FA BARCLAYCARD PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 19TH JANUARY, 2002
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1) EVERTON 1 (1)
Referee:- C. Wilkes
Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; Perry, Richards, Gardner; Davies, Anderton, Sherwood, Leonhardsen (sub Etherington, 75), Taricco (sub Rebrov, 86); Sheringham (Capt), Ferdinand (sub Iversen, 46)
Subs not used:- Kelly; King
Everton (3-5-2):- Simonsen; Unsworth, Stubbs, Weir; Hibbert, Alexandersson (sub Clarke, 59), Gemmill, Gascoigne (sub Moore, 81), Naysmith; Campbell (Capt), Ferguson
Subs not used:- Gerrard; Tal
Booked:- Weir (Foul), Ferguson (Dissent)
I've said it before and I'll say it again! Spurs are not good enough to be "resting" players against presumed weak opposition. We have now won just 1 out of our last 6 league games and taken just 5 points from a possible 18. Somehow we are in seventh place, but with the matches yet to be played this week-end we should slip down, and a definite gap is appearing between us and the real contenders for a European qualifying position. Glenn Hoddle is clearly aiming to beat Chelsea on Wednesday night and left Gus Poyet out of the picture completely, and Ledley King (who until today had been the only ever-present for the season) was an unused substitute.
Therefore, even with the return of Sheringham, some of the players on the field were unfamiliar with each other, and despite dominating possession (yet again), Simonsen had little work to do until the second half when he made two great saves. Spurs also hit the bar in the dying moments, but Everton, who had clearly come for a point, clung on for their reward. Their fans went home happy, but they still haven't seen their team win at White Hart lane since 1985. Pity they will not be the opposition on Wednesday night then!
Leonhardsen got his first Premiership start, and Tim Sherwood started for the second time. Anthony Gardner took the left side defensive role, and whilst he played well at the back, his kicking and heading was somewhat askew when on the attack today. In fairness, Leonhardsen had a pretty impressive game, but Spurs just took too long most of the time getting into the box, giving the toffees time to organise. Referee Wilkes, was only too willing to blow for everything and anything, but unwilling to punish the unending physical defending side. Everton even got away with about three decent handball claims in their area during the game.
Les Ferdinand nearly reached a Taricco cross after three minutes, but got on the scoresheet a minute later, when Simon Davies (in super form today) won the ball in the middle, sent Leo away, then Leo's cross was headed home from 8 yards at the near post by Sir Les for his eighth league goal of the season, and fourteenth altogether. Everton were on level terms within three minutes though, after a doubtful free kick was awarded near the right corner flag. Gazza (given the reception you would expect) took the kick which was initially blocked, but came back to him. Gazza sent the ball to the back of the area, where Weir scored a rare volley to Sullivan's top left corner.
Ferdinand had yet another good chance, when Sherwood's ball from the right was blocked and fell to Les, who put his shot wide, and held his head in his hands. Les was to suffer a clash of heads during the half, and did not emerge for the second half. Once again, his fitness will be in the balance for the next game. Anderton raced down the left wing after a good Gardner clearance. Dazza's low and powerful cross was nearly put into his won net by Stubbs, but the ball went for a corner.
Scorer Weir got booked for tugging Teddy Sheringham, but Teddy's effort to emulate his former team-mate Beckham was deflected into Simonsen's hands. Simon Davies stole the ball again and raced down the right to win a corner. Everton did have one decent chance when Ferguson's header from a corner was tipped over the bar by Neil Sullivan.
At half time, Martin Chivers was accompanied by legend Cliff Jones to present a phone-in prize. Cliff got a great cheer when he predicted a 3-1 win for us, and an end to the Chelsea hoodoo. Let's hope he gets the second part of his prediction right! The man looked very dapper, and I'm sure he could have told the current-day team a thing or two about how to put the ball in the net! Iversen started the second half then, and this must have been a great discouragement to Rebrov, who had to wait for his usual five minute allowance at the end of the game.
Iversen did have a couple of good touches straight away. The first was a first time ball to Leo out on the right, and the second a useful through ball to Leo who ran into a good scoring position, but fired weakly at the keeper. Iversen then received a good ball from Sheringham who was in his own half, which was passed to Davies, who got into the box, but was blocked for a corner. From the corner, Simonsen tipped over Anthony Gardner's header.
It was all Spurs really, but we just didn't have enough edge or penetration. Anderton led an attack down the left, fed inside for Iversen, who put Sherwood into space. In the end Sherwood was just too tentative, and should have shot for goal, whereas he was not convincing enough with his pass or shooting chance. Simonsen made his best save when launching himself backwards and up to tip over Richards header from another Anderton corner.
Walter Smith may have sensed the chance to snatch a win as he replaced Gazza with striker Joe-Max Moore, and the visitors did get into the area more, giving Sullivan and the defence one or two nervous moments, and surviving an Everton handball appeal. For Spurs, Matthew Etherington was allowed 15 minutes, and impressed by regularly passing the right back, nearly setting up a last gasp winner when his cross was met by Iversen with a powerful header that grazed the top of the bar, when it should have hit the back of the net.
· Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
· Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions
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