FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 6TH NOVEMBER, 2004
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0) CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3 (2)
Keane (pen), 68
Bartlett, 17, 39
Referee:- Neale Barry
Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Bunjevcevic; Davies (sub Ziegler, 46), Redknapp (Capt.) (sub Carrick, 59), Mendes, Keane; Defoe, Kanoute
Subs not used:- Keller; Brown; Silva
Charlton (4-1-4-1):- Kiely; Young, Karkouri, Perry, Hreidarsson; Holland (Capt.); Johansson (sub Euell, 80), Murphy (sub Fortune, 88), Kishishev, Thomas (sub Konchesky, 84); Bartlett
Booked:- Thomas, Young
Sent off:- Bartlett
Spurs' assistant (Caretaker) manager Martin Jol described his team as being in shock in the first half of this game, following the sudden departure of Jacques Santini. I would describe them as being comatose for not only the first half, but for most of the time until Michael Carrick replaced Jamie Redknapp after 59 minutes. Redknapp was booed off by the home crowd. Carrick was cheered on. The evidence was soon presented to justify that reception, as for the last half hour, Carrick did make Spurs buzz, and so nearly inspired a dramatic come-back from being three goals down to a Charlton side that still have not been beaten at The Lane in the Premiership.
The first half had been fairly devoid of notable action, and Bartlett had scored two goals on the break for the away side, whose set-up indicated they had come for a point. Bartlett was a lone striker, and Johansson played on the right flank with Murphy and Kishishev in the central midfield and ex-gooner Jerome Thomas on the left. The Addicks skipper Matty Holland sat in front of his back four, which of course included two ex-Spurs players, Luke Young and Chris Perry.
For Spurs, Bunjevcevic kept the left back slot, Redknapp returned to the central midfield, and all three main strikers started, with Robbie Keane playing on the left initially, but clearly having some licence to roam across the area behind the strikers. I wouldn't say that Redknapp was woeful. it's just that there was little evidence of his presence. Maybe there was one pass that found its way to a target from long range in front of the defence. Simon Davies WAS woeful, and has lost his form completely. I really do not think that either of these two should start for Spurs on their current form.
Pamarot was being allowed forward, and battled away at times. His distribution in those attacking areas indicated why perhaps he should be kept in his own half! Bunjevcevic is an inadequate choice at left back, and I fell Taricco is preferable, as Johansson got too much room down the right hand side. Whilst Kanoute is handling Ramadan well, perhaps Naybet needs a rest, and maybe we should call upon Davenport on loan at West Ham, as too often in recent games, Spurs have conceded through space being exploited between Ledley King and Naybet.
Charlton's opener was all too easy, as Thomas crossed from the left and Bartlett simply glanced the ball with his foot across and beyond Robinson for the 17th minute goal. Little was Bartlett to know he would be a hero and villain on the same day! Spurs did not manage a significant effort until the 33rd minute, when a Robbie Keane free kick taken on the right was headed wide by Ledley King. A few minutes later, Kanoute crossed from the right and the ball was headed out as far as Redknapp, who headed back towards the area, where Mendes sent the ball back in the direction of Kanoute, who was now inside the box, at an angle to shoot just above the stanchion.
Out of the blue, Charlton increased their lead to the dismay of the home fans, when Luke Young's cross was easily headed home by Bartlett, with no significant challenge. Again, Bartlett demonstrated the nous to direct his effort across the path of the keeper. Just before the break, Robbie Keane got to the bye line on the left, but his low cross was collected by Kiely.
Reto Ziegler replaced Davies at the interval, but Spurs were still surrendering the midfield territory without a challenge worth mentioning. Five minutes had gone, when the Reds were allowed to advance from the left, with players backing off. Thomas worked his way to the edge of the box, exchanged with Bartlett, then seemed to pass the ball into the net. Only when the goal was announced as a Ledley King own goal did I realise there had been a wicked deflection, but I see the goal has been credited to Thomas.
At last, Spurs seemed to be stung into action, and Defoe, Keane and Ziegler provided a three-pronged attack. Ziegler's pass inside to Keane was sent goalward by Robbie, but held by Kiely. Mendes passed back to Kanoute, 25 yards out, and Fredi hit a stupendous shot that had Kiely beaten at last, but the ball rebounded off his right post.
Off went the skipper (the armband was handed to Ledley), and on came Carrick, who immediately left two players in his wake as he ran with the ball, and teed up Defoe, whose shot was just over. Now the crowd was fired up, and rallied behind a team effort, that does give hope for the future, despite this fourth consecutive defeat. After 67 minutes, Carrick hit a free kick that Kiely failed to hold, which led to a goalmouth scramble. Ultimately it was Ziegler's shot that was heading for the net, before Bartlett flew to make a great save, with his hand to see a merited red card. Robbie Keane stepped up to confidently blast the ball to Kiely's right.
Naybet now started to get forward more and more, and Charlton of course tried to defend their two-goal lead. Spurs had a bit of pressure with two quick corners, and Naybet headed the second of these over. Perry made an amazing block of a Keane shot, and then Naybet went to ground too easily to try and win a penalty. However, Charlton were looking shaky - especially Karkouri, and Spurs' second goal came when Keane did pass the ball to Defoe inside the box, for a great right foot finish across Kiely.
It was all set up then for a magnificent finish. Charlton used all the stalling tactics at their disposal, making all three substitutions in these closing stages. Kiely managed to catch a tricky Keane shot that bounced twice before reaching him, but Spurs could have gone two goals down again, when a Robinson free kick, aimed for Kanoute, was cleared back too quickly for the keeper who was caught in two minds as Euell advanced upon goal. I think it was Naybet who was left trailing, as Euell slipped the ball past the keeper, but thankfully for Spurs, wide of the post.
Any pressure now came from Spurs, and Ziegler hit a shot straight at Kiely, before Naybet went down in the area again, sandwiched between two defenders, getting short shrift from referee Barry. Kanoute headed a Robinson free kick wide, and the equaliser nearly came when Mendes crossed from the right, but Defoe's shot was blocked for a corner.
Charlton then held on having scored from three of their four break-away chances to leap above Spurs, who need to play with the sort of desperation and desire demonstrated in the last half-hour to frighten defences, as they showed they could do today. Spurs were booed off the pitch at half time, but cheered off at the end of the game. The fans recognise effort when it is given, and I think saw some hope of a bright future, if Carrick is allowed to start, AND if he can be so creative in more testing circumstances, such as next week's Derby game. In the meantime, we travel to Turf Moor for our best chance of success this season in the Carling Cup, as we hope the run continues on Tuesday.
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