Jol slams Sommeil for 'worst ever tackle'

January 4, 2006

Tottenham manager Martin Jol has accused David Sommeil of making 'one of the worst tackles ever' on Lee Young-Pyo during his side's 2-0 win over Manchester City at Eastlands.

Referee Alan Wiley missed Sommeil's snide studs-first challenge, which came immediately after Michael Brown had felled Joey Barton.

Lee was stretchered off with a knee injury which could rule him out for a fortnight and the Korean's description of the challenge met with total agreement from his manager.

'Lee said it was the worst tackle ever - and I believe him,' said Jol.

'It looked a bit horrific. I can understand why the referee missed it because he was focussed on the first tackle. My only problem is that Lee has bad bruising on his knee and will probably be out for a couple of weeks.'

It would be a major surprise if, after reviewing the incident on video, the Football Association did not decide to act, with the likelihood of a three-match ban for the Frenchman, who had replaced David Onuoha earlier in the second-half.

'I only saw it once in real time and didn't have a good view,' said City boss Stuart Pearce.

'But if it was a poor tackle I will have a chat with the player and tell him it is unacceptable.'

But the tackle could not overshadow another excellent win for Spurs, which took them six points clear of North London rivals Arsenal in the hunt for the prized fourth Champions League spot.

The visitors were just shading the contest when City captain Sylvain Distin inexplicably attempted to allow a routine Paul Stalteri pass to roll behind the dead ball line.

Aaron Lennon nipped in behind him, pulled a cross back to Mido and the burly Egyptian finished off to provide Spurs with the perfect leaving present ahead of his African Nations Cup commitments.

Distin exchanged words with keeper David James as the inquest began, although Pearce felt the fault lay solely with his captain.

'I don't see the goalkeeper's involvement in it,' he said.

'Sylvain had the situation comfortably under control and made an error of judgement.

'If you give away cheap goals like that in the Premiership you cannot win matches.'

Pearce's hopes for a positive response after the break quickly disappeared as Tottenham took control.

The only major surprise was that it took so long for the visitors to grab a second.

Mido was again heavily involved as he flicked Paul Robinson's long punt forward into the path of Keane, who took the ball down with an excellent first touch, then rasped it past James with his second.

In contrast to City, who picked up just a single point from a miserable festive period, Tottenham finished the Christmas campaign with a nine point haul, their only setback coming at West Brom on New Year's Eve.

Yet despite establishing a clear lead on Arsenal, Jol is unconvinced White Hart Lane will host Champions League action for the first time next term.

'You always believe but the reality for me is that Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool will finish in the top four,' said the Dutchman, who has transformed Spurs in his 15 months at the club.

'They are the ones with the strong squads and they are the ones who finish there year after year.

'If we keep doing the things we have been, we should be aiming for the top six. We are now 12 points in front of Newcastle and have a big lead over Manchester City, so in that sense we are doing pretty well.'

The problem for Jol is finding a replacement for Mido, who after a nomadic career has settled into Premiership life with ease and established himself as Spurs' first-choice striker.

Although Tottenham have the talent of Jermaine Defoe as back-up, his early season partnership with Keane was not convincing, although Jol is facing the immediate future with confidence.

'I know what I am going to do,' he smiled.