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WTPS: Les, reports and rumours

Posted on 16 December 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Les Ferdinand takes pride of place on the back pages of most of Sunday's newspapers after grabbing the 10,000th goal in Premiership history against Fulham on Saturday.

As far as the rumour mill is concerned, the Mirror link us with a £20m move for Leeds striker Mark Viduka, suggesting that the sale of Sergei Rebrov would finance the deal.

The People report that we were pleased with American trialist Devin Barclay, 18, who has now returned to Tampa Bay Mutiny after a month at the club.

Ian Stafford, author of 'Playground of the Gods', covered the game for the Mail on Sunday. His report is as follows:

The goals keep flying in at White Hart Lane, where Spurs recorded their biggest Premiership win of the season against the League's meanest defence to ease into the top six.

Four days previously, Glenn Hoddle's men had helped themselves to six at the expense of Bolton in the Worthington Cup and yesterday they made it 10 in a more than useful week's work.

Past history suggested it might not be a happy afternoon for Fulham. You have to go back to 1948 to find the last time they won at Spurs.

But they hardly expected this sort of treatment after conceding only 13 goals in 16 games this season and keeping clean sheets against Bolton, Leeds, Everton and Liverpool in their last four League games.

Spurs, who learned before the match that they will play Fulham's neighbours Chelsea in the Worthington Cup semi-finals, took the lead after 20 minutes with a goal Les Ferdinand will never forget.

The 35-year-old striker is supposed to be in the twilight of his career but, under manager Hoddle, he has found a new lease of life.

Fresh from his midweek hat-trick and having shaken off an ankle injury, he won Barclay-card's £10,000 prize for charity by scoring the 10,000th goal in the Premiership's nine-year history.

It was the Premiership's first goal of the afternoon and came when Darren Anderton cut in from the right wing, darted past Rufus Brevett, and placed a low cross on to Ferdinand's boot to hand the striker a simple tap-in.

Ferdy can have had fewer easier goals among his 129 in the Premiership and 149 in English football. With it, he consolidated his standing as the third highest Premiership scorer behind Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.

Fulham began to realise it was not going to be their day when referee Neale Barry inexplicably booked an astonished Louis Saha when it was clear for all to see that it was Steed Malbranque who had brought down Steffen Freund.

Ferdinand also received a yellow card eight minutes later after clashing with Malbranque and the Spurs man was in the action again when he turned provider for Anderton to score the second goal after 40 minutes.

He laid the ball back from a Teddy Sheringham header and Anderton steered his low shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

If Fulham stood any chance of getting something out of this game and preserving their eight-match unbeaten League run, they needed a quick riposte but, when Barry Hayles was given a golden opportunity seconds before the break, he could only blast over from just a few yards out.

Dean Richards should have added a third goal for Spurs when he somehow lobbed the ball over the bar after Edwin van der Sar's flying, one-handed save from a Gus Poyet header two minutes into the second half.

After Sergei Rebrov had replaced Ferdinand after just over an hour, Simon Davies settled any doubts over the outcome of this London derby with the best goal of the game on 71 minutes.

Again, it was Anderton who proved the architect, finding Davies with a precision chip, but the midfielder still had plenty to do. Chesting the ball down, Davies ran towards the edge of the box before beating van der Sar with a deliciously-placed shot that had little to do with power and much to do with skill.

Spurs made it four when Rebrov latched on to Sheringham's defence-splitting pass six minutes later to slot home.

The final humiliation for Jean Tigana's side came just before the end when Luis Boa Morte took a tumble in the box and was booked for diving.

Poor Luis. It is the second time this season he has been punished for such an offence and he is about to start a three-game suspension.