Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Second eye - Spurs v Birmingham - 07.01.04
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Spurs Odyssey Second Eye report - Spurs v Birmingham - 07.01.04

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

Ray kindly provided this report, which I hope is of interest to regular readers. Ray thinks that Gary Doherty deserved a special mention. Read the usual match report here

Spurs lined up with Doherty and King at the back for the first time in ages, with Carr and Jackson making up the back four. Anderton and Poyet - 'the old men' took up station in the centre of midfield with Dalmat on the right and Davies, on his return, the left flank, with Keane and Kanoute up front. Birmingham had Clemence sitting in front of the back four and Dunn nominally on the left flank but having a free role.

Spurs kicked off attacking the Park Lane and both sides had a corner inside the first three minutes before Keane had the ball in the net, running on to a Dalmat centre only to be flagged off-side. Dunn brought a save from Keller with a long range effort before we went in front. The ball was passed from the left wing to Dalmat on the right via Anderton. Stephane controlled the ball with his right and moved inside the full-back hitting a low shot with his left from 23 yards into the far corner.

Once Jackson and King had settled in to their positions, the visitors' strikers failed to trouble Keller and Carter made little impact. The only threat came from Dunn with prompting from Clemence. This allowed the midfield the platform to control the centre. Anderton and Poyet rolled back the years with Davies and Dalmat providing the pace down the flanks well supported by Carr and Jackson.

The second goal came from a chipped pass from Dalmat to Keane, who was allowed to turn and fire it into the middle where Taylor failed to hold it and it fell to the advancing Dalmat who scored from three yards. Robbie missed another one on one with the keeper after been sent away by Anderton's ball over the defence and then failed to connect with a lofted Dalmat ball at the far post following a free kick given away by Savage on the edge of the box.

The third goal came from an attack down the left when Jackson played the ball inside to Davies who turned it back to Keane. He laid it out to Jackson whose low centre was met by Davies on the six yard line and angled inside the far post.

Bruce made one change at half time by taking off Carter for Tebily and switching Kenna to left back to deal with Dalmat. Because Dalmat likes to take the ball up to the defender and beating him it had some success as Kenna was getting in solid tackles which opened up that wing more. We were so much on top that when Kanoute hit the bar in the 66th minute it was just a case of when the forth goal would come. It came at the other end two minutes later when Dunn made a run from the centre circle having picked up a loose ball into the box before going down under challenge from Dalmat and Keller. Savage took the penalty putting it low to Keller's right.

Just after this Keane was blocked in the visitors penalty area as he was about to shoot by Purse. Robbie finally got on the scoresheet when he played a one-two with Kanoute sending him into the box with a good weighted ball and getting on the end of the cut back to make it 4-1 and restored the three goal cushion.

That was the signal to the managers that the game was over and they made the rest of their substitutions. Dalmat was replaced by Ricketts on the right and Postiga came on for Kanoute. Anderton was replaced by Kelly who went to left back with Jackson moving into midfield.

The margin of victory did not flatter Spurs as apart from a brief flurry after scoring Birmingham were outclassed by a good all round performance. Doherty would be my man of the match as he did not put a foot wrong all night, won every header and got a foot in even when Morrison got passed him. King was beaten a few times but showed that his passing had improved from his spell in the midfield. Both fullbacks covered their flanks well and made plenty of forays in support of the midfield. The midfield had pace and were able to pass their way out of any trouble with Dalmat's close control and Davies pace supplementing the passing of Anderton and Poyet. The best thing was that all four of them got stuck in chasing and looking for the ball. I hope they can do the same at the weekend at Leeds.

Ray

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