Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Article: Time to Ditch Striker Rotation at Tottenham

Time to Ditch ‘Striker Rotation’ at Spurs

[Article from Topspurs Column)

Is Jermaine Defoe's form suffering because of 'striker rotation'?
At school I learned in the history classes about crop rotation. In fact, I have even taught about its importance for early farmers and how they allowed fields to lie fallow for a year to improve their crop yield. However, the striker rotation employed by Martin Jol at Spurs is not having the desired effect of producing a bumper crop of goals for his team.

Surely, the time has come for Martin Jol to reconsider his policy of rotation of the strikers. For the two years he has been in charge, he has persisted with this policy, initially rotating Kanoute, Defoe and Keane and then including Mido into the equation. Now Dimitar Berbatov has been added to the mix and there is no indication that the strikers are going to become regular goal scorers, the MK Dons game apart. The rotational policy is explained as a way to keep all of the players happy and ensuring they get to play regularly but is it actually being used because he doesn’t know which pairing is the best? In his first season, his use of double substitutions – taking off Mido and Keane to be replaced by Kanoute and Defoe, or whatever combination of players he was using, seemed to be effective as tiring defenders were suddenly facing a fresh strike force who on occasions turned the game around. However, of late, no such rewards have been forthcoming and which ever partnership has played they have looked out of sorts and ill at ease, neither producing individually or linking as a partnership.

It is well known that Jol prefers to play a tall striker alongside a smaller one and so for much of last season he played Mido and rotated Defoe and Keane. That at least gave some consistency but this season, the partnership changes from game to game and none of the players have shown their true goal scoring ability. Individually, with good service, each of the strikers is capable of scoring regularly in the Premiership – all three from last season have shown that, while Berbatov was a leading goalscorer in Germany. However, collectively, their performances have not been equal to the sum of their parts – the fans have been waiting since April, 2005 for Spurs to win a Premiership game comfortably. Aston Villa at White Hart Lane, while Kanoute was still around, were the last team to be beaten by a large score while Spurs only scored three goals on six occasions last year and their highest margin of victory was two goals – even in games they controlled they were unable to make their dominance count.

Strikers need a good service with goal scoring opportunities created for them from midfield and certainly early in the season, with Lennon injured, Spurs’ football was very mundane and pedestrian. However, recently they have created more chances but have not managed to take them. The strikers also need to develop an understanding for it to become a goal scoring partnership, and this can not be helped by the constant rotation. Confidence plays a big part in any strikers’ game so being omitted from the team, even after scoring, must play on their minds – knowing that even if they get a goal, or two, it is no guarantee of a place in the starting line up for the next game.

Through Spurs’ history there have been strong striker partnership on which success was based – Teddy Sheringham and Jurgen Klinsmann, Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks, Martin Chivers and Alan Gilzean, Gilzean and Jimmy Greaves, Greaves and Bobby Smith, Smith and Les Allen in the ‘Double’ team – all developed an understanding and a goalscoring partnership. At other clubs the same is evident – the great Liverpool team had John Toshack and Kevin Keegan, while an earlier generation had Roger Hunt and Ian St.John and Leeds United had Allan Clarke and Mick Jones.

For the benefit of the team, Martin Jol would be advised to re-consider his thinking and look at the possibility of deciding on his best partnership and settling on it for a period to give the players an opportunity to gel and develop an understanding which should lead to an increase in the number of goals scored by Spurs. It would probably be appreciated by the midfield players as well, as they would develop a better understanding of how the strikers want the ball played and so be more able to develop the game accordingly.

While the strikers are rotated from game to game, the same policy does not apply elsewhere in the team – the manager knows that his best central defensive partnership is King and Dawson, so they appear every game unless either is unavailable through injury or suspension. Similarly, in midfield there is less rotation. While more players are used – it is mostly trying to make the best use of those available to overcome the deficiency of a left sided player capable of making the position his own.
The changes in selection for the Carling Cup game are understandable and gave members of the squad an opportunity to play. With so many games, there will be a need to call on these players because of injury or wanting to rest someone who has played a number of consecutive games or in preparation for an important match but it shouldn’t call for the strikers to be alternated in every game.

Who will the strikers be against Club Brugge? On his lacklustre and frustrating performance against Watford, Berbatov probably shouldn’t play but his display in Europe against Besiktas suggests he is more suited to the style of play for Europe than the hustle and bustle of the Premiership. To partner him, Defoe may get the opportunity ahead of Keane who has yet to show the inspired form of the second half of last season.

Farming has moved on from that early rotational policy so perhaps after two years as manager, it is time for Jol to dump the rotation of his strikers and give them the chance to develop the understanding and partnership required to score goals. Rafael Benitez’s persistence with a similar system at Liverpool isn’t proving any more effective. The success or failure of this season for Spurs may depend on how Martin Jol resolves the conundrum of the team’s inability to score enough goals. The goal scorers are there – but can they be blended into a successful goal scoring partnership capable of challenging for honours?

It’s over to you Martin – now is the time to act – it’s time to make that decision as to who will make the best striking partnership at the club.


Spurs in History - 31st October

31st October, 1962
Spurs 5 Glasgow Rangers 2 European Cup Winners’ Cup 1st Round (1st Leg)
Spurs second European started against Glasgow Rangers and this England/Scotland clash gave Spurs a comfortable lead to take to the second leg at Ibrox Park.
John White, a Scottish International, (Pic: John White and Maurice Norman show off the Cup at Wembley)was the star of the night in a hard fought game which was all about pride. He headed Spurs first goal after four minutes from a Jimmy Greaves corner but Rangers equalised five minutes later. Another Greaves corner enabled White to head his second before Les Allen made it three. The Rangers defence were under pressure and conceded an own goal for 4-1 but almost immediately Rangers managed to score a second. Ten minutes from time another Greaves corner saw Maurice Norman score the fifth and final goal.

Team: Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay, Medwin, White, Allen, Greaves, Jones.

Att: 58,859

Ossie Ardiles was sacked as manager of Spurs on this day in 1994.

[See: Spurs in History - 29th October, 1994.]

31st October, 1992

Spurs 2 Liverpool 0 Premier League

Nayim and Neil Ruddock scored the goals to defeat Liverpool to give Spurs only their third League win of the season.

With Terry Venables in his executive role, Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence were joint 1st team coaches and the results were disappointing. This win brought their points total to 15 from the first 14 games but they had now gone five League and Cup games undefeated.

However, it was not until the new year when Venables started to take a more active role in team affairs working alongside his two coaches that results started to improve. A young team, playing exciting football showed improved League form and progressed to the FA Cup semi-final where they were unfortunate to lose to Arsenal.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Spurs in History - 30th October

30th October, 1972

Spurs 2 Middlesbrough 1(aet) League Cup 3rd Round (2nd Replay)

In the days before European football demanded central place in the football calendar, there were no penalty shoot-outs and Cup ties went to second and third replays as required. In this tie Spurs had drawn the first game 1-1 with Boro at Ayresome Park through a goal from Jimmy Pearce. The replay at White Hart Lane, the following week, had been scoreless so a third game was required.

Spurs won the toss to be at home and the game was played on a Monday evening, 34 years ago today. It was another very close affair with Martin Peters scoring for Spurs in normal time. However, with the score at 1-1, extra time was required and Alan Gilzean scored the goal to take Spurs in to the next round and a home game against Millwall which was played two nights later.

In the space of five days, Spurs had defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford (4-1), defeated Middlesbrough (2-1 after extra time) and then overcame Millwall (2-0). Nine of the players played in all three games and they earned a point at Birmingham the following Saturday.

This was a very successful campaign for Spurs as they went on to defeat Norwich at Wembley to win the League Cup trophy for the second time in three years, the first club to win it twice.

30th October, 1985

Spurs 4 Orient 0 Milk Cup 2nd Round (2nd Leg)

The first leg had been played at Brisbane Road on 23rd Septmeber when Spurs had suffered an embarassing 0-2 defeat against 4th Division opponents.

The secong leg was scheduled for a fortnight later but had to be postponed due to civil unrest in the Tottenham area. When it was played, over a fortnight later, Spurs overturned their two goal deficit and went into the next round with a 4-2 aggregate.

Spurs goals were scored by Graham Roberts (2), Tony Galvin, Chris Waddle.

Spurs erratic form saw them beat Wimbledon in the next round but lose in the fourth round in a second replay to 2nd Division, Portsmouth.

30th October, 1976

Spurs 3 Everton 3 (1st Division)

In their relegation season Spurs earned a point when they shared six goals with Everton.

Spurs' shortcomings were clear for all to see - in defence, they had conceded 8 goals at Derby, 4 at WBA, while the strikers were failing to make any impression - many of their goals being scored from midfield or defenders.

Again, against Everton they were unable to prevent the opposition scoring so the three goals that Don McAllister, Keith Osgood (p) and John Pratt scored only earned them a point. Pratt had scored the first with McAllister adding the second, while Osgood's penalty late in the second half gave Spurs a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, Everton rallied to to take a point by scoring two goals in the closing minutes.

In the next game Spurs again scored three goals but they were unable to prevent West Ham from scoring 5.

30th October, 1897

Spurs 7 2nd Coldstream Guards 0 FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Spurs fourth season in the FA Cup saw them record their highest score in the competition, to date. Spurs were now establishing themselves in the Southern League but progress in the FA Cup was limited. This game was originally an away tie but was changed by mutual consent and played at Spurs' Northumberland Park ground. A crowd of 4,000 watched Spurs progress to a home game against their old rivals, Luton Town whom they had met in each of their previous seasons in the competition.

Spurs goals were scored by Sandy Hall, Harry Crump, Tom Meade (2), Bill Joyce, Bob Stormont and David Black.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spurs' Legends - Praise for The 1950s 'Push and Run' Team

Spurs Legendary 1950-51 'Push and Run' team managed by Arthur Rowe

Below is a letter written by Graham A. Rowe, the son of the manager of the famous Tottenham Hotspur 'Push and Run' team of the early 1950s, to the Financial Times, replying to a recent article that appeared in the paper.

The former Spurs centre half, the late Arthur Rowe, became manager of Spurs in 1949 and immediately turned them from a team unable to escape the clutches of the 2nd Division where they had languished since relegation in May, 1935, to a team which won promotion as clear Champions and won the 1st Division title for the first time the very next year. That team played a style of quick passing football never before seen in the English game.

Super Spurs predated magic Magyars

Published: October 28 2006 03:00 Last updated: October 28 2006 03:00
From Mr Graham A. Rowe.

Sir, In his piece "Magyars mourn their lost magic" (FT.com, October 22) Jonathan Wilson states: "Half a century ago Hungary were not merely the best in the world but possibly the best team there has ever been."

I disagree with his assessment of the Hungarian soccer team. The great Hungarian team of 1953 played the same fast, short-passing game that humiliated England and was played by Tottenham Hotspur from 1949 to 1953. During that reign they won the then second division championship, followed by the first division championship, and followed that up by being runners-up to Manchester United and FA Cup semi-finalists.

In 1952 they toured North America playing a style of football called "push and run", a fluid, fast-moving style that entertained capacity crowds wherever they played.

That Spurs team was managed by my father, Arthur Rowe, who had won championships while in charge of Chelmsford City, a Southern League club, from 1946 to 1949.

After a stellar career as a Tottenham player in the 1930s, my father took a coaching position in Budapest, Hungary, before returning to England in 1939 to join the army.

In Budapest were sown the seeds of the "push and run" approach, which for the next 13 years, incubated and ultimately manifested itself in that great Hungarian team. But it was a style that was first played by the glorious Spurs team of 1949-53.

In an FT article of July 1 1998, Peter Aspden wrote of "the beautiful version of the game, invented by the Hungarian side of the 1950s". The Hungarians did not "invent" the beautiful version of the game. If anyone "invented" it, it was my father.

On my wall at home there is a photograph of my father with Ferenc Puskas, the peerless member of the Hungarian team of the 1950s, and my thoughts turn to what kind of a game might have been played between those two great teams. What a feast it would have been.

Graham A. Rowe,
Los Angeles, CA 90049, US

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

Article @

On This Day - 29th October

29th October, 1960
Newcastle United 3 Spurs 4 (1st Division)
The demand to see Spurs is illustrated in the attendance at this game which was 17,000 more than any of Newcastle’s previous games. Spurs had responded to their first dropped point of the season at home to Manchester City, earlier in the month, by defeating Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the City Ground in their next match.
This, their next game saw them a goal behind after thirty minutes as Newcastle took the lead but Spurs had equalised within two minutes with a goal from Maurice Norman [Pic: Maurice Norman scored some important games for Spurs]. Newcastle regained the lead before half-time, the first time that Spurs had been behind at the interval.
Bill Nicholson’s half-time talk saw Spurs raise their game and they scored twice through John White and Cliff Jones. However, a mistake by Bill Brown allowed Newcastle to equalise. With a draw looking the likely outcome, Bobby Smith scored the winner from a Les Allen cross with only three minutes remaining.

Team; Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay, Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.

29th October, 1994

Spurs 3 West Ham United 1

The Spurs players responded well to the disappointing Cup defeat at Notts County during the week. A very poor 0-3 defeat against County who were bottom of the 1st Division at the time had increased the pressure on manager Ossie Ardiles and it was generally believed that regardless of the result in this game against West Ham, his time as manager of Tottenham was over.

Spurs won, in a good performance, with goals from Jurgen Klinsmann, Nicky Barmby and substitute Teddy Sheringham.

As was expected, two days later Chairman, Alan Sugar sacked Ossie Ardiles. It had been a difficult seventeen months for Ardiles who had been appointed in the aftermath of the Sugar/Venables fall out. The start of his second season in scharge had been blighted by the deduction of points and FA Cup ban imposed by the Football Association for financial irregularities. Ardiles was a 'Legend' as a player but his managerial record at the highest level does not stand up to scrutiny.

His assistant, Steve Perryman remained at the club, was appointed as Caretaker, at least until the end of the season with the brief of taking Spurs away from relegation. He took charge for the next game at Blackburn but was released when Gerry Francis was appointed in the week before the home game against Aston Villa.


Match Report - 28th October, 2006

Watford 0 Spurs 0 (Premiership)
Following the 5-0 Carling Cup win against MK Dons in mid-week, Martin Jol rotated his strikers with double scoreres Dfeoe and Mido making way for Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov. Ghaly and Lennon were the wide players with Lennon starting on the left, while Jenas and Huddlestone played central.
Watford without a Premiership win this season, started very positively, taking the game to Spurs and an early shot went just over. Watford who have only lost at home once, to Manchester United, were clearly fired up for this game and created another early chance when Tommy Smith missed an open goal from three yards, the ball going over the bar.

After these opening scares Spurs created and opening for themselves when Aaron Lennon (Pic: Man of the Match - Aaron Lennon, had a number of good chances to score for Spurs) shot and Foster saved well. Later, in a very open, end to end game, Lennon had another shot well saved by the goalkeeper. Watford were very quick to the ball, giving Spurs no time or space to play so they frequently resorted to the long ball forward but with little reward. Lennon was Spurs liveliest player but Young was also creating problems for the Spurs defence and as half-time approached he went through onto a long clearance that had been flcked on, putting the ball past Robinson but was wrongly adjudged offside.

Scoreless at half-time, the amazing thing was that there had been no goals in such an open game.

Spurs started the game more positively in the second half and tok the game to Watford, playing more of the game in the home half. The home side were still dangerous and hard working but Spurs created the more clear cut chances. Lennon had another chance well saved by the goalkeeper and Robbie Keane took the ball past the keeper but as it bounced it was only able to play it square across goal and a Watford defender cleared it, dramatically back-heeling the ball over the bar, as Berbatov waited at the far post to score.

Spurs had eight shots on target and are creating more chances than earlier in the season but should have been looking for three points from a team without a win this season.

Spurs have gone 7 games without defeat since losing at Liverpool, 4 League and 3 Cup ties, with two home wins and two away draws in the Premiership and find themselves in 12th position with 12 points from the opening ten games. They are only seven points behind Portsmouth who are fourth but with Chelsea next weekend, a number of difficult matches in the following weeks [Reading (a), Blackburn (a), Wigan (h) and Arsenal (a)] and so many Cup games it is difficult to see where they will string a winning sequence together which will move them up the League table.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Spurs in History - 28th October

28th October, 1972
Manchester United 1 Spurs 4 (1st Division)
An exciting score line with all of the goals being scored by Martin Peters. Spurs had lost all of their previous nine League visits to Old Trafford but they over turned that record in style.
United were having a poor season and although Spurs form to that point hadn’t been great they managed to put on a stylish display that day to win comfortably. Mike Dillon made his debut alongside Mike England in central defence, replacing the injured Phil Beal.
This was Spurs second away win of the season and Martin Peters had taken over as captain at the start of the season, Alan Mullery having been transferred to Fulham.

Team: Jennings, Evans, Knowles, Pratt, England, Dillon, Pearce, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coates (Neighbour)

28th October, 1981

Manchester United 0 Spurs 1 League Cup 2nd Round 2nd Leg (Agg. Spurs 2-0)

Obviously, a good day to play Manchester United. This was the second time in three seasons that Spurs and United had met in the League Cup, 2nd Round. This time Spurs triumphed - a goal ahead from the first leg, Spurs completed the double win with a goal from Micky Hazard.

Their opponents in the next round were Wrexham at White Hart lane, as Spurs progressed to the Final at Wembley where they lost to Liverpool, Spurs first Wembley defeat.

28th October, 1970

Spurs 5 WBA 0 League Cup 4th Round

Bill Nicholson's remodelled team were start to click and they progresses towards Wembley success with an emphatic win over fellow 1st Division opponents. The goals were scored by Alan Gilzean (2) and Martin Peters (3).

28th October, 1962

Happy Birthday - Erik Thorstvedt.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Spurs in History 27th October

27th October, 1928

Stoke City 2 Spurs 0 (2nd Division)

A bad day for Spurs. Not only did they lose but they had full back Cecil Poynton sent off .

The reason for this game being remarkable is that the next Spurs player sent off in a League game was Frank Saul who was dismissed in a game at Burnley in December, 1965. Thirty seven years of League football without a sending off – an amazing record.

Cecil Poynton served the club loyally as player, trainer and physio for over fifty years until his retirement in 1975. There had been one player dismissed in that period in other competitions. Unlikely as it may seem, Jimmy Greaves was sent off in the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final against OFK Belgrade in April, 1963. The member of staff who escorted Greaves from the pitch was none other than trainer, Cecil Poynton.

27th October, 1957 - Happy Birthday - Glenn Hoddle

27th October, 1968 - Happy Birthday - Vinny Samways

27th October, 1984

Spurs 4 Stoke City 0 (1st Division)

Scorers: Graham Roberts (pen), John Chiedozie, Clive Allen (2).

27th October, 1987

Following the departure of David Pleat as manager, Spurs were under the control of Doug Livermore and two senior players - Ray Clemence, Ossie Ardiles and . Chairman Irving Scholar was known to be keen to get Terry Venables who had recently left Barcelona.

On this day it was announced from Florida that Venables would, indeed be the next manager of Tottenham Hotspur. However, for business commitments , Venables would be unable to take up his appointment until 1st December.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spurs in History - 26th October

26th October, 1994

Notts County 3 Spurs 0 Coca-Cola Cup (3rd Round)

The end of Ossie Ardiles’ time as manager was drawing near. His attacking five of Klinsmann, Sheringham, Anderton, Barmby and Dumitrescu which had brought such excitement earlier in the season was failing to deliver as Ardiles continued to spurn defence and Spurs were unable to prevent other teams from scoring.

Although he wasn’t sacked after this humiliating defeat, it was certainly the final nail in the coffin. A week later, in spite of a convincing win at White Hart Lane against West Ham United, Alan Sugar bowed to the demands of the most vociferous of the spectators and sacked Ardiles.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spurs in History - 25th October

25th October, 1989
Manchester United 0 Spurs 3 Littlewoods Cup 3rd Round
Spurs had struggled to overcome Fourth Division, Southend United over two legs in the previous round, only progressing on the ‘away goal’ rule after extra-time in the away game. They had won the first game at home by a single goal from Terry Fenwick but lost the away leg by 2-3, with the goals scored by Paul Allen and Nayim (Pic. Nayim). Having had such difficulty facing lowly opposition, a trip to Old Trafford was not something to be anticipated with relish.

However, United’s own form was poor and Spurs won comfortably with the goals being scored by Gary Lineker, Vinny Samways and Nayim.

Spurs progressed to the 5th Round of the competition by defeating Tranmere Rovers following a 2-2 away draw but winning 4-0 at home in the replay. Pauil Gascoigne and an own goal eaerned Spurs the replay where goals from Paul Allen, David Howells, Gary Mabbutt and Paul Stewart saw Spurs win comfortably.

In January, the 5th Round saw Spurs draw 2-2 at Nottingham Forest where Steve Sedgley and Gary Lineker before losing the home replay 2-3 with Nayim and Paul Walsh scoring.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spurs in History - 24th October

Hat-trick hero Jimmy Greaves

24th October, 1962

Spurs 6 Manchester United 2 (1st Division)

Spurs home record over seven games was five wins, one draw and one defeat. In those games they scored 29 goals. The rich vein of scoring continued against United who were struggling in the early season.

Spurs were three ahead by half-time with goals from Jimmy Greaves and Terry Medwin who scored twice. Unlike in recent times, Spurs didn’t let the advantage slip and increased the pressure in the second half with Greaves’ second. Cliff Jones scored number five and Greaves completed his hat-trick for the sixth.

United came back to score two late consolation goals.

Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay. Jones, White, Smith, Greaves, Medwin.

24th October, 1984

Brugge 2 Spurs 1 UEFA Cup (2nd Round 1st Leg)

Spurs were so concerned about security for this game they cancelled all excursions and asked fans not to travel. Spurs lost but Clive Allen scored the important away goal.

The main talking point after the game was the dismissal of Glenn Hoddle following a second booking. After awarding Brugge a free-kick near the Spurs box, Hoddle played the ball which the referee interpreted as time wasting or dissent. Hoddle claimed that he hadn't heard the whistle over the noise fo the crowd.

Spurs won the 2nd leg by three goals to nil.

24th October, 1970

Another hat-trick hero on this day - Martin Chiver
Spurs 3 Stoke City 0 (1st Division)

A Martin Chivers hat-trick ensured Spurs earned the two points.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Spurs in History - 23rd October

23rd October, 2004
On the Saturday morning prior to the home game against Bolton Wanderers, the death of former manager, Bill Nicholson, was announced. It was a sombre White Hart Lane that watched a dull game which Spurs lost 1-2. The goal being scored by Robbie Keane.

Fitting tributes were paid to the former manager who had dedicated his life to his beloved Spurs and many floral tributes were left by fans as a sign of their great respect for the former manager.

23rd October, 1991

Spurs 3 FC Porto 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg)

Spurs were back in Europe after a six year absence due to the ban on English clubs. Early progress over Stockerau and Hadjuk Split had set up a potentially more difficult tie against Porto.

However, Spurs set about the first leg in a determined fashion and won with goals from Gordon Durie and Gary Lineker (2). Although Porto scored an important away goal at White Hart Lane, in the away leg, a fortnight later, Spurs defended their two goal lead to earn a scoreless draw.

The perfect way to progress in a European competition.

23rd October, 1987

Following newspaper allegations about his private life, David Pleat resigned as manager, after little more than a year in charge. his only full season as amnager had seen Spurs finish 3rd in the league, lose their first FA Cup Final, to Coventry City, and lose in the semi-finals of the Littlewoods Cup to Arsenal - after three games and Arsenal led on only one occasion - the final moments of the third game. It was a 'nearly' season that saw Clive allen as a lone striker beat Jimmy Greaves goalscoring record for the highest number of goals scored in a season - 49 goals.

23rd October, 1971

Spurs 6 Nottingham Forest 1 (1st Division)

Spurs enjoyed a great day against Forest who were to be relegated at the end of the season. The goals were scored by Alan Mullery, Martin Chivers, Martin (2) 1pen., Jimmy Pearce (2). Spurs had won the previous home game a week earlier by 4-1.

23rd October, 1938

Alan Gilzean was born in Coupar Angus in Scotland - he was to bewcome one of the stars of the successful Spurs' team at the end of the 1960s - early 1970s.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tribute to Bill Nicholson - 23rd October, 2004

Saturday, 23rd October, 2004.
Every Spurs’ supporter will remember where they were when they heard of the death of Bill Nicholson, the club’s greatest manager and someone who dedicated his whole life to Tottenham Hotspur.

He joined the club in 1936, moving from his home in Scarborough, and turned professional in August, 1938. He made his League debut at Blackburn Rovers on 22nd October, 1938, playing left back in a 1-3 defeat. He made a number of appearances that season and started the next in the left back position. However, the outbreak of war curtailed that season and Nicholson joined the army to serve his country.

On the resumption of League football in 1946, Nicholson played mostly at centre-half but the following season saw him move to right half, the position that became his own for the next eight seasons until his retirement in 1955. He made 318 League appearances for Spurs and while he was not the most skilful player, he was totally committed and was a vital member of Arthur Rowe’s ‘Push and Run’ team which won the 2nd and 1st Division titles in successive seasons. He won one International cap for England and scored with his first touch but he missed the next match through injury and was never got another chance.

On retirement he took up coaching and in October, 1958 he was appointed manager of Spurs and in his first game in charge the team beat Everton 10-4 at White Hart Lane. During his first few seasons he re-built the team and he bought a number of players who were to become ‘Legends’ at the club – Dave Mackay, John White and Bill Brown were stars of the ‘Double’ winning side of 1960-61. Nicholson enjoyed great success as a manager, winning the FA Cup on two further occasions, the League Cup twice and two European trophies – the Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup. Spurs under Nicholson were the first club to win the ‘Double’ in the 20th century and the first British club to win a European trophy.

He left the club in 1974, after a poor start to the season and very much disillusioned with football. However, he returned when Keith Burkinshaw became manager and acted as adviser and various roles including President of the club. Even after retirement, he kept close contact with the clubs and was a great favourite of the supporters.

Bill Nicholson loved Spurs and always wanted them to play football with style to entertain the fans who had paid for the pleasure of coming to the games. He was Mr Tottenham Hotspur and is regarded by all Spurs fans as ‘Sir’ Bill of Tottenham.

It was with great sadness that Spurs fans and football in general heard of his passing and the many tributes by fans and the club were most appropriate for someone who had dedicated his whole life to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Bill Nicholson will always be remembered by Spurs fans around the world for all that he did to make the club great.


Paul Robinson - Spurs' Legend in the Making

Paul Robinson shows Strength of Character for Spurs

[from: Logan Holmes Column on www.topspurs.com]

Paul Robinson has shown his strength of character over the past ten days. He has stepped up from the bitter disappointment of the England game in Croatia and the ‘bobble fluke’ goal for which he has been pilloried by both the media and opposition supporters.

His performances for Spurs in the subsequent games have shown that he has been able to cope with the pressure that was generated by that incident. Even when facing Villa fans at Villa Park last weekend he showed no weakness and dealt with the situation in a composed and professional way. He was then faced with the wrath and frenzy of the Turkish fans in Istanbul as Spurs dealt comfortably with what was regarded as a very tricky tie in the UEFA Cup group stages. Again he played very confidently and made an excellent double save towards the end of the first half as Spurs looked to hold on to the advantage gained with Ghaly’s first goal for the club.

Faced with two such difficult games, a goalkeeper low on confidence or doubting his ability could well have crumbled under the pressure but Robinson showed no such flaws in his character and his performances could not be faulted. His rehabilitation has continued as he coped with anything West Ham created, making an excellent save to ensure another clean sheet and a one goal win.

Paul Robinson has come in for criticism in the past months and while he may not have been at the very top of his form, there have been times when he has been criticised unfairly. During the World Cup, his every move was scrutinised for fault and weakness and on occasions he was blamed for errors when others were at fault and left their goalkeeper exposed. John Terry was clearly at fault against Ecuador but Robinson took much of the flack, while against Sweden, the two goals conceded were much due to poor defensive play in front of Robinson and the uncertainty of the defenders rather than the goalkeeper’s fault. Having played in the five World Cup games, Robinson conceded only two goals, excluding the lottery of the penalty shoot-out against Portugal. A goalkeeper’s performances can be linked to his confidence in the central defenders in front of him and perhaps the prone to make mistakes trio of ‘top’ English central defenders - Terry, Ferdinand and Campbell – make life a little more uncomfortable for England’s number 1. For Spurs, with Ledley King and Michael Dawson re-united and developing a solid partnership in central defence, Robinson’s confidence should be able to grow and he again will have the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

Goalkeepers are often remembered for their mistakes. Peter Bonetti has never been allowed to forget his mistake in the 1970 World Cup against West Germany, Ray Clemence suffered the embarrassment of conceding a soft goal for England against Scotland at Hampden Park and David Seaman has his trio of long range blunders to live down – the most enjoyable for Spurs’fans being the ‘Nayim from the halfway line’ goal. (Pic: Seamen is beaten by Nayim)
David James, despite his form for Portsmouth this season, has retained the name ‘Calamity’ while Fabien Barthez has made a career of making blunders and eccentric behaviour for both club and country but has still managed to win the top honours at European and World level. Mistakes will occur but it’s how the goalkeeper responds to the set-back that is critical.

Ian Walker received endless criticism for the goal he conceded at his near post against Italy at Wembley in the World Cup qualifier in 1997, although it took a slight deflection. It was only his third appearance for his country and his first start for England. His international career never had a chance to recover and his form at club level also suffered. Paul Robinson has shown that he is made of sterner stuff and has the mental capacity to cope with the pressure and his great composure to the criticism and mockery handed out by the media and supporters is a very appropriate response. He has recovered from difficult situations before – suffering relegation with Leeds United and a six game losing sequence early in his first season at White Hart Lane – and he is showing that he can do so again.

Quite simply, Paul Robinson is the best goalkeeper that Spurs have had for some considerable time and he is currently the best English goalkeeper and is rightfully holding on to the England position. Some might be there to challenge him but at present they still have work to do to claim the shirt from the man in possession.

As goalkeepers improve with age and experience, Robinson is young enough to have the opportunity to show that he can be up there among the very best who have played for both club and country.

Paul Robinson is showing everyone that he has moved on from one of the pitfalls of being a goalkeeper and is concentrating on playing well for Spurs and England.


Spurs in History - 22nd October

22nd October, 1977
Spurs 9 Bristol Rovers 0 (2nd Division)
Following relegation at the end of the previous Spurs set about righting that situation in a positive way. The Directors had shown confidence in manageer, Keith Burkinshaw and the players led by captain, Steve Perryman were determined to win promotion at the first attempt and restore the club to its rightful in the top division of English football.

The season had started well and the fans, whose support never wavered, were enjoying the experience of visiting new grounds up and down the country. Having won all five home games, Spurs' first defeats had been in their previous two away games at Hull City and Charlton Athletic. The reverse in the London derby had seen Spurs give a poor performance as the lost 1-4, the first time the clubs had met competitively in league football for twenty years.

Spurs wanted to show that they could recover from this set-back and what a way to do it.

This was the first time that the clubs had met in League competition and what a memorable game and what a debut for Colin Lee (Pic. above Colin Lee as manager at Millwall) . The game got top billing on ‘Match of the Day’ and showed Spurs at their very best.

Injuries meant that Lee made his debut two days after signing from Torquay United for £60,000. Lee opened the scoring after twenty minutes and headed his second four minutes later. Peter Taylor scored before half-time and in the second half Lee scored two more, his strike partner, Ian Moores completed a hat-trick and the rout was completed with a goal from Glenn Hoddle who had created so many chances throughout the game.

This is Spurs' record Football League winning margin and what an important result it proved to be come the end of the season when Spurs won the final promotion place on goal difference from Brighton, exactly nine goals better than the south coast club.


Daines, Naylor, Holmes, Hoddle, McAllister, Perryman, Pratt, McNab, Moores, Lee, Taylor.

22nd October, 1932

Spurs 5 Southampton 0 (2nd Division)

Spurs were in their fifth season in the 2nd Division following relegation in May, 1928 and they had started disappointingly with only two wins in their opening eight games, although they had been very convincing wins over Charlton and Manchester United, 4-1 and 6-1 respectively.

Their form seemed to change through October following a 1-1 home draw against Oldham on the first day of the month. They won the next game at Preston (6-2), defeated Burnley 4-0 at White Hart Lane and this game against Southampton was another easy victory and two points which helped them move towards the top of the division.

'Taffy' O'Callaghan scored a hat-trick, with George Hunt and Willie Evans scoring the other goals.


Nicholls, Felton, Whatley, Colquuhoun, Rowe, Meads, Howe, O'Callaghan, Hunt,G.S., Greenfield, Evans,W.

[Centre half was Arthur Rowe who was to become Spurs' manager after the war and lead the club out of the 2nd division in 1949-50 and be 1st Division Champions the following year with his 'Push and Run' side.]

Spurs' good form continued in subsequent matches with victories at Millwall (4-0) and a similar score at home to Port Vale. They drew at Lincoln City before defeating Chesterfield 4-1 at home, winning 1-0 at Bradford City and hammering Swansea Town 7-0.

December was such a good month as they picked up only three points from three draws and one defeat. However in the new year their form returned and they managed to gain promotion in second place in the division.

This team became known as the 'greyhounds' such was the speed with which they played and the fans enjoyed a couple of exciting seasons watching them as they went on to finish 3rd in the 1st Division the next year. Unfortunately, it was a short period of success as they were unable to maintain this form and were relegated at the end of the following season, 1934-35.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Spurs in History - 21st October

Oyvind Leonardsen
21st October, 2000
Spurs 3 Derby County 1 (Premiership)
Scorers: Leonhardsen (2), Carr

Going into this game with only one point from the previous four games, Spurs were looking for improvement against a Derby team which was struggling at the bottom of the Premiership without a win to their name.

Spurs started brightly and scored within four minutes through Oyvind Leonhardsen. However, after putting Derby under further pressure, they failed to score and Derby equalised six minutes before half-time.

Stephen Carr regained the lead for Spurs scoring on the stroke of half-time with a low shot from 30 yards.

A second goal from Leonhardsen after three minutes of the second half gave Spurs a comfortable victory.  Leonhardsen’s day ended disappointingly with an injury that was to keep him out for the next two months.

Pressure was mounting on George Graham with the fans showing their dissatisfaction at the style of play.

Sullivan, Carr, Thatcher, Vega, Perry, Anderton (Dominguez), Sherwood, Clemence, Leonhardsen (Davies), Ferdinand, Rebrov (Korsten).

21st October, 1981
Dundalk 1 Spurs 1 (European Cup Winners' Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg)
Scorer: Crooks

Having overcome Ajax in the 1st Round with an aggregate score of 6-1 from victories in both games, Spurs must have been expecting a comfortable journey into the next round when drawn against the part-time players of Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland.

However, Spurs were in for a shock and were relieved to get away with a draw thanks to Garth Crooks goal. This was a full strength team with only Ricky Villa missing from the side that beat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final Replay at Wembley.

21st October, 1893
Spurs 0 Old St. Mark's 0 (London Senior Cup 1st Round)

October, 1893 – ‘Ernie Payne’s Boots’
Even in their non-League days Spurs ran into difficulties with officialdom.  Founded in 1882, Spurs’ early football was a mix of friendly games and Cup competitions under their amateur status.  Eleven years after their formation on this day in 1893, Spurs drew 0 - 0 in a 1st Round London Senior Cup tie against Old St Marks.  For that game, a new name, ‘Burton’, appeared on the team sheet, to play on the left wing for Spurs.  This was in fact, Ernie Payne who was on Fulham’s books but being unable to get into their team, he accepted an invitation to play for Spurs. However, when he arrived at Tottenham he had no kit.  Spurs provided him with shirt, shorts and socks but were unable to find boots to fit him.  They gave him a loan of ten shillings (50p) to buy a pair of boots on the understanding that they would belong to Spurs.  However, when Fulham heard about this they accused Spurs of ‘poaching’ their player and ‘professionalism’.  Spurs were immediately called before the London Football Association to answer these charges.

The charge of poaching was dismissed but the charge of inducing a player and professionalism was upheld.  The penalty imposed on Spurs was harsh – their ground at Northumberland Park was closed for two weeks, Spurs were suspended for a similar period and Ernie Payne was suspended for a week even though he had repaid the money to Spurs.  An appeal was lodged but it was unsuccessful, the London F.A. being strongly opposed to anything suggesting of professionalism, a view that was holding back the development of football in London.

This matter became known as the ‘Ernie Payne Boots Affair’ and while Payne continued to play for Spurs, he is remembered for the longer term consequence of the matter in that Spurs, frustrated by the views held by the London FA, decided to turn professional.  The club had received tremendous public support over the matter with the general view being that the London FA had been high-handed and had treated Spurs very severely.  At a meeting in December, 1895, the decision was taken that Spurs would turn professional.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Spurs in History - 20th October

20th October, 1982

Spurs 1 Bayern Munich 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg)
Scorer: Archibald

Steve Archibald
Spurs went into this game under strength due to injuries to a number of key players.  Steve Perryman, Glenn Hoddle, Graham Roberts, Chris Hughton and Tony Galvin were missing, being replaced by young players and squad members.  They performed creditably with Steve Archibald scoring their goal after only three minutes and Garry Brooke hitting the bar.

Spurs also had two possible penalty appeals turned down but in the second half Bayern scored the important away goal following a poor clearance.

Clemence, Price, O'Reilly (Gibson), Miller, Lacy, Hazard, Brooke, Archibald (Falco), Mabbutt, Villa, Crooks.

Bayern Munich 4 Spurs 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (2nd Leg)
Scorer: Hughton

The away leg proved too much for Spurs as they lost 1 - 4 on a foggy night in Munich.  It was so bad that the match should have been postponed.  Conditions were poor before the game and deteriorated during it.  So bad was it that spectators at either end couldn't see beyond the half way line and goal scorer Chris Hughton had to describe his goal to the Spurs fans he met at the airport on the way home. None of them had seen it and Spurs' European campaign ended earlier than anticipated.

Clemence, Price, Hughton, Miller (Perryman), Lacy, Hazard, Brooke (Hoddle), Archibald, Mabbutt, Villa, Crooks.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spurs in History - 19th October

19th October, 2006
Besiktas (Turkey) 0 Spurs 2 (UEFA Cup - Group Stages)
Scorers: Ghaly, Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov
Spurs produced their best performance of the season in what had been regarded as a tricky UEFA Cup group game in Turkey.  A goal in each half saw Spurs win comfortably and in the latter stages if they had taken their chances, the win could have been even more convincing.  Spurs settled quickly and went ahead after 31 minutes when Hossam Ghaly was put through by Berbatov with only the goalkeeper to beat.  He delayed his shot and the goalkeeper blocked it but the ball rebounded onto Ghaly and into the net.  It was his first goal for Spurs and gave them a deserved half-time lead.

At the start of the second half the home team increased the pressure but with Michael Dawson and Ledley King comfortable in central defence and the midfield players working tirelessly, Spurs maintained control and after 63 minutes Dimitar Berbatov showed why Spurs paid the £11 million transfer fee for him.  Put through from a pass by Robbie Keane, he took on the defender and went round the goalkeeper and with defenders covering coolly scored Spurs second to secure victory.

A more convincing win could have been achieved if Spurs had taken all their chances.  Berbatov again pressured the defender and set up Keane who hit the bar, later Keane blazed over when through on goal and Jermain Defoe shot wide with his first touch in the final moments.

Jermaine Jenas worked tirelessly, covering acres of ground, Berbatov showed his class and Dawson and King controlled the defence.  Paul Robinson showed his class with comfortable saves and a great double save from a free kick late in the first half.

A very pleasing performance and result with Spurs top of the group and looking forward to more European success.

19th October, 1983
Spurs 4 Feyenoord 2 (UEFA Cup 2nd Round (1st Leg)
Scorers: Galvin (2), Archibald (2)

The game matched Glenn Hoddle against an ageing Johan Cryff in a head to head contest.  It was the younger star who was to stamp his class on the match as Cryff failed to live with Hoddle’s creativity and control.

Spurs were four ahead by half-time and Glenn Hoddle had played a part in all of the goals.  He controlled the game and Spurs were supreme, going ahead after eight minutes through Steve Archibald.  Ten minutes later a Hoddle cross was headed in by Tony Galvin.  Archibald scored his second five minutes later with Galvin getting his second five minutes before half-time from a forty yard Hoddle pass.

In the second half Feyenoord came more into the game but Hoddle had displayed his master class and Spurs were almost assured of qualification to the next round.

Clemence, Hughton, Galvin, Roberts, Stevens, Perryman, Mabbutt, Archibald, Falco, Hoddle, Brooke (Crook). Att. 35,404

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spurs in History - 18th October

18th October, 1989

Spurs 2 Arsenal 1

Vinny Samways
Spurs had not beaten Arsenal since 1985. However, going into this game with successive victories over Q.P.R. and Charlton, Spurs' form under Terry Venables was showing improvement.

Newspaper reports, at the time, saw the victory as their most important result under Terry Venables, laying the North London hoodoo which Arsenal had maintained since his arrival.

Spurs won following five frantic minutes during the first half when a ‘red’ mist descended upon Tony Adams and from two free-kicks conceded by him, they scored both goals through Vinny Samways and Paul Walsh.

Despite a second half goal conceded, Spurs created the better goalscoring chances for Gary Lineker and won with the help of goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt.

Team: Thorstvedt; Thomas, M., Mabbutt, Fenwick, Van den Hauwe; Allen, P., Gascoigne, Samways (Howells), Sedgley; Walsh, Lineker.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Spurs in History - 17th October

17th October, 1885
Spurs First Competitive Match.
Spurs 5 St Albans 2 (London Association Cup 1st Round)

Spurs played their first competitive match in the London Association Cup.  Prior to this, all of Spurs games had been friendlies.  Four hundred spectators attended the game against St Albans, a London-based business house.

The Spurs team included six of the club’s founder members but the goal scorers were not recorded. Spurs’ Cup success was short lived as they lost heavily in the next round to the Casuals, one of the biggest names in football’s early history.

Bumberry, Jull, Tyrell, Bull, Lovis, Casey, Buckle, Harston, Mason, Amos, Cottrell.

In 1894 Spurs played their first FA Cup tie against West Herts who later became Watford FC.

17th October, 1972
Jimmy Greaves' Testimonial Game
Spurs 2 Feyenoord 1

Jimmy Greaves was the first player to be given a testimonial game by Spurs.   In recognition of his great service to the club the club decided to reward him with this game.  Greaves had left Spurs in March, 1970 when he was transferred to West Ham United as part of the deal which saw Martin Peters move to Tottenham.   Greaves retired at the end of the 1970-71 season at the age of 31.

Greaves who, unknown to most, had been suffering from alcohol related problems, turned back the years to score for Spurs.  Such was his peformance that it was thought that he might be tempted out of retirement but it was only in non-League football that he was to appear.   Ray Evans scored Spurs' other goal in front of 45,799 spectators.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Spurs Legend - Jimmy Greaves

Jimmy Greaves - goal scorer Supreme

Jimmy Greaves (Inside forward) [1961 - 1970]
League Appearances: 322 - 220 goals
FA Cup: 36 app. - 32 goals
League Cup: 8 app. - 5 goals
Europe: 14 app. - 9 goals.
England Internationals: 57 app. - 44 goals.

Jimmy Greaves was a prolific goalscorer throughout his career.  He scored a fantastic number of goals for Chelsea's youth teams and made his League debut for Chelsea at White Hart Lane in August, 1957 at the age of seventeen.  As with every debut throughout his career, he scored in that game and earned Chelsea a point in a 1-1 draw.

He went on to score 124 League goals for Chelsea before his transfer to AC Milan in June, 1961. However, his spell in Italy was not a happy time for Greaves who failed to settle and found it difficult to adapt to the strict Italian training regime.  However, despite his difficulties he continued to score regularly for his team in the defensive minded Italian League, including his customary debut goal.  In total he managed 9 goals from 14 appearances.

Some time after his departure to Italy, Bill Nicholson became aware of Greaves being unsettled at AC Milan and of his desire to returm to English football.  Nicholson watched the situation, determined to sign Greaves and add the natural goal scoring skills to his already talented team which had won the 'Double' the previous season and who were now involved in a campaign in the European Cup.  After protracted negotiations, Greaves signed for Spurs for £99,999 as Nicholson did not want him to have the added pressure of being the first £100,000 player.

Jimmy Greaves made his debut for Spurs at Tottenham against Blackpool in November, 1961 and scored a hat-trick, including an overhead kick to set his Spurs' goal scoring record on track.  In that first season he scored 21 League goals from 22 appearances and 9 FA Cup goals as Spurs retained the trophy, including the first goal, after three minutes, in the Final against Burnley.

The following season he set a new club record of 37 League goals and scored twice in the European Cup Winners' Cup Final against Atletico Madrid as Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy.

Jimmy Greaves was Spurs' leading goal scorer in each season he played for them and helped them win the FA Cup in 1967.

Greaves had made his England debut in 1959 and was a regular member of the team but his greatest disappointment came in 1966 when he missed out on playing in the World Cup Final.  He had missed part of the previous season through illness but recovered in time to claim his place in the England squad for the World Cup.  He was selected for the opening three group games but failed to score and was injured in the third game.  Geoff Hurst replaced him and scored the only goal of the next game and although Greaves recovered from the injury he was unable to regain a place in the team.

Over the next few seasons he continued to score regularly for Spurs but in 1969-70 as Bill Nicholson rebuilt his team he dropped Greaves and a number of senior players after an FA Cup defeat at Crystal Palace.  Although the other players regained their places and went on to be part of Spurs successful team at the start of the 1970s, Greaves never again played for Spurs.

In March, 1970 he was transferred to West Ham as part of the deal which brought Martin Peters to Tottenham.

Jimmy Greaves' last appearance for Spurs was in the FA Cup replay at Crystal Palace on 28th January, 1970.  His last League appearance was on 17th January, a 1-2 defeat at Sunderland.  His last goal was scored the previous weekend at White Hart Lane as Spurs defeated Derby County 2-1. No-one present at White Hart Lane that Saturday would have realised that they were witnessing the end of an era - the final goal scored by Jimmy Greaves for Tottenham Hotspur.

Greaves scored twice on his West Ham debut and despite scoring for West Ham on his return to Spurs on the opening day of the following season, he retired at the age of 31 in May, 1971.
Greaves overcame personal difficulties to make a career in television as a football pundit and is a very entertaining after dinner speaker, recalling the stories of his time in football.

Greaves was a natural goal scorer who remained calm when presented with a goal scoring opportunity and while he may have been criticised for a lack of work rate, it only took one touch from him in front of goal to score the winning goal.  Spurs have never seen a goal scorer like him, he was pure class.
Jimmy Greaves - a true Spurs' Legend.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Spurs in History - 16th October

Jimmy Greaves
16th October, 1965
Spurs 5 Manchester United 1 (1st Division)

This game is remembered for the score line and also for the outstanding goal scored by Jimmy Greaves.  He picked the ball up inside the United half, ran at their defence,  going past a number of defenders before rounding the keeper to tap the ball into an empty net - a classic Greaves goal!

Spurs had won five of their six home games and drawn the other but they had lost the last three away games.  Pat Jennings replaced Bill Brown in goal for his first game of the season.

All five forwards scored that day – the other goals coming from Jimmy Robertson, Alan Gilzean, Eddie Clayton and Neil Johnson making only his third appearance.

Amazingly and unfortunately for Spurs, the return game in December also ended 5-1 to the home team.

Team: Jennings, Norman, Knowles, Mullery, Brown,L., Mackay, Johnson, Clayton, Gilzean, Greaves, Robertson.

16th October, 1976
A much less favourable result at Derby County in the season when Spurs unsuccessfully battled against relegation to play in the 2nd Division for the first time since 1949-50 season.

Derby County 8 Spurs 2 (1st Division)

In Keith Burkinshaw's first season as manager Spurs struggled from the very start.  With only two wins in the opening eight games, Spurs were facing a long, hard season.  Early season injuries to Pat Jennings and John Duncan, the previous season's top scorer, had disrupted the team and new signings Ian Moores and Peter Taylor were taking time to adjust to the team.  Spurs had lost the previous game at West Bromwich by four goals to two when Taylor scored on his debut.

Going into the game Derby's record for the season was subdued - they had not recorded a win and had five points having drawn five of their seven games, a point behind Spurs on six points from two wins and two draws.

However, Derby found their form in spectacular fashion in this game against Spurs.  Having gone two goals behind in the first half, Spurs rallied with a penalty from Keith Osgood and a goal from Captain Steve Perryman to be only 3-2 down at half-time and seemingly still in with a chance in the game.  However when Derby scored their fourth on the hour, the flood gates opened and Spurs conceded another four in the final half hour.

The Derby manager was former Spurs' star Dave Mackay.  Writing in his book, 'The Real Mackay,' he recalls how he felt sorry for Pat Jennings the only survivor from his time at Spurs.  As the goals kept going in, 'I really wanted them to stop.  Nobody likes to see a friend in discomfort.  Fortunately for me, Bill Nicholson was no longer at the helm because if he had been I would have felt very, very uncomfortable.'

This is not Spurs' record defeat but it was an indication of the difficulties Spurs were facing in that 1976-77 season.

Team: Jennings, Naylor, Osgood, Hoddle, Young, Pratt, Conn, Perryman, Moores, Jones, Taylor.