Tottenham Hotspur 3 Southend United 1: Lennon offers lift as Davids dispute casts shadow over Spurs' victory

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Nothing at Tottenham ever runs entirely smoothly. They could hardly have asked for a simpler passage to the fifth round of the FA Cup, but beneath the serene surface of victory over an acquiescent Southend, things were churning as frantically as ever.

As expected, Edgar Davids will join Ajax this week, with Martin Jol, the Tottenham manager, confirming that the Dutch midfielder's final weeks at the club have been disruptive as he expressed his frustration at being left out for the 19-year-old Tom Huddlestone. "I've had many arguments with him," Jol said. "He asks if he is playing and I tell him no. Edgar is a legend and Tom is only 19, so it is a difficult situation.

"Ajax have said they have an agreement with him, so the only thing is for us to agree a deal with Ajax. It will go through before the deadline."

Injuries continue to be a disruption. The centre-back Ledley King is probably the biggest worry as his bruised foot fails to respond to treatment and he will have a further scan today.

"The previous scan showed he had a bruised foot," Jol explained, "but there is still bruising and that is a bit strange because normally it would be over after two weeks. He trained last week and did everything and then came back to the medical room and said there was still pain. We can't push him, he can't push himself. If we push him, maybe it could break and then we get another problem."

Mido hobbled off late with a tweaked back, but should be fit for Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Arsenal. Tottenham certainly need him, with Dimitar Berbatov out for at least 10 days with a groin injury. It could be worse even than that, with Jol uttering the dread name "Müller-Wohlfahrt", the German specialist who seems to specialise in the protracted saving of players' careers.

Having sent a shudder around the room, though, Jol was quick to stress that the Bulgarian's injury is not serious. "Berbatov does not need an operation," he said. "He went to Germany when he had a problem before and he asked to go again and we said OK. He did not even pull a muscle because he came to the touchline and said he might have a minor problem so we took him off."

As for the game, the only problem was its one-sidedness. Southend had held Spurs for 115 minutes in the Carling Cup quarter-final, but here they never looked to have the brio or bristle to fashion an upset.

They mayhave counted themselves unfortunate to fall behind as Steven Hammell deflected a Robbie Keane shot past Darryl Flahavan, but from then it was only the keeper who kept the score down. Jermaine Jenas touched in an Aaron Lennon cross to make it 2-0 and, although Freddie Eastwood pulled one back from the penalty spot, Lennon capped a fine game by laying on a third for Mido.

Goals: Keane (12) 1-0; Jenas (50) 2-0; Eastwood pen (69) 2-1; Mido (76) 3-1.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Cerny; Stalteri, Rocha, Dawson, Lee Young Pyo; Ghaly (Malbranque, 73), Zokora, Jenas, Lennon; Keane (Defoe, 79), Mido (Huddlestone, 85). Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Gardner.

Southend United (4-4-2): Flahavan; Hunt, Barrett, Hammell, McCormack (Guttridge, 89); Gower (Hooper, 82), Maher, Clarke, Campbell-Ryce; Eastwood, Bradbury (Harrold, 67). Substitutes not used: Welch (gk), Sodje.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire)

Booked: Tottenham Ghaly, Keane; Southend Barrett.

Man of the match: Lennon.

Attendance: 33,406.

Comments