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WTPS: Sunday reports and rumours

Posted on 13 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's Planet Football pages suggest we could launch a bid for John Carew after the collapse of his move to Fulham.

The report says the Norwegian striker would cost £7m and would be keen to link up with international team-mate Steffen Iversen.

The Mirror's Chat Zone column says John Piercy has asked to go out on loan while the People link us with Millwall midfielder Tim Cahill.

Most of the reports from Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town concentrate on the home side's win but most indicate, rightly, that our football deserved some reward.

Ian Ridley's report in the Observer read as follows:

There's a chant enjoyed by gloating, winning fans. 'Can we play you every week?' it goes. At Ipswich, they may be a bit too polite to sing it - would that there were more sets of passionate but fair-minded fans like this - but their team must certainly wish they could play Tottenham every week.

For the second time in three weeks, and by the same score, Ipswich took three points off the often-slicker Spurs to make it four wins from their last five Premiership games and further their chances of avoiding relegation. Tottenham, by contrast, have lost four of their last five matches. The hapless Ledley King's own goal summed it up for them, after they had fought their way back into the game to equalise Marcus Bent's opening goal through Gus Poyet.

Ipswich began the turnaround to their season on the Saturday before Christmas at White Hart Lane, their unexpected win the first of three in quick succession over the holiday period to double their points tally. It might even have been more than nine points; they led Charlton 2-0 at the Valley before losing 3-2.

In the same period, Spurs have gone backwards, losing to Charlton as well as Southampton after getting into a promising position in the top six. The settled look to their team has gone and yesterday manager Glenn Hoddle made changes again.

With Teddy Sheringham still suspended, Sergei Rebrov came in for a rare start while Tim Sherwood, who looked impressive when replacing the injured Steffen Freund in the Worthington Cup semi-final defeat at Chelsea, had another chance in midfield with the German's knee ligament damage likely to keep him out for the season.

Tottenham had looked the more composed side in the opening minutes, stroking the ball around neatly, but there was little penetration in their work. Ipswich were the more thrusting when they did secure possession and took the lead with their first attempt on goal. Mark Venus's inswinging corner was met firmly by Bent - peeling away from King, who was slow to react - and he headed home his fourth goal since his £3 million transfer from Blackburn.

There was a distinct edginess to a frustrated Spurs as players often exchanged words after a misplaced pass or wayward shot. Neither was their mood improved by the loss of Les Ferdinand with a knee injury before the half-hour. They were much the classier side and were creating the better chances, but with each miss, their anxiety grew.

The rusty Rebrov was the main culprit, as he shot straight at Marshall after good work by Sherwood, then poked wide Steffen Iversen's curling cross from the left. In between, Poyet was just too high with a perceptive chip shot from 45 yards that caught Marshall off his line.

Ipswich were breaking out more like the away side and came close to doubling their lead when Sullivan palmed up Martijn Reuser's shot only for Bent to head the rebound straight back into the goalkeeper's arms.

Bent should have doubled the lead minutes into the second half. First, he curled a shot past Sullivan but inches wide of a post then headed Jermaine Wright's cross powerfully goalwards, only for the goalkeeper to make a spectacular one-handed save.

You sensed Ipswich would need a second with Spurs now having been roused. That much was clear when Rebrov glanced Poyet's cross into the net, only to be ruled dubiously offside. It was why the Ipswich manager, George Burley, now introduced Marcus Stewart, still the club's top scorer despite having lost two months to injury.

Before he could have any impact, however, Tottenham got the equaliser they deserved. Darren Anderton played a neat ball in to Rebrov, who held it up well before slipping a pass inside Venus for Poyet to drive in low at the near post.

Now it was a feverish game, all too much for the referee Matt Messias, who had to be replaced by the fourth official, Rob Styles, due to cramp. It seemed Spurs might go on to acquire a winner, but instead they conceded one in a manner similar to Ipswich's first goal. Venus swung in another corner from the right and King, having to leave the player he was marking to track the run of the unmarked John McGreal, who seemed certain to score, intervened to head the ball into his own net.