Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Preview Pack - Carling Cup 3rd Rd - <br>Spurs v Middlesbrough - 25.09.07
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Full Cup Record against Middlesbrough


1904-05   1     A     1-1     Glen
1904-05   1(R)  H     1-0     O'Hagan
1955-56   4     H     3-1     Norman,
			      Dunmore, Robb
1965-66   3     H     4-0     Mackay (2) (1 pen)
                              Saul 2


1972-73   3     A     1-1     Pearce
1972-73   3(R)  H     0-0 (a.e.t)
1972-73   3(2R) H     2-1     Gilzean, Peters
1974-75   2     H     0-4   
1976-77   2     A     2-1     Moores, Neighbour
2003-04  Q-F    H     1-1     Anderton
(a.e.t - lost 5-4 pens) 	

Bearing in mind Spurs' dismal start to the season, and the realism that they might not qualify by any other means for Europe this season, the Carling Cup may once again represent our best chance of being in the UEFA Cup pot next season. Middlesbrough might be thinking the same considering their realistic aspirations, although this season is still young of course.

We last met Boro' in Cup competition in December 2003, in the 5th Round at White Hart Lane. Spurs scored an early goal through Darren Anderton, who was being played on the right by caretaker manager David Pleat, but with a licence to roam inside. This was after the phase where Anderton considered he was a central midfielder. Anderton scored after 64 seconds after Carr crossed, and a Robbie Keane effort was half cleared.

Striker Michael Ricketts (who had made a Premiership name for himself in two seasons at Bolton) was already something of a misfit at Middlesbrough, but he popped up to score a late equaliser, and Spurs went out on penalties, by which time the known semi-final opponents would have been Arsenal. Boro' put out the gooners and went on to beat Bolton in the Final, for their only piece of major silverware, under the management of Steve Mclaren. Ricketts has been a journey-man since, with a poor goal-scoring record, and is now plying his trade beside Lee Hughes at Oldham.

On that day in December, the Middlesbrough defence was marshalled effectively by Gareth Southgate, now of course the manager. Boro' had a Boateng in their side (George), who is still with them and playing. Perhaps Spurs will feature a Boateng (Kevin-Prince) in tomorrow's squad.

Overall, Spurs have a good Cup record against the Tee-siders, but apart from the last encounter, the saddest occasion must have been the night in September, 1974, when we were beaten 4-0 at White Hart Lane and the great Bill Nicholson decided to call it a day after what had been a dismal start to the season which followed our UEFA Cup Final defeat in Rotterdam which so upset the great man, and not just for football reasons either. I was in the Rotterdam stadium that night when "Sir" Bill made his desperate appeal at half-time to the fans to calm down and concentrate on the game, which Spurs lost 2-0.

The team news for Spurs is that Paul Stalteri and Younes Kaboul will be available for selection, whilst Anthony Gardner and of course Ledley King remain out. We long for a fit Ledley more than ever.

The fact that Stalteri got a mention makes me wonder how much of a "League Cup side" Martin Jol will pick. Jermain Defoe will of course be champing at the bit, and has a decent scoring record against this side. I just hope we see an adventurous side, and a bit more flair than was on display at Bolton on Sunday - especially a winger or two!

Apparently, we won't see Mido playing for Boro' as he was injured in their 2-2 draw on Saturday against The Mackems, otherwise I would have advised a bet on him to score against us! One former Spur likely to figure is Luke Young, who transferred from Charlton in the summer.

Middlesbrough will be missing ex-gooner striker Aliadiere, who is out for 5 more weeks, and also defender Huth may be out for a few more days. They do of course have Jonathan Woodgate, and the much-admired (by Martin Jol) Stewart Downing.

Inevitably the focus will once again fall upon Martin Jol, but Spurs are at home, and there will be a big crowd (season ticket vouchers apply for the second and last time), and I feel that we will send Middlesbrough back home considering other targets for this season.

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