TUESDAY 22ND JULY, 2003
NORWICH CITY 0 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (1)
Referee:- Mr. M. Thorpe
Norwich (4-4-2):- Green (sub Crichton, 62); Briggs (Sub Batt, 46), Mackay, Shackell (sub Crane, 83), Drury (Capt); Brennan (sub Easton, 45, sub Roberts, 75) , Mulryne (sub Francis ,45), Holt (Sinclair 69), Rivers (sub Henderson, 45); Nielsen (sub Jarvis, 45), McVeigh (sub Abbey, 45)
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Hirschfeld (sub Burch, 57); Taricco (Capt) (sub Perry, 57), Bunjevcevic (sub Kelly, 83), Gardner; Carr (sub Marney, 57), Anderton (sub Ricketts, 83), Toda, Galbraith (sub Etherington, 46); Davies (sub Poyet, 57), Keane (sub Acimovic, 57); Postiga (sub Zamora, 46)
(Due to the speed of the announcer, I fear that I may have some of the Norwich players' names mixed up)
Glenn Hoddle's pre-season programme seemed to move up a gear or two as this game progressed. A three goal fourth win in four games in 7 days was of course highly satisfactory, but Spurs were able to withstand the first ten or fifteen minutes onslaught from a keen home side, and then take more and more control as the time passed. In fact, despite, (perhaps even because of) some radical changes in personnel in the second half, the Norwich defence came under severe pressure from a relentless Spurs attack.
Spurs somewhat makeshift first half defence was shored up by the presence of Chris Perry in the second half, and assisted throughout proceedings by a very impressive Kazuyuki Toda, who was one of the few players to play the full 90 minutes. Toda was everywhere, helping to defend, slipping short passes left and right, trying longer balls, getting a number of shots on goal, and even playing the "Sheringham" role in a corner taken by Anderton. Toda threaded one lovely pass in the second half to Matthew Etherington, who played his best football of this pre-season, when he replaced David Galbraith as left wing-back. This was a much more natural role for Matty, who hitherto has had to play inside the appointed wing-back.
Perhaps the star of the show for Spurs though, was Darren Anderton, and on this form, I have to say that on balance, I would rather he stays at Spurs. Anderton too was getting stuck into the tackle, but his passing was superb, and he made Spurs tick much of the time. Anderton's performance was capped by a simply stunning 25 yard curling strike, which was his first goal in open play for at least a year in the first team.
The full house of over 16,000 included some 900 Spurs fans, who were treated to a highly competitive and entertaining friendly game. Norwich's ground is three sided at present due to major re-building of one stand. We were treated to seeing all three of our front-line strikers, with Postiga in the first half, and Zamora in the second. Robbie Keane went off after nearly an hour, and whilst there were moments of his usual skill, he was the one who let most passes go astray. Postiga was relatively quiet, but Bobby Zamora showed plenty of determination and skill, as well as scoring another goal in poacher's style.
Anthony Gardner had a great game, I thought, and David Galbraith provided plenty of crosses into the right areas. In the early stages, Keane fed Galbraith, whose cross was met by Postiga with a header that went just over the bar.Then came the Anderton-Toda corner. Toda connected well with his shot, but it just curled too far round the keeper's right post. Norwich took up the cudgels and had a free kick in dangerous territory after Gardner was adjudged to have fouled the right winger (Rivers, I think, wearing number 10). Mulryne floated the kick to the back post, where Mackay powered his header over the target.
Hirschfeld was a bit "flappy" to be honest, and could only parry a cross to the edge of his area, where Anderton got in a magnificent block tackle to clear the danger. Whilst he had not always been successful, Robbie Keane seemed to be relishing the role of being provider to Postiga, but Helder was able to return the compliment after 21 minutes, putting Robbie in the clear, but thwarted by Mackay.
Ex-Spur Paul McVeigh must have been desperate to get on the score-sheet, but it was the players around him that gave us more problems. Rivers crossed from the right and Mackay was once again in a forward position. His header back into the area, was chipped partially clear by Keane, of all people, and Holt hit his shot over the goal. Then Spurs took the lead in the 31st minute. Robbie Keane pushed the ball out to Stephen Carr on the right wing. Carr sent a short cross to Anderton, who hit a cracking right foot shot that curled into the corner of the goal to the right of Green.
Simon Davies gave Green some work, when he headed down Galbraith's cross, but the keeper collected the ball as it bounced down and then up at him. Just before the half-time whistle, Spurs slow patient build up culminated in a nice combination between Postiga and Davies, before Anderton's cross was headed goalward by Robbie, only for the keeper to push the ball round the corner.
Norwich made 6 changes to Spurs 2. Etherington was making great progress down the left wing, and Zamora was proving a handful for the tiring central defenders, who had not been changed. Spurs made a great move from the back after 53 minutes, when Hirschfeld threw to Etherington who raced into the opposition half, passed inside to Keane, who found Carr advancing down the right. Carr hit a good drive, but it was always just above the bar.
Spurs second goal followed closely after this piece of action, and featured some great close passing down the middle approaching the box, featuring Anderton, Keane and Davies, before Bobby Zamora slipped a lovely reverse pass to Simon Davies, who had an easy finish as the keeper came out. In no time, Toda tested Green with a long shot, and Robbie Keane hit a 20 yarder just outside the post. Spurs then made wholesale changes but the 3-4-2-1 system was maintained. Rob Burch replaced Hirschfeld and made the best save of the match after 65 minutes, as the ball was crossed from the right and the England under-20 International keeper was able to push Abbey's close range effort over the bar.
Spurs attacks were now coming thick and fast, and Norwich's substitute keeper, Crichton, was looking vulnerable. A good ball over the defence reached Zamora who got goalside of the centre-backs, and really should have scored, but slipped the ball into the side netting. Bobby did get on the score-sheet though, with 12 minutes to go, when Poyet's lob over the defence was allowed to reach Zamora, thanks to an error by Mackay. This time Spurs' latest acquisition made no mistake as he slipped the ball into the net. Zamora and Acimovic had further shots on target, but the 3-0 scoreline was sufficient, and Spurs must travel to South Africa in confident mood
Top of page | Index to Friendly Fixtures 2003-4