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WTPS: Reports and rumours

Posted on 20 January 2002  - 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).

The News of the World goes big in its Planet Football pages that we are chasing Middlesbrough striker Alen Boksic.

They say Glenn Hoddle is a huge fan of the Croatian and that while Steve McClaren doesn't want to lose him, it would free up some cash to buy another striker - Boro are again linked with Dwight Yorke.

The NOTW also says Glenn is set to return to Southampton for goalkeeping David Coles and hints that Hans Segers is pondering his future at the club.

The Mirror also takes Glenn back to Southampton and a £3m raid for midfielder Chris Marsden.

The People's Hotline gossip area links us with a swap deal for Alaves striker Javier Moreno and Sergei Rebrov and reports that we are monitoring Polish defender Bartosz Karwan.

Most of Sunday's reports from Saturday's 1-1 draw against Everton focus on Glenn's fear that Les Ferdinand's concussion could keep him out of Wednesday's semi-final against Chelsea.

Steve Tongue's report in the Independent on Sunday reads as follows:

An important week for Spurs, who need to beat Chelsea in the Worthington Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday, for the first time in ­ amazingly ­ 28 meetings, began in anti-climax with a failure to see off Everton's modest challenge. Two early goals promised far more entertainment than either side were able to deliver, which was not entirely surprising in the visitors' case but disappointing in Tottenham's. They have won only one of their last six League games and are losing ground in the chase for a European place, which had looked well within their capabilities before a crop of recent injuries.

Gus Poyet, Steffen Freund and Christian Ziege were all missing from a midfield that turned in some outstanding performances earlier in the season; Les Ferdinand suffered concussion soon after scoring and Teddy Sheringham had one of his quietest games of the campaign. The locals ­ especially those forced to pay £55 for tickets ­ will demand considerable improvement on Wednesday, when Ferdinand may be missing. "He's gone to hospital to have some scans done and if we lose him, it's a big blow," Tottenham's manager, Glenn Hoddle, said. "He was feeling a bit groggy but wanted to stay on. We told him he was Pele."

The great man himself could not have bettered Ferdinand's thumping header after only seven minutes, though he would grimaced at much of the play that followed. Hoddle, surprisingly, felt there was "nothing wrong with the performance" and Everton's Walter Smith, although more realistic ("We've played far better") was just pleased to take home a point from a ground on which his club have not won since 1985.

The other bonus for Smith was having Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell back in tandem for the first time since Campbell sustained a serious back injury almost three months ago. Ferguson, vigorous as ever, was the more effective of the two and it took a fine save by Neil Sullivan 10 minutes before half-time to deny him a first goal from open play this season.

It was significant that almost all of the few chances at either end came from a set-piece or long cross. Tottenham's goal was no exception, though one of the afternoon's better moves preceded it. As Everton conceded possession coming out of defence, Simon Davies supplied Oyvind Leonhardsen on the right for a centre that Ferdinand nodded in for his 14th goal of a fine season.

There was little time for the home crowd to crow before an unexpected riposte arrived. Paul Gascoigne, welcomed back to his old stamping ground as warmly as ever, provided the cross for a quick equaliser, the ball taking a deflection that sent it into the path of David Weir, who hit a fierce volley just under the bar. It was a rare goal away from Goodison for Everton, only their eighth in 11 games. Ferdinand should have restored the lead almost immediately, shooting wide as Tim Sherwood's low drive into the penalty area fell nicely for him. His effectiveness was then limited by a blow to the head in a collison with David Unsworth, and Steffen Iversen replaced him at half-time.

The second half brought even less goalmouth incident, and all that there was inevitably stemmed ­ as the ball spent so little time on the ground ­ from headers. The best were one by Dean Richards, pushed over the bar, and one by Iversen, which hit it. Hoddle put some of the blame on the pitch, "not the same as it was at the beginning of the season". Nor, at the moment, is Tottenham's football, which needs to improve in the three successive matches to be played on the crumbling surface.