MATCH PREVIEW - TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR - 26th NOVEMBER 2011.
Tony ´Bomber´ Brown pictured in 1967
With the three points safely in the ‘bag’ from the Bolton match last Saturday. Albion now face the prospect of another home clash, this time against the ‘millionaires’ from White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur. A match that Albion have traditionally fared well in. Indeed Spurs have not won at the Hawthorns since April 2003, Albion’s first season in the Premier League, when Tottenham won 3-2. Last seasons clash was drawn one each, and the two previous Hawthorns clashes went Albion’s way by the same score on each occasion, 2-0.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with the Albion ‘legend’ that is the ‘Bomber’ Tony Brown during the week, and he gave me his thoughts on next Saturday’s game. “Not an easy game.” I suggested to the former Albion goal-poacher.
“No it isn’t going to be easy against Tottenham. They are a very good side, and a top four side in the Premier-ship. Especially ‘under’ Harry Redknapp. He has done marvels there. He has got them in a top four spot, and has put together a top quality foot-balling side.” Tony reflected. “We have had some real tussles against them in the past. In previous years when I playe, they were always a top side. They were one of the teams that everyone looked for Albion to play against. As a player you did, you always wanted to play against the top sides and Tottenham were one of them. It always stands out for me, the Tottenham game, because it was against them that I scored one of my ‘hat-tricks’. It was on Boxing Day in 1966. We beat them 3-0, and for me it was the highlight of the season. They have always been a quality, classy side, and now, as I said, Harry Redknapp has got a lot of top world class players together, and they are a real force in the Premier-ship. To get any kind of result against them, you have to perform to the best of your ability. Make no mistake, it’s going to be a big test for Albion at home next week, but the result against Bolton on Saturday will be a real boost for the lads, especially after two defeats on the trot. They have bounced back, and I thought they played ever so well against Bolton. Especially in the second half, when I thought some of the passing and movement, was terrific against Bolton. If they take that second half performance into the Tottenham game, I think we can be a real match for them.”
Bomber continued. “Harry’s teams always go forward and play an open attacking game, but if you play that way, you’ve always got a chance of getting something at the back. I think they do give teams a chance defensively. We have home advantage, so it’s up to us to try and get the points. Get the crowd behind us again, like we did against Bolton. If we can get the three points against Spurs, then that will give us six points from the last two games. That will push us on for the rest of the season, and it will really be a big boost for the club, the players, the manager and the supporters.”
“Will Roy keep the same team for the Spurs clash?” I asked the former ‘Baggies legend’.
“I think he will look at the game and look at the opposition, because he has got Odemwingie and Scharner up his sleeve, if they are both fit. Paul Scharner, who I think was doing ever so well before he picked up that injury against Liverpool. Roy had previously left him out, but he brought him back, and Paul responded to it in a really positive way. Assuming he is fit, that gives Roy another option, plus Peter Odemwingie of course. For me, Peter hasn’t really ‘started’ this season. I thought he was tremendous last season, he got his goals, and his pace frightened teams to ‘death’. This season has been a bit ‘stop start’ for him hasn’t it. Mind you, he has had quite a few injuries. Even if Roy picks the same team, he can put both of them on the bench, and he has got those options to bring on during the game, which is a big bonus.” Bomber then reflected. “For me. I think, if you have just won an important game, and you have had a really good performance from your team against Bolton, as he did, then you would think he might just keep those lads together, as a bonus for them, because they played well and they deserve it. I know it doesn’t always work like that because if the manager has certain players that he thinks are better than the others, then obviously he is going to make changes.”
Bomber concluded. “We shall see, but as I said earlier, it’s going to be a tough one for the lads, but one I feel sure they will think they can get something from. Let’s hope they do. I’m looking forward to another cracking game, as the Bolton match was.”
“We certainly are Tony, and thank-you for you time”
Tony Brown/Laurie Rampling-November 2011.
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