Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient slideshow

Tottenham Hotspur's prize for winning Wednesday night's replay over Newport County is a fifth-round tie next week away to League One strugglers Rochdale – and switching their pristine Wembley pitch for Spotland, one of the worst playing surfaces in the England league. It could be the ultimate FA Cup leveller. “Rochdale? I hear it’s not in the best condition,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Newport County. “The conditions [at Spotland] are for them as well as us. The FA Cup is difficult, look at this replay against a League Two team.” The surroundings will at least be familiar to some of the Tottenham players. Harry Kane made his Football League debut there while on loan at Leyton Orient, and Dele Alli played there with MK Dons, but they did not have to cope with a surface quite as bad as on Tuesday night, when Ian ­Henderson’s fifth FA Cup goal of the season knocked out Millwall. Neil Harris, the Championship club’s manager, labelled the sand-covered pitch the worst that he had ever seen. Henderson’s goal booked ­Rochdale’s place in the last 16 for the third time in their history. ­Volunteers – and several tonnes of sand – helped the pitch to pass an inspection just hours before kick-off. “I thought I was on Blackpool beach when I first stepped on it,” Henderson said. “You have to be incredibly brave as a footballer to still want the ball, to still run just as hard. Regardless of the ­surface, it takes an element of ­technical ability to pass the ball. The playing surface at Spotland resembles a beach, according to Rochdale forward Henderson Credit: Getty Images “You saw some good football and if it had been on a better pitch, you would have gone ‘wow’. It was a good footballing goal on a difficult surface. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see it’s not Wembley. It isn’t. I don’t make excuses. ” Henderson said Kane and Alli would get a warm welcome back to Spotland. Kane came on for 17 ­minutes as a substitute in a 1-1 draw in January 2011, while Alli played there in 2015. Henderson said of Alli: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. So, for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. FA Cup fifth-round draw “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the ­Premier League. “So, if they are put up against Kane they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals.” Spurs can expect a hard time from the home fans if Millwall’s ­experience is anything to go by. Harris described them as a ­“disgrace”, claiming that his players “were treated very badly” and that he and his staff were abused.
Rochdale ready to welcome Harry Kane and Dele Alli back to Spotland – where the pitch is like Blackpool beach
Tottenham Hotspur's prize for winning Wednesday night's replay over Newport County is a fifth-round tie next week away to League One strugglers Rochdale – and switching their pristine Wembley pitch for Spotland, one of the worst playing surfaces in the England league. It could be the ultimate FA Cup leveller. “Rochdale? I hear it’s not in the best condition,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Newport County. “The conditions [at Spotland] are for them as well as us. The FA Cup is difficult, look at this replay against a League Two team.” The surroundings will at least be familiar to some of the Tottenham players. Harry Kane made his Football League debut there while on loan at Leyton Orient, and Dele Alli played there with MK Dons, but they did not have to cope with a surface quite as bad as on Tuesday night, when Ian ­Henderson’s fifth FA Cup goal of the season knocked out Millwall. Neil Harris, the Championship club’s manager, labelled the sand-covered pitch the worst that he had ever seen. Henderson’s goal booked ­Rochdale’s place in the last 16 for the third time in their history. ­Volunteers – and several tonnes of sand – helped the pitch to pass an inspection just hours before kick-off. “I thought I was on Blackpool beach when I first stepped on it,” Henderson said. “You have to be incredibly brave as a footballer to still want the ball, to still run just as hard. Regardless of the ­surface, it takes an element of ­technical ability to pass the ball. The playing surface at Spotland resembles a beach, according to Rochdale forward Henderson Credit: Getty Images “You saw some good football and if it had been on a better pitch, you would have gone ‘wow’. It was a good footballing goal on a difficult surface. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see it’s not Wembley. It isn’t. I don’t make excuses. ” Henderson said Kane and Alli would get a warm welcome back to Spotland. Kane came on for 17 ­minutes as a substitute in a 1-1 draw in January 2011, while Alli played there in 2015. Henderson said of Alli: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. So, for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. FA Cup fifth-round draw “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the ­Premier League. “So, if they are put up against Kane they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals.” Spurs can expect a hard time from the home fans if Millwall’s ­experience is anything to go by. Harris described them as a ­“disgrace”, claiming that his players “were treated very badly” and that he and his staff were abused.
Tottenham Hotspur's prize for winning Wednesday night's replay over Newport County is a fifth-round tie next week away to League One strugglers Rochdale – and switching their pristine Wembley pitch for Spotland, one of the worst playing surfaces in the England league. It could be the ultimate FA Cup leveller. “Rochdale? I hear it’s not in the best condition,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Newport County. “The conditions [at Spotland] are for them as well as us. The FA Cup is difficult, look at this replay against a League Two team.” The surroundings will at least be familiar to some of the Tottenham players. Harry Kane made his Football League debut there while on loan at Leyton Orient, and Dele Alli played there with MK Dons, but they did not have to cope with a surface quite as bad as on Tuesday night, when Ian ­Henderson’s fifth FA Cup goal of the season knocked out Millwall. Neil Harris, the Championship club’s manager, labelled the sand-covered pitch the worst that he had ever seen. Henderson’s goal booked ­Rochdale’s place in the last 16 for the third time in their history. ­Volunteers – and several tonnes of sand – helped the pitch to pass an inspection just hours before kick-off. “I thought I was on Blackpool beach when I first stepped on it,” Henderson said. “You have to be incredibly brave as a footballer to still want the ball, to still run just as hard. Regardless of the ­surface, it takes an element of ­technical ability to pass the ball. The playing surface at Spotland resembles a beach, according to Rochdale forward Henderson Credit: Getty Images “You saw some good football and if it had been on a better pitch, you would have gone ‘wow’. It was a good footballing goal on a difficult surface. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see it’s not Wembley. It isn’t. I don’t make excuses. ” Henderson said Kane and Alli would get a warm welcome back to Spotland. Kane came on for 17 ­minutes as a substitute in a 1-1 draw in January 2011, while Alli played there in 2015. Henderson said of Alli: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. So, for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. FA Cup fifth-round draw “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the ­Premier League. “So, if they are put up against Kane they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals.” Spurs can expect a hard time from the home fans if Millwall’s ­experience is anything to go by. Harris described them as a ­“disgrace”, claiming that his players “were treated very badly” and that he and his staff were abused.
Rochdale ready to welcome Harry Kane and Dele Alli back to Spotland – where the pitch is like Blackpool beach
Tottenham Hotspur's prize for winning Wednesday night's replay over Newport County is a fifth-round tie next week away to League One strugglers Rochdale – and switching their pristine Wembley pitch for Spotland, one of the worst playing surfaces in the England league. It could be the ultimate FA Cup leveller. “Rochdale? I hear it’s not in the best condition,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino after Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Newport County. “The conditions [at Spotland] are for them as well as us. The FA Cup is difficult, look at this replay against a League Two team.” The surroundings will at least be familiar to some of the Tottenham players. Harry Kane made his Football League debut there while on loan at Leyton Orient, and Dele Alli played there with MK Dons, but they did not have to cope with a surface quite as bad as on Tuesday night, when Ian ­Henderson’s fifth FA Cup goal of the season knocked out Millwall. Neil Harris, the Championship club’s manager, labelled the sand-covered pitch the worst that he had ever seen. Henderson’s goal booked ­Rochdale’s place in the last 16 for the third time in their history. ­Volunteers – and several tonnes of sand – helped the pitch to pass an inspection just hours before kick-off. “I thought I was on Blackpool beach when I first stepped on it,” Henderson said. “You have to be incredibly brave as a footballer to still want the ball, to still run just as hard. Regardless of the ­surface, it takes an element of ­technical ability to pass the ball. The playing surface at Spotland resembles a beach, according to Rochdale forward Henderson Credit: Getty Images “You saw some good football and if it had been on a better pitch, you would have gone ‘wow’. It was a good footballing goal on a difficult surface. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see it’s not Wembley. It isn’t. I don’t make excuses. ” Henderson said Kane and Alli would get a warm welcome back to Spotland. Kane came on for 17 ­minutes as a substitute in a 1-1 draw in January 2011, while Alli played there in 2015. Henderson said of Alli: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. So, for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. FA Cup fifth-round draw “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the ­Premier League. “So, if they are put up against Kane they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals.” Spurs can expect a hard time from the home fans if Millwall’s ­experience is anything to go by. Harris described them as a ­“disgrace”, claiming that his players “were treated very badly” and that he and his staff were abused.
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Is this where free-scoring Harry Kane will come unstuck?
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Is this where free-scoring Harry Kane will come unstuck?
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Is this where free-scoring Harry Kane will come unstuck?
Rochdale FA Cup match winner Ian Henderson hopes he has the chance to re-introduce Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the delights of his Spotland home in next week’s FA Cup fifth round tie. The League One strugglers secured their place in the last 16 for just the third time in history when they edged out Millwall in Tuesday’s replay thanks to Henderson scoring the only goal of the game. That means that if Tottenham get through their own replay, against League Two Newport County tonight, Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League side will be heading to play on Dale’s sand-covered pitch. Not that it will be a new experience for Spurs’ two England stars. Kane actually made his league debut, while on loan with Leyton Orient, in a 17-minute substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw at Spotland in January 2011. Rochdale beat Millwall to set-up a potential clash with Spurs Credit: Getty Images And Alli played at Rochdale’s home when he was a youngster making his way in the game, with MK Dons in 2015. Henderson said: “The majority of these boys have played against him and they dominated him when he was at MK Dons. “I don’t know if you have watched any of the games against Rochdale when he was at MK, but the boys at the time dominated the game. “So for them it will just be a case of playing against him again, but playing for Spurs. “You see the young players at this club, they are exceptionally talented, they are aspiring to be in the Premier League. “So if they are put up against Harry Kane - and no disrespect to Harry Kane because he is an unbelievable player, an elite soccer player - they are going to do their best to stop him scoring goals. Henderson has now scored five goals in the FA Cup this season Credit: Getty Images “They want to impress because it’s an opportunity to showcase their skill set against a Premier League side.” Henderson has now scored five times in the FA Cup this season and has helped position Rochdale for their best-ever run if they should manage to reach the quarter-finals. And the fact Keith Hill’s side has beaten Championship opposition in Millwall means the veteran striker refuses to write off Newport’s hopes of an upset tonight. He added: “Who knows? Spurs have to play Newport. “You see the magic of the Cup when we have beaten a team from a higher league, so you never know what’s going to happen. Who knows? Football is a magical game. “Spurs could have a real off night and Newport could be exceptional.”
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Mauricio Pochettino holds his hands up as Newport County get well deserved replay against Tottenham
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Mauricio Pochettino holds his hands up as Newport County get well deserved replay against Tottenham
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Mauricio Pochettino holds his hands up as Newport County get well deserved replay against Tottenham
Michael Flynn, the Newport County manager, was just getting started in his post-match press conference when Mauricio Pochettino, no doubt eager to leave South Wales as soon as possible, stormed through the door. Upon realising his mistake, the Tottenham Hotspur manager threw his hands up in an immediate apology and swiftly shuffled back into the narrow corridor, where he and his staff dutifully waited, among various delirious Newport fans, for Flynn to say his piece. It was hardly the most extraordinary moment of what so nearly became an extraordinary defeat for the mighty Tottenham, but it was as fitting an image as anything that had gone before. Here was an acceptance by a deferential Pochettino that this was not a night for him or Tottenham, that this was not the time to start the inquest into a dreadful performance. This was Newport’s day, and Flynn had more than earned his right to revel in it. He had sent a side out onto the squelching Rodney Parade pitch to face the fifth best team in the land, and his cohort of misfits had not so much clung on to a draw as been denied a deserved victory. The financial impact of this televised game, and the subsequent replay at Wembley, could transform a club that so nearly disappeared from the Football League last season. “It allows us to lay foundations for the future,” said Flynn. “I want to improve the training ground, I would like a new pitch and we need a new building because the old one caught on fire.” Aside from the money, it was a night of pride for the likes of David Pipe, the right-back who has served a jail sentence, former Tesco shelf-stacker Robbie Wilmott and striker Padraig Amond, whose journey to becoming an FA Cup hero has taken him from Shamrock Rovers to Portugal, Accrington Stanley to Hartlepool. “This weekend last year I played for Hartlepool against Newport and Newport were dead and buried,” Amond said. “It’s amazing how things can change in a year.” Not just for the clubs, but also for him as a player. His time at Hartlepool, who are crippled by financial struggles, ended sourly. Padraig Amond celebrates Newport's opening goal Credit: Matthew Childs/Action Images “That was a hard time for me,” he said. “This is not nice but the stuff going on now at the club, we kind of knew that was coming. I sat down with the chairwoman and they told us none of this was going to happen and all was fine. Then you talk with other people at the club and they tell you what is really happening. It is very sad to see because it is a proud club, and I hope they get someone to buy the club. “I just wasn’t happy, I wasn’t enjoying my football. You don’t know when you are going to get paid month after month and that affects everyone.” There is a smile upon his face now, even if Harry Kane’s late equaliser prevented his first-half header from being the matchwinning moment. “It is just disappointing to draw the game,” he said. “And it is kind of scary saying that because it is Tottenham. But it’s true. People are saying it’s greedy to be disappointed but we were eight minutes away from one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup. “We can be disappointed because now we are 90 minutes away, potentially 120. But look, if you offered that at the start of the day your hand would be gone. It is a proud moment for the club and also for me scoring the goal.” Harry Kane saved Spurs with a late equaliser Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA If only Pochettino had decided to rest Kane, it could have been an even more memorable occasion. Kane was the one player in white who looked close to being comfortable here, partly because his experience of lower league football from earlier in his career had prepared him for such attritional encounters. “When I was in League One with Leyton Orient, it was tough,” Kane said. A battle at Rodney Parade therefore provided him with a reminder of what might have been had he not developed so dramatically. “It is a reminder of how far I have come. Sometimes it is good to come here and remind yourself that this isn’t so far away if you don’t carry on working hard. I was playing here five or six years ago. I got the opportunity thankfully and managed to take it. If I didn’t then who knows where I would be now.”
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
Southampton 1 Tottenham 1: Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal not enough for flu-affected Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur were laid low by a flu virus and then caught a cold as they were held to a draw by relegation-threatened Southampton despite Harry Kane moving to within one goal of his Premier League century. It was a frustrating result that means Spurs could fall five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side win away to Swansea City on Monday evening, putting them in very real danger of missing out on Champions League qualification. The score-line does not, truly, help Southampton either as they remain in the bottom three and a point behind 17th place Stoke City. But they showed enough fight – and went agonisingly close to winning – to probably help manager Mauricio Pellegrino survive. At least a little longer. Afterwards Spurs midfielder Eric Dier claimed the race for the top four will “go down to the wire” but with his side’s next three league opponents being Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal these were points they could not afford to drop. And neither were they expected to. The Spurs squad were in Barcelona for warm weather training last week with captain Hugo Lloris and play-maker Christian Eriksen ruled out of this fixture because they were suffering from flu. Other players were affected and although manager Mauricio Pochettino later refused to say who, and stated it had not affected the performance, they were collectively below-par in a rain-sodden “battle” of an encounter. Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Kane, though, had the chance late on to claim his 100th league goal, and the headlines once again, but dragged his low shot across goal and wide from a tight angle. A defeat would have been extremely tough on Southampton who had chances of their own and moments before Kane’s effort there was an even clearer opportunity for 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi, who had come on to make his debut, but who miscued badly in front of goal after meeting a Dusan Tadic cross. That again highlighted Southampton’s weakness up front and Pellegrino is desperately hoping that reinforcements will soon arrive, using the money brought in by the £75million sale of Virgil Van Dijk, and moves are being made for the £50million pair of Monaco’s Guido Carrillo and Spartak Moscow Quincy Promes. But the club’s hierarchy will also know that they have lost nine points now from leading positions at home - and that is more than any other other Premier League team. Damningly it is 11 league games without a win. Kane's equaliser was his 99th Premier League goal Credit: GETTY IMAGES Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic’s measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting – only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm. It provoked a furious response. Dier drove a low shot against the outside of the post, after the ball broke to him from a corner with Bertrand denying Dele Alli as he attempted to turn, and then from another Ben Davies corner Kane simply brushed aside his marker, Jack Stephens, rose above Manolo Gabbiadini, and thumped a header emphatically into the net. The lead has lasted just 197 seconds. It remained remarkably open. Both teams felt they had to win, for their contrasting reasons, and Spurs almost claimed the lead when Davies drove the ball powerfully across the area and Moussa Sissoko side-footed a volley from inside the six-yard area that just flew wide. Southampton also went close when Stephens met a superb, in-swinging free-kick by James Ward-Prowse – and few English players deliver a more threatening set-piece - but the defender could not keep his header down with the ball skimming narrowly over the bar. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal More chances came although eventually the stickiness of the pitch, the bone-jarring effort, slowed the game down while Spurs sorely lacked the clever guile of Eriksen to unpick their opponents. Nevertheless Alli and Kane went close and then Sissoko fought for possession, squaring to substitute Erik Lamela who poked a close-range shot that seemed destined to find the net but for Stephens’ lunge to deflect it wide. Could Southampton capitalise? The crowd roared them on – there were certainly no signs of dissent towards Pellegrino – and Sanchez did well to block a shot from Sofiane Boufal as he ran onto the area before another replacement, Obafemi, signed from Leyton Orient’s academy, had his chance. But they could not find the breakthrough as the ball skimmed off his boot. And neither, despite five minutes of added time, could Spurs who had come into this match having collected 13 points from a possible 15 including a 5-2 demolition of Southampton on Boxing Day. But they were out-of-sorts. 6:21PM Pellegrino post-match "I think the team responded really well, we cannot transform this performance in goals and goals is more points but obviously this is the attitude we need to show in the next game. Every single game for us is massive. "We knew even the second half when they play with the diamond, they were always dangerous but I think we had the space in wide areas and in this moment we have had a couple of chances especially on the right. They are an amazing team with top players and they don't need too many action to create problems." 6:12PM Pochettino says the result was fair "It was an even game, a difficult game, the pitch wasn't in the best condition which didn't help but for both teams to play in a good way. Tough game, lots of battles, fighting. "I don't believe because we struggle a little bit to play. In possession we missed a link to play together, we made a lot of mistakes in possession and allowed them to play a little bit more. I think to win the game, we should do better and play better and our performance wasn't great. "I think we tried to receive in our offensive phase and link better Kane and Son with Dele in behind. It allowed us to be more aggressive in transition and use more our fullbacks going forward. I think we create but the result was fair. "The top four is not easy. We still have the possibility to fight. The fight to survive every ball you can feel they are aggressive, our performance wasn't great, if it was at the level we are normally used to do, our performance wasn't the best. "That is a rumour, I don't want to speak about rumour. I am happy with the players I've got. You know well it's very difficult this transfer window to add a player". 6:08PM Man of the Match James Ward-Prowse wins Sky Sports' prize and I'd tend to agree with that. Jan Vertonghen was excellent for Spurs too. Dele Alli just doesn't look himself at the moment, as though he's getting frustrated with himself for his own failings and then rushing his play to make up for it. Second season syndrome, except this is third season syndrome. Without alliteration it's not as dramatic sounding. 5:55PM The stats that matter The most important is the score, obviously, but Spurs will look at this and think they should have done much better. Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal 5:53PM FULL TIME A fair result in a really scrappy game. 5:52PM 90 mins +4 End to end now. Southampton attack, run out of ideas, Spurs attack and run out of ideas. 5:50PM 90 mins +3 Wanyama tries to be a hero and shoots from 25 yards. It's absolutely dreadful. An X-Factor Christmas number one of a shot. 5:50PM 90 mins +2 Spurs are trying to stay patient as they work the defence. Davies tries a cross from wide left but hits the defending Ward-Prowse. Southampton are in their deep defensive shape, waiting to absorb these attacks and try to break. 5:48PM 90 mins Now Spurs pile on the pressure. Alli goes down in the area off the ball but is up again after an accidental tangle with Stephens. Trippier swings a corner to the back post, it's headed into the six yard box and cleared. Spurs keep the ball, work it quickly in tight areas all the way to Kane on the left! This is it! KANE SHOOTS... wide of the far post on his left foot. So close! 5:46PM 89 mins Southampton keep finding space down the Spurs left! Tadic is in again and he cuts back to Boufal... who should score! But he takes a touch before shooting and is blocked. What a waste! 5:44PM 87 mins Alli seems frustrated. He can't quite reach the ball after his first touch and he knocks Romeu to the floor while trying to get it, Southampton attack. Tadic is played in and controls beautifully on the half turn. He fires a cross into the area and the young lad! THE YOUNG LAD! Has shanked his shot wide. So close to a dream debut for Obafemi. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Michael Obafemi, 87 min) 5:42PM 84 mins The game is really scrappy. Nobody can make a forward pass without it cannoning back off a body in the way. Spurs attack and manage to get in behind the Southampton defence. Is this it? Kane finds Sissoko, whose pass is blocked, he tries again, and Lamela reacts at the near post... but puts it wide. Miss: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Erik Lamela, 84 min) Dembele is replaced by Wanyama, guaranteeing at least one more yellow card worthy challenge in Spurs' midfield. 5:39PM 82 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs Michael Obafemi comes on for Gabbiadini. He's a 17 year old youth academy graduate. He's going to score, isn't he? 5:38PM 81 mins Waaaaaaaaaaaay. Alli is played in behind the Southampton defence and he must be offside. He must be! And he is. Alli shoots anyway but puts the ball wide of the goal from about three yards, prompting cheers of approval from the home fans. 5:37PM 80 mins Lemina comes off for Steven Davis. 5:34PM 77 mins And here it comes! The ironic cheer as Mousa Dembele is booked. Southampton have a free-kick wide left, Ward-Prowse lines up the set piece and could actually bend this in to either corner if he fancied it. He goes for the cross and it's headed away. This game is getting so frustrating to watch now. It's foul after foul after foul as both teams try to stop the other from playing. A very physical match. 5:31PM 75 mins Dier goes on a 50 yard run across the pitch with the ball and finds Alli, who hits a lame cross to the Southampton defence. Spurs look good everywhere except the final third at the moment, they're really missing Christian Eriksen. 5:29PM 73 mins Aurier has sat down and might have an injury problem. Trippier comes on for him. That might give Spurs a burst of energy they need on the right for the final 20 minutes. 5:27PM 71 mins Spurs attack, find Davies on the left and his cross causes Southampton players to panic in attempts to clear. Kane shifts the ball onto his left foot to shoot but wins only a corner, and McCarthy catches that corner. Suddenly the ball drops for Dembele on the edge of the box! He shoots, mis-hits and Alli has it in the box. Can he score? No! He's closed down and spins, tries to find Kane... but the chance is gone. Lamela comes on for Son. 5:24PM 68 mins Gabbiadini tries a shot from outside the Spurs box but puts it too close to Vorm again. Erik Lamela is getting ready to come on for Spurs. 5:22PM 66 mins Alli comes to life about 30 yards out, taking the ball on the half turn, striding forward and then firing a shot across goal from near the D. Just wide. Out: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Dele Alli, 65 min) Hojberg comes off for Boufal. 5:20PM 63 mins The referee has to tell off Dier and Tadic for hustling and bustling in the penalty area from a corner. Davies swings it out from the left and Kane tries a volley on his left foot! He kicks the air and Southampton break... but then they lose the ball. Alli carries it into the final third and then he is tackled. And then Gabbiadini is sent through on goal and is offside! Soccer. 5:17PM 61 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 5:17PM 60 mins Dembele carries the ball and has runners left and right but doesn't quite have the pace to get away from his marker and loses possession. Davies links with Alli to get the ball in the box but the cross is cut out. Romeu is then booked for a sliding challenge on Alli. 5:14PM 57 mins Southampton are starting to open up the pitch with their passing and Spurs want to counter-attack quickly but keep giving the ball away. Sissoko is booked for a foul on Bertrand, arriving late to contest a 50/50. 5:12PM 55 mins I'm looking forward to the huge ironic cheer when Dembele is inevitably booked here. Lemina takes a sore one on the left wing and Sissoko puts the ball out straight away for him. It looks like he'll survive, which is good for everyone involved. Pellegrino talks to Stephens and then Hoedt separately how to adapt to Spurs' new shape. 5:10PM 53 mins Credit: REUTERS Gabbiadini goes down under a challenge from Vertonghen but doesn't complain, Southampton keep up the pressure until Spurs can play their way out from the back. Romeu is fouled by Dembele. It's a clear yellow card... I don't understand why he's not been booked yet. The Scott Brown of the Premier League. 5:06PM 50 mins Stephens is booked for a shirt pull on Kane, which is probably the right call. Ward-Prowse takes an early shot at goal when he might be away... Vorm saves. It's pretty end to end so far. Son is playing more through the middle in this half, quite close to Kane. 5:06PM 48 mins Spurs attack through the middle and straight away Son is nearly sent clean in on goal. The ball is moved back towards the goalkeeper and he isn't steady on his feet, having to get rid of the ball as soon as he can. Vertonghen then has to use pace and strength to make sure Southampton don't get in behind at the other end. Great defending. 5:02PM KICK-OFF 2 Spurs start the second half. 5:01PM Some half time stats Southampton vs Spurs shots on goal Southampton vs Spurs 4:46PM HALF TIME A fair result so far but Spurs still look like the better side here. Southampton have had their chances, Spurs seem capable of upping their level if they want to. 4:45PM 45 mins Kane takes down a cross from the left and has a half chance to shoot inside the area... but a defender's foot catches his and takes the ball. 4:42PM 42 mins Southampton have men over now! They're playing really well here and work a chance for Lemina, who places his shot just slightly too close to the goalkeeper. Attempt Saved: Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Mario Lemina, 41 min) Southampton's long passes from right to left look like they're causing Spurs a lot of bother. Aurier and Sanchez happen to be defending that side. 4:23PM 23 mins Tadic floats a chip to the back post when the shot is on and Spurs' giant centre-backs head it away for another corner. Ward-Prowse whips it in but Vorm punches away. 4:21PM 22 mins Possession: Southampton vs Spurs 4:21PM 21 mins Almost immediately after kick-off Alli bursts into the box and it looks like Kane is open for a tap in... but Alli is tackled for another corner. Southampton defend this one much better. Ward-Prowse delivers from the right but Vertonghen reacts best to the danger and puts it behind. The referee has to tell off Sanchez, Hoedt and Vorm as they shove each other. 4:19PM GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! Who else but Harry Kane? It's his 99th Premier League goal. Southampton 1 - 1 Spurs (Harry Kane, 18 min) Southampton haven't looked great at set pieces and Kane uses his strength to hold off and then jump higher than Southampton's defence from the corner. 4:18PM 18 mins Dier hits the post! Almost an instant reply from Spurs as a corner is headed down by Vertonghen and then drilled at goal by Dier. Spurs win another corner. 4:16PM GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL! An own goal from Davinson Sanchez! Southampton 1 - 0 Spurs (Davinson Sánchez, 15 min) Just as I'm typing that he's not quite on his game, he slides in to deal with a cross at the six yard box and ends up deflecting it into his own net. He's really unlucky but Southampton deserve their lead. 4:14PM 15 mins Sanchez isn't quite on his game yet. He's made a couple of mistakes off and on the ball and has just handed possession straight to Southampton here. They're on the attack. 4:13PM 13 mins Credit: AP 4:12PM 12 mins That should be 1-0. Lemina plays Kane onside, the centre-backs don't realise and Alli has the entire box to run into. The ball is crossed in and he can't get enough on his header. Corner. 4:11PM 11 mins Dier tries a long ball into the box for Alli, who very nearly takes it down on his knee with his back to goal. His touch is a little off and Southampton can take the ball forward. Ward-Prowse is played in down the right with a great pass over the top of a defender, and his delivery is brilliant! But nobody reads it. Tadic follows up on the other flank and drills a low ball into the six yard box... but Gabbiadini can't reach it. 4:09PM 9 mins Southampton are attacking but Spurs keep breaking up play before anything too dangerous happens. Ward-Prowse tries a wonderstrike from 25 yards but slices his effort miles wide. Spurs work their way forward, Alli sprints to space at the back post and Aurier swings a cross in, but doesn't get enough lift and it's put behind for a corner. 4:05PM 6 mins Another chance for Southampton. Hojberg wins the ball from Son, hits a long pass out left and Tadic is there. He slides a pass across the area... and Gabbiadini doesn't seem to commit to the shot, and rather than sliding in, swings a boot at thin air. 4:03PM 3 mins Great run by Sissoko as he sprints from deep into the box and Aurier finds him with a smart pass round the corner of the full-back. Southampton win the ball back. 4:01PM 1 mins The Saints get the ball forward quickly, Gabbiadini turns Sanchez and shoots from 20 yards but Vorm saves. Attacking start! 4:00PM KICK-OFF Southampton get the game started! 3:56PM Here come the players They're out on the pitch in the rain. It's cold. It's wet. AND IT'S LIVE! Credit: REUTERS 3:46PM Pochettino on Southampton "They stay at home in London and try to recover. I think yes, 100 per cent they feel well, maybe some players have some problems the last few days but no excuse we are going to try to play our best, to play well and win because the victory is important. It will be tough for both teams. "It's always special after five years it was today or yesterday we made our debut here against Everton, it will always be in my heart a special place for me and my family." 3:38PM Southampton want to buy two players And with £50million to spend on both, you'd think they'll be good. But who are these mysterious men? Jeremy Wilson has all the information here. 3:21PM Ben Davies says Denmark is why he's good at football Want to know more? You should read this and find out. 3:11PM It is not a nice day Credit: GETTY IMAGES The good thing is that since this isn't the 90s, the pitch will still be entirely playable and probably a bit quicker than normal. That will suit Spurs' passing game and might also mean that defenders are granted super power slide tackles and can glide along the floor for miles to win the ball back. 3:06PM No Lloris or Eriksen Both Huge and Christian, as they like to be called, are ill and miss out today. A big chance for the reserves to impress! If you can call them reserves, that is. 3:01PM Hello! Good afternoon and welcome to our liveblog for Southampton vs Spurs, where Mauricio Pochettino pays a visit to the stadium where first he made his name known in the Premier League. The Saints are doing absolutely fine at the moment which makes sense but isn't great news for their current manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, since Southampton seem to believe that even though they keep selling their best players, they should be progressing on the pitch. Spurs are in their traditional mid-season run of good form and Harry Kane is banging in goals all over the place. With Marco Silva suddenly available, it's not insane to suggest that Pellegrino might actually need his team to give an impressive performance - if not get a result - for him to keep his job. The Premier League is getting silly. Enough speculation. Who's actually playing today? Southampton Team news is in! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #THFC at St Mary's in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/CezUnwCJ6p— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 21, 2018 Spurs #THFC: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane (C). #COYSpic.twitter.com/FAJwpW5fp4— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 21, 2018
FILE PHOTO: Football - Leyton Orient v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet Football League One - The Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road - 12/10/13 Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham. Action Images via Reuters/Steven Paston/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham
FILE PHOTO: Football - Leyton Orient v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet Football League One - The Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road - 12/10/13 Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham. Action Images via Reuters/Steven Paston/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Football - Leyton Orient v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet Football League One - The Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road - 12/10/13 Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham Action Images via Reuters/Steven Paston/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham
FILE PHOTO: Football - Leyton Orient v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet Football League One - The Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road - 12/10/13 Ex player Cyrille Regis at a tribute to former Orient player and team mate Laurie Cunningham Action Images via Reuters/Steven Paston/File Photo
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Justin Edinburgh: Leyton Orient are the only club I would've dropped out of Football League for
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Leyton Orient icon Laurie Cunningham honoured with statue
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks
Sevilla staged a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday, after learning that their coach had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to reports, Eduardo Berizzo gave his players the shattering news in the dressing room at half-time before they launched a dramatic revival. Sevilla celebrated their 93rd minute equaliser by running to the touchline and embracing Berizzo, and their second-half showing suggested they were determined to express their solidarity with him. Here are some of football's most inspiring and unusual half-time team talks. Silence is golden - Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger rarely resorts to throwing tea cups around the Arsenal dressing room, believing that displays of anger lose their effect if used on the players too often. One occasion where the Zen-like ambience he strives for worked wonders was at half-time of a league game against Liverpool on Good Friday, 2004. 'The Invincibles' were on their way to an unbeaten league title, but had just lost an FA Cup semi-final to Man Utd and had their hearts broken in Europe by Wayne Bridge and Chelsea. Arsene Wenger had Martin Keown to thank for one half-time intervention Credit: Russel Cheyne At 2-1 down against Liverpool, some wondered if Arsenal were going to collapse as they had done the previous season. As revealed in Amy Lawrence's book Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-4 Season, Wenger decided to take a back seat and say the square root of nothing. Martin Keown was the one to deliver a few home truths, and by the time Thierry Henry had left Jamie Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool defence on the seat of their pants, Arsenal's season was back on track with a 4-2 win. Going Public - Phil Brown With his suspiciously bronzed tan, former Hull manager Phil Brown clearly knew the importance of keeping up appearances. When his team found themselves 4-0 down at Manchester City in 2008, he decided to make a show of them by delivering his half-time rollocking on the pitch. A group of well-paid athletes sat on the turf like a school team gathered round a stern games teacher, as Brown wagged his finger at them with a volley of Anglo-Saxon. It stemmed the rtide slightly, as Hull went down 5-1. The stunt was cemented in folklore the following season, when Jimmy Bullard and his Hull teammates recreated the team-talk as part of a celebration in the same fixture. Brown said: “I was told it meant I had lost the dressing room and that I had exposed the club to ridicule. But the bigger picture was that we had won at the Emirates, we had won at White Hart Lane, we had won at St James’ Park and lost 4-3 at Old Trafford. People choose to forget that.” Who could forget it? Credit: PA Rub of the Green - Chelsea's Masseur Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Manchester City in 2014 was dubbed a 'Mourinho Monday Night Masterclass', a rather sycophantic expression since applied to several 0-0 draws. However, the then Chelsea manager conceded (perhaps in jest) after the game that masseur Billy McCulloch gave the team talk. Described by John Terry as the 'funniest man in the world', McCulloch roused Chelsea's players before a crucial top of the table meeting. Mourinho said: "He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand it. "I'm serious. Rrrrr! Rrrrr! Rrrrr! I didn't understand. But the players looked like they understood. It was fantastic." Of course, Mourinho has supplied every player with a 42-page dossier on their opposite number, but it McCulloch who made the difference. A Numbers Game - Rafael Benitez in Istanbul Benitez's half time alterations in the 2005 Champions League final were a critical intervention that inspired Liverpool's historic comeback. However, it was a case of bad process good outcome. Benitez wanted to take defender Djimi Traore off and replace him with defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann - Liverpool would switch to a 3-5-1-1 with Steven Gerrard pushed further forward. However, just as Traore was heading for the showers, Liverpool's physio told Benitez that Steve Finnan was injured. Trying to think on his feet, Benitez got himself in a bit of a muddle at the white board. "I had Hamann, Finnan was still on and I added Traore back," Benitez wrote in his autobiography. "Someone pointed out I was sending out 12 men. So I rubbed out both full backs. It left 10 men." It was Finnan who was taken off, Traore put his boots back on and the rest is history. The 100 greatest Champions League moments Bring Yer Dinner - John Sitton No collection of half-time team talks would be complete without it. Popularised by 1995 Channel 4 documentary Club For a Fiver, which detailed the plight of Leyton Orient through financial turmoil, Sitton's expletives turned him into a cult figure among fans - but ruined his fledgling career as a promising coach. A goal down to Sam Allardyce's Blackpool, Sitton sacked Terry Howard at half-time before offering two other players out for a fight. Exasperated by Howard's lack of professionalism (Sitton would later say he lived on takeaways and spent his wages at Walthamstow dog track), he delivered his fortnight's notice in the dressing room. It was his words to Barry Lakin and Mark Warren however, that would follow him until the present day: "And if you f****** come back at me, we’ll have a f****** right sort out in here. "And you can pair up if you like. And you can f****** pick someone else to help you, and you can bring your f****** dinner. Because, by the time I’m finished with you, you’ll f****** need it. Do you f****** hear what I’m saying or not?'" In his self-published memoir, A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing, black cab driver Sitton revealed he was inspired by a scene between Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in the film Colors.
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
Steve Davis sacked by Leyton Orient after just one win from 12 games
 7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons
7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
 7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons
7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
 7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
FA Cup first round draw: Hyde United (eighth tier) host MK Dons
7:28PM And that's the draw The excitement is over! No more balls will be drawn! Morecambe vs Hartlepool is pretty good, Doncaster will visit either East Thurrock or Ebsfleet. Hyde vs MK Dons is a brilliant tie for the minnows. I was really hoping for a Slough vs Swindon draw, purely for Office quotes. 7:25PM Eighth tier Hyde will play MK Dons! The crowd goes wild in the BBC studio as the draw is announced. That's the big club the players wanted. 7:24PM Lads, can we please have some music Or something. This draw is not one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on television. That Liverpool vs Man Utd game on Saturday was more entertaining. 7:21PM AFC Wimbledon vs Lincoln City AFC Wimbledon are one of the clubs to have benefited immensely from TV money brought by the FA Cup and they are drawn against Lincoln City. 7:19PM Some more fixtures for you Peterborough Utd v Tranmere Cambridge Utd v Sutton Utd Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town AFC Fylde v Kidderminster Harriers Luton v Portsmouth Shrewsbury v Aldershot Hereford v AFC Telford Utd Guiseley v Accrington Stanley Blackburn Rovers v Barnet 7:16PM No huge match ups so far Bradford City v Chesterfield Port Vale v Oxford Utd Newport County v Walsall Morecambe v Hartlepool Utd 7:14PM And it's set of balls number eight And Lancelot is the FA Cup draw machine for tonight. What a hilarious National Lottery joke. And the first fixture is Stevenage vs Nantwich or Kettering. IT'S ALL KICKING OFF NOW, CLIVE. 7:12PM Your Davids, your Goliaths Hyde, Heybridge Swifts and Ossett Town are the lowest ranked teams in the competition, with all three occupying the eighth tier of English football. 7:10PM David Sharpe The Wigan chairman, grandson of Dave Whelan, fancies Wigan's chances this season. And now it's time for the draw! 7:05PM Who do the small teams want to get in the draw? According to a couple of Hyde football staff (manager and player), the management want to play against a team they can probably beat whereas the players want to draw Blackburn or Charlton - one of the 'big' clubs. Hyde actually own the record for biggest defeat in the FA Cup. A 26-0 hiding (see what I did) by Preston North End. 7:00PM The live coverage begins! Here we go. The draw is being held at Hyde United's ground. Look how cool their sun was earlier: Red sun today. FA Cup draw at Hyde United. Is that an omen. #EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/LoZ27mZjKW— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) October 16, 2017 6:47PM The difference the FA Cup actually makes I wrote this in January about just how much an FA Cup run is worth to a small club. It turns out the answer is everything. The FA awards a prize of £1.8million to the winners of the competition, the kind of short-change a Champions League club might use as a sweetener for a promising youth prospect’s signing-on fee. For non-league side Curzon Ashton just qualifying for the second round of the competition will, and has, had an enormous impact. Image Landscape Portrait Square Original/Custom Edit Selected Crop... Caption: Description: curzon ashton Agency: GETTY IMAGES Artist: Edit... Delete “It means so much to us a club,” says their CEO Natalie Atkinson. “The FA Cup is enabling us, through prize money, funds gained and TV money to work with the FA and football foundations to replace our 3G pitch next to the stadium.” Curzon Ashton, currently 15th in the National League North, lost 4-3 to AFC Wimbledon in December, conceding four goals in the final 10 minutes of the game. The prize for qualifying for the second round was £27,000, in addition to £18,000 earned from the first round. Those sucker-punch goals prevented a windfall of £67,500 for making it to third round. However, thanks to the wonder of television money, the club received more for their defeat to Wimbledon than they would have if they’d won a non-televised second round match. There's more on the article, if you fancy clicking on it. 6:30PM The magic of the cup This most holy of trophies always produces magical moments and even if a guilty few/most don't pay attention to the competition until their team is involved, those matches between minnows of the lower leagues and giants of... in this case, League One, are always thoroughly enjoyable. Sutton are looking to make a lot more money from another (pie free) run at the cup this year, Accrington Stanley's involvement will be upping the YouTube view count on this milk advert, and today is the first time I have ever heard of Gainsborough Trinity. Perhaps they will become my new favourite non-league - maybe they'll be yours! It all depends who has to play who - and which of those games the people in charge at BBC decide to broadcast... 6:15PM Good evening! Hello there sports fans. Welcome to our live coverage of what is sure to be a riveting FA Cup first round draw. The action will kick-off at 7:10pm and we'll keep you up to date with the draw as it happens. For right now, that wait should give you time to look at all the nice photographs of that weird looking sun from earlier today. It was like being in Blade Runner. 6:09PM Preview What is it? It's the draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup: the oldest competition in world football. The first round sees the 48 teams from League One and League Two joined by 32 non-league sides. When is it? Monday October 16. What time is it? The draw itself will begin at 7:10pm on Monday evening. The first round of the FA Cup will take place on Saturday November 4 Credit: AP What TV channel is it on? The draw will be broadcast live on both BBC Two and BT Sport. Mark Chapman will present the BBC's coverage of the draw in half-hour long episode from 7pm, while BT Sport 3's show will also begin at 7pm. When will the matches take place? The first round will take place over the weekend of Friday November 3 to Monday 6 November 2017 Who's in the hat? Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup last season Credit: Getty Images Three teams from the eighth tier of English football are among the non-league teams in the hat for the first round. Hyde United, who play in the Northern Premier League, beat Scarborough Athletic on Sunday afternoon to book their place in the competition. Hampton and Richmond, who are coached by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler, failed in their bid to reach the FA Cup proper after losing to National League South rivals Truro City. Truro's 2-0 victory over their league rivals means they become the first Cornwal team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1969. Billericay Town, whose current players include Jamie O'Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant, will also take their place in the draw. FA Cup first round numbers 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2 AFC WIMBLEDON 3 BARNET 4 BLACKBURN ROVERS 5 BLACKPOOL 6 BRADFORD CITY 7 BRISTOL ROVERS 8 BURY 9 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 10 CARLISLE UNITED 11 CHARLTON ATHLETIC 12 CHELTENHAM TOWN 13 CHESTERFIELD 14 COLCHESTER UNITED 15 COVENTRY CITY 16 CRAWLEY TOWN 17 CREWE ALEXANDRA 18 DONCASTER ROVERS 19 EXETER CITY 20 FLEETWOOD TOWN 21 FOREST GREEN ROVERS 22 GILLINGHAM 23 GRIMSBY TOWN 24 LINCOLN CITY 25 LUTON TOWN 26 MANSFIELD TOWN 27 MILTON KEYNES DONS 28 MORECAMBE 29 NEWPORT COUNTY 30 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 31 NOTTS COUNTY 32 OLDHAM ATHLETIC 33 OXFORD UNITED 34 PETERBOROUGH UNITED 35 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 36 PORT VALE 37 PORTSMOUTH 38 ROCHDALE 39 ROTHERHAM UNITED 40 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 41 SHREWSBURY TOWN 42 SOUTHEND UNITED 43 STEVENAGE 44 SWINDON TOWN 45 WALSALL 46 WIGAN ATHLETIC 47 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 48 YEOVIL TOWN 49 TRANMERE ROVERS 50 SOLIHULL MOORS OR OSSETT TOWN 51 HARTLEPOOL UNITED 52 SHAW LANE ASSOCIATION 53 CHORLEY OR BOSTON UNITED 54 AFC TELFORD UNITED 55 GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 56 NANTWICH TOWN OR KETTERING TOWN 57 GATESHEAD 58 GUISELEY 59 AFC FYLDE 60 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS 61 HYDE UNITED 62 MACCLESFIELD TOWN 63 BRACKLEY TOWN OR BILLERICAY TOWN 64 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE OR LEYTON ORIENT 65 HEREFORD 66 ALDERSHOT TOWN 67 BATH CITY OR CHELMSFORD CITY 68 OXFORD CITY 69 MAIDENHEAD UNITED 70 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 71 WOKING OR CONCORD RANGERS 72 TRURO CITY 73 DOVER ATHLETIC OR BROMLEY 74 SLOUGH TOWN 75 DARTFORD 76 BOREHAM WOOD 77 MAIDSTONE UNITED OR ENFIELD TOWN 78 LEATHERHEAD 79 SUTTON UNITED 80 EAST THURROCK UNITED OR EBBSFLEET UNITED
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
Kevin Nolan: 'I don't have a divine right to manage in the Premier League - Notts County is my apprenticeship'
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
Kevin Nolan: 'I don't have a divine right to manage in the Premier League - Notts County is my apprenticeship'
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
Kevin Nolan: 'I don't have a divine right to manage in the Premier League - Notts County is my apprenticeship'
There are microwaves that have lasted longer than managers at Meadow Lane of late. Kevin Nolan is the 19th to have passed through the gates here at venerable Notts County, the oldest club in the world still competing at a professional level, in the last 18 years. But he still hopes, as he positions his League Two manager of the month award on his office mantelpiece, to become part of the furniture. It helps, perhaps, that Alan Hardy, Nolan’s chairman and a figure with whom he enjoys a palpable rapport, made his fortune in the interiors trade. Once, it would have taken a brave soul to accept Notts County’s call. Former owner Ray Trew developed a reputation for being more trigger-happy than Errol Flynn on sheriff’s duty in Dodge City. Martin Allen lasted all of 10 months in the dug-out, Paul Ince six months, and Jamie Fullarton a mere 69 days. Throw in an earlier ill-starred spell by Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football, a post he abdicated the moment Trew took over, and Sol Campbell’s bizarre one-game cameo, and the picture was a tempestuous one. Nolan’s quest, with Hardy’s fulsome backing, is to steer the club into calmer waters. Ever since his players rebounded from 10 consecutive defeats last season to avert relegation, the decline has turned around, with a recent sequence of seven victories propelling them to the top of the table. Emblematic of the change is Nolan, who at 35 already seems to this manor born. Where his predecessor, John Sheridan, was sacked in January for gross misconduct, after allegedly blaming a referee for his children not receiving Christmas presents, Nolan is trying to build an image as a paragon of virtue: loyal, conscientious, meticulous. “I love being in control of a club,” he says. “I’m trying to give this one the right attitude, built on trust and respect.” Nolan picked up September's League Two manager of the month award Credit: John Robertson A captain at Bolton Wanderer when he was just 23, Nolan has long been identified as a natural leader of men. Sam Allardyce, whom he followed from Bolton to Newcastle and later to West Ham, described him as a classic general, adept at “weeding out the troublemakers”. But the transition to management has hardly been seamless. At benighted Leyton Orient, he found himself at the mercy of petty meddling by former owner Francesco Becchetti, only to be fired after 15 games. “Sacked for winning almost half your matches? That’s more egg on the face for him than me,” Nolan says. “I didn’t want an owner instructing me on what team I had to pick. When someone’s telling me, ‘That player should be playing in this way’, I’ve got no time for it. The first thing Alan did here was to explain that he would always have an opinion, but that he would only ever look to help me. That was a breath of fresh air.” The move was also heavy with emotion. Three days after he took charge of his first game, Nolan’s grandfather, a crucial influence in his upbringing after attending almost all his games, passed away. When he next walked out at Meadow Lane, the sense of loss threatened to overwhelm him, but stoicism prevailed. “I’m not a religious person, but I felt that he was with me that day,” he says. “I hope that he keeps me striving to be better.” Nolan hardly wants for popularity in his latest post. Revived left-back Carl Dickinson has paid tribute to the vibrancy of his man-management and the clarity of his team talks, while a Bolton fan appeared in his latest press conference just to shake his hand. His stock has seldom been so high. After two red cards at West Ham, he endured some fearful abuse, not least from owner David Sullivan’s son, who foolishly wrote on Twitter: “How the f--- Nolan is playing about League Two amazes me. Gives us all hope.” Nolan, famed for his resilience, acknowledges that a few barbs cut deep. “Some of the abuse does hurt. I’m human, not a robot, but I always want to prove people wrong. At such moments, you turn to your family, to those you believe in you.” Nolan was long ago identified as a natural leader of men Credit: ap In just his second year, Nolan is ahead of most managerial curves, but youth is increasingly in vogue in this division. Harry Kewell at Crawley is 39, Stevenage’s Darren Sarll is 34, while Barnet’s Rossi Eames, a retired gymnast, is another whippersnapper at 32. In Nolan’s view, there could be no finer proving ground. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom, to build yourself up again. Yes, I played in the Premier League for many years, but that doesn’t give me a divine right to manage there. I have to earn that right, and this is my apprenticeship.” That said, Nolan does have a gentleman’s agreement with Hardy that he will be allowed to leave if a more powerful club comes calling – which, given Notts County’s rate of resurgence, appears increasingly likely. “It’s a magnificent gesture on Alan’s behalf, but for me it means nothing,” he says, diplomatically. “With the passion he has shown, it would be ridiculous if I couldn’t show the same work ethic.” One senses the workaholic lifestyle agrees with Nolan, who abhors any state of limbo. “As a player, before I had children, I can remember going home some days at 2pm, putting DVDs on, falling asleep, having my tea, going back to sea, watching another film. Before I knew it, it was morning. “Now, I never switch off. Until recently, my assistant, Richard Thomas, was living in my apartment, and we would be talking about football until one every morning. We’re still on the same WhatsApp group, texting each other all night about tactics. But I love every minute – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love the fact that I don’t stop thinking about football. I don’t want that Saturday afternoon buzz to be taken away again.”
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
If Martin Ling had been given a pound every time someone asked him if it was wise, given his medical history, to go back to work at Leyton Orient, he would be close to paying off the club’s debt. Here was Ling, who had been obliged to leave his last two jobs in management after crippling bouts of depression, taking up the role of director of football at a club who have latterly redefined the term dysfunctional, a club mired in debt, decline and dispute. You can understand the surprise at his accepting the role: he was taking on a job that appears guaranteed to induce stress. “Actually, I’m loving it,” he smiles, as he sits in his office in the Brisbane Road stadium. “I was worried my illness might scare people off. I knew another manager’s job was very unlikely. So this really does feel like a second chance. And I’m buzzing off it.” Ling resigned as manager of Swindon Town in 2015 after only 52 days. He left because, despite winning his first few games, he could feel the advancing tide of the depression which had overwhelmed him when he was in charge at Torquay two years previously. It was an episode which left him shattered, hospitalised and undergoing electro-convulsive treatment, an experience from which he took a long time to recover. “I don’t know if it was football that caused it,” he explains. “I can’t prove it was, but I can’t prove it wasn’t. I still take tablets, I still have counselling, I have to live with the fact I have depression. When it hits you, you think you’ve got it for life. But then, as suddenly as it arrives, it goes. And the fact is I feel brilliant today. I’ve felt brilliant for an awful lot of days in recent times.” Martin Ling Credit: Paul Grover What Ling did not want to do after he emerged from his darkness was hide away. An open, engaging, quick-witted presence, he has spent much of the past couple of years giving talks about the condition, he is always willing to have a coffee with someone who is suffering, always keen to widen general understanding of what it entails. And through it all he retained a keenness to get back to work in football, to tap into the experience he has gleaned over the years. So, when he got a call this summer to return to the club where he played and then managed with some success for six years, he did not hesitate. “If I could have picked a job that best suited my skills, this is it,” he says. “I don’t believe football management gave me depression, I think I would have got it in any walk of life. But I do believe football management is an all-encompassing, mind-never-sits-still, always-in-your-head type of job and I didn’t want to test it again. Looking back, what I enjoyed was the managing element of being a football manager more than the coaching bit. I like managing people. And in this role I’m managing more people.” It is a job, he quickly discovered, that entails a lot of managing. Orient had been driven to the very brink of insolvency under the previous ownership of Francesco Becchetti. In his three years in charge, the Italian oversaw the club sinking from the League One play-off final to losing their league status for the first time in 112 years. In the process, he employed 10 managers, failed to pay staff for months on end and drove the supporters to despair. When Becchetti moved on in June, his legacy was an operation stripped of cash, purpose and morale. “It was a massive car crash,” is Ling’s way of putting it. “And there’s still wreckage we’re coming across on a daily basis, in terms of trying to restore our credit rating, in terms of debts. The place was shot.” Ling managed Orient when they were promoted to League One in 2006 Credit: Paul Grover To the rescue had come Nigel Travis, the chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts and a lifelong Orient fan, who, after tortuous negotiation with Becchetti, bought the club with his business partner, Kent Teague. Travis is full of enthusiasm and ideas for the club, how he is going to market them as an alternative to the corporate Premier League, how he is going to communicate with fans digitally, how he will develop a presence in the United States, where he lives and works. But before all that, the new owner required someone he could trust to run the operation and install the kind of stability destroyed by Becchetti’s chaotic regime. The first person Travis thought of was the man whose picture adorns the back of the south stand at Brisbane Road, taken in celebration of the time he guided Orient to League One in 2006. “Martin has all the qualities we needed,” the new owner says, speaking on the phone from Texas. “I believe business is all about people, and Martin captures that. He is brilliant with people.” He needs to be. What Ling discovered when he arrived at the stadium was a ghostly shell of a club. “When I walked into this office on June 23, I had three staff members and nine players, the oldest one was 19. Everyone else had gone through the door,” he recalls. “We had no scouting network. We had no physio. Which meant we couldn’t train.” Plus, he had no first-team manager. He recruited Steve Davis, the former Crewe manager, to whom he gave a fundamental reassurance. “I know what it’s like to sit in Steve’s seat,” he says. “I know I’d have hated to have a director of football who was just sitting waiting to take my job, looking for something to go wrong. He knows I’m not interested in being manager, for very personal reasons.” Together, the pair recruited a squad, selling the new owners’ ambitions to them. Initially, there was, according to Ling, “a massive euphoria” among fans that the club were finally out of the hands of Becchetti; more season tickets were sold than in any time in 16 years. But the director of football knew it would take time for a team so hurriedly assembled to gel. He knew that supporters might have to experience a few defeats along the way, as they did against AFC Fylde at home last weekend and away to Tranmere Rovers last night. “Some of our supporters think, because they’ve not heard of these teams, we’re going to railroad them. But simply being Leyton Orient wins you nothing. “Opposing teams come to this lovely stadium and it’s like a cup final for them. It’s something we’ve got to get used to. This is a tough league to get out of. There were a few boos on Saturday. The best young players in world football “I don’t mind fans grumbling, they wouldn’t be football fans if they didn’t grumble. But one thing we’re not going to do is panic.” And, though he has no timetable for achieving it, though it might take longer than some supporters assume, Ling believes everything is now in place to bring back the kind of success he once delivered here. “People used to say about me when they heard I was ill, what have you got to be depressed about? I learned it doesn’t work like that. It’s a weird illness, I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know where it goes,” he says. “But what I do know is, there is nowhere else I’d rather be than sat here now.”
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Martin Ling exclusive: I was worried my depression might scare people off so Leyton Orient really feels like a second chance
Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis 'sleeping at the office' as he moves into Brisbane Road
Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis 'sleeping at the office' as he moves into Brisbane Road
Leyton Orient boss Steve Davis 'sleeping at the office' as he moves into Brisbane Road
Ex-Newcastle man Steven Taylor has shed light on the stressful period that followed the club's relegation in 2009. After the heartbreak brought about by the drop to the Championship, Newcastle were treated to a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Leyton Orient in a pre-season friendly, leading to manager Chris Hughton and Kevin Nolan calling a meeting. Steven Taylor was once in a Newcastle team meeting when players put their HANDS UP to say they wanted to leave club: https://t.co/pEyS9rKTji...
Steven Taylor Reveals Strange Newcastle Team Meeting That Followed Magpies' 2009 Relegation
Ex-Newcastle man Steven Taylor has shed light on the stressful period that followed the club's relegation in 2009. After the heartbreak brought about by the drop to the Championship, Newcastle were treated to a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Leyton Orient in a pre-season friendly, leading to manager Chris Hughton and Kevin Nolan calling a meeting. Steven Taylor was once in a Newcastle team meeting when players put their HANDS UP to say they wanted to leave club: https://t.co/pEyS9rKTji...

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes