Monday, May 29, 2006

29th May - Spurs in History

Bill Nicholson was greatly disillusioned after Spurs' 1st Cup Final defeat in UEFA Cup

29th May, 1974

Feyenoord 2 Spurs 0 (Spurs Lost 2-4 on aggregate)


Spurs knew that they were facing a very difficult task as they were going into the game on level terms, having twice been pulled back after going ahead in the 1st Leg at White Hart Lane. The task became even more difficult as fans rioted before, during and after the game.

Feyenoord went ahead in the first half and during half-time when Bill Nicholson should have been trying to focus the team on the task on hand, he was having to appeal to the fans for calm.

In the second half, Feyenoord continued to be in control and scored a second to end Spurs' record of never having lost a major Cup Final.

The behaviour of the rioting fans brought discredit on the Club, the team and those who went to loyally support the players as they tried to win another European trophy.

Bill Nicholson was greatly disappointed and disillusioned and his resignation a few weeks into the new season could be linked to the events in Holland, bringing to an end his long association with Tottenham Hotspur.

Team: Jennings; Evans, Naylor; Pratt (Holder), England, Beal; McGrath, Perryman, Chivers, Peters (Captain), Coates.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

28th May - Spurs in History

28th May, 1952

Saskatchewan F.A. 1 Spurs 18 (Friendly)

Having finished second in the 1st Division, Totenham set off on a month long tour of ten games in North America. Most of the games would be against local opposition in Canada but there would be two games against Manchester United, one in New York, who had finished the season as champions of the Football League, four points ahead of Spurs.

In the first game, Spurs had defeated Toronto 7-0 but the second game of the tour threw up this record score.

Conflicting details of the scorers and half-time score exist but Spurs official handbook for 1952-53 states that as Spurs were 14-0 ahead at half-time, the teams exchanged goalkeepers and Ted Ditchburn’s display ensured that Spurs only scored four in the second half.

In other records, Sid McClellan is credited with scoring nine goals, Les Bennett (3), Len Duquemin (2), Dennis Uphill (2) and Chris Adams (2), although these don’t match the statistics and account given in the Handbook.

With the standard of the local opposition, it is not surprising that Spurs won the games against the Canadian teams, with ease but it is surprising but pleasing to note that they also defeated Manchester United with two big scores - 5-0 in Toronto and 7-1 in New York .


Saturday, May 27, 2006

27th May - Spurs in History

27th May, 1982

Spurs 1 Queens Park Rangers 0


This was Spurs 66th competitive game of the season and Captain Steve Perryman had been an ever present.

It was hoped that the replay would be more entertaining than the first game and Spurs started brightly, taking the lead from a Glenn Hoddle penalty after Graham Roberts had been brought down on a strong run from midfield.

Spurs controlled the game without looking like adding to the score but in the second half Q.P.R. came at Spurs who had to defend doggedly with Clemence making a number of good saves.

In the end Spurs were just relieved to hold on and have some reward for their long and exhausting season. They had finished 4th in the League, were defeated finalists in the League/Milk Cup and reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup.

They had retained the Cup and were still undefeated in seven F.A.Cup Finals.

Team: Clemence; Perryman (Capt), Miller, Price, Hughton; Hazard (Brooke), Roberts, Hoddle, Galvin; Archibald, Crooks.

27th May, 1967

Happy Birthday Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne was born in Gateshead, 39 years ago. Spurs signed him from Newcastle Unite in 1988 for £2 million. Under Terry Venables his talent flourished - he was england's star of the 1990 world Cup in Italy and the following year, despite injury worries, he was the inspiration who led Spurs to FA Cup Final. His goal in the semi-final win over Arsenal was unforgettable but his serious injury in the Final put his career undere threat.

The final appearance was his last game for Spurs as the club had agreed his transfer to Lazio in Italy as part of the package to relieve the club's financial problems. On his recovery from injury he went to Lazio for £5.5 million, still a record fee received by Spurs, even though it had been reduced fromthe original figure due to his injury.

Gazza also played for Glasgow Rangers but his personal problems were never far from the surface and sadly still contonue to haunt him today.

27th May, 1908

Spurs failed in their bid to be elected to the Football League. Having resigned from the Southern League, they were unexpectedly defeated in their move into League football. They were not prepared to request a place in the Southern League so at that time their prospects for the next season was uncertain.

It was to be a month later before anything would be resolved.


26th May - Spurs in History

26th May, 1962
Tel Aviv Select XI 1 Spurs 2 (Friendly)
The F.A.Cup winners went on a two game tour to Israel in the close season. With Maurice Norman, Jimmy Greaves and Cliff Jones unavailable due to World Cup duties, it was an otherwise full strength team that played in these games.
Spurs won this game through goals from Dave Mackay and Eddie Clayton while the final game four days later against Haifa Select XI was won by 5-0 with the goals being scored by Mackay, John White, Frank Saul, Les Allen and Clayton.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

25th May - Spurs in History

Sugar and Venables in happier times when they announced their take-over of Tottenham Hotspur in 1991

25th May, 1993

Sugar v Venables

The repercussions following the sacking off Terry Venables from his post of Chief Executive of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club rumbled on.

In a two hour court hearing aggreement was reached between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables which allowed both men to remain at White Hart Lane until until the outcome of their legal battle was known. This would fill newspapers for weeks to come.

25th May, 1994

Exactly one year later after much damage had been done to the club through the wrangling of Sugar and Venables in the courts, with Venables departing and Sugar remaining as Chairman, the club were still suffering from the consequences of relevations made in court.

Spurs were charged with making improper payments to players and while the outcome into the Football Association’s enquiry into the financial irregularities was not known the F.A. 'jumped the gun' by announcing the arrangements they intended to put in place should Spurs be found guilty and demoted to the 1st Division as punishment.

They announced on this day that Sheffield United who had finished 20th in the Premier League would take their place for the following season.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

24th May - Spurs in History

With the football season over, the memories recalled are of summer tours, friendly matches and summer signings, with the occasional acrimonious departure.

24th May, 1914

Stuttgart 1 Spurs 1 (Friendly)

During the close season Spurs played a series of games in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. They won seven of the nine games, drawing the others. Details of the tour are sketchy but it is recorded that in Germany the atmosphere was tense and there was general hostility towards Spurs by their German hosts.

With the outbreak of the First World War only two months away, almost anything was allowed when Spurs went on to the pitch. So bad was the situation that the Chairman, Charles Roberts, declared that ‘no Spurs team would ever again visit Germany while he was still alive.’ And they didn’t, only returning for a tour in 1950, seven years after his death.

It was reported in the Tottenham Weekly Herald of the time that Spurs had returned from Germany, having signed a six-foot tall German centre forward from Berlin called Fred Strechfuss. However, by the time the club Handbook was produced at the end of August, no reference was made of this new signing.


1984 UEFA Cup Final (2nd Leg) Video Highlights

Spurs' Heroes Parks and Roberts with UEFA Cup

Yesterday was the 22nd Anniversary of Spurs win in the UEFA Cup over Anderlecht at White Hart Lane. The match ended 1-1 after extra time with Captain, Graham Roberts scoring Spurs equalliser six minutes from the end of normal time. The overall score was 2-2 on aggregate, so the match went to penalties.

Watch the highlights and penalties on this link:

Courtesy of GGnet.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

23rd May - Spurs in History

Spurs' Heroes - goalkeeper, Tony Parks and Captain, Graham Roberts with the UEFA Cup
23rd May, 1984

Spurs 1 RSC Anderlect 1

UEFA CUP FINAL (2nd Leg) (aet) [Won 4-3 on penalties]

The 1st Leg in Belgium had ended 1-1, thanks to a Paul Miller goal and this match developed into a titanic struggle as Anderlect went ahead on the hour. Spurs were without Clemence and Hoddle injured and Perryman suspended after being booked in the first game. Their stand-in Captain, Graham Roberts, now became their inspiration and drove them forward in search of the equaliser. It came six minutes from time when from a corner, Ardiles hit the bar and the ball rebounded to Roberts who blasted it home.

Extra time was tense and then the penalty shoot-out brought forward an unexpected new hero, Tony Parks.

Roberts led by example and scored the first penalty, then Parks deputising for Clemence, saved the first penalty and after Danny Thomas had missed what would have been the winning score he saved the final shot before setting off on a jubilant stampede across the White Hart Lane pitch followed by his exultant team mates.

The other penalties were scored by Mark Falco, Gary Stevens and Steve Archibald.

Spurs had won their third European trophy for their departing manager, Keith Burkinshaw and the celebrations went on long into the night.

Team: Parks; Thomas, Roberts(Capt), Miller(Ardiles), Hughton;Hazard, Stevens, Mabbutt(Dick), Galvin; Archibald, Falco.


Monday, May 22, 2006

22nd May - Spurs in History

22nd May, 1982

Spurs 1 Queen’s Park Rangers 1

F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet).

In their Centenary year, it was now down to this game if Spurs were to have any reward for a long and exhausting season which at one point had looked so promising. Fourth in the League, they had reached the League Cup Final and ECWC semi-finals and now success depended on this one game against 2nd Division Q.P.R., managed by Terry Venables.

It wasn’t a great game, Spurs, without Ardiles and Villa, were lethargic with weariness taking over and the doggedness of QPR making it very difficult. Scoreless after ninety minutes, Spurs went ahead in extra-time with a shot from Glenn Hoddle (Pic: Glenn Hoddle put Spurs ahead) only for QPR to level and another replay was required.

Team: Clemence; Perryman (Capt), Miller, Price, Hughton: Hazard (Brooke), Roberts, Hoddle, Galvin: Archibald, Crooks.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review of Spurs' Season - 2005 - 06

Spurs’ Season – ‘They Think it’s all over – It is Now!’
(Extract from an Article on wlhatwhl column on

In recent years it has been possible to compile Tottenham Hotspur's end of season review in February or March with only a few final details required for completion. However, this year, for the first time in over a decade Spurs went into the final league game of the campaign with everything to play for and their destiny in their own hands. While it was the shortest ever season in terms of games played, it extended beyond the final Sunday as a consequence of the events surrounding last week’s match. Spurs were already assured of UEFA Cup football next season but the possibility of fourth, a Champions League place and finishing above Arsenal for the first time since 1995 were still there to be taken from that final game at West Ham.

While the result of that match and the failed appeal left supporters disappointed, annoyed and frustrated with feelings of injustice, the result of that final weekend must not cloud the fact that Spurs have had a very good season, having made massive progress and the club is standing on the threshold of something very exciting and is in a strong position to compete against the best in the country.

At the beginning of August every fan, if they are honest, would have grabbed fifth place with both hands if it had been offered to them. Martin Jol (Pic: Successful season for manager, Martin Jol) and the players have produced consistent results throughout the season, something Spurs have lacked for some considerable time. There has been a team spirit and application as all worked together to maintain Spurs’ highest Premiership finish.

There were disappointments along the way – the early Cup exits, late goals conceded which cost vital points and the late season injuries to King, Jenas and Mido which along with the mysterious virus/food poisoning stacked the odds against Spurs for their most important game in over fifteen years.

Last August, I speculated on issues where Spurs needed to show improvement during the season to give themselves a chance of success and to progress to a level that was more worthy of a club of the stature of Tottenham Hotspur. Surprisingly, many of those ‘Top 11 Essentials for Spurs’ Success’ were achieved and resulted in Spurs having their highest Premiership finish, 5th, winning more games than they lost, having a positive goal difference and accumulating 65 points, another record for them in the Premiership.

[The full article can be read in the wlhatwhl Column at www. ]


Very Positive Comments about Spurs

Extracts from an article in The Scotsman

Underdogs show G14 elite money can't buy heart

DESPITE failing to invite Chelsea to join their number, Europe's G14 group of elite clubs remains saturated with the smug arrogance of Harry Enfield's old "considerably richer than yow" character. While they continue to lobby UEFA in attempts to make their privileged status even more cosseted, it is encouraging that this season these clubs have shown signs of vulnerability, at least on the pitch. While the massive clubs continue to harvest the trophies, there have been signs in some of Europe's major leagues that they can be challenged.


In England, it is tempting to make West Ham United the heroes of the Premiership, having held their own in the league and provided the best FA Cup final in living memory, thanks to a devotion to open attacking football.

To be fair, though, the most-improved side was Martin Jol's Tottenham Hotspur, consistently bold and competitive. Tottenham's excellent season was overshadowed by events on the final day of the Premiership, when their chances of qualifying for the Champions League were flushed down the Marriott Hotel's toilets.

Notwithstanding Steve McClaren's latent talent for baffling selection policies, Spurs are presently the future of the English national team. Paul Robinson, Ledley King, Michael Carrick and Aaron Lennon (Pic: Lennon - a name for the future) are all likely to be first choices after the World Cup, while Tom Huddlestone is on track to be acclaimed as the new Bryan Robson by November at the latest.

Comment: it is interesting to note the two names missing from the list - Jermaine Defoe and Jermain Jenas.

Defoe has a crucial season ahead of him to try to re-establish himself in the England squad, having been omitted from the party for the World Cup. a new england manager may give him more opportunity but he will first have to re-capture his goal scoring form with Spurs and show that he is deserving of the chance. However, it will be difficult with England as Rooney and Owen are automatic first choice when fit.

The omission of Jenas is more surprising as he is in the World Cup squad and has had an improving season since his transfer from Newcastle United at the beginnng of the season. He has had an increasing influence on the Spurs team during the season, scoring some important goals, and had started to develop a good playing partnership in central midfield with Michael Carrick.

Jenas may get an opportunity in the World Cup Finals to show his worth but if Defoe doesn't get a late call in place of one of the 'injured' strikers, he may have to wait until next season and the question remains - will it be with Spurs? Rumours abound - Liverpool and Newcastle are mentioned as two clubs interested in signing him.

Personally, I don't want to see him leave Tottenham and especially not to any of our rivals. If he were to go, it should only be after a better replacement has been signed and has worn the shirt at the press conference. The lesson of Kanoute must be remembered from last season - Sold without a suitable replacement and during the season he would have been a very useful alternative and increased options for selection and when Mido was unavailable, he could have been very useful.


21st May - Spurs in History

21st May, 1974

Spurs 2 Feyenoord 2


Spurs had reached their third European Final, the first English club to achieve this, and were undefeated through the early rounds.

In a thrilling game, Spurs led twice but were pulled back by the soon to be crowned Dutch champions. Spurs started well and it was twenty minutes before Jennings touched the ball, from a back pass. They took the lead in the 39th minute, Mike England (Pic: Mike England - vital role in defence and attack for Spurs) scoring with a header from a Ray Evans’ free-kick. However, they held the lead for only four minutes, a free-kick being bent round their defensive wall.

Spurs regained the lead after an hour from another free-kick with England involved but a Dutch defender got the final touch. With nine minutes remaining, Phil Beal went off injured and three minutes later Feyenoord equalised to give them the upper hand going into the second leg.

Team: Jennings; Evans, Naylor; Pratt, England, Beal (Dillon); McGrath, Perryman, Chivers, Peters (Captain), Coates.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

20th May - Spurs in History

Dave Mackay with the FA Cup is carried around by Gilzean and Jennings

20th May, 1967

Spurs 2 Chelsea 1

F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley.

Spurs won the first all London Cup Final in a comfortable manner.

It was only in the last few minutes that Chelsea became the force that everyone had expected them to be. The Spurs defence marshalled the Chelsea forwards and Mullery and Mackay dominated the game although the ‘star’ was Joe Kinnear, at right back, who played as if he was a seasoned professional but had only come into the team because of an injury to Phil Beal earlier in the year.

Jimmy Robertson scored the first after Mullery’s shot had rebounded to him and Frank Saul added the second in the second half. Chelsea scored just before the end but the Cup was returning to White Hart Lane.

Spurs had five F.A. Cup wins from five Cup Final appearances.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Mullery, England, Mackay (Captain); Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables, Saul. Sub: Jones.


Friday, May 19, 2006

19th May - Spurs in History

19th May, 1957

Spurs 4 Glasgow Celtic 3 in New York (Friendly)

End of season tours were a feature of the 1950’s and Spurs had been to America for a series of exhibition matches five years earlier.

On this occasion, this was the only game to be played in America with the rest taking place in Canada. Celtic took an early two goal lead before Bobby Smith scored. Celtic again went two up, only for Smith to pull one back before half-time. In the second half, Smith completed his hat-trick and Micky Dulin scored the winner.

Spurs and Celtic were to meet on three more occasions in Canada, Spurs winning twice with Celtic winning the final game of the tour.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

18th May - Spurs in History

Gary Mabbutt with the FA Cup after Spurs win over Nottingham Forest

Spurs 2 Nottingham Forest 1

F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet).

Tottenham Hotspur had experienced a very difficult season with the very future of the club uncertain but it ended in glory with the club's 8th FA Cup win but at the expense of a serious injury to the star who had single-handedly brought the team to the Final.

Paul Gascoigne had been the talisman throughout the early rounds of the competition and inspired the team in the semi-final. However, he was so fired up for the Final that he appeared to be almost out of control and in fact lasted only 13 minutes when he was carried off injured.

Spurs were a goal down from the free-kick that had been awarded for his reckless challenge and he could have been sent off for an earlier indiscretion.

The rest of the team responded positively to these set backs and gradually pulled themselves back into the game. Lineker had a goal disallowed for off-side and then had a penalty saved after being pulled down.

Into the second half and Paul Stewart stepped forward and proved himself the hero by scoring the equaliser to take the game into extra time. From a corner, Des Walker deflected the ball into his own goal and Spurs had won their eighth F.A.Cup, a new record.

The future of the club was still in doubt and Gascoigne’s career never really reached the heights that had promised before his serious injury.

Team: Thorstvedt; Edinburgh, Van den Hauwe; Sedgley, Howells, Mabbutt (Captain); Stewart, Gascoigne (Nayim), Samways (Walsh), Lineker, Allen.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

17th May - Spurs in History

Caprain Alan Mullery's night of triumph with the UEFA Cup
17th May, 1972

Spurs 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 UEFA CUP FINAL (2nd Leg)

Although Spurs were a goal up from the first game, this was a close, hard fought game. Playing their 68th competitive game, Spurs were drained but Alan Mullery increased their lead in the 29th minute when he threw himself full-length to head in a Peters' free-kick, injuring himself in the process.

However, he was able to continue and although Wolves equalised before half-time, they were unable to gain the ascendancy and threaten Spurs overall lead.

It was a special night of triumph for Alan Mullery. He had been unable to gain a place in the Spurs' team following injury and went to Fulham on loan. However, unexpectedly he was recalled to the team before the semi-final and as Captain went on to lift the trophy to give Spurs their second European trophy, the first British club to achieve that. It was to be his final competitive game for Spurs and while the rest of the weary squad retreated to the dressing rooms, he completed his own personal lap of honour surrounded by the jubilant fans.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles: Mullery (Captain), England, Beal; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coates.


16th May - Spurs in History

Gary Mabbutt's own goal gave the Cup to Coventry
16th May, 1987

Coventry City 3 Spurs 2 F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley (aet).

The unthinkable had happened, Spurs lost an F.A.Cup Final. After seven F.A. Cup Final victories, Spurs lost their first Final to Coventry who were winning their first major honour. They had experienced success, winning the F.A. Cup in 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981 and 1982.

In David Pleat's first season as manager, it had promised so much had ended disappointingly with Spurs having nothing to show for all their exciting play and effort – the ‘nearly’ team were beaten semi-finalists in the League Cup after a replay and third in the League.

Spurs were favourites to win the Cup against unfancied Coventry and it had started so well with Clive Allen scoring his 49th goal of the season after two minutes. Coventry equalised shortly afterwards only for Gary Mabbuttt to restore Spurs’ lead.

In a very open game Coventry drew level to take the game into extra time and eventually won the Cup when a cross hit Gay Mabbutt and looped over Ray Clemence’s head into the goal.

Great disappointment and very hard on the great club player Mabbutt. A very disappointing end to a long season.

Clemence; Hughton (Claesen), Thomas,M.; Hodge, Gough (Captain), Mabbutt; Allen, C.,
Allen, P.,Waddle, Hoddle, Ardiles (Stevens)


Monday, May 15, 2006

15th May - Spurs in History

On this Day in 1963 Tottenham Hotspur became the 1st British club to win a European Trophy.

15th May, 1963

Atletico Madrid 1 Spurs 5


Spurs produced their best ever display in a Final to overcome difficult opponents who were the holders of the trophy.

Spurs went into the game without their inspiration, Dave Mackay who was injured. Manager, Bill Nicholson was reportedly very worried about the Spaniards and built them up but Danny Blanchflower reminded the players of their own success and capabilities.

Jimmy Greaves gave Spurs an early lead and John White added a second. Then Atletico came back at Spurs putting them under intense pressure, eventually conceding a penalty but Terry Dyson, playing the game of his life, increased Spurs lead with a long cross that sailed over the keeper’s head. Jimmy Greaves scored his second and Terry Dyson did likewise to complete a glorious European night for Spurs - the first British club to win a European trophy.

All of Tottenham had moved to Holland for that game and they celebrated long into the night.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower(Captain), Norman, Marchi; Jones, White, Smith, Greaves, Dyson.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

14th May - Spurs in History

14th May, 1981

Spurs 3 Manchester City 2


If the first match was a disappointment, the Replay made up for it. Many thought that Ricky Villa had missed his chance in that game but Keith Burkinshaw kept faith in him and he was repaid handsomely.

Within seven minutes Villa had given Spurs the lead but this only lasted three minutes as City equalised with a spectacular goal. Both teams were creating chances and City went ahead five minutes into the second half from a penalty.

The match became tense with tackles flying in on both sides. In the 71st minute Spurs equalised with a goal from Garth Crooks.

Seven minutes later, Ricky Villa stepped forward and dribbled around and through the City defence to score the most incredible Cup Final winner of all time – Saturday’s ‘failure’ had become the Hero with a never to be forgotten goal.

Team: Aleksic; Perryman(Capt), Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa, Galvin; Archibald, Crooks. Sub:Brooke


Saturday, May 13, 2006

13th May - Spurs in History

13th May, 1986

Peter Shreeve Sacked

Peter Shreeves had been Assistant to Keith Burkinshaw during the successful seasons in the early 1980s and he was appointed manager on Burkinshaw's departure.

During his first season the team had looked capable of making a sustained challenge for the League title but poor home form in the final months of the season and a long injury list brought this to an end with Spurs finishing third behind Everton and Liverpool. The next season started disappointingly and by March Spurs seaon was over.

So after two seasons in charge Shreeve was sacked and his Assistannt, John Pratt was also dismissed.

13th May, 1967

Spurs 2 Sheffield United 0

A successful end to a season as Spurs, undefeated from mid-January, climbed to third place in the League and were looking forward to a Cup Final appearance against Chelsea in a week’s time.

With a full strength team playing, the goals to ensure Spurs 24th win of the season were scored by Jimmy Greaves and Frank Saul. Spurs had won nine of their previous ten games, the only blemish on that record was a scoreless draw at Liverpool.

Having lost on Boxing Day, the team suffered only one defeat in twenty League games, at Old Trafford against league winners United, and were unbeaten in eight Cup games.

They won 13 of the League games and drew six.


12th May - Spurs in History

12th May, 1994

Spurs Charged by F.A.

Spurs were still suffering the consequences of the great fallout between Chairman, Alan Sugar (Pic: Chairman, Alan Sugar), and Chief Executive, Terry Venables. The previous year Venables had been sacked and the club’s business had been dragged through the media and the courts.

On this day, the F.A. formally charged Spurs with misconduct for alleged irregular payments to a number of players. These had come to light following the court case between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables and were allegedly paid to players between 1985 and 1989.

In an attempt to assist and co-operate with the F.A. Spurs had handed over documents which appeared to show that the payments had been made.

This story would continue to dominate the whole club for some considerable time.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

11th May - Spurs in History

11th May, 1993

Arsenal 1 Spurs 3

The final game of the season and the last occasion when Spurs left Highbury with three points. Arsenal put out a weakened team due to their Cup commitments but that didn’t detract from the pleasure of the Spurs' supporters as the team completed the double over their North London rivals to finish eighth, two places above them.

Spurs goals were scored by Teddy Sheringham and a young Scottish player, John Hendry who got two.

However, unknown to the mass of Spurs supporters around the world, was the behind closed doors activities in the Board Room that was about to bring to light the great fall-out between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables (Pic: Manager, Terry Venables' last game in charge of Tottenham) and drag the club’s good name through the newspapers and the courts for some considerable time. This would be Venables’ last game with any responsibility for Spurs and what had seemed to be a glimmer of hope for a brighter future was to be extinguished beyond repair.

This was Spurs last win at Highbury.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

10th May - Spurs in History

Gary Mabbutt - a Spurs 'Legend' played his last game for Spurs
10th May, 1998

Time to Say Farewell

Spurs 1 Southampton 1

Job completed, Spurs said farewell to Jurgen Klinsmann for the second time in three seasons. This second period had not brought the same success as previously but he had scored six goals in Spurs final three games of the season which had helped ensure Premiership survival.

He signed off from White Hart Lane by scoring Spurs' equaliser.

Also leaving Tottenham that day were Gary Mabbutt who played his final ten minutes for Spurs and David Howells who had served Spurs loyally over many seasons.
Also on this day:
'Nayim from the Half-way line'
On 10th May, 1995, a former player became immortalised in Spurs folklore with his winning goal in the last minute of extra time for Real Zaragossa in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Arsenal – it was, ‘Nayim from the halfway line.’


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

9th May - Spurs in History

9th May, 1981
Spurs 1 Manchester City 1 (aet)
F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley

The 100th F.A.Cup Final produced a disappointing display from Spurs in a game which is best remembered for the long, lonely walk of a disconsolate Ricky Villa as he slowly trudged around Wembley, having been substituted. Spurs record of being undefeated in Cup Finals was still in place but it was a close run thing and they were eternally grateful to City’s Tommy Hutchinson for deflecting Hoddle’s shot from a free kick past his own goalkeeper with ten minutes left. Hutchinson had given City the lead after half an hour and Spurs were glad of an opportunity to redeem themselves on another day in the replay.

Team: Aleksic; Perryman(Captain), Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa(Brooke), Galvin; Archibald, Crooks.

9th May, 1984
Anderlecht 1 Spurs 1
UEFA Cup Final(1st Leg)

Anderlecht were the holders of the trophy but Spurs took the game to them and went close to scoring on a number of occasions. The Spurs defensive partnership of Graham Roberts and Paul Miller stood firm and early in the second half Miller had time to put Spurs ahead, heading in from a corner. The home team came looking for a goal but Spurs were in control, although Perryman was booked which meant he would miss the return game. However, three minutes from time goalkeeper Tony Parks mishandled the ball allowing Anderlecht to equalise. All square for the 2nd Leg but Spurs had a vital away goal.

Team: Parks: Thomas, Hughton, Roberts, Miller, Perryman, Hazard, Archibald, Falco, Stevens (Mabbutt), Galvin.


Monday, May 08, 2006

8th May - Spurs in History

8th May, 1979

Bolton Wanderers 1 Spurs 3

An end of season game with nothing at stake for either team. Spurs had not tasted victory for ten games and were sitting in mid-table while Bolton were to finish six places below them. This game was the debut of a young forward who had been a regular goal-scorer in the youth and reserve teams. Mark Falco scored on his debut and was to play his part in Spurs success of the early eighties and was Spurs top scorer in seasons 1984-85 and 1985-86. While not a classic goal-scorer he was strong and skilful, working hard to succeed where others had failed and is the only successful young goal-scoring forward that Spurs have produced since Len Duquemin in the fifties. In 162 League appearances, Falco scored 68 goals. He scored another 8 goals in Cup competitions and 13 in Europe.

The other goal scorers against Bolton were Ricky Villa and Jimmy Holmes.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Disappointments of the Day Can't Spoil Spurs Super Season

West Ham 2 Spurs 1

It was a disappointing way to end a super season. Spurs needed to match Arsenal's result to retain fourth place but the team who competed heroically throughout, despite the players obvious problems suffering from the affects of food poisoning, they couldn't find the strength to win against a fully committed West Ham side.

A few hours before the game, news broke that ten Spurs players were suffering from food poisoning and the game may be postponed. However, Tottenham were under considerable pressure to complete the fixture or risk having points deducted by the Premnier League. The club wanted a postponement but were offered a two hour delayed kick-off. This would have done little to restore the health or strength of the players and in spite of some players reportedly sick during their warm up and prior to the game, Spurs had to play on.

Those affected were Dawson, Davids, Carrick, Tainio, Lennon, Keane, Davenport, Cerny, Huddlestone and Martin Jol. All deserve credit for the way they battled through and gave their all for the cause. From the start Dawson looked wretched and on occasions the players looked lethargic and did not have the strength to run in support play. On one occasion as Defoe broke clear he held the ball waiting for support but none came. On the stroke of half-time as a player was receiving attention, all the Spurs players were drinking water to help them. Lennon showed little of his usual vitality and Carrick went off midway through the second half, totally exhausted and as they struggled to try to come from behind, it was obvious that the players had nothing left in the final minutes. It is reported that Tainio and Lennon were sick after the game and had to go to hospital. The full recovery of all the players is our first priority.

West Ham took the lead after nine minutes from long range and Defoe equalised after thirty five minutes with a well worked and finished goal. West Ham were full of running and Spurs struggled to match them throughout. Teddy Sheringham had his second half penalty saved by Paul Robinson but nine minutes from the end the winner came and Spurs couldn't respond. With news that Arsenal were winning, Spurs knew that they had lost fourth place and would be playing in the UEFA cup next year.

In the end, injuries to key players, missed opportunities during the season and sickness for their most vital game in two decades prevented Spurs fininshing fourth. However, don't let that disappointment cloud the fact that Spurs have had a super season, have made tremendous progress and if we had been offered a UEFA place last August we would have grabbed it with both hands.

Congratulations Spurs on a great season, there's more to come and we're going on a European tour next season. We've got our Tottenham back.


7th May - Spurs in History

WARNING - Not for Spurs supporters of a nervous or anxious disposition

The last and only occasion that Spurs have won a competitive match on this date was in 1949. They won 5-0 at Plymouth in the 2nd Division. (Len Duquemin, Les Bennett (3), Les Medley)

The only other time they avoided defeat was a 2-2 draw at home to Middlesbrough in 1921 in 1st Division. (Banks, Cantrell)

All other games have ended in loss, including some big defeats.

1927 Arsenal (h) Lost 0-4
1932 Preston (a) lost 0-2
1938 Sheff Wed. (h) Lost 1-2 Sargent
1966 WBA (a) Lost 1-2 Greaves
1977 Man City (a) Lost 0-5 - Relegation confirmed for the first time in 27 years. Immediately after the game the directors announced that Keith Burkinshaw would remain as manager - at least something good has come out of this day.
1983 Birmingham (a) Lost 0-2
1984 Southampton (a) Lost 0-5 - a weakened team because of the UEFA Cup final (1st Leg) two days later. Spurs were fined for putting out an understrength side.
1994 QPR (h) Lost 1-2 Sheringham (p)
2005 Middlesbrough (a) Lost 0-1 Defeat against the experienced Middlesbrough side cost Martin Jol's young team any chance of playing UEFA Cup football for this season.

I did warn you - I think Spurs are overdue a result on this day - so let it be today - a win at West Ham.

Glory, Glory Hallelujah
Spurs go marching on.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

6th May - Spurs in History

The first team to complete the 'Double in the 20th Century

6th May, 1961

Spurs 2 Leicester City 0

F.A.CUP FINAL at Wembley.

Spurs became the first club to win ‘The Double’ in the 20th Century. Having won the League with eight points to spare, Spurs won the Cup in unspectacular style, overcoming a team who had won at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.

The tension of the day prevented Spurs from performing as they had on many occasions during their memorable season and it was not until late in the game that Spurs took control. Leicester overcame the early loss of their full back, Chalmers, to injury and battled gamely as he ‘hobbled’ on the wing. Bobby Smith scored a ‘magnificent solo goal’ after 69 minutes and Terry Dyson ensured victory seven minutes later with a headed goal from Smith’s cross.

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower (Captain), Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Spurs Most Important Game of Past Decade

The final game of the season is upon us and who in mid-August would have predicted that the outcome of this game against West Ham would have such important consequences for Spurs' future. Who would have suggested that Spurs would be contesting 4th place with Arsenal and have it in their own hands to finish above their neighbours for the first time since 1995. Who would have considered the possibility of Spurs having a claim on a Champions League position for next season?

Only in our wildest dreams would we have considered such possibilities but today they are the reality of this season's Premiership. Spurs have held fourth place since early December and this week's results as Arsenal won their two games in hand, have changed nothing - a win for Spurs at Upton Park on Sunday will ensure they have their highest finish in the Premiership.

As in all the games during the past two months, it will be like a Cup Final for Spurs, a must win game, only West Ham won't want to be too involved in a Cup Final a week before their trip to Cardiff to meet Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. However, Spurs must avoid complacency and be lulled into thinking West Ham are there for the taking - it is a London derby and they would delight in bringing Spurs' season to an unsatisfactory and disappointing conclusion. Remember, Wigan had the distraction of the League Cup final when they played at White Hart Lane - it didn't benefit Spurs in the least, a reserve played his heart out and caused Spurs considerable difficulty in the 2-2 draw.

Spurs having had a reasonable injury free season, have now been hit by a number of injuries at this vital time. King, Jenas and Stalteri will be missing while serious doubts surround Keane, Carrick and Mido who will have late fitness tests. To go into such a vital game minus players of this experience and calibre is a major concern and puts additional pressure on the regulars within the team - that they produce of their best and also support and assist the young players who come into the team. It is another opportunity for someone to step up and show their true value - Spurs are crying out for a superb inspirational goal scoring performance from Jermain Defoe against his former club.

West Ham are also troubled by injury doubts going into the game and they are very conscious of the Cup Final but also of their responsibility to provide a stern contest for Spurs. Etherington is out injured and Mullins is suspended so Teddy Sheringham, Bobby Zamora and Paul Konchesky may have the opportunity to extract revenge on their former employers. Whoever plays, Spurs can expect a difficult game so they must be prepared to compete to ensure their right to play their own game and it needs to be from the very first minute and not only in the second half. Spurs have yet to score a goal in the first five minutes of a game this year, so it would be avery opportune time to get one on Sunday - to calm the nerves and set Spurs on their way to victory.

With the injury to Stalteri, it is to be presumed that Kelly will deputise and play alongside Dawson and Gardener. This central defensive partnership has played well since King's injury and another faultless performance will be essential. Dawson has been immense and fukky commited in everything although he needs to be careful to avoid conceding unnecessary free-kicks. A mature performance is required, curbing his over enthusiastic challenges. Midfield will again be a permutation of whoever is fit. Davids will return from suspension and his experience willbe invaluable but he also needs to produce quality play. Carrick will be a bad loss if unfit so Tainio and Lennon with Reid or Murphy looks the most likely. Up front Defoe should start as the only fully fit striker (Pic: Defoe - due a goal aginst his former club). Mido has been injured for weeks, Keane can not be 100% fit and may be a gamble with Barnard waiting in the wings for his first start. The young striker was totally committed in his play but it will be a big responsibility on his shoulders if called upoon to start. Martin Jol would have preferred to have had a full squad available but his selection, motivation and tactics will be vital to bring Spurs all three points. West Ham are a good team and have played very attractive football this season but a win for Spurs is possible and it is certainly not a 'Mission Impossible'.

So much hinges on this game, so many emotions for Spurs fans who have waited too long to see their team in a position where they have the opportunity to step out of the mediocrity that has plagued the club for the past twenty years. During those two decades there have been false dawns that have been cruelly snatched away and it is the fear of every supporter that events will conspire against Spurs an another opportunity will be gone.

To Upton Park in faith go the Spurs supporters and the players also need to go with a belief that they can produce the result that will enable them to hold what they have had for so much of this excellent season.

To quote from the history section published earlier today:

'On the last occasion when Spurs had something meaningful to play for in the final game of the season in 1995. The possibility of European football existed if Spurs could get three points and some other results went their way.
At one point, after Jason Dozzell put Spurs ahead, Tottenham were looking at a UEFA Cup place but then things started to fall apart - Newcastle equalised, the game finished in a draw, and Arsenal went on to win and claim the final European place, while Spurs finished eighth.'

Such an opportunity mustn't be missed this weekend - Spurs aren't relying on others, although some assistance from Wigan would be appreciated, it's in their own hands and fourth place awaits them if they are brave enough to go for it and can produce the performances of which they are capable.

'Come On You Spurs'

'Spurs Go Marching On'

'Glory Glory Hallelujah'