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[Archived] Rovers 0 - 0 spurs match review


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Please submit your review early said Den. Is this early enough? With the board not knowing what time it is, what is early anyway? It's all relative I suppose but what has relativity got to do with it other than Bellamy getting heavier the faster he runs?

Relativity is a tricky concept particularly when you are previewing game number three and the season hasn't started yet. Several inter-planetary objects might have moved by August 24th, or maybe not, or exist in a parallel universe (Jenas at Highbury?). Just how big an asteroid belt does Jol need anyway? And will they collide with mother earth or at least Ryan Nelsen?

Oh I'm enjoying this a lot more than when I punched Blackburn v Tottenham into Google thinking I could crib some other pundits' work. Woohoo, up popped espn and two other sites- there it was Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur 24th August 2005...

and a blank screen. (on every site)

So no early season form to go by. No knowledge that we got robbed blind by a 92nd minute Wham winner and Fulham hadn't forgotten how to win at Ewood either, nor that Spurs frollicked to an easy win at Pompey before taking their frustration out at not being drawn out of the pansy bowl (oops, fair play lottery) for a UEFA place by thrashing 'Boro. Bottom v Top and huge stakes for so early in the season but could it be the other way around???? Rovers 100% success, Spurs under-achieving rolleyes.gif ..or will this already be predictable mid-table mediocrity?

Enough of this whimsy- Spurs are the enigma of the Premiership with on paper a great coach, one of the best keepers, a more than OK defence, a cornucopia of riches in midfield and several international forwards who lead the line for their respective countries. And yet they always seem to be considerably less than the sum of their parts. A failing which has bedevilled them for every one of their anonymous years in the Premiership.

Of course there have been many significant Rovers v Spurs games.

7-2 and all that when Rovers destroyed the Spurs double team, Danny Blanchflower and all.

One of the first televised sightings of Rovers for me was when Match of the Day covered Rovers 0 Spurs 1 in the 65/6 relegation season and very unlucky we were too.

Nothing until Spurs had sunk into the 2nd Division and in that wonderful season Jim Smith steered us to 5th when we drew 0-0 at Ewood and got hammered 4-0 at White Hart Lane.

Were there any Rovers v Spurs cup ties whilst we were in the wilderness? Ah yes November '88 and a plucky 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane in the League Cup followed by a 1-2 knock out back at Ewood. Spurs knoocked us out of the League Cup again when we were first back in the Prem.

So into the Prem and both clubs won away in that glorious first season back. Rovers did the double when we came second in '93/4 and in the Championship season we were comfortably beaten 3-1 at White Hart Lane but were equally comfortable 2-0 victors at Ewood.

'95/6 saw a Rovers double with Rovers taking a 3-2 victory at White Hart Lane in one of my all time favourite games. Two early Shearer strikes to the good, Spurs powered back to equalise and also brought two magnificent saves out of Tim Flowers as well. 90th minute and Sutton finally back from injury hooked the ball over his head from the half way line. Shearer out paced, out powered the Spuds rooted defence (I had to work that in biggrin.gif ) and planted it in the bottom corner. Delirium!!!

Spurs returned the double compliment the season after, had the temerity to win 3-0 at Ewood the following season and again took four points off us the season we went down.

Saturday 25 August 2001 and back in the Prem at Ewood as we recorded our first Premiership win in three seasons and first against Spurs since the magnificent Shearer hattrick. We lost at WHL but it was a second 2-1 win for Rovers in Cardiff which brought the first silverware of the 21st century- good old Matty Jansen and Andy Cole with Mark Hughes supreme in the middle of the park.

Another home defeat to Spurs the season after was rectified by an end of season Rovers 4-0 romp at WHL. How sad it was that it was to be goodbye to Dunn and Duff as well. Shorn of flair, 1-0 home wins for each side in 2003/4 and a 0-1 home defeat followed by a 0-0 draw in (as I write) our most recent Premiership match.

So a distinct historical edge in results for Spurs (Rovers W34 D 19 L42 F137 A 157) but we've made a habit of winning the ones that matter. In the Prem its much closer (Rovers W9 D3 L10 F24 A25). At Ewood in the Prem it is Rovers W5 D1 L5 F10 A13 so we hardly have a good record in this particular fixture. Indeed Spurs came to Ewood and gave a very well organised impressive display to disrupt a mini-revival Mark Hughes had got going before Christmas and the arrival of the Axe and the Admiral.

Prediction- ask me on August 22- but I have to confess I don't have a good feeling about this one. Spurs at their best will be too strong for us.

Edited by philipl
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Well I have my preview for the Fulham game all done but I was going to wait until Saturday night or Sunday to post it, but I guess I should put it up today, but after that nice long piece you've written I should probably add something to it, thanks for making my life even harder philipl!

Great preview. I don't have a great feeling about it either, but who knows, have to see what early season form is like, but a game we could win.

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Prediction- ask me on August 22- but I have to confess I don't have a good feeling about this one. Spurs at their best will be too strong for us.

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Great preview, but I really don't understand comments like this,... Spuds are a team I'm looking for us to finish above.

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A stab in ther dark for both teams imo. So i'll have one too.

1. Both teams gained impressive (imo) new managers last season which resulted in drastically improved defensive performances.

2. Spurs had a miles better squad to start with and 2/3 top drawer forwards so their renaissance began much earlier last season, also they have been able to splash the cash in a much bigger way than BRFC.

3. Spurs only setback this summer was losing their managers manager to the increasingly vulgar Chelsea.

4. Common sense points to a Spurs victory but much lauding of their new status in the press/media could give them a sense of over confidence, also BRFC are no mugs at stopping other teams playing /scoring as many clubs found from the new year forward last season. Also as many teams will find out to their cost we will carry a far greater attacking threat than for quite a few years. I have a feeling given Spurs quality up front (Defoe is top drawer and Keane will always give everything) will prob mean that this is one of the home games that Hughes will select a 4-5-1 starting formation with Kuqi up front battling with the Spurs giants with the aim of frustrating them and Dickov playing an attacking midfield / support role. Conceding territory for 60 mins whilst maintaining a clean sheet would hopefully leave spurs open to Bellamy's intro in the second half.

5. Lastly opening fixtures of Portsmouth away and Boro home might just see them off to a 6 point flier, and with a huge local derby against Chelsea next up after us over confidence might hopefully see them take their eyes off the BRFC ball as it were.

I would at this point suggest that come the day after the match my prediction will have been proven to be complete and utter ballaox! rolleyes.gif

Edited by thenodrog
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We'll see.

To be fair, your long winded prediction leaves you much more open to looking a little bit silly.

Especially when we play 4-4-2 with Bellamy and Kuqi up top.

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I did begin by saying that I was having a shot in the dark Shillitoe, and my last comment underlined the chances of inaccuracy. Its in the spirit of the topic really, is it not?. So before you gob off about me making a long post (not half as long as Philips which you appear to have no objection to) and getting it totally wrong as I probably will, why not have a go yourself?

btw .......As far as 4-5-1 is concerned Kuqi is the obvious choice and to a lesser extent Dickov. Both are far more adept at playing lone striker than Bellamy. If we do play that system then either Bellamy or Dickov could play midfield link man.

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If we do play that system then either Bellamy or Dickov could play midfield link man.

338489[/snapback]

It's blindly obvious that Reid and Savage would play in the centre with Mokoena behind them, I don't believe either Bellamy or Dickov have ever played that position before...

If we do play 4-5-1 then Bellamy will play wide, I don't think that's even in doubt. Dickov will be on the bench, unless there's injuries.

I can't see why we would play 4-4-2 all pre-season if we planned to go 4-5-1 in the league anyway, hardly seems the best way to prepare.

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It's blindly obvious that Reid and Savage would play in the centre with Mokoena behind them, I don't believe either Bellamy or Dickov have ever played that position before...

If we do play 4-5-1 then Bellamy will play wide, I don't think that's even in doubt.  Dickov will be on the bench, unless there's injuries.

I can't see why we would play 4-4-2 all pre-season if we planned to go 4-5-1 in the league anyway, hardly seems the best way to prepare.

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1. With Nelsen inj Mokoena might be ch this weekend so that would kibosh him playing in midfield.

2. By midfield link I mean a sort of 4-4-1-1 formation with the one backing up Kuqi with a virtual roving role between midfield and attack. I think Bellamy plays that role just behind Hartson for Wales LeChuck. Also until the first sending off v Espanyol that seemed to be where Dickov was playing, but 9 mins didnt give enough time to judge properly.

3. Playing 4-4-2 all pre-season is a good point but Hughes himself has suggested using both formations (LET) depending on the opposition and venue.

............ be more interesting and logical in second guessing Hughes than GS though! smile.gif

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Well I'm going to the game and I will be in the company of the Spurs directors as I have a spot of business on with them at the moment.

On that basis, we will lose 2-0 and I will not enjoy the game one bit. Without Nelson we look ropey at the back and without Bellamy and Dickov, I have little faith in Kuqi doing anything.

For the record, this is the first game ever that I have not predicted a Rovers victory.

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