team who had Champions League experience and who had defeated Barcelona in Spain two seasons ago, Rubin Kazan came to win the match and were positive throughout, having the majority of the possession and creating opportunities to strike for goal.  The only element that was missing from their game was a coolness in front of goal as Heurelho Gomes was relatively untroubled during the first forty five minutes.

Spurs with only Kyle Walker and Jake Livermore from the starting eleven at Newcastle, had Sebastien  Bassong and Livermore in central defence so depleted is Harry Redknapp for centre backs.  Danny Rose was at left back while Sandro and Tom Carroll were in midfield with Aaron Lennon, returning from injury, and Dos Santos on the wings.  Pavlyuchenko was partnered by Jermain Defoe as strikers.

Tottenham were neat and tidy in possession but didn't really threatened on goal with the two strikers rarely working as partners.  Bassong and Livermore found it difficult to develop any understanding and were grateful for the lack of firepower from the visitors.  Lennon and Dos Santos offered little as they mostly ran themselves into trouble with Rose and Walker being left to do much of the forward running.  Carroll and Sandro worked hard in midfield to contain the quick passing Russian team.

It was from a Rose foray towards the penalty area that Spurs won a free-kick.  Centre of goal, on the edge of the 'D' Roman Pavlyuchenko hammered the ball into the top corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance.  Spurs were ahead but hardly deserving of the advantage which they held comfortably to half-time with Pavlyuchenko having another drive well saved.

In the second half Rubin Kazan increased the pressure and Spurs were reduced to defending to try to stop the flow.  Gomes was coming in to play more often and he dealt with most situations easily with only the occasional anxious moment.  As the half wore, in recognition of the threat being presented by Rubin Kazan, Harry Redknapp opted to strengthen his team to ensure the victory.  He introduced Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto to defence and brought on Luka Modric in central midfield beside Carroll. 

The changes enables Spurs to see out the game to claim their three points.  Gomes has played three games this year without conceding a goal, Carroll played well and is benefiting from these Europa League games,  Rose had a good game at full-back and then moved forward to left midfield and was dangerous on the break late in the game, earning corners for his endeavours.

Mission accomplished for Harry Redknapp and the Tottenham Europa League squad.  After three games they are on target for qualification to the knock-out stages in the new year.