FA Carling Premiership
Game 28: Wednesday 04 March 1998
Leeds United 1 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
Referee: P E Alcock (Redhill)
|« Southampton||Wolverhampton Wanderers »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Maybury, Molenaar, Hiden, Harte, Halle, Bowyer, Hopkin, Kewell, Hasselbaink (Matthews 89), Wallace (McPhail 89)||Jones, Jackson, Beeney|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Baardsen, Carr, Campbell, Vega, Wilson (Fenn, 83), Fox, Howells (Saib 60), Berti (Brady 71), Nielsen, Klinsmann, Ginola||Calderwood, Grodas|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Berti, Howells|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||19||0|
|Nick Allen||vs Tottenham|
|Mike Sewell||New lards coach found in Row W|
|Nigel Barber||WIN A HOLIDAY|
|The Guardian||Kewell blow to Spurs|
|The Times||Tottenham's profligacy punished by Kewell|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Tottenham stopped in their tracks by Kewell|
|Links to Reports on the net|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
Leeds turned in some decent battling performances again last night, and as well as quite a lot of skill being shown, there was grit. The back 4 Maybury, Molenaar, Hiden, and Harte were all solid, with Maybury giving good support going forward, some of Harte's distribution was again excellent, Hiden stifled Jurgen (who did miss 2 good chances), and while BigBob was generally sound he still has the tendency, as witnessed by the Rev, to balls it up quite spectacularly once or twice a game. Halle had an exceptionally good game for him, at right side midfield, frequently causing problems going forward. Bowyer had his best, and most controlled game for a while. Harry, apart from the goal, looked a bit more like his old self, and seems to link well with Harte, and Rod down the left side. The problem yesterday, as before, was Hopkins, who was bloody awful. Off the pace, not really making the tackles, more often than not fouling the guy, or just plain missing him, and his passing was attrocious. I won't be surprised or disappointed if Mad Alf starts on saturday - playing the holding role to LeeBowya's attacking midfield.
Jimmy and Rod ran themselves to a literal stand still, having to be subbed off with 5mins. to go. - Matthews and McPhail coming. Matthews put himself about well in the 5 mins. he had. Some of Jimmy's crossfield balls, and switches of distribution are great. Although he's still a greedy bastard near goal. He had a couple of thumping shots well saved. Hopkin blazed wide from 14 yds out, after doing the hard part of controlling a high ball. Hiden carried the ball forward well, and hit a low grubber just wide, in the first half.
Goal ; This was all down to Rod and his movement. He picked the ball up in midfield in our half, and carried it across field, past a couple of tackles, slipped it 10yds to Bowyer who was in the inside right slot, halfway in their half, Rod kept going flat out, round the back of Bowyer, and down the line, passing two jogging Spurs defenders, Bowyer slipped it down the line and Rod threw in a bouncing cross to the far post, where Harry stooped and headed back across the goal into the far corner. A sweet team goal.
MARTYN -6- very steady, one marvellous full stretch save in the first
MAYBURY -6- learning all the time
MOLENAAR -6- solid
HIDEN -7- rapidly coming to grips with the game, and looked even better with the ball at his feet today.
HARTE -7- Another superb mix of controlled play, and aggression. (and kicking Daveed-which is nice)
HALLE -7- very good going forward, linking with Maybury.
HOPKIN -3- ABYSMAL - give the armband to Wetherall, and drop him for saturday.
BOWYER -8- MOTM - everywhere, last ditch tackles, threatening their goal, and loads of carrying the ball forward, and sensible distribution.(and annoying Daveed- which is nice)
HARRY -6- much livelier than of late, took the goal well.
JIMMY -7- becoming much more of an all round handfull for defenders - his tendency to take a dive probably cost him what looked like a good penalty appeal, when the keeper took his legs in the 2nd half.
WALLACE -6- his contribution to the goal was enough.
Crowd 31900ish - but at least 100 pairs of tickets given away free on radio Aire, with Galaxy Radio giving away at least another 10 pairs - was it only me and Toby that paid last night !!
PS - the stewards took action near us last night. Some bloke who'd spent the whole half standing up swearing and giving two fingers to away fans was hoisted out in the second half - I don't think anybody reported him - and I don't think he was being racist at all - so I'll leave it up to you to decide if the stewards have slightly warped priorities.
My man of the match was Halle by a mile - he had his best game for Leeds last night and actually overlapped, took on players and put some decent crosses, not only that but he helped Maybury handle Ginola.
Other players of note - Molenaar was great in defence although his passing was dire. Jimmy was good in the second half and I assume Graham had warned him about the diving although the penalty which we definitely should have had without a doubt may have been given had Jimmy not gone down so theatrically. Final words go to Harte who, dispite finding his feet again after being out of the first team for a year is still 100% better than Robertson in EVERY aspect of his game.
Martyn - 7 - Great first half save but still looks dodgy on crosses.
Maybury - 6 - Looking a lot more confident, skinned by Ginola couple of times though.
Molenaar - 7 - As Mentioned.
Hiden - 6 - Fairly anonymous, a solid game I guess.
Harte - 6 - As Mentioned.
Bowyer - 6 - A much better game than of late, still not to his best but was a hell of a lot better than...
Hopkin - 5 - I though he was appalling, passing poor, lost possession a lot, should have scored.
Kewwell - 6 - A lot better than saturday, back to left wing, still not on the form he had at the start of the campaign.
Jimmy - 7 - Looked good running at the defence in the 2nd half, made a PEACH of a pass for Bowyer to sky over.
Wallace - 6 - Usual Wallace behaviour.
Halle - 8 - Best game in a Leeds shirt - see previous comments.
Anyway, we discovered last night a supporter whose tactical acumen and discernment is such that the post of Lards coach (temporary) for the fixture on Saturday (had it taken place) should have been filled on the spot. This fan spotted that we overhit all our corners but never, unlike the Revie side, kept a player at the back edge of the 18 yard box. This fan hates refs and linesmen "I hate that man with the flag, he spoils the game" almost as much as Gordon Strachan does. This fan wants the side to keep the ball on the deck and pass and move. This fan is Mrs Brauns. More tactical awareness than the whole list put together and a fine supply of match day brandy to boot.
As to the game. Adie still didn't see the kick-off! I hate forwards. We could and should have won by at least three goals. In the first half we were not much better than on Saturday and Spurs were probably the better side. The most heart warming thing was further evidence that GG reads the list. Kewell back on the left and doing well, Halle on the right and doing passably, Bowyer in and adding a dash of creativity to our midfield. Hopkin was consistent - consistently unable to find a teammate with his passing. Martyn pulled off a fine save. We gave Ginola too much time and space, we kept thumping high balls forward for Campbell to head away. Our crossing was abysmal and Maybury looked out of his depth. Then as pie and peas beckoned and after Roggere had wandered off to the bar, a move of stunning simplicity. 1. we passed the ball and 2. we didn't give it to Hopkin. The result, a fine flowing move. The cross went all the way to the far post and there, in the Mrs Brauns-advocated position, was Kewell to nod it home. Rapture.
Second half: We kept Ginola under more control. We passed better and moved better off the ball. Hopkin made two consecutive good passes to team mates when he got mad just after a horrible mistake - is fear of bookings getting in the way of a more passionate (and effective) approach?. But the final ball into the box was poor, all three forwards looked to shoot instead of passing to better placed runners, Hopkin (twice) and Bowyer should have done better with efforts that failed to hit the target. Had Klinsmann, who was reminiscent of the Rush of last season, put away a clear chance we'd have dropped two more points. And it would again have been thanks to the forwards. Having seen Ginola get away with diving, Jimmy followed suit but isn't as skilled at making it look like a foul. When he stays on his feet he is brilliant. He also produced some magnificent passes. Significantly he links far better with Bowyer than with Hopalong or Bruno.
Two consecutive games without a booking! The ref was all over the shop. He turned down a penalty in the second half when Jimmy went sprawling under the keeper's challenge. The only possible reason was that he'd got the ball first, the result was a goal kick. Maybe he just assumed that Jimmy dived. Our tactic of pushing Ginola wide and then fouling or obstructing him worked well. As they had no presence in the air they rarely troubled us from the free kicks.
Martyn 6 One superb save, a couple of dodgy moments in the second half;
Maybury5 Exposed in the first half, a bit better in the second;
Hiden 6 Looked OK, but not under that much pressure.
Molenaar 7 Dominant at the back except for the odd hoofed clearance. Passed well with few exceptions;
Harte 7 Solid, better going forward than on Saturday, coped well with Fox;
Halle 6 Alright as a stand-in but not in Kelly's class;
Bowyer 8 My MOTM, he adds a dimension to our midfield as he has vision and movement, also tackled back well;
Hopkin 3 I hope he doesn't start on saturday, a much bigger waste of money than Davie R, why doesn't he get the same stick?
Kewell 7 Much better back on the left. Greedy at times when others were better placed, occasionally over-ambitious;
Jimmy 7 Too much falling over, some lovely passes, coped far better with Campbell's presence than in October;
Wallace 5 Good cross for the goal, otherwise poor distribution, little vision;
Subs MacPhail and Matthews (89 minutes) The latter still managed a couple of good touches, the former made a good run.
"BIG" MATCH VERDICT
I'm afraid I just not into midweek games. I suppose it has something to do with the ballsache of getting the train up (and having to get up at 6:00am the following day to get back to work on time(ish)), but the core issue is that I'm a traditionalist who believes that league footy should kick off at 3:00pm on a Saturday afternoon (unless it's not your team playing and you want something to watch on a dull day).
My general feeling of gloom and detachment from the proceedings was not helped by not being able to make the Adelphi (although it sounds like I missed bugger all) - I had a face a GG team sober for the first time. Gulp. My heart sank even lower when the team was announced without Bruno (what's up with the lad?).
Indeed, as the game started it appeared that the spectre of last season's endless ennui was about to be ressurected, as pass after pass was hopelessly misplaced (and not just by Hopkin), with only Ginola's runs demonstrating any evidence of anyone having practiced with a football. But slowly it became apparent that Spurs were as poor as their league form suggested, with Klinsmann showing definite signs of Rush-like deterioration (i.e. intelligent build-up play but hopeless misses when it matters), and only Campbell holding them together at the back (I thank the stars that we missed on the signature of Ramon Vega).
Our goal was well worked, with Harry stealing in completely unmarked after a typical Wallace run and cross (Rodders probably tried to hit the goal but missed), and it gave the team the necessary fillip to come out and dominate the second half. If only the team hadn't all contracted Wallace's disease (i.e. shooting wildly at the slightest sight of goal, no matter how remote the chance of scoring), we would have won handsomely and GG would have felt able to bring the young subs on much earlier.
Still, it was overall a reasonably competent performance from a makeshift side with enough plus points to keep up some degree of optimism.
Scores on yer (missable by anyone) barn doors:
Martyn, 6.5: Solid, with a superb save from Nielsen, which many of the offical
reports see as the turning point of the match.
Maybury, 6.5: Improved from Saturday, but he still looks a little lightweight to me.
Molenaar, 7: Occasional mistake (from which he always recovered) but otherwise commanding again, with pretty solid distribution.
Hiden, 7: I was quietly impressed, particularly at his intelligent reading of the game. His team mates could learn a lot from this chappie.
Harte, 6.5: OK, so he's no Tony Dorigo, but he's no David Robertson either. But will GG stick with him?
Halle, 7.5: Did a very creditable Kelly impersonation, with only the odd over-ambitious turn in his own half.
Hopkin, 6: Not as bad as some have made out, but still needs to improve rapidly.
Bowyer, 6.5: Not as good as some have said, but showed fine movement and gave 100%.
Kewell, 6.5: Much happier on his natural side, but needs to curb the urge to beat every man in sight. Twice.
Wallace, 6.5: The occasional run, but he could do much more, although he did receive far too many high balls (against Campbell!).
Hasselbaink, 8: What an improvement over a few months ago - he now seems to almost relish the physical contest, showing awesome strength at times in turning his man. A constant threat in the box. He also held the ball up with his back to goal very well - shades of Mark Hughes here. If only he could perfect his dives .....
McPhail, ???: Don't think he touched the ball.
Mathews, ???: A few layoffs, including a bad one in his own half, but that's it.
Referee, 6: Sensible refereeing, avoiding the modern tendency to book players for giving each other hard stares. The inconsistency must drive the players and managers mad though.
Crowd, 5: Midweek crowd: too sober, too quiet. Loads of kids in the NE lower tier, which may have been part of the ticket giveaway that the Rev mentioned. Is this a new club policy? I hope so.
Sympathy is a rare commodity in Premiership football and more
infrequent still for a big club, so glee greeted Tottenham Hotspur's
15th and potentially disastrous defeat of the season at a rainswept
Elland Road last night.
Having dominated a rather lacklustre first 45 minutes, Spurs were
caught with a classic sucker-punch in time added on, succumbing to a
quick Leeds breakaway and Harry Kewell goal. The result brightens
Leeds's hopes of securing a place in Europe, deadens those that Spurs
might avoid relegation.
Having dominated a rather lacklustre first 45 minutes, Spurs were caught with a classic sucker-punch in time added on, succumbing to a quick Leeds breakaway and Harry Kewell goal. The result brightens Leeds's hopes of securing a place in Europe, deadens those that Spurs might avoid relegation.
© Guardian Media Group plc
Jon Abbott (email@example.com). Last modified $Date: 2003/07/20 11:09:23 $.