Vs Fulham (H) – Spurs bump 'n' grind to three points


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2004
Thread starter #1
Hangovers a plenty down at the Lane as Tottenham ground out a one-nil win against a tough Fulham side that belied their low league position.

The game was hardly a classic. Spurs were slow out of the blocks and Fulham were well drilled. Plenty of Spurs possession in unthreatening positions defined the first forty minutes. Fulham allowed the centre backs to have the ball but crowded out van der Vaart and Pavlyuchenko. We lacked tempo and ambition, and the crowd could not spur the team on.

It was no surprise that our goal came from a set piece – van der Vaart and Bale linking up again as the Welshman showed he is not just good with the ball at his feet.

Fulham rarely threatened in the first half but their defensive organisation was exceptional. With two wrong-footed wingers narrowing the pitch, Dempsey and Johnson dropping deep, we really found it hard to break them down. It needed someone from defence making a run forward but unfortunately we were too static. Pavlyuchenko offered little to nothing upfront – he could blame a lack of service but when the ball was near him the former Spartak man lacked hunger. Ironically the two times that Pav showed some strength the ref, who made some ‘interesting’ decisions, penalised him.

Second half we started with a little more urgency but Fulham remained in their shell. There were a couple of half chances for Dawson and Bale, the latter chance after some good work from Corluka and Palacios.

This stirred Fulham into action as the spectre of a valuable away point appeared. Unfortunately for the cottagers Spurs have finally figured out how to keep clean sheets. Fulham came close – Duff should have done better after a cross field ball caught out Assou-Ekotto, and after Gomes had made a good save from Johnson (and not spilled a cross as one hack in the NotW put it) Dawson cleared off the line.

Fulham were in the ascendency but Spurs defended resolutely. Gomes made a flying leap to cut out a dangerous cross while Jenas, Crouch and Modric all made important blocks. We still had a threat on the counter and after Lennon had run with the ball from a throw out from the keeper he should have done better, with Jenas in acres of space.

Nine points from nine, unbeaten in eleven games, as Harry said, you can’t complain. Been a while since we have been on a run like this. Next up is a tough game at Goodison Park and if we can continue our unbeaten stretch, good times are ahead.