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Clarets fans not Keane on 5-0 drubbing

Tottenham Hotspur
5 - 0
Burnley

White Hart Lane

Saturday 26th September 2009 @3pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 35, 462

Referee:

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)

Star Player

Not easy to select a star player after at best an average performance again despite some signs of improvements up to Spurs third goal. Gudjonsson, I thought looked reasonable in midfield and Steven Fletcher was the best of our strikers. He seemed to hold the ball up well and was unlucky not to score after his goal was disallowed for a very dubious offside.

Steven gets our award!


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Writer:turfmanphil
Date:Sunday September 27 2009
Time: 11:30AM

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Comments

0
Anybody else feel like curling up and dying after that result or are we all blase and accepting these sort of tonkings as inevitable? Something is still not working away from home but I have to say I dont feel like taking much more of this so come on Coyle sort it!
turfmanphil
27/09/2009 11:34:00
0
I think we possibly play a little bit to open away from home and with the quality of the sides that we have played away that has resulted in some harsh lessons. Thing is I don't think any major changes are needed. Perhaps if we tighten up the midfield a bit we will find that we are more than a match for some of the other sides we have still to play away from home. I include Blackburn in this group. I have to agree the next month is crucial and I feel this will give us a true benchmark of where we really are. Finally we have to remember that we have got some really difficult games out of the way so it's not all bad news.
Billy Hamiltons Boot
27/09/2009 11:57:00
0
Im surprised just how weak our defence was yesterday, a disapointment they need to watch replays of the game, to learn from the mistakes and poor defending that was clearly evident.
Grimsby Claret
27/09/2009 12:00:00
0
We were always going to take a few beatings this season, particularly on our travels and dont think we can complain to much. In seasons past we have taken these beatings at Coventry, Watford and even Hartlepool going back far enough. Their was not a massive amount wrong at Stoke, Chelsea & Liverpool were under par and although I wasnt their yesterday, From watching football first & hearing others views, we didnt deserve to lose by 5 and it was down to some inept defending. We will pick up points on the road. But we have arguably got 4 of the most difficulty 8 away games out of the way!
Claretdale
27/09/2009 14:25:00
0
Your first 4 games away were probably the hardest any club in the premier league had to deal with , plus your not going to face the caliber of strikers spurs have at there disposel everyweek. I like burnley u try to play football the right way instead of a club like your boring neighbours blackburn who just kick it high up the pitch all the time and imo there football belongs in the lower leagues so heres hoping u stay up at there expense, i can see your home form keeping u up just like stoke last season.
spurfect one
27/09/2009 14:58:00
0
As you note from my user name I am a Spurs supporter, If I may I would like to comment on the situation at Burnley. I have seen Burnley live 3 times in the last year, Carling cup home and away last season and yesterday. In the cup game at the lane last year Burnley were the better side for the first 20 minutes and scored a good goal, but once Spurs scored they seemed to fold and were well beaten 4-1. The cup game at Burnley was a different game as they played very well for about 100 minutes, but again folded. Over the two games, Burnley were the better side, Spurs were very lucky to win the tie, everyone knows that. But after yesterdays display at the lane I think it could be a long season for them mainly away from home, because I am sorry they folded again, Jenas and Wilson ran the midfield, they had no answer to Lennon and Keane and Defoe dragged the back 4 out of position. My main observations are, last year they played well in the cup against Premier League teams but are they "up-for-it" week in and week out?? and will the home form be good enough to save them?? Best wishes for the rest of the season.
Ox Yid
27/09/2009 15:14:00
0
Defence was lacking make no mistake with Bikey particularly looking gaff prone at moment! I think we might also be missing the leadership on the pitch from Captain Caldwell who at least was on the bench yesterday. I think we could see Caldwell in soon for Bikey and maybe even Duff for Carlisle
turfmanphil
27/09/2009 15:23:00
0
Lets be honest were we realistically expecting to pick up the points at The Bridge, Anfield and the Lane, because I wasn't. Ok I wasn't expecting to get beat by an extra goal each time we played away!!! If we can keep our home form next week come back refreshed from the international break, and then change our away fortunes at Ewood, now that would be like 25.05.09 again!!
sheclaret
27/09/2009 16:12:00
0
I cant see Duff being brought into the side Phil. Whilst I do like Duff, I think he will only get short spells on the pitch from the bench this season. It will be interesting to see if he does bring back Caldwell. I assumed his first choice pairing was going to be Bikey/Caldwell.
Claretdale
27/09/2009 16:59:00
0
I agree with the spurs lad, I thought we were bossed in midfield and pulled all over the place at the back....at the wrong times. We failed to pick up the danger men or were they too good for us? Whatever the answers we still have Caldwell, Duff, Edgar, Easton Kalvenes and Eckersley waiting in the wings for their chance and of course Remco!
VinRogue
27/09/2009 18:24:00
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