Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1

  • By: Martin Lipton, PA Sport Chief Soccer Writer
  • Last Updated: May 22 2012, 10:01 BST

No magic wand, and he is not Santa Claus - but at least Jurgen Klinsmann has

sprinkled a bit of bite and fight over Tottenham even if they are now in the

bottom two after today's derby draw with Arsenal.

Klinsmann's return has been hailed as all Spurs fans' Christmas and new year

wishes rolled into one, and the German showed he has lost none of his sheer

enthusiasm.

But the German captain knows he has rejoined a very different Tottenham team

from the one he left two-and-a-half years ago.

There's no Teddy Sheringham, no Nick Barmby, no Gica Popescu, and once again,

today at least, no Darren Anderton or Les Ferdinand either - in short, it's a

side which will have to battle and scrap for every single point.

They did that, though, in a north London derby that never hit the heights, and

it looked as if, even if the fairytale would not come to pass, they would get

the next best thing when Allan Nielsen crashed home from a Klinsmann flick just

before the half-hour.

Yet self-inflicted wounds have hounded Tottenham before and since Christian

Gross' arrival, and so it came to pass again as Ramon Vega's half-hearted block

sent Ray Parlour's strike beyond a stranded Ian Walker.

Not even the inspiration of Klinsmann's return could spark Spurs into a second

goal, and indeed Arsenal could justly feel the more disappointed to have

finished with just one point.

But with Dennis Bergkamp again peripheral, north London's championship

challenge now looks almost dead. Only the relegation dogfight will concern this

corner of the capital for the next five months.

The expectations on Klinsmann were immense, despite the German's intimations

of his own mortality yesterday, and his presence did inspire Tottenham to a

bright start.

Klinsmann himself, not surprisingly, was involved in much of what was good,

spinning expertly off Steve Bould before crossing deep for Steve Clemence to

float a header across goal.

But, while Spurs had effort, they had only one real front man, Ferdinand's

continued absence seeing David Ginola forming a Franco-German alliance.

Arsenal were without their main hitman as well, Ian Wright beginning his

latest ban, although Parlour might have put the Gunners ahead when he burst from

half-way in the seventh minute before firing a yard wide.

That, though, was the sum total of Arsenal's attacking intent for the first

half-hour, as Spurs called what few shots there were, even if they always seemed

to be defending on the margins.

A spectacular overhead scissors kick by Ginola went straight at David Seaman,

who also gathered easily from Nielsen, while Ginola's floated free-kick dropped

the wrong side of the bar.

Arsenal were not helped when Lee Dixon was forced to make way - victim of an

early ankle injury - for Gilles Grimandi, and the Frenchman had barely settled

in when Spurs went in front.

Ginola spread wide right and Ruel Fox - otherwise a huge let-down - poked past

Nigel Winterburn and flashed in to the near post.

Klinsmann, battling with Martin Keown, appeared to get the slightest of

touches, and when the ball dropped on the half-volley eight yards out Nielsen

drilled home.

The response was almost instant. Sol Campbell, ever a tower of defensive

strength, did just enough to block Marc Overmars, but then Bergkamp's clever

heel-flick found Emmanuel Petit.

For once, even Campbell was found wanting as Petit played in Nicolas Anelka,

and the young French striker's first-timer beat Ian Walker all ends up, only to

bounce back off the foot of the goalkeeper's right-hand post.

That made it two bits of quality after a dearth of such moments, and with

passions now raised on and off the pitch - even Klinsmann was involved in a

verbal skirmish with Keown - Arsenal began to force the pace.

But they could not force the equaliser, Anelka shooting weakly before Campbell

got the slightest of touches to deflect an Overmars right-footer wide of the

target.

Tottenham's problems all season have been after the interval, but today they

did start the second half brightly.

Klinsmann, whose effort never dimmed, nearly put Ginola in; Steve Clemence

forced a less than sure gather from Seaman, and Ginola broke from deep to fire

over the top.

Yet all the time it looked as if the Spurs back-line was more sieve than

bucket, and within a minute of Jose Domingues replacing Fox, Arsenal were on

terms.

Vega had originally cleared Petit's corner, but Spurs did not close down as

Winterburn fed Parlour.

When the midfielder let fly from 25 yards, Vega's attempt to block succeeded

only in sending Walker the wrong way as the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

It was wretched luck for the Swiss defender, although Spurs had been living on

their nerves for some time. Yet after their recent problems Gross would probably

have settled for one point.

Arsenal needed more, of course, Anelka volleying close after Vega had again

not got enough distance on his clearance, but once Bergkamp - still without a

Premiership goal since October 4 - went off 10 minutes from time, both sides

seemed happy to settle with what they had.

Klinsmann almost put Domingues away five minutes from time, Colin Calderwood

thumping a couple of feet over, but a draw was no more than they deserved.

It was not exactly the script the Spurs fans had written in their minds before

the start, but it was still better than it might have been.

Klinsmann will know this is just the start of a long road to salvation. Effort

is one thing, but effort alone might not be enough.

Teams

Tottenham: Walker, Calderwood, Fox (Domingues 60), Neilsen, Carr,

Ginola (Iversen 66), Vega, Wilson, Campbell, Clemence, Klinsmann.

Subs Not Used: Baardsen, Mabbutt, Scales.

Booked: Campbell, Wilson.

Goals: Neilsen 28.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon (Grimandi 27), Winterburn, Vieira, Bould,

Anelka (Rankin 86), Bergkamp (Hughes 79), Overmars, Keown,

Parlour, Petit.

Subs Not Used: Manninger, Upson.

Booked: Bould, Keown.

Goals: Parlour 62.

Att: 29,610

Ref: M A Riley (Leeds).