NOVEMBER 7 2008 13:18h
The difference was huge between the teams in the match between Dinamo and Tottenham last night. But some players stood out.
London’s Tottenham outplayed Croatia’s champion Dinamo in every segment of the match last night and displayed the class difference. Here are the assessments of the players and coaches after the match.
Heurelho Gomes 6 – He did not have much to do. He only intervened once as Balaban shot towards the goal, so there is not much material here for a better assessment of the Brazilian goalie.
Alan Hutton 6.5 – He outplayed Sammir and often pushed the ball forward. The only criticism is that he did not handle Balaban’s experience to well, so he lost direct duels with him.
Jonathan Woodgate 7 –The Spurs’ chief defence player, very experienced, did not allow for any surprises. Balaban kept running away from him, as did Mandzukic who did not know what to do.
Michael Dawson 6 – He made a foul over Mikic and gave a great opportunity to Dinamo. But with the three top players in the defence line, the harmless Dinamo did not have a lot to do.
Gareth Bale 7 – Tottenham’s left flank player was the busiest because he had to deal with the constantly running Mikic and Balaban. He did his job professionally and without fault.
David Bentley 7 – Dinamo’s defence did not have an easy task because Bentley seemed to be everywhere and opening up chances for the excellent Bent and Zokora. He did not have luck to be a scorer and he displayed his youthful inexperience and hastiness.
Didier Zokora 7 – He took part in the first goal, he exerted constant pressure on Dinamo’s defence players, kept Bent busy, created space and collected players, which was evident.
Tom Huddlestone 7.5 – He is a very dangerous player. He has a strong and precise kick, he passes the ball excellently and had a firm and clever game. He is also a forward. There is no coach who would not love to have him.
Aaron Lennon 7.5 – He ran along the left flank like on batteries, almost unstoppable. The ease with which he moved on the field was fascinating, as is his good control of the ball. He could use a stronger kick, but he makes up for it with smart solutions in advancing and is an excellent centre shot, which he displayed while assisting Huddlestone.
Luka Modric 7.5 – No action could start without him. He assisted with three goals, threatened Croatia’s goalie Kelava, kept all the forwards busy, went back and pressurised Dinamo’s midfielders. He showed what he was capable of when he is put up front. Ramos could not realise that. He got a point less because he did not score a goal.
Darren Bent 9 – The man who cold-bloodedly used all the opportunities he could get. Strong, fast with a precise and powerful kick. He is a killer attacker and his playing reminds of Andy Cole in his best days.
Frasier Campbell (replaced Modric) – He did not play enough to get a score.
John Bostock (replaced Bentley) - He did not play enough to get a score, but he threatened Kelava once and showed potential.
Cris Gunter (substituted Woodgate) - He did not play enough to get a score but then again, he did not have much to do in the defence.
Coach Harry Redknapp 7 – He did not need to be very wise to achieve victory at this match, but it needs to be said that he formed the team excellently. They played beautifully and fast with Modric being the architect. He neutralised Manczukic and Dinamo’s slow midfielders. Only Mikic surprised him a bit.
Ivan Kelava 6.5 – The best player in the team, notwithstanding the defeat. He could do nothing to stop the goals, but he did do a lot to stop it from being worse.
Luis Ezeiquel Ibanez 6 – He tried, he ran, went forward. Along with Mikic, he was Dinamo’s best player, but he stopped after the 75th minute.
Mirko Hrgovic 5 – He may be Mamic’s good solution for a last midfielder, but that is not his natural position. He is very strong in the defence, but exceptionally weak in the offence. His firmness would have better been used in the last lines.
Dejan Lovren 5.5 – He will grow up to be an excellent player because he displays football intelligence. But he also displays youthful craziness and inexperience, which is s great handicap in games like these.
Bosko Balaban 6 – The only striker with more energy than ever. Along with Badelj, he was the only threat to Tottenham. Had he had a partner to assist him, he would have done more.
Sammir – Unfortunately, there is no score lesser than 5, so we cannot adequately show what this player did not show on the field. It was an appalling display and we’d better not even give him a score.
Mihael Mikic 6 – If it weren’t for him and Balaban on occasion, Tottenham’s defence and goalie Gomes could have set up a barbeque and watched the rest of the game on television. But although injured, Mikic was the engine of the team and showed how the heart can replace all shortcomings.
Mario Mandzukic 5 – What because of Ivankovic, what because of Redknapp, but Mario was invisible for most of the match. Evidently he was taught well. This was a message to the coach not to place a good striker in the defence. He is useless there.
Ivica Vrdoljak 5 – He had the difficult task of keeping with Modric and it is no big deal he did not perform the task very well. But recollecting at least one of his precise passes is very difficult.
Igor Biscan 5.5 – He was injured very early on and he played with a bandaged head, which is nevertheless not an excuse for badly setting up chances for three goals. He was let with the first, the second and the third. But he played fairly.
Dino Drpic 5.5 – he left the match at half-time due to an injury. His score might have been higher and the number of Tottenham’s goals could have been fewer had he stayed in the game. He possibly made a mistake with Tottenham’s second goal, but he cannot be criticised. He is the bastion of the defence.
Morales (replaced Sammir) 5 – he played just as well as the player he substituted.
Etto (replaced Drpic) 5.5 – he still has not achieved the wanted level, he was thrown off easily, but he did not force anything and he wanted simpler solutions. He calmed down Lennon.
Milan Badelj (replaced Balaban) – He did not managed to make a score, but if Ivankovic had the courage to make Sammir or Morales his subordinates, Dinamo would be much more dangerous.
Coach Branko Ivankovic 5.5 – He made a mistake by placing Hrgovic, Mandzukic and Badelj to unnatural positions for them. But he noticed that Sammir was powerless, as well as the need for a faster right flanker. Still, he did too little for the players’ mental strength and he dies not want to take chances with Badelj instead of the weak and too expensive Morales and Sammir.