Clarets fans not Keane on 5-0 drubbing
White Hart Lane
Saturday 26th September 2009 @3pm Kick-Off
Attendance: 35, 462
The bizarre sequence of defeats in League games away this season continued at White Hart Lane yesterday. Stoke 2-0, Chelsea 3-0, Liverpool 4-0 and now for heaven`s sake, Spurs 5-0! Robbie Keane had a field day scoring four goals including a penalty whilst Jenas also got in the act with a deflected shot.
With our next away against Blackburn coming up in October, we better stop the rot and quickly for the sake of the fans morale on the road. Not only have we yet to get a point away from home but have also still to score. The game at White Hart Lane yesterday again exposed our weakness in defence on the break but this time unlike Chelsea and Liverpool for long periods in this match we looked more determined in attack and for once didn`t fold immediately the home side got their first goal from a penalty. A very debatable offside robbed Burnley of a crucial goal at 1-0 down and had that been allowed the end result could have been a very different story. On 33 minutes Spurs made it 2-0 but again the Clarets did not fold and put up a brave fight which continued into the second half with some very entertaining football. It was only when Keane scored the third goal on 74 minutes did the Clarets finally fold and lose heart. Another two goals from Keane after 77 and 87 minutes completed a miserable day for the Clarets with news also filtering through that Blackburn had beaten Villa with other struggling clubs picking up points, notably Wigan who beat Chelsea 3-1 at home. The Spurs defeat means we are now in 11th place but with a lot of the clubs below us catching up and our main disadvantage at the moment is our goal difference which is already in minus double figures (-10), the third worst in the league!
October will now be a crucial month with three home games coming up against struggling teams starting with Birmingham next Saturday. After another International break we are then on the road again for the biggy against Rovers before completing the month with two home games against Wigan and Hull. We should get maximum points from the three home games with the Fortress Turf Moor effect hopefully working to our advantage but there can be no room for slip-ups. If we can get something at Ewood Park that would be a great bonus and we could finish the month on 21 points which would put us well on the way to Premier League survival.
It is difficult to know what to make of our Jekyll & Hyde performances home and away and I guess we could never have expected much against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs. It is though all getting rather embarrassing at the moment and we have to stem this flood of goals away from home. Owen Coyle after the Spurs game said:
"Bizarre as it sounds we controlled large periods of the match, particularly early on but we conceded really poor goals. We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot; as good as the finishing was from Tottenham our finishing was poor - at best'
It is difficult to criticise God after Owen Coyle`s achievements last season and at home this season but it is clear something is not clicking away from home despite only playing mainly the top sides so far in this League.
It is quite clear to me that if Chris McCann and Martin Paterson had not been injured we would have started with the same eleven as the last five matches running including Chelsea and Liverpool, both heavy defeats. Gudjonsson though got the nod to replace McCann which must have disappointed Kevin McDonald and David Nugent was given his first starting eleven chance since joining from Portsmouth on loan at the end of the summer transfer window.
There was also a welcome return for Steven Caldwell who appears to have now recovered from the groin injury that had kept him sidelined for the whole of the season to date. He was named on the bench.
Brian Jensen , stretchered-off in the game at Oakwell in midweek was also in the starting eleven as expected after recovering sufficiently from a dead leg although there was a suspicion that he may not have been 100% but even so still preferred to Penny.
Our line-up was therefore as possible:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, Blake, Fletcher, Nugent
Subs: Penny, Duff, Caldwell, McDonald, Thompson, Eagles, Guerrero
Spurs of course had the luxury of putting out a strong line-up despite a number of injuries with the likes of Lennon, Jenas, Keane and Defoe all in the starting eleven. Peter Crouch must have been disappointed to be on the bench after scoring a hat-trick against Preston in their midweek Carling Cup game. Redknapp decided against a three-pronged attack up front so the Clarets only had to contend with Defoe and Keane (shish!). You know it`s times like this typing out team sheets when you realise how many high-quality multimillion pound players these rich clubs really have in their sides and how realistically hard it will be to ever get a result against such teams. There is such a gulf in quality with just one of the Spurs players probably worth the whole of the Burnley squad put together. We somehow have to be realistic in these games but I am telling you supping pints with a load of Spurs lads after the game and listening to their taunts (I hasten to add friendly taunts) is not fun and it still bloody hurts! I can cope with defeats but these tonkings are still embarrassing.
Oh well want to hear more about the 5-0 thumping? If you insist then, it is hard writing this stuff though when you lose to that degree.
The referee for this game was a familiar face. Wirral referee, Mike Dean was in charge and of course the last match he refereed involving the Clarets was the play-offs final at Wembley.
The Clarets started brightly in this match and looked to have significantly improved compared to our last outings to Chelsea and Liverpool.
Jensen had to stretch out a leg to block Keane in the 11th minute though after the Spurs captain had been put clear on goal by Jenas
David Nugent keen to add to his brace of goals he got in his home debut against Sunderland at Turf Moor last Saturday and score in front of his former boss at Pompey, Harry Redknapp nearly caused a shock as the Clarets began to put the Spurs defence under some pressure. He forced an error from Corluka who lost possession and then shooting from a tight angle tested Cudicini. The former Chelsea keeper though was equal to it and saved well.
A lively Fletcher also looked like he might finally break his duck and score his first goal in the Premier League after consistently causing the Spurs defence all sorts of problems in these early stages of the first half. Bassong had to block a shot on goal following a Fletcher charge on goal and at this stage we were looking an impressive side.
These sides though are so quick on the break and we have to find a solution to it and fast by getting much tighter in defence. On 18 minutes we found ourselves 1-0 after just such a break despite the early pressure from the Clarets.
Jermain Defoe got the better of Bikey in defence and was tripped in the box following a clumsy challenge by the Cameroon international. Mike Dean pointed to the spot and this time Jensen would not be our penalty saviour with Keane slotting home to put Spurs ahead.
This time though our heads did not drop and we seemed determined to get the equaliser frustrating Spurs who were looking to double their lead. All Clarets fans thought we had succeeded after a good pass from Gudjonsson found Fletcher. He put the ball into the net only for the linesman to rule him offside. A very debatable offside it was too as the cameras would confirm. Had that goal been allowed, the final outcome could have been oh so different but we just have to accept these poor decisions even though during the course of the game everything seemed to be given to the home side at key times.
That disallowed goal was certainly a crucial time in the game for the Clarets but on 32 minutes and in typical fashion Spurs finally doubled their lead, a cruel blow indeed after so much Burnley pressure and determination to get back into the match.
Spurs once more breaking out of defence caught us napping and although an initial shot by Cranjcar was blocked by Bikey, the ball fell to Jenas and he let rip with a shot that might have been covered by Jensen had he not been wrong footed following a huge deflection off Jordan. Now our luck had deserted us too in addition to having to put up with some dodgy decisions from the officials.
The Clarets to their credit were still not going to roll over and die just yet though and continued to try and get back into this match.
Nugent should have done better after being put through by Fletcher but his finish was weak in what turned out to be the last kick of the first half. 2-0 at half-time then but we now all know it should have been 2-1.
Owen Coyle made no changes for the second half and once more we came out fighting trying to get back into this game. This was probably our best spell up to Spurs putting the game beyond our reach in the 74th minute.
Spurs looked shell-shocked in the first four minutes of the second half and after Mears found Blake with a cross in the 49th minute, the possession nearly paid off. Cudicini felt his fingers burn after stopping a thunderous angled shot by Blake.
Another bad mistake in defence though by the Clarets nearly gifted a third goal. Bikey lost possession and Keane pounced passing the ball to Defoe. Jensen though blocked well by spreading himself wide and the Clarets could breathe a sigh of relief at least for the moment.
One danger for the Clarets was removed when Defoe had to be substituted after he fell heavily and hurt his hand. Peter Crouch came on to replace him so hardly a major loss for Spurs.
Around the hour mark Coyle made his usual substitution with Chris Eagles coming on after 63 minutes to replace a tired looking Nugent. In hindsight it would probably have been better to start Eagles instead of Nugent to be honest and used the former Bury & Preston striker as an impact sub but we get don`t get the benefit of that do we!
The Clarets at this stage were still pressing to get a goal back. Cudicini spilled the ball following a harmless looking free kick from distance by Mears and Blake pounced to shoot from a difficult angle. It wasn`t to be our day though as you could sense when the ball hit the post!
If we could only bring back the score now to 2-1 Spurs would be sweating to hold on but instead the inevitable happened and Spurs made it 3-0 and game over with just 16 minutes to play.
Lennon was put clear and pulling the ball back found Keane who unleashed a shot that flew into the top corner. Now we really did begin to look like a struggling side and three minutes later it was 4-0 with Keane once more, now on fire getting his hat-trick. Again our back four looked at fault as Keane got in behind them following a ball over the top by Bassong. Jensen had no chance with his fierce left footed volley. Most Clarets fans by now had had enough but there was still time for more of them to leave before the final whistle when Spurs made it 5-0 with just 3 minutes of the match remaining. This time Crouch flicked on the ball to Keane who made the humiliation complete with the ball slotted through Jensen`s legs to make it four goals for the Spurs captain.
The long suffering Clarets fans on the road this season deserve better and now we have to hope the next time we play away in the biggy against Rovers, we can finally get off the mark. Another disastrous defeat especially at the hands of that lot just doesn`t bear thinking about although let`s face it, Rovers will be nowhere near the quality of Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs and this will be a far better test of our capabilities away from Fortress Turf Moor.
Tottenham: Cudicini, Huddlesteone, Lennon (Bale 85), Jenas, Keane, Palacios, Defoe (Crouch 56), Bassong (Dawson 88), Kranjcar, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto.
Substitutes: Gomes, Hutton, Bentley, Naughton.
Goals: Keane (18, 74, 77, 87), Jenas (33)
Burnley: Jensen, Jordan, Bikey, Carlisle, Mears, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, Blake (Guerrero 80), Fletcher (Thompson 72), Nugent (Eagles 63).
Substitutes: Penny, Duff, Caldwell, McDonald.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)
Steven gets our award!