Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Ipswich v Spurs, 30.12.2000
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Ipswich v Spurs, 30.12.2000


Stewart, 8
Armstrong, 61
Clapham, 88

Referee:- Mr M. Messias

Attendance:- 22,234

Ipswich(4-4-2):- Wright; Wilnis (sub McGreal, 81), Bramble, Venus, Hreidarsson; Scowcroft, Wright, Holland, Reuser; Armstrong (sub Johnson, 79), Stewart (sub Clapham, 85)

Subs not used:- Croft; Branagan

No Bookings

Spurs (4-4-2 reverting to 3-5-2 second half):- Sullivan; Thelwell, Perry, Campbell, Clemence; Anderton, Sherwood (sub Davies, 79), King, Leonhardsen; Doherty, Korsten (sub Rebrov, 79)

Subs not used:- Walker; Gardner; Armstrong

No Bookings

Dateline - 5th October, 1998. George Graham assumes managerial control of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club who stand 11th in the Premiership after a 1-0 win at Derby under the leadership of temporary manager David Pleat. Spurs lose their next game at Leicester 2-1, but manage to finish the season in 11th place, and win the Worthington Cup. They finish the following season in 10th place. In many subsequent interviews, Graham will claim to have saved a club heading for relegation. At the time of his appointment, he asserts the aim to make them a top six club within 2 years.

Year 2000 Premiership Record:-

    Home	       Away	
 W  D  L  F - A     W  D  L   F -  A

11  5  4 37 - 21    2  4 14  15 - 37

Season 2000-1 record to date:-
    Home               Away
 W  D  L  F - A     W  D  L   F - A

 7  3  0 18 - 7     0  2  9   8 - 25

December 2000 Premiership record:-
    Home	       Away	
 W  D  L  F - A     W  D  L   F  -  A

 0  2  0  1 - 1     0  1  3   3  - 10

Year 2000 Premiership Totals:-

P   W  D  L  F - A   Pts

40 13  9 18 52 - 58  48

Current League Position:-  13th 
(6 pts above relegation zone)
Games since last league win:- 6
Minutes since last league goal:- 329.

Most of you will have seen the latest disaster on television by now, and I do not propose to give a blow by blow account of events. For one thing the freezing weather was not conducive to note taking, and my low viewing position was not the best. I take my hat off to Ipswich. On the evidence of today, they are a good family club. They have battled away for several years to win promotion, and have had a terrific season, currently in third place as a result of this convincing and wholly justified win. I only had to pay 5 pounds for my son's ticket in the family enclosure. There was little segregation between home and away support, and no malice between fans that I could see or hear.

Ipswich - the new boys - had the luxury of RESTING ex-Spur Jamie Clapham. George Graham had clearly telegraphed his decision to drop Sergei Rebrov for this match, and chose to start with Gary Doherty (making his full debut), and Willem Korsten as his strike force, leaving Rebrov itching on the bench, along with Armstrong. The replacements played like lost schoolboys. The team did not compete. The biggest cheer from Spurs fans was for the first Spurs shot on target after nearly an hour, when Doherty forced a save from Wright. We stood and cheered as if we had scored. We knew that was as good as it would get. Thanks to a good performance from Neil Sullivan, the scoreline was kept to three, but it could have been more.

George Graham admitted after the game that we had been second best. (He could hardly do anything else). He also apologised to the travelling fans for what he described as the worst performance of the season by far (That's saying something). He said there was a lack of competitiveness, and that teams associated with him don't give in as easily as that. WE WERE PATHETIC! (I said that) George now says that he has been forced into playing the youngsters, whereas he would have liked to have brought them on gradually. Expect King and Thelwell to disappear soon, then folks. In fairness, I do believe that Alton Thelwell in particular is beginning to crack under the strain of higher quality football, but he was not helped by being asked fill Stephen Carr's boots today.

The first goal for Ipswich came after 8 minutes, when Perry was all too easily beaten, being miles away from Stewart, who made it into the six yard box to slip in a cross from the left that eluded the defence, and wrong-footed Sullivan. Sullivan was the only working keeper on the pitch, and had to make a good save from a sharp cross from Hreidarsson, after Thelwell had made a bad clearance. Ipswich claimed a close range goal which was correctly adjudged to be a foul on the keeper, but Sullivan always had to be on his toes, as he was to make a flying save from Reuser after 27 minutes. Jermaine Wright sent a threatening cross from the right, and Scowcroft was given ample time in the penalty area to control, turn and shoot, but he sent the shot well over the target. All Spurs had to show for the first period was one shot - off target - from Sherwood.

Perry did well to stretch and deprive Alun Armstrong of a goal after a cross from Wilnis on the right. The historic first shot on target for Spurs came after 57 minutes. Anderton hit a long ball to Clemence, and Doherty did well to curl a left foot shot to the lower corner, but Wright dived to retrieve. Ipswich soon increased their led, all too easily, when Reuser, this time on the left, pierced the defence to reach Stewart who passed across the goal to Armstrong for an easy finish. It could have been more as Scowcroft hit the bar with a rasping shot from another Reuser cross.

Korsten actually managed a shot which Wright had to push round for a corner, before he (Korsten) was replaced by Rebrov - too late to make much difference. The ineffective late substitution is becoming a Graham trait. The surrender was complete when Jamie Clapham got his name on the score-sheet against his old club. Reuser looked suspiciously offside as he skipped down the right win onto a long pass, but the defence stood still, as Clapham raced in and made another easy finish.

All credit to Ipswich, who have capped a special year with another good show. Spurs are displaying form equal to the worst in the league, and must now look over their shoulders. They are displaying relegation form at the moment. The only two teams they have beaten away from home this year (not this season) are Leicester (Ginola) and Coventry (Armstrong). There is as much chance of any glory in the forthcoming Year ending in One, as there is of me becoming King of England.

A man of honour would resign, and I wish George Graham and his sidekick would go NOW!

Happy New Year, anyone?

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