Football: Lively Leeds look too hot for Spurs; Hoddle's Tottenham could be given torrid time by Whites forward trio.Byline: PAUL JOHNSON Paul Johnson may refer to:
LEEDS should turn over Tottenham at White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane is the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. It is situated in Tottenham, North London.
today provided they defend with a little more nous than they did against Manchester United on Saturday.
David O'Leary's side got the worse of a seven-goal thriller against the champions at Elland Road Elland Road is the home stadium of the football team Leeds United. It is currently the 11th largest football stadium in England and the largest stadium in Yorkshire. It is also the largest English stadium outside of the Premiership, and the largest in League 1. and, with star centre-back Rio Ferdinand Rio Gavin Ferdinand (born November 7, 1978 in Peckham, London) is an English footballer of mixed St Lucian and Anglo-Irish descent. He plays at centre-back for Manchester United in the FA Premier League and at the international level for the England national football team. suited up in the Sky commentary booth rather than strutting his stuff in white on the pitch, they were never able to cope with their visitors' wide range of attacking
options despite the absence of Ruud van Nistelrooy Rutgerus Johannes Martinius van Nistelrooy (originally spelled Van Nistelrooij) (born 1 July 1976 in Oss, North Brabant) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a centre forward for Real Madrid and the Dutch national team. .
Manchester United possess the weaponry to damage any side and they certainly do not need the helping hand afforded them for all their goals. Danny Mills and Ian Harte were guilty of allowing Mikael Silvestre and David Beckham far too much room on the flanks, keeper Nigel Martyn gifted Ole Solskjaer the kind of chance he gobbles up and Jonathan Woodgate and
Dominic Matteo never looked entirely happy without Ferdinand.
And yet, for all that, Leeds finished the match earning more plaudits than brickbats, having come desperately close to salvaging at least a point
despite trailing 4-1 at one stage.
O'Leary, who rightly blamed the defensive howlers for the defeat, could have claimed his team did not enjoy the rub of the green, with the injury to Harry Kewell happening so early in the game and one of Solskjaer's goals coming from a wicked deflection.
Yet the withdrawal of Kewell enabled energetic midfielder Lee Bowyer to return to the fray after serving a six-match ban and the former Charlton man caused United all sorts of problems, notably when setting up Mark Viduka's equaliser. Such was his impact that Sir Alex Ferguson was forced into some early bellowing from his technical area to instruct his midfielders on how to counter the threat.
O'Leary, who ended the game with all his four top strikers on the pitch, can take comfort from the fact Tottenham are less likely to carve his rearguard rearguard
1. the troops who protect the rear of a military formation
2. rearguard action an effort to prevent or postpone something that is unavoidable
Noun 1. to pieces, although
the wise old heads that are dotted around the Londoners' line-up should never be underestimated.
It's hard to get excited about backing Spurs at
present, even though Messiah Hoddle felt they ought to have taken all three points away to Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The 1-1 draw on Teesside nudges them above Charlton into eighth place but this season is surely going to be marked down by the supporters as a disappointment unless Hoddle can plot the downfall of deadly rivals
Arsenal in the imminent derby at Highbury.
On current evidence that feat looks highly improbable. Spurs have beaten only rock-bottom Leicester, Sunderland and Fulham in their 11 league starts since New Year's Day New Year's Day, among ancient peoples the first day of the year frequently corresponded to the vernal or autumnal equinox, or to the summer or winter solstice. In the Middle Ages it was celebrated among Christians usually on Mar. 25. and seen their dreams of Uefa Cup qualification via Cup success shattered by Blackburn and Chelsea.
Tottenham's attack struggles to score more than once in league matches and, for all Hoddle's tactical acumen, his team possess the worst
defensive record of the top nine Premiership clubs.
Indeed, players with the quality of Viduka, Robbie Fowler and Robbie Keane could easily fill their boots against a side who have managed just one clean sheet in the Premiership since New Year.
With both Newcastle and Chelsea winning at the weekend there is not much point in Leeds pussyfooting around and, if they start like they finished against the Reds on Saturday, they have every chance of keeping their European dreams alive.
4pts 6-4 (Bet Direct, Hills)
Leeds to win 2-0
1pt 10-1 (general)
Darren Anderton attempts to block Olivier Dacourt's shot in Spurs' 2-1 defeat at Elland Road earlier this season