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we just need to score 1 goal to secure the trip to the final...so what do u guys think about it? i think we'll win this game...this game will be important...and chelsea have always owned us...but it's time to stop this sh!t... :D:D:D

come on you spurs!!! :cool:
 

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Yeah it is time to stop being Chelseas Bitches, I am hoping we can win, we need it so bad, to the worthington cup would be amazing and our European place will be guaranteed.

Come On Spurs!!
 

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Hoddle: Fans must help us end jinx

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Hoddle: Fans must help us end jinx
By Ian McGarry

Glenn Hoddle has a better understanding than anyone at Tottenham of the power of Chelsea's extended jinx over their fellow Londoners. After all, he's seen it work from both sides.

As Spurs prepared for the 27th time to end their winless streak against Chelsea in tonight's Worthington Cup semi-final second leg, Hoddle suggested that the hoodoo exists more in the minds of the fans than the players.

Before returning to manage the team with whom he spent most of his playing career, Hoddle served his coaching apprenticeship at Stamford Bridge. And it was there that he saw for himself just how cocky the Blues supporters had become about playing Spurs.

He said: 'There's a lot of players here who have not been involved too much in this run. Any supporter coming to the game has to be more positive. When I was manager of

Chelsea their fans said at the beginning of the season, "Well, there's six points this year from playing Tottenham", so I think our fans have to do a job on themselves.'

Tonight's Cup tie is a brief interlude compared to the epic drama which has now played out for almost 12 years. Spurs' saviour on February 10, 1990, was Gary Lineker, who scored the winner at Stamford Bridge to record his side's last victory against Chelsea.

Against that background, Hoddle has had to prepare his players both physically and mentally for a match which could go some way to kick-start his new era at his old club.

Overpowering a team which enjoys both the practical (a 2-1 lead) and psychological advantage is an onerous task. Hoddle, however, has called upon his players and their fans to overcome history and make the final.

'It's going to end one day. It was the same with Liverpool, when the saying was that we had beaten them once since the Titanic went down and we ended that,' he said.

'We need our supporters to arrive here on Wednesday night with one thing in mind and that is beating Chelsea. We will certainly be positive.

'The game here in the League could have gone either way until they got a late winner and the first leg of this semi-final was not a 2-1 battering - we could have won from 1-1 and we lost to a special free kick.'

The scorer of that goal - Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - was bought to help push Chelsea closer to success at home and abroad and it is the lure of European football which has seen both Hoddle and Claudio Ranieri field full-strength sides in the competition when others were taking it less seriously.

Hoddle said: 'The major thing for us is the path into Europe. We've had great nights in European competition here in the past and there's a generation of Spurs fans who perhaps haven't experienced that regularly and now we are two games away.'

Hoddle also appealed for a united front to eradicate the renewed threat of hooliganism. He said: 'It's something which is creeping back into football and we have to find a way - the FA, the law, the clubs and the players - to nip it in the bud and stamp it out.

'Everyone has to be involved. Fellow supporters know what's going on because they can see it at close hand and can report the culprits. If we can all be vigilant then we can nullify it pretty quickly.'

While Spurs wonder if they might end their dismal run, the pressure of winning again is something which their opponents will be trying to forget. Having not lost at White Hart Lane for 14 years, most would deem Chelsea's progress to the final in Cardiff a formality.

Frank Lampard has found himself in similar situations before, however, but he insisted that the Chelsea players must focus on the prize ahead rather than the past.

He said: 'I had similar runs as a West Ham player, although not as long as this one. But you are always worrying because you know it has got to end at some stage. We'll try to block it out. If you can take confidence from it, so be it, but it means nothing at the end of the day.

'You have to guard against becoming complacent and thinking this is going to go on forever because it won't and we have to make sure the run doesn't end here.'

The former West Ham midfielder also believes the danger will come from Teddy Sheringham - who missed the first leg due to suspension - and former Chelsea man Gus Poyet.

'Sheringham coming back from suspension will be a big plus for them and is something we have to deal with,' he said. 'And with Poyet you know if you give him a yard he can score, so we have to stick to him.'

Hoddle is boosted by the news that 14-goal leading scorer Les Ferdinand has recovered from a concussion sustained during last weekend's draw with Everton.

Ferdinand said: 'I trained with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and although my head is still a bit sore, the doctors have told me there is no lasting damage and no medical reason why I cannot play. The time for excuses is gone for us.'

Dean Richards is Cup-tied but Ledley King and Poyet, who were both rested at the weekend, will return to the side.
 

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YESSS!

3-0 after 65 minutes, with trouble boys Iversen and Sherwood scoring. Third goal by Teddy. And Hasselbaink was sent off...:)
 

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final score 5-1. i was in two minds whether to watch this game as it was worthington cup, but i'm glad i did now. chelsea's marking was poor and spurs did well to exploit it. davies was my man of the match and the defense was outstanding. complete domination from spurs and i hope they can reproduce it against rovers in the final.:)
 

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Yiddo!!!!!

Tried to avoid mentioning the game, as I've become superstitious. He he he, BOOM!!! Five goals! Fantastic performance. I'm too happy and the blood pressures hit the roof.

Finally the jinx has been broken. And it had to come soon, and what a time and way to come!

Thanks for the comments Beef, I agree; Davies was my man of the match too. Gardner and the boys at the back had a great game, as did the others. Taricco who doesn't get enough credit worked his socks off. And yes, Sherwood was brilliant too.

Unbelieavable that Melchiott avoided his red card, does he think he's more important to Chelsea the JFH??? But good for us.

YIDDO!!!!
 

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YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

What a way to break our 12 year duct, hahahhaha i am so happy i am close to tears here, what a game, what a game!! i didnt go but i can here the fans singing outside the atmosphere in Tottenham is amazing!

5-1 and to be honest we could have had 9 or 10 hahahhahaha, come on spurs!! i dodnt go to the match as i thought we would not win, sorry but i am an old sceptic.

Iverson, Great Strikers Goal!!
Sherwood, the old corner move is back!!!
Sherri - what a wonderful volley after some brilliant play
Simon Davies, a great performance and a great goal, he is going to be a star of the future we must make sure we keep him!!
Sergie Robrov, i really wanted him to score tonight and i am so glad that he did!!!

hhahahah what a result, Come on u Spurs!!!!
 

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Well done for Tottenham it looks like it's gonna be a tough encounter between Blackburn and it looks set to be a good looking match:).I hope for the best for Spurs in the Final:).
 

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Hoddle: Record has to end one day

23/01/2002, Hoddle: Record has to end one day

Glenn Hoddle is bidding to create his own piece of history against Chelsea at White Hart Lane. The Spurs boss wants to wipe out 12 years of hurt with one blow when the teams square up in their Worthington Cup showdown.

Tottenham have not beaten Chelsea in 26 attempts stretching back to February 1990 and Hoddle is determined to end the dismal run.

He said: "That record has got to end one day. It can all be wiped out in one fell swoop by getting to the final. We're certainly going to be positive about it.

"True, Chelsea have top-quality attacking players - Hasselbaink, Zola and Gudjohnsen. That's their main strength. But at the back and in the middle of the pitch we've had more possession than them in our two games this season."

England striker Teddy Sheringham returns after being banned from the first leg. Hoddle also recalls Gus Poyet, rested on Saturday.

Source : The Mirror
 

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Spurs broke Blues duck in style

24/01/2002, Spurs broke Blues duck in style

Tottenham buried their Chelsea hoodoo in superb style to book themselves a Worthington Cup final date with Blackburn.

Glenn Hoddle's side earned their first victory over the Blues in 27 matches to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit at White Hart Lane.

Steffen Iversen's strike set them on their way after just two minutes against a woeful Chelsea, who had Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sent off to complete a miserable night.

A stunning strike from Tim Sherwood put Spurs ahead on aggregate, and Teddy Sheringham's volley early in the second half effectively decided matters.

After Chelsea were reduced to ten men after 55 minutes, Simon Davies and substitute Sergei Rebrov made it 5-0 before Mikael Forssell grabbed the visitors' sole riposte.

Iversen, starting his first game since August in place of the inured Les Ferdinand, clearly enjoys the semi-final stage of this competition.

It was his goal at Selhurst Park which saw off Wimbledon in the second leg in 1999, when Spurs went on to lift the trophy.

Tottenham started the match bristling with purpose and levelled the tie on aggregate within two minutes. Sheringham, returning after suspension, cleverly allowed a long ball from Ledley King to drift over him into the path of Mauricio Taricco.

The Argentine wing-back saw his shot beaten out by Carlo Cudicini into the path of John Terry, but as the Chelsea centre half dithered, Iversen nipped in to fire home left-footed from six yards out.

Stunned by that early blow, the Blues suffered another after ten minutes when Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden was stretchered off after a touchline challenge from Sheringham.

Sam Dalla Bonna entered the fray and appeared to have helped Chelsea gain some measure of midfield parity, but Tottenham seized command with a stunning strike from Sherwood on 33 minutes.

Darren Anderton's corner to the edge of the box was a familiar tactic, but no Chelsea defender picked up Sherwood, who lashed a thunderous shot right-footed into the roof of the net, his first goal since November 2000.

Gus Poyet, who moments earlier had seen a snap-shot superbly tipped over by Cudicini, might have added a third before the interval when his header was blocked by Terry.

Emmanuel Petit went close at the other end, but Chelsea's hopes of getting back into the tie were all but extinguished five minutes after the break.

Anderton's cross from the left was beautifully chested down by Poyet into the path of Sheringham, whose right-foot volley was of the highest quality.

Chelsea's misery was compounded after 55 minutes when Hasselbaink was dismissed in what appeared a clear case of mistaken identity.

Mario Melchiot raised a hand to Sheringham's face, but his fellow Dutchman was given his marching orders instead, to his obvious consternation.

Chelsea sent on Mikael Forssell and Gianfranco Zola in a last throw of the dice, but Spurs put the issue beyond doubt 15 minutes from time.

Davies, who had earlier gone close from a similar position, beat Cudicini at his near post after being set up by the outstanding Anderton.

Rebrov, on as a substitute for Iversen, rounded off a triumphant night four minutes from time by tucking home the fifth. Forssell conjured a superb individual goal for Chelsea in the closing moments, but it was scant consolation.

Source : BBC Sport
 

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Teddy salutes 'Professional' Spurs

24/01/2002, Teddy salutes 'Professional' Spurs

Tottenham captain Teddy Sheringham hailed "a professional performance" after Glenn Hoddle's side crushed Chelsea to reach the Worthington Cup final tonight.

Steffen Iversen, Tim Sherwood, Teddy Sheringham, Simon Davies and substitute Sergei Rebrov notched in a 5-1 win at White Hart Lane - Spurs' first over their London rivals at White Hart Lane for almost 15 years - and a 6-3 aggregate success.

Spurs will meet Blackburn on February 24 in Cardiff and Sheringham said: "It was a tough game but we set about it in the right way. "It was a professional performance from everyone and I think the result is well deserved."

The striker continued on ITV: "We got a great start - there was a little bit of indecision on their part but Steffen did well. He came in and did a great job for us tonight."

Sheringham explained that he did not want to see anyone dismissed for the second half dust-up which resulted in Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink being dismissed by referee Mark Halsey.

Hasselbaink's punishment appeared harsh, with team-mate Mario Melchiot apparently pushing the Spurs man away.

Sheringham revealed he did not see who committed the offence - although he told Halsey he did not want to see anyone sent off. He said: "I didn't see what happened - all I know was someone pushed my face.

"All I said to the ref was 'I don't know who it is but he doesn't deserve to be sent off'. On a grim night for Chelsea, Mikael Forssell got their consolation goal in the last minute.

Source : Sporting Life
 

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It's a disposable cup for Hoddle

23/01/2002, It's a disposable cup for Hoddle

Glenn Hoddle today admitted that Tottenham might treat the Worthington Cup less seriously next season if they claw back a semi-final, first leg deficit against Chelsea and go on to win the competition.

Having set his sights on winning the Cup and securing a place in Europe, Hoddle has ignored the trend of fielding weakened teams in a competition Tottenham last won in 1999.

That did not prevent them losing the first leg at Chelsea 2-1 a fortnight ago, but if they can find a way past Chelsea - and record their first victory over their London rivals since February 1990 - Hoddle has intimated for the first time that a place in Europe may force him to look at the competition in a different light.

Qualification through their final league placing is also an option and Hoddle said today: 'The old-fashioned two-legged games in Europe have gone out of the window these days. 'It is all about the Champions League, where you have six games at least, and that puts a different pressure on teams.

'The UEFA Cup will probably change and go into a league format as well at some stage and, if that happens, then you can't blame clubs resting people when they think it is right.

'Teams involved in these competitions have got other things on their agenda and if we get into Europe next season, we might have a different philosophy on the Worthington Cup. This year it has been a priority for us.'

Source : Soccernet
 

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Spurs bury 12 years of hurt and march into final

Thursday, January 24, 2002
Spurs bury 12 years of hurt and march into final
By Ian McGarry


Tottenham Hotspur 5 - 1 Chelsea
Forget revenge and leave history behind. Spurs buried their 12-year itch called Chelsea under an avalanche of goals last night in what was much more than a football match.

A run of 26 games without a win over their London rivals ended with a 5-1 masterclass at White Hart Lane. For all those of a Tottenham persuasion who have suffered so, this was the stuff of which dreams are made.

Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle has now guided the team he supported as a boy and graced as a player to the Worthington Cup Final in his first full season in charge. The fact that he has done it by grinding into the dirt the club who gave him his big managerial break is unlikely to cost him any sleep.

His first match in charge of Spurs was an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal last season which ended in bitter defeat. That, however, was before he recruited a kindred football spirit from Manchester United.

Like his manager, Teddy Sheringham is a natural-born winner with the skill to outplay others and influence the course of any match. Against Chelsea, Sheringham was both architect and executioner of a performance which will erase all the hurt which had preceded it.

When he left north London for Old Trafford he said he did so in the pursuit of medals. Arsenal then won the Double and their fans took great delight in taunting the Spurs man about his futile journey.

He got his own back when, the following season, United won the Treble and Sheringham never tired of reminding his tormentors of the achievement.

There was at least as much pleasure on his face last night as he lorded it in the colours of his first love.

In only the second minute he judged the flight of Ledley King's cross perfectly, only to duck out of the flight of the ball and leave Mauricio Taricco with a clear run at goal.

The Argentine's shot was parried by Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini but then John Terry, who obviously believed he was in no danger, lamely teed the ball up for Steffen Iversen to sweep the home side level on aggregate.

Having missed the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge in the first leg because of suspension, Sheringham's desire to make up for lost time was obvious and he leaped to set up Gus Poyet for a volley which was superbly turned over by Cudicini.

With Darren Anderton and Tim Sherwood picking off Claudio Ranieri's midfield with alarming ease, a second goal seemed inevitable. Sheringham's guile then led William Gallas into clearing the path for Anderton's corner to reach Sherwood, whose clipped, first-time shot put Spurs two up and in front in the tie for the first time.

Chelsea were miles behind in terms of both possession and confidence and the momentum which seemed to be urging Spurs on to next month's Cardiff showpiece was irresistible. Inevitably, Ranieri tried to patch up his ragged side at the break but events immediately afterwards would ultimately tear them asunder.

A deft turn and cross by Anderton to Poyet was graceful and deadly. The former Chelsea player then chested the ball into the path of Sheringham, who met it with a sublime volley which even both of Cudicini's hands could not prevent from reaching the back of the net.

Minutes later, Sheringham received a push in the face from Mario Melchiot, who delivered the blow over Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's shoulder.

Referee Mark Halsey, who failed to spot Leeds striker Mark Viduka's elbow on Arsenal defender Martin Keown last Sunday, showed remarkable consistency by ordering off the Dutchman and then booking Sheringham for retaliation, which had actually been perpetrated by Taricco.

Hasselbaink, the scorer of both of Chelsea's goals in the first leg, departed with a seething sense of injustice. There was nothing unjust about the result.

With 14 minutes remaining, Simon Davies danced past what was left of Chelsea's defence to score a fourth and, to add insult to injury, Oyvind Leonhardsen then slipped a neat cross to the front post where fellow substitute Sergei Rebrov was lurking to tuck away the fifth.

The Massacre at the Lane was complete.

Sheringham has been involved in some memorable matches during his long career and this will surely rank among the best of them.

He may have missed England's drubbing of Germany in Munich last September through injury but, as if just for him, Mikael Forssell popped up in the dying minutes with a consolation goal to make the scoreline copy that 5-1.

Job done, mission complete, history made. The home fans chose to reprise the old Spurs anthem about being 'on the way to Wembley' in celebration. Different city, same meaning. One thing is for sure, Spurs are definitely going in the right direction.
 

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Hoddle heroes head for the final

Thursday, January 24, 2002
Hoddle heroes head for the final
By John Greechan

Tottenham Hotspur 5 - 1 Chelsea
Tottenham clinched their place in the Worthington Cup final in the most emphatic manner last night, thrashing Chelsea 5-1 for a remarkable 6-3 aggregate win.

But Spurs' first win over the Blues in 12 years and 27 attempts was marred by the dismissal of Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for violent conduct in a clear case of mistaken identity.

To complete a miserable night for Claudio Ranieri's men, Holland winger Boudewijn Zenden was taken to hospital with a nasty gash on his right thigh, inflicted in a challenge with Teddy Sheringham after just nine minutes.

Tottenham, having prioritised this often devalued tournament as a direct route into European football next season, will face Blackburn in the final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on February 24.

Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle said: 'That was the best we've played this season. We were magnificent. I'm very proud of the performance and delighted for the supporters after 12 years of hardship against Chelsea. If you are going to break the jinx, break it in style.'

Tottenham were already 3-0 up on the night when Hasselbaink was dismissed in the 55th minute.

It was actually Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot who slapped Sheringham's face in a 10-man melee but referee Mark Halsey, who missed Mark Viduka's off-the-ball elbow on Martin Keown in Sunday's Leeds-Arsenal clash, showed Hasselbaink the red card.

Ranieri said: 'The sending-off was unbelievable. Jimmy told the ref he did nothing, Sheringham told the ref it was Melchiot and even Melchiot admitted it was him - but the ref sent off Jimbo, which was very bad for us. Without our target man, it was very difficult. We will appeal, of course.

'Tottenham were more determined than us. They won every tackle, they won every second ball.They deserved this victory.'

Chelsea's anger over the Hasselbaink dismissal was backed up by Sheringham. 'Someone pushed my face away, I don't know who, but in my book that's not a sending-off,' he said. 'I told the ref that but he's already made his decision.'

On the victory, Sheringham said: 'It's beautiful. It was always going to be a tough game but we set about it in the right way. We were professional and deserved it.'

Hoddle added: 'We're not quite ready to challenge for the Premiership yet but the two cups are achievable for us. We are on course for this one, that's all, and the FA Cup starts here for us against Bolton on Saturday.

'If it can set something up and put in place real foundations for the future, then that's great. Being successful, getting into Europe and building a foundation for the long term is what we're about.'

On the sending-off, the Spurs boss said: 'I don't think it affected the outcome. If anyone is giving that excuse, I'm not standing for it.'
 

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Worthy Cup Report: Tottenham End Jinx In Phenomenal Style To Reach The Final

Worthy Cup Report: Tottenham End Jinx In Phenomenal Style To Reach The Final
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Iversen got Spurs' amazing night off to a perfect start (Allsport)
01/23/2002. Tottenham have waited almost twelve years to beat Chelsea, but for their fans you could say it has been worth the wait as Glenn Hoddle's side have defeated their London neighbours 5-1, to reach the final of the Worthington Cup, where they will meet Blackburn Rovers.

Spurs hadn't won against the Blues for 26-matches until tonight, but thanks to goals from Steffen Iversen, Tim Sherwood, Teddy Sheringham, Simon Davies and Sergei Rebrov, that run has been ended in a remarkable fashion.

Spurs trailed 2-1 from the first leg but were on level terms after just two minutes at White Hart Lane as Chelsea were left in their blocks by a highly motivated Spurs side. Maurcio Tarrico's effort was saved well by Carlo Cudicini but John Terry inexcusably dallied on the ball and allowed Stefan Iversen to knock the ball into the net. The Norwegian striker was only in the team because of Les Ferdinand's absence due to a head injury sustained at the weekend.

Tottenham smothered Chelsea's prolific strike duo of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen by overpowering the midfield with slick passing and a greater desire to win the game. Claudio Ranieri's side are well known for their inconsistency and they were certainly not at their best this evening but you can't take anything away from Spurs who produced their best performance in a decade.

If it is possible that anyone wanted to win the most out of Tottenham's team it would be Gus Poyet who was booted out of Stamford Bridge in the summer and Spurs have reaped the rewards of claiming his signature. On the half hour mark Poyet's half volley was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Cudicini and from the resulting corner Tim Sherwood doubled the home sides lead. Sheringham opened up the defence with a clever run allowing the former Blackburn midfield to meet the ball on the half-volley and rocket a tremendous shot into the roof of the net.

Spurs went in at half time ahead on aggregate but Chelsea were certainly still in the hunt, at least they were until five minutes into the second half. Poyet chested the ball down to Sheringham who thundered a shot into the net despite Cudicini managing to get his hands to the ball.

Chelsea were rocking by this point and things went from bad to worse five minutes later. Hasselbaink was penalised for fouling Neil Sullivan and Sheringham confronted the Dutchman and was struck in the face by Mario Melchiot, who was standing behind Hasselbaink. A case of mistaken identity saw Hasselbaink sent off, ending any hopes that Chelsea had of starting a comeback.

Melchiot was booked for a rash tackle before being substituted by Ranieri allowing him to explain his actions to Hasselbaink in the dressing room who you imaging would be furious with his team-mate.

Davies scored the goal his tremendous performance deserved after 76 minutes, ending a wonderful passing move with a neat finish that went in off the post. The famous five was sealed three minutes from time by Rebrov, who had just come on for Iversen.

Mikael Forssell scored a consolation goal in stoppage time and in a frantic finale the Finnish striker could have scored again while Spurs could have added to their tally through Leonhardsen but the Norwegian failed to finish after rounding Cudicini.

Hoddle was a player for Spurs when they last won at White Hart Lane against Chelsea but now as manager he has ended the dreaded jinx with a performance that everyone associated with the North London club will never forget.
 

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impressive result... :happy: and we have finally beaten chelsea in 15 years...i didn't watch the game but man, was it our best game of the season??? and we are gonna play blackburn in the final... and gonna kick their ass and go to europe next season... :cool:

great job, hoddle and the players... :D:D:D
 

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Error-prone ref Halsey to escape sanctions

Friday, January 25, 2002
Error-prone ref Halsey to escape sanctions
By Ian McGarry

The comedy of errors at Tottenham's Worthington Cup win over Chelsea on Wednesday descended into farce last night, with the referee likely to escape sanction for his errors and all the players involved appealing against their cards.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been cleared of the red card he was given after official Mark Halsey admitted that he sent off the wrong man when dismissing Chelsea's Dutch striker for a slap on Spurs captain Teddy Sheringham.

An incredulous Hasselbaink was backed up by television replays that proved conclusively that Mario Melchiot was the guilty man. The defender leaned over his team-mate to push a hand into Sheringham's face amid a penalty area flare-up.

Although Chelsea's appeal against Hasselbaink's red card will automatically be upheld, the club also intend to appeal against the three-match ban lined up for Melchiot. With Sheringham's support, Chelsea will argue that the contact did not warrant a straight red.

Ironically, the Spurs captain had just returned from a three-match ban imposed for an almost identical push into the face of the Ipswich defender John McGreal.

Despite protesting his innocence, Hasselbaink, backed up by Sheringham, was given his marching orders but didn't leave the field until angrily confronting Melchiot as to why he didn't own up to the offence.

The FA may also review Mauricio Taricco's slap to Melchiot's face, which could lead to the Spurs defender missing the Cardiff Final.

Halsey's boss, Philip Don, admitted the sending-off was a case of mistaken identity. Don, manager of the select group of professional referees, said: 'Mark has spoken to the FA about what everyone saw on television. They are dealing with it.'

Halsey also missed Mark Viduka's elbow on Martin Keown last Sunday, which has since become the subject of an FA video panel investigation. Amazingly, however, Halsey is unlikely to receive any censure for his errors.

As far as the FA is concerned, Halsey's view of the incident was restricted to the point where he could not be held responsible for penalising the wrong man. That view was widely echoed at a gathering of the elite referees group at Staverton yesterday.

It is interesting to note, however, that it was partly in support of a previous Halsey decision that the FA decided to punish Dermot Gallagher for failing to show consistency.

Halsey expelled Middlesbrough midfielder Paul Ince after he became involved in a fracas with Sunderland's Niall Quinn while Gallagher failed to red-card Leeds' Robbie Keane for lifting his hands to David Beckham last October. Gallagher was subsequently assigned a batch of lower-profile matches as punishment.

Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle expressed his sympathy with the referee's predicament but felt that Sheringham's subsequent booking was unjust.

The Spurs boss said: 'From the viewpoint of the ref, I can understand him getting mixed up. I didn't know it was Melchiot at the time. I didn't even know that Teddy got booked until after the game.

'If it's the case that he was just trying to explain to the ref that he had the wrong man, then it's an injustice.'

Sheringham's part in the tackle which led to Boudewijn Zenden requiring surgery to repair a damaged muscle above his knee is being looked on less kindly by Chelsea.

'It looks like he was gored by a bull,' said one Chelsea player of the injury which will keep the Holland international out for up to eight weeks.

Blackburn, meanwhile, have decided not to appeal against the red card given to midfielder Garry Flitcroft in Tuesday's semi-final second leg with Sheffield Wednesday.
 

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Pumped-up Poyet puts joy back on the agenda

Friday, January 25, 2002
Pumped-up Poyet puts joy back on the agenda
By John Greechan

It was the moment that proved today's professional footballers - icons for a cynical generation - have not completely buried their natural love for the game beneath the glitter and grind of this money-driven business.

Gustavo Poyet's exuberant leap spoke volumes as he was substituted late in Wednesday night's Worthington Cup semi-final, with Spurs already 4-0 up against the Chelsea millionaires who cast him aside last summer.

The Uruguayan's explosion of joy had nothing to do with win bonuses or future endorsements.

The same applies to his team-mates who cavorted around the pitch at full-time, allowing their emotions - and those of the long-suffering Tottenham fans - to blow away the image of football as mercenary.

Midfielder Simon Davies, revealing the strength of feeling which inspired a first win over Chelsea in 27 attempts, said: 'Towards the end I think the manager wanted us to sit back, but everybody wanted to score.

'There were 12 years of hurt and it was all coming out. You just had to listen to the fans singing throughout. We felt a bit of pressure for them, so it's great to get that win out of the way.

'It's the best I've had in my career. We're capable of playing that kind of football against anybody and were delighted it came off.'

The issue of style is never far from the hearts of Tottenham fans. It was not just that Chelsea were beaten or that Spurs scored five goals; there was a real elan about Glenn Hoddle's team which thrilled the notoriously hard- to-please traditionalists.

The manager is never shy in stressing the importance of flair which his reputation as a Spurs legend demands.

Equally crucial to the current revival, albeit one which has so far failed to make a big impact in the Premier-ship, has been the spirit created under his regime.

Older players - proven competitors like Poyet and Teddy Sheringham - have been recruited not only for their on-field qualities but for the effect they have on the group.

Poyet said: 'The key at the moment is that we're playing for each other, nobody is better than anybody else. That's down to ambition. We have young players and we're trying to help them, they're coming through and they want to win.

'If you have ambition, it doesn't matter how old you are, you try to be a winner. I've tried to be a winner wherever I've been, to play in finals and win things.

'My enthusiasm? It's natural. One day we were training in a five-a-side game and Glenn said, "Why don't you stay at the back, play as a centre half, don't go forward?". But after one minute we were losing 1-0 and I started running everywhere. He said to me, "What did I say to you before?".

'I had to explain that, even in training, I cannot lose, I have to win things. I'm excited about what's happening here but we've done nothing yet.'

As for his primal scream when leaving the pitch, Poyet said: 'It's difficult to explain, I just felt so happy. It's nothing against Chelsea. It's just that, after all the talk, in the space of two hours we'd made it to the final and it's very, very nice for everybody here, all the players and supporters.'

Poyet's midfield partner Darren Anderton earned a special mention from Hoddle, who backed the 29-year-old for an England recall.

Hoddle said: 'For me, there hasn't been a more consistent midfield player in the country. Darren covers every blade of grass, his passing is superb, he scores goals and he creates things.

'He's started every Premiership game this season except the first one, which is absolutely wonderful to see.

'He has nailed the little nickname of "Sicknote" that people gave him firmly to the mast. There are other players doing a similar job around the country and it's up to the coach to decide, but Darren can pull the strings in the middle.'

Hoddle, obviously, has his own thoughts focused on what happens next at Tottenham. He took the job on late last season with a five-year plan, a personal mission to restore some lost lustre to his club.

He rightly refuses to get carried away with simply being in a final. The former England coach continues to spend every day working on 'hundreds of things', the details which hold the key to making his grand scheme work.

Yet he cannot help feeling pleased with the progress made, nor can he deny the upswell of optimism which has made normally pessimistic fans giddy with expectation.

'The atmosphere on Wednesday night was incredible - that atmosphere has been missing for a long time,' said Hoddle with obvious relish.

'We've put some pride back in the club. Twelve years is a long time for the supporters to wait for a win over Chelsea. There was a hunger in the team which was infectious.

'You have to have that attitude in a semi-final but, to also play the football we did in the style we wanted, that was the icing on the cake. We're one step away from Europe and that was set high on the agenda at the beginning of the season.

'If we win a trophy, it breeds confidence and you can build on the back of it. Look what happened to Liverpool when they won their first trophy for a long time.'

See how easy it is for managers to even get caught up in the thrill of victory? Ruddy marvellous.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's a disposable cup for Hoddle

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
It's a disposable cup for Hoddle
By Adrian Curtis

Glenn Hoddle today admitted that Tottenham might treat the Worthington Cup less seriously next season if they claw back a semi-final, first leg deficit against Chelsea and go on to win the competition.

Having set his sights on winning the Cup and securing a place in Europe, Hoddle has ignored the trend of fielding weakened teams in a competition Tottenham last won in 1999.

That did not prevent them losing the first leg at Chelsea 2-1 a fortnight ago, but if they can find a way past Chelsea - and record their first victory over their London rivals since February 1990 - Hoddle has intimated for the first time that a place in Europe may force him to look at the competition in a different light.

Qualification through their final league placing is also an option and Hoddle said today: 'The old-fashioned two-legged games in Europe have gone out of the window these days.

'It is all about the Champions League, where you have six games at least, and that puts a different pressure on teams.

'The UEFA Cup will probably change and go into a league format as well at some stage and, if that happens, then you can't blame clubs resting people when they think it is right.

'Teams involved in these competitions have got other things on their agenda and if we get into Europe next season, we might have a different philosophy on the Worthington Cup. This year it has been a priority for us.'

Victory by a single goal after extra time would give Spurs a place in the Final and their cause is likely to be aided by the return of striker Les Ferdinand.

The former England star was concussed during Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Everton at the weekend but trained yesterday without any ill effects.

Dean Richards is cup-tied and is set to be replaced by Ledley King in the heart of Tottenham's defence.

Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet, rested along with King against Everton, will also return.

The biggest threat to Tottenham's ambitions will be the combined skills of Chelsea strikers Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Hoddle acknowledges that it will not be an easy task.

'Chelsea have got quality players in the top half of the pitch in terms of Gianfranco Zola, Hasselbaink and Gudjohnsen-Their attack is their main strength. I think in the two games we've had against them this season we've matched them everywhere else on the pitch, if not bettered them.

'But they have got clinical players who can punish you and Hasselbaink is a major threat.'

Meanwhile, Hoddle has called for fans to behave themselves tonight as Tottenham's crackdown on missile-throwing thugs comes into force.

A series of incidents has led the club to announce they will ban any fans caught throwing coins or bottles and Hoddle wants vigilant supporters to point out any offenders.

Hoddle has urged fans to 'shop' anyone they see throwing objects on to the pitch so that the current trend of missile-throwing can be eradicated.

He said: 'The violence is creeping back into football and the Football Association, the clubs and players have got to help stamp it out.

'I think everyone has to be involved. Fans know who has thrown something at a player and who has caused a problem and these fans have got to be reported.

'If we are all vigilant and do that, then we will nullify it pretty quickly.

'I want our fans to come to the ground with an attitude geared towards cheering the team on to the Final and nothing else.

'But I think this current trend does not compare to the 1970s and 1980s.

'There was a massive problem then, but this is a small one by comparison, which I feel can be dealt with.

'If enough energy and thought is given to it, we can stamp it out. But it won't affect the players.

'Football is a beautiful game when it is played right and in the right atmosphere.

'We are getting families coming back to the game and that is very important for its future. We don't want to go backwards.'

Tottenham have outlawed the sale of bottled beers at White Hart Lane, increased their CCTV coverage and will have more stewards on duty tonight.
 
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