Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spurs in History - 31st March

31st March, 1962

Spurs 3 Manchester United 1 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough

A second successive semi-final victory as Spurs endeavoured to retain the FA Cup. Goals from Jimmy Greaves, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones ensured that Spurs won comfortably and returned to Wembley to meet the team they defeated in the previous year’s semi-final.

Greaves and Jones gave Spurs a two goal half-time lead. United scored with seven minutes remaining but Medwin ensured Spurs victory, scoring three minutes later.

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


Friday, March 30, 2007

Spurs in History - 30th March

30th March, 1903

Spurs 3 Queen’s Park Rangers 0 (London League)

In these non-League days, Spurs played in three Leagues, the Southern League, the Western League and the London League as well as different Cup competitions.

This victory in a London League match ensured that Spurs won that competition finishing four points ahead of West Ham United. The goals were scored by Hughes (pen), Copeland and Chalmers.

Hughes and Copeland had both been members of the 1901 F.A.Cup winning team. This was the last season that Spurs played the first team in the London League as from the following season it became a reserve competition.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spurs in History - 29th March

29th March, 1986

Spurs 1 Arsenal 0 (1st Division)

Spurs had earned a point in a New Year’s Day scoreless draw at Highbury and in this frenetic, bruising return match, Spurs won thanks to a first half goal from Gary Stevens. Such was the pace of the game that only Hoddle managed to show his skill, inspiring them in a hectic ten minute spell around the goal, midway through the half, that could have brought more goals.

However, in the second half Spurs were less effective and only three outstanding saves by Ray Clemence earned his team the three points.

Despite a strong finish to the season Spurs finished tenth and manager Peter Shreeve was replaced by David Pleat.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spurs in History - 28th March

28th March, 1901

Spurs 3 Reading 0 FA Cup 3rd Round

The two remaining non-League teams had been drawn to meet each other in the Cup. The first game at Reading had ended 1-1 but Spurs won the replay with goals from Sandy Brown (2) and David Copeland.

Spurs played well and took the lead after seven minutes through Copeland and Brown scored either side of half-time to make the game safe. They also had two goals disallowed but the Spurs dream of winning the Cup was still alive as they proceeded to the semi-final.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spurs in History - 27th March

27th March, 1965

Spurs 7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 1st Division

An eleven goal thriller. The Spurs goals came from Eddie Clayton, Les Allen, Alan Gilzean (2) and Cliff Jones (3).

A number of interesting facts about this game:
  • this was Les Allen’s last goal for Spurs (Pic: Ls Allen who was transferred to QPR and later became their manager),

  • Keith Weller a young forward made his debut and

  • Jimmy Greaves was playing and surprisingly did not score.
Wolves had scored first but Spurs equalized and at half-time the score was 1-1. With six minutes to go the score was 5-4 and then Jones scored two late goals for his hat-trick.

With six matches to play Spurs were fourth in the League but eleven points behind the top three teams.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Spurs in History - 26th March

26th March, 1921

Sunderland 0 Spurs 1 (1st Division)

Now-a-days with substitutes you never see outfield players taking over in goal when the goalkeeper is injured or gets sent off. It always added excitement to a game to see the substitute goalkeeper flapping at crosses or making amazing saves.

For this game Spurs regular goalkeepers, Alex Hunter and Bill Jacques, were injured. Their deputy for the whole game was Tommy Clay, an England international full back. He kept a clean sheet and Spurs won with a goal from Jimmy Seed.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spurs in History - 25th March

25th March, 1922

Preston North End 2 Spurs 1 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough

Refereeing decisions have had a bearing on many of Spurs semi-final appearances and even away back in this game Spurs didn’t have the rub of the green.

Spurs had beaten Preston in the previous year’s semi-final and Jimmy Seed gave them a half time lead in this game. In the second half Preston were revitalized and equalized but then Spurs suffered a refereeing injustice.

Spurs should have taken the lead from a Bert Bliss shot but the referee blew his whistle to attend to an injured Preston player. He claimed that he blew up prior to the ball crossing the line and disallowed the goal. To make things worse, the player wasn’t even injured.

Preston then went on to score a winning goal.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spurs in History - 24th March

24th March, 1934

Newcastle United 1 Spurs 3 1st Division
A game which saw Spurs winning with a hat-trick from their prolific goal scoring centre forward, George Hunt. This was the second of his three hat-tricks in the space of six games and in total he scored five hat-tricks during the season including four in a game against Sheffield United. He scored 35 League and Cup goals in season 1933-34, as Spurs finished third in the League, to add to 36 the previous year and 26 in the season before that.
Hunt held the aggregate goal scoring record until Bobby Smith surpassed it. Capped by England on three occasions, he scored 138 goals in 198 appearances.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Spurs in History - 23rd March

23rd March, 1985

Spurs 5 Southampton 1

Following the previous weekend’s victory at Anfield Spurs celebrated at White Hart Lane with a convincing victory over Southampton. The goals came from Ossie Ardiles, Mark Falco, Glenn Hoddle, Garth Crooks and Garry Brooke. At this point Spurs looked set for a challenge for the League title but their home form deserted them and of the next six home League games they won only one, losing the others.

They eventually finished third on 77 points, thirteen points behind Champions, Everton, and missing second place to Liverpool on goal difference. Throughout the season they lost 11 League games, seven of them at home and the four away defeats were during September and October.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spurs in History - 22nd March

22nd March, 1961

Spurs 1 Newcastle United 2 (1st Division)

Even the ‘Double’ winning team could have their off days. Newcastle, facing relegation, were clinging on in the first half with their goalkeeper having a starring role.

At half-time Spurs were only one ahead through a goal from Les Allen. To make matters worse Danny Blanchflower had missed a penalty and then in the second half Newcastle began to come into the game and scored after an hour. With little over ten minutes left they took the lead, holding on for an unexpected victory.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spurs in History - 21st March

21st March, 1999

Leicester City 0 Spurs 1 WORTHINGTON CUP FINAL at Wembley

A day filled with European and Cup drama.

In 1953 Spurs lost an F.A.Cup semi-final tie to Blackpool when an Alf Ramsey mistake saw Spurs concede the winning goal with ten seconds left.

In 1962 Spurs lost 3-1 to Benfica in the European Cup semi final 1st Leg tie in Lisbon.

Alan Nielsen celebrates winning the Worthington Cup and MOTM award

However to mark the last success experienced by Spurs we note this Cup victory thanks to a last minute goal from Allan Nielsen. In a rather dour game, Spurs only came to life when reduced to ten men when Justin Edinburgh was sent off. The game seemed to be heading for extra time when Iversen broke on the right to cross and Nielsen was there to head into the net after Kasey Keller, who later was to join Spurs, had pushed the ball out.

Team: Walker; Carr, Vega, Campbell, Edinburgh; Anderton, Freund, Nielsen, Ginola (Sinton); Iversen, Ferdinand.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spurs in History - 20th March

20th March, 1974

Spurs 3 FC Cologne 0 UEFA Cup 4th round 2nd Leg

As winners of the League Cup the previous season, Spurs European adventure in the UEFA Cup continued with a comfortable win, ensuring that there were no slip ups after their 2-1 win in Germany in the 1st Leg. Spurs increased their aggregate lead with goals from Martin Chivers, Martin Peters and Ralph Coates.

The semi-final tie saw them drawn to play East German opponents, 1.FC Lokomotiv Leipzig.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FA Cup 6th Round Replay

Chelsea Replay Preview

Monday, 19th March, 2007 KO: 8.05pm

Spurs' last 8 games: W W D W W W W W (it looks great!)

Referee: Howard Webb

The season just keeps rolling on and the next game is always the most important as was the case with Watford on Saturday, a job well done. But now this really is the BIG one. Chelsea were relieved to leave Stamford Bridge with a draw and have another chance at White Hart Lane while Spurs were the disappointed side, that they hadn’t finished off what they had so nearly achieved.

Following the goal-fest in the first game, the replay might be a more cagy affair with only a goal in it. Chelsea will have no problem with coming to Tottenham - they will be confident of getting a result and will be quite happy to grind out a score if that’s what’s necessary, as they have done on occasions in the League and European competitions. Whether that type of game would suit Spurs is uncertain but they must set aside any lingering thoughts that they have missed their best opportunity and take confidence from their good form and build on what they achieved a week ago.

Since the teams last met a week ago, both have completed routine victories to maintain their recent good form – Spurs reaching the UEFA Cup Q/F against SC Braga and taking three points from Watford, while Chelsea defeated Man City (a) 1-0 (Lampard (pen)) and Sheffield United (h) 3-0 (Shevchenko, Kalou, Ballack).

Both teams should see players returning, Robinson, Keane and Jenas for Spurs, while Terry and Makelele will be looking to bring greater stability to what was a very suspect Chelsea defence last Sunday. However, Terry and the other Chelsea defenders must be concerned about facing Berbatov especially in his current form and supported by Keane, Lennon and Jenas they could have a busy evening.

The power of the Chelsea midfield of Lampard, Ballack, Essien and Robben will be a constant threat to Spurs but they coped well on Sunday and managed to limit Drogba’s opportunities to influence the game. Total concentration and commitment will again be necessary if Spurs are to be successful. Spurs’ inability to keep a ‘clean sheet’ is a source of encouragement to the opposition who must always feel that they have a chance to score. This would be a very good time to keep the opposition at bay and look to our strike force to make it a great FA Cup night at White Hart Lane.

Past results have no bearing on this match but the clubs have met in the FA Cup at White Hart Lane on three occasions. Spurs won the 1957 encounter 4-0, the 1963 game was drawn 1-1 and Chelsea reversed the 1957 score in the most recent game in the 6th Round in 2002.

In recent weeks Spurs have taken a massive step forward, they are now closing in on fourth or fifth in the Premiership, their Cup progress has been exciting and they have been playing in a style more reminiscent of Tottenham of old. This is the big test – can they overcome Chelsea to show that they are really there or will it be a case of so near but not quite good enough. In the Carling Cup semi-final for thirty minutes, it looked as if it had all come together but with the departure of Berbatov, so went Spurs chances. Berbatov is crucial to Spurs, but those around him must ensure they play their part to achieve the success so craved at Spurs.

Both teams are showing good form, Chelsea undefeated in domestic competitions since their loss at Tottenham in November, but something will have to give this time.
Chelsea’s recent form: W W D W W W D W

This has to be the night for Spurs to make a bold statement and show their intent – no more ‘nearly’ results, no more undefeated in Cup competitions in 90 minutes, no defeat on penalties – it’s time for Spurs to defeat one of the ‘top’ teams, time for a Spurs’ success in one of these big games and progress to a semi-final tie against Blackburn Rovers.


Spurs in History - 19th March

19th March, 1966
Spurs 5 Aston Villa 5 1st Division

This was a transitional season with little of note. It had started well enough but following defeat in the Cup at Preston in early March the team was to win only two of their final thirteen League games. New young players were introduced to try to stem the flow of goals, while, this game apart, goals were had to find.

Initially in this game, things looked bright enough, Spurs were three ahead after fifteen minutes, 4-1 ahead at half-time and 5-1 up after five minutes of the second half. The scorers were Alan Gilzean, Jimmy Greaves, Frank Saul, Laurie Brown and Jimmy Robertson (Pic.). Then came the Villa fight back.

They scored three goals in four minutes, equalised with 11 minutes to go and should have won when with three minutes remaining they were clean through, took the ball around Pat Jennings but hesitated and allowed Alan Mullery to recover to clear.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spurs in History - 18th March

18th March, 1961

Burnley 0 Spurs 3 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park.

At the fourth attempt, Spurs returned successfully from a semi-final tie at Villa Park. The two top teams met to decide who would be in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Burnley were the reigning Champions and Spurs were well on the way to claiming their title. The League game at White Hart Lane in early December had been a classic. Spurs had gone four up but Burnley clawed themselves back into the game to earn a draw.

In the semi-final Spurs took the lead after half an hour and went further ahead when Bobby Smith scored his second in the second half. This deflated Burnley and Cliff Jones added the third before the end.

Spurs had reached the FA Cup Final for the first time in 40 years and were on their way to Wembley for the very first time. Over the next number of years Tottenham Hotspur were to become regular visitors at the famous stadium.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spurs' GOAL of the Season?

Spurs 3 Watford 1

Paul Robinson celebrates his goal against Watford

Paul Robinson scored a goal for Spurs from a free-kick inside his own half. He was wide on the left, 80 yards from goal when he lauched the ball forward towards the Watford goal. The ball bounced between the defender and Foster in the Watford goal and went over his head and into the net.

That is second goal of Robinson's career having previously scored for Leeds United in a League Cup tie. He becomes the third Spurs goalkeeper to score in a competitive match - the last one being Pat Jennings who scored at Old Trafford in the Charity Shield match in August, 1967. The only other League goal scored for Spurs by a goalkeeper was in April, 1914 against Bolton Wanderers by John 'Tiny' Joyce from a penalty, Spurs won 3-0.

Spurs' first goal against Watford was scored late in the first half, rising high to head in a Chimbonda cross. Robinson's goal settled the game and while Ghaly scored the third the match would have been decided sooner if Mido had not missed from five yards with the goalkeeper sprawled on the ground. A tame shot from Tom Huddlestone was spilled by Foster and fell nicely toMido but his casual shot was too close to the goalkeeper who stuck out his leg and deflected it wide. Watford's consolation goal came in the 89th minute when Chimbonda didn't clear a ball near the goal line and allowed the Watford player to cross for Henderson to score his 50th career goal.

Spurs, with a weakened team, earned the three points which lift them into 6th place in the Premiership and Berbatov, Keane, Lennon and Zokora had a well earned rest ahead of Monday evening's FA Cup 6th Round Replay against Chelsea.

The only disappointment was that once again Spurs were unable to keep a clean sheet in the League. It is now 20 games since Spurs managed a clean sheet, the scoreless draw at Watford in October being last time Spurs achieved it in a League match. That inability to prevent the opposition scoring is always an encouragement to the other team in that they know they can score and get back into the game even if they are two down.


Spurs in History - 17th March

17th March, 1956
Manchester City 1 Spurs 0 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park.

Spurs were finding it difficult to progress beyond the semi-final, for the third time since the war, Spurs lost a semi-final tie at Villa Park. Tommy Harmer had played an important part in ensuring Spurs' progress to the semi-final but the manager, Jimmy Anderson, decided to drop him from this game feeling his light build would struggle against the stronger City defenders. However, Spurs struggled without Harmer and went behind but with time running out, Captain Danny Blanchflower (pic.) moved centre half Maurice Norman forward as he had successfully done in the previous round.

Although Spurs should have had a penalty, they couldn’t equalize and afterwards the manager was furious at Blanchflower’s changes. As a consequence, Blanchflower, a man of principle, resigned as captain and didn’t hold that position for the next two seasons.

17th March, 2001

Spurs 3 Coventry City 0 Premiership

Spurs' last game on St Patrick's Day was a comfortable 3-0 win against Coventry City who were relegated at the end of the season and it was the first game after George Graham's departure from White Hart Lane. The goals were scored by Les Ferdinand, Steffan Iversen and Sergei Rebrov and supporters were almost treated to a once in a life time experience - it looked as if Steffan Freund (pic.) was about to core his first goal for the club. He broke clear on the right and cut in on goal, his shot across goal beat the goalkeeper and with everyone on their feet, the ball slid past the wrong side ofthe post. So nearly a 'classic' moment.

Freund was totally committed but in over 130 League and Cup appearances for Spurs during his five years at the club from 1999 to 2003, he failed to score a single goal in a competitive match. His only appearance among the goal scorers was in a pre-season friendly against Stevenage Borough.

The team against Coventry was under the control of Graham's Assistant, Stewart Houston but he was replaced on a temporary basis by Director of Football, David Pleat while we awaited the arrival of the manager everyone wanted at White Hart Lane. It was no secret that the position was for Glenn Hoddle, it was only a matter of time until agreement was reached with Southampton so that Hoddle and his assistant John Gorman could take control at Tottenham. It duly happened and their first game in charge was the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal three weeks later.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Spurs v Watford Preview

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford

Saturday, 17th March, 2007 KO: 3.00pm

Referee: Lee Mason

In early February, it was all doom and gloom but look at how the season has been turned around. We’d just lost to the Uniteds of Manchester and Sheffield and were without a Premiership win in 2007. Martin Jol and the players were receiving criticism from all quarters and it was hard to know where the next win was going to come from. At that point if Spurs had had to play Feyenoord in the UEFA Cup, there was little confidence that they would win. Now five weeks later, the season has been transformed – the goals are flying in, seven games undefeated and the style has returned to Tottenham. They have reached the UEFA Cup Q/F and set a record of 8 successive wins in European competitions, they face Chelsea in the FA Cup Q/F Replay on Monday and are within striking distance of 5th place in the Premiership.

Fulham (a) Won 4-0 Keane(2), Berbatov(2) FA Cup
Everton (a) Won 2-1 Berbatov, Jenas Premiership
Bolton Wanderers (h) Won 4-1 Keane(2), Jenas, Lennon Premiership
West Ham United (a) Won 4-3 Defoe (p), Tainio, Berbatov, Stalteri Premiership
SC Braga (a) Won 3-2 Keane(2), Malbranque UEFA Cup
Chelsea (a) Draw 3-3 Berbatov, Ghaly, opp.o.g. FA Cup
SC Braga (h) Won 3-2 Berbatov (2), Malbranque UEFA Cup

The season just keeps rolling on and its back to the ‘bread and butter’ of the Premiership and Watford who are in 19th place having gained only 20 points. They have scored only 5 away goals this season and achieved one win. Many will remember how unfortunate they were to lose their opening game at Everton when they had two controversial refereeing decisions go against them. That performance had suggested good things to come from them this season but they have struggled since with their only away win at West Ham in February, their only win in the last 6 Premiership games and they have only two wins in the last 18 League games.
Watford's recent form: W D L D W W

While struggling in the league, Watford have reached the FA Cup semi-final where they will play Manchester United or Middlesbrough. Last Sunday saw them overcome Plymouth with a single goal, the same score as defeated Ipswich and West Ham in previous rounds.

Their star player is Ben Foster who is on loan from Manchester United. He is getting plenty of experience in goal and had a competent performance in England’s last game and may well be needed if Paul Robinson is injured for the games next weekend. Their leading scorer is Hameur Bouazza with 5, four in the Premiership.

It will be a pleasure to welcome Watford's Assistant Manager to White Hart Lane. Keith Burkinshaw is sure of a warm reception from the Spurs' fans, many of whom will remember his successful team of the early 1980s which culminated in the winning of the UEFA Cup in his final game in charge. Spurs are looking to repeat that performance in this year's competition.

The game at Watford in October ended scoreless, a significant point, as it is the last time that Spurs managed a clean sheet in the Premiership.

Watford’s last visit to White Hart Lane was in December, 1999 when Spurs gave the fans a Boxing Day present of four goals from Ginola, Sherwood (2), Iversen. That was the fourth successive home League win over Watford after three successive defeats in the early 80s.

Home League Record against Watford: P 7 W 4 D 0 L 3 For 15 Ag 11.

Martin Jol will be conscious of Spurs’ busy schedule in the coming weeks and with the Cup replay on Monday, he may want to rest some of the players. There should still be enough experience and ability in the squad to achieve the victory that would keep Spurs’ pursuit of a place in Europe through the Premiership on track. With confidence high Spurs will want to quickly establish control in the match and dampen Watford’s endeavour as they will battle continuously throughout the game. Some will say they wouldn’t mind Spurs losing this game, as long as things work out on Monday, but I want them to win against Watford, even if it’s only by a goal, as long as they win, and maintain their current good form – it looks impressive:

W D W W W W W .


Spurs in History - 16th March

16th March, 1912 & 1985
Victory at Anfield

Spurs won the 1st Division game in 1912 by 2-1 through goals from Ernie Newman and Thomas Mason, two players who don’t rank highly in Spurs history making only 39 appearances between them and this was the only goal scored by Mason.

However, events over the next 73 years brought greater significance to their feat that day because in that time no Spurs team won at Anfield. Amazingly, on the exact same date in 1985 Spurs unexpectedly returned to London having won 1-0, thanks to a goal from Garth Crooks. It was a well deserved victory and at last Spurs supporters didn’t have to listen to tales linking the ‘Titanic’ and their results at Anfield.

Bye Bye Jimmy – on this day in 1970 Spurs greatest goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves, was transferred to West Ham United.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spurs - Another First in Europe

Tottenham - 8 Consecutive wins in Europe
Dimitar Berbatov - the Star of Spurs UEFA Cup campaign

Last night's win at White Hart Lane against SC Braga gives Martin Jol's side a new record - 8 consecutive wins in European competitions. No other British club has achieved that number of wins in Europe.

It is an amazing record and one which started in Prague in early September, when a goal from Jermaine Jenas gave Spurs their solitary goal victory over Slavia Prague. A late goal from Robbie Keane was enough to secure the tie on a 2-0 aggregate and into the Group stage of the competition.

Spurs headed the five team group with a maximum 12 points following wins over Besiktas in Turkey, FC Brugge at White Hart Lane, Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and the final home game against Dinamo Bucharest.

In Turkey goals from Ghaly and Berbatov gave Spurs an impressive win, while Dimitar Berbatov's goal was an indication of the class and goal scoring ability of the player who joined Spurs in the summer.

At White Hart Lane Berbatov (2) and Robbie Keane scored the goals in a 3-1 victory over FC Brugge from Belgium.

The next game saw Berbatov return to Germany to the club he had left to join Spurs and he quietly scored the only goal of the game to secure Spurs' win. The final game against the team, Dinamo Bucharest, hoping to oust Spurs from the top of the group was won with goals from Berbatov and Jermain Defoe (2).

The next round draw saw Spurs to meet old rivals from Holland, Feyenoord. However, Spurs received a bye when the Dutch side where expelled from the competition due to the bad behaviour of some of their ans in an earlier game against Lens.

The round of 16, paired Spurs with SC Braga from Portugal. The two cubs had previously met in the opening round of the UEFA Cup in 1984-84 season when Spurs were holders of the trophy. Spurs progressed comfortably then with a 9-0 aggragate win, 3-0 in Portugal and 6-0 at home. Spurs again scored three in Braga but it was a closer affair after the home side pulled back from two down to level and it was only an injury time goal from Robbie Keane which gave Spurs the advantage for the home leg. He had earlier scored the first goal and Steed Malbranque got the second. Dimitar Berbatov was the star of the game in Portugal when he had run Braga ragged but somehow failed to score. He made up for that in the return game by scoring two great goals to give Spurs a half-time lead after they had unexpectedly found themselves a goal behind against the run of play. A further goal from Malbrangue, created by Berbatov, secured Spurs place in the Quarter finals of the competition, where they are only British club left and the only club able to win it for a third time.

  • Berbatov scored in four consecutive games and his failure to score in Portugal prevented him from becoming the first Spurs player to score in five consecutive European games.

  • Dimitar Berbatov has now scored 7 goals in the UEFA Cup.


Spurs in History - 15th March

Glenn Hoddle and Chris kept the lights shining for Spurs

15th March, 1987

Wimbledon 0 Spurs 2 F.A.Cup 6th Round.

Wimbledon were proving difficult to beat and earlier in the season had won at White Hart Lane in the League. This tie was televised and Spurs were being set up for a Cup shock but the team had come into a good vein of form, although they had lost the semi-final replay in the League Cup to Arsenal at the beginning of the month.

In this game the team applied themselves well, ensuring they coped with Wimbledon’s long ball tactics and goals from Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle ensured the ‘Diamond Lights’ were still shining for the semi-final tie.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spurs in History - 14th March

14th March, 1962

Spurs 1 Ipswich Town 3

This is the match that cost Spurs the chance of winning the ‘Double’ for a second successive season. If Spurs had won this game by a similar margin they would have been Champions on goal average.

As it was Spurs lost to Alf Ramsey’s team who had just been promoted. Ipswich won both games against Spurs and the goal scored by Jimmy Greaves was only a consolation when the whole season was taken into consideration.

Spurs had just qualified for the F.A.Cup semi-final and were in the European Cup semi-finals but they were unable to cope with Ipswich’s unorthodox game plan.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Match Preview - UEFA Cup Tottenham Hotspur v SC Braga

UEFA Cup (Round of 16) (2nd Leg)

Wednesday, 14th March, 2007 KO: 8.15pm

Tottenham Hotspur (3)



SC Braga (2)


Following the first game, Spurs should make it into the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Cup whatever team Martin Jol decides to play on Wednesday evening. There was nothing in the SC Braga performance to suggest that they could come back at White Hart Lane to win the tie. Spurs could so easily have been bringing a three or four goal lead to this game but a dubious penalty and a debatable free-kick gave Braga a glimmer of hope until Robbie Keane scored the late winner. Spurs totally dominated the game with Dimitar Berbatov again proving the thorn in their flesh - his performances in Europe this season have been awesome and it is so good to see them being brought to the Premiership as well.

If Tottenham put in a proper professional performance, they should win with ease against a team that played neat football to the edge of the penalty area but could create nothing after that.

Braga have a reputation for a tight defensive team, they hadn't conceded a home goal in the previous UEFA home games, and they only conceded 25 in 21 games this year. Their home match on Sunday against Beira Mar (15th in the 16 team League) ended in a scoreless draw.

Away from home in the UEFA Cup they lost both games in the group stage - 0-3 to AZ and 0-2 to Sevilla, although they did win 1-0 at Parma with a 90th minute winner.

Spurs have been involved in a series of high-pressured games in the past three weeks. Having endured a period of poor results from the end of January, the team was under pressure as they went into the Fulham FA Cup tie with many predicting they would lose. They came through that game convincingly, the win at Everton was more pressure with another late winner and then they defeated one of their more difficult teams, Bolton, with an outstanding display including playing for almost an hour with ten men. The tension of that game was only exceeded by the game at West Ham when they scored twice in the last five minutes to snatch victory. A late goal at Braga and just over sixty hours later they faced Chelsea in the FA Cup. It has been a gruelling time for the players and understandably they are feeling drained emotionally and physically but they overcame it to put on a performance that deserved victory.

Immediately after the Chelsea game, the feeling was of disappointment - that they had missed a great opportunity - but on reflection the players have done amazingly well to turn the season around. Not only have they had a series of tension packed games but they have had to cope with mounting injuries. In that period there has not been an easy game.

Unfortunately, the injury list continues t grow with today's news that Anthony Gardner broke a bone in his leg shortly after coming on as substitute on Sunday. With Rocha ineligeble for UEFA Cup games. Chimbonda may have to switch to the middle to play beside Michael Dawson, the only fit central defender.

This season reminds me of 2001 when Liverpool suddenly hit a rich vein of form that carried them to a treble of FA Cup and UEFA Cup success, having already won the League Cup. If Spurs could follow suit with a Cup double, what a dream and what a season that would be.

I'm looking forward positively to the UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals because the dates suit me and I want to be at White Hart Lane to experience one of those very special 'Glory, Glory Nights' at the Lane.


Spurs in History - 13th March

13th March, 1982

Liverpool 3 Spurs 1(aet) LEAGUE/MILK CUP FINAL at Wembley.

Thirteenth, unlucky for some and certainly for Spurs in their centenary year. Two amazing records finally came to an end in this game – unbeaten in domestic Cup Finals and unbeaten at Wembley.

However, it looked to be going so well with Steve Archibald giving Spurs the lead after 11 minutes. Liverpool pressed but the Spurs defence was holding firm and then with four minutes remaining Archibald had a chance to secure victory but delayed his shot and the chance was gone. Within a minute Liverpool had equalised and in extra time they scored twice more against a deflated Spurs team. However, Spurs were still looking for success in the League, the F.A.Cup and in Europe.

Team: Clemence; Perryman, Hughton; Price, Hazard(Roberts), Miller; Ardiles, Archhibald, Galvin, Hoddle, Crooks.

13th March, 1936

On this day, one six line paragraph in the Weekly Herald, headlined 'On Trial' stated:

"Spurs are giving a month's trial to an amateur Wm. E. Nicholson, an inside right of Scarborough Working Man's Club. He recently celebrated his 17th birthday. His height is 5ft 8 ins and weight 10st 12 lbs."

And so Bill Nicholson arrived at Tottenham Hotspur where he served with distintion as a payer, coach and manager. He later returned as Consultant and became Club President.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Spurs in History - 12th March

12th March, 1957
Spurs 4 Bolton Wanderers 1 1st Division

Spurs had started the season poorly, losing heavily in many of the early games. However, from late October their form had improved and inspired by Bobby Smith’s goal scoring they were making progress in the league.

This game showed Smith’s importance to the team as he completed his third hat-trick of the season, giving him seven goals in his last three League games. The other Spurs goal came from Johnny Brooks.

Spurs eventually finished 3rd in the League, something that would have seemed impossible given the early season results.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spurs Make Chelsea Go all the Way!

What a marvellous game - the neutral will have been enthralled by it and Chelsea supporters will be delighted that they have an opportunity of a replay at WhiteHart lane on Monday week, 19th March. For Spurs although they would have taken that result before the game kicked off, there must be a feeling of disappointment at an opportunity missed.

They played magnificiently in the first half and had Chelsea all over the place and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 half-time lead. Considering the composition of the team, without Robinson, Chimbonda, King, Keane and Jenas, Spurs took the game to Chelsea and scored three great goals. Lennon's through ball gave Berbatov the opportunity for the first, then after Chelsea had equalised, his cross was deflected into his own goal by Essien. To put the icing on the cake for an excellent first half, Ghaly ran through the centre of the Chelsea defence to score the third.

In the second half Spurs had opportunities to add to their goal tally but first Lennon had a shot blocked by Cech when clean through and from the rebound Defoe misheaded from a cross with the goalkeeper out of position. A despairing lunge by Cole put off Defoe, and he could have been penalised for dangerous play.

The departure of Dimitar Berbatov who had given Spurs so much control after 65 minutes with an injury, was the start of the game turning Chelsea's way. Mido couldn't pick up where Berbatov left off and found it difficult to get into the game in a positive way. It was a loose ball from him, in midfield, that led to Chelsea's second goal and this created the momentum for their final surge.

Leenon was replaced by Malbranque and Gardner replaced Ghaly, further surrendering the initiative and Chelsea took their chance. Gardner failed to jump with Drogba who headed the ball across for the equaliser. But even after that Spurs could have won, Defoe hitting the bar with a thunderous shot in the 89th minute.

All the players, led by captain, Michael Dawson, gave everything, total commitment with Zokora and Tainio doing excellent work in central midfield. It was only as tiredness came on following their heavy schedule over recent weeks that Chelsea began to show greater control.

An opportunity missed? Only time will tell but it doesn't matter to Chelsea and their experienced players whether the game is home or away and they will be looking to ensure they don't get caught out again. In situations like this you usually only get one chance and you need to take it.

Spurs may have missed theirs.

Team: Cerny; Stalteri, Dawson (Captain), Rocha, Lee: Ghaly, Zokora, Tainio, Lennon, Berbatov, Defoe. Subs: Burch, Huddlestone, Gardner, Malbranque, Mido.


Spurs and the FA Cup 6th Round

Can Spurs Add to the Memorable FA Cup Moments at Stamford Bridge?
Spurs and the FA Cup – 6th Round

Chelsea in the 6th Round, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – that wasn’t what I’d been hoping for when Steve McLaren and Terry Venables made the draw on the afternoon following the win over Fulham. In less than twenty four hours the euphoria of that win had been dampened by the realisation that Spurs had to visit the Billionaires of West London. Plymouth Argyll at White Hart Lane had been more what I had thought of but we’ll keep them for the semi-finals.

With Chelsea in mind the obvious starting point for a review of Spurs in the FA Cup 6th Round is Stamford Bridge in 1982. Spurs as Cup holders were drawn against 2nd Division Chelsea who had defeated European Champions, Liverpool, in the previous round. A memorable game with Spurs in an all white strip with yellow socks and as the game progressed everything clicked for them. Chelsea had taken a first half lead but gradually Spurs started to show their superior class with Glenn Hoddle giving a master class of ball control. It was only a matter of time before Spurs would score and it came when Steve Archibald poked the ball home after the Chelsea goalkeeper failed to hold a Hoddle free-kick. Spurs immediately stepped up a gear and within ten minutes were 3-1 ahead. The second goal was a masterpiece. Hoddle and Hazard cut through the Chelsea midfield with an exchange of passes and, after Hazard's flick had left them wrong-footed, Hoddle crashed a 25-yard drive past the goalkeeper. Hazard then confirmed Tottenham's superiority with a coolly taken drive and although Chelsea pulled a goal back Spurs coasted home on a wave of possession football. The performance was even greater as the match was played on a bare pitch with a very uneven bounce.

A similar performance and result on Sunday would be very, very satisfying.

In 1901, with fewer teams in the competition, Spurs had already reached the semi-finals but in 1921 they were drawn at home against the FA Cup holders, Aston Villa. Having had a favourable draw in the earlier rounds, this was the first occasion they had met opponents from the 1st Division. The clubs had met at the similar stage (4th Round) a year previously when a Tommy Clay own goal had taken Villa through. This time, Clay and Spurs took revenge and triumphed when right winger, Jimmy Banks, scored midway through the first half, following a run by left winger, Jimmy Dimmock. In his book, Jimmy Seed, the influential Spurs player of the time describes how Banks saved his blushes with the goal. Seed admits that on occasions, in big games, he would ‘freeze’ and in this game as Dimmock crossed the ball, that’s what happened. However, Jimmy Banks sized up the situation and hit both Seed and the ball as best he could. The ball hit his knee and ended up in the Villa goal. A freak goal and another piece of good fortune to take Spurs closer to success.

That match was watched by a crowd of 51, 991 spectators at White Hart Lane but it falls well short of the record attendance for the ground which was achieved in 1938. On 5th March, 1938, Spurs’ record crowd of 75,038 spectators witnessed the team lose by a single goal to Sunderland. At that time Spurs were in the 2nd Division while Sunderland were from the 1st Division. However, a controversial refereeing decision denied Spurs an opening goal. A Colin Lyman shot beat the goalkeeper but Jack Gibbons following up to make sure the ball went in, handled and although the referee gave the goal, a linesman flagged for handball and the goal was disallowed.

However, in 1961 the roles were reversed and the 6th Round game took Spurs to Roker Park to meet Sunderland who were in the 2nd Division and their young team came closest to ending that season’s all conquering Spurs team’s dream of the ‘double.’ By the end of that game Spurs were hanging on for a draw. Cliff Jones had given Spurs the lead after nine minutes with a header from a partially cleared corner. Bobby Smith hit the post just before half-time, but then the famous ‘Roker Roar’ lifted the home team and they equalised at the start of the second half. Sunderland pressurised Spurs to the final whistle and tested them to the limit but where weaker teams would have succumbed Danny Blanchflower galvanized Spurs who held out for the replay. It was a relieved Spurs team who prepared for the replay the following Wednesday and having escaped with a draw, they made no mistakes this time. Sunderland had had their day and now it was time for Spurs to show their superiority. Fans had queued for ten hours to get in and they saw Spurs sweep majestically into the semi-final. Spurs were three ahead by half-time with goals from Les Allen, Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson. After 65 minutes Dyson scored his second and five minutes later Dave Mackay completed the scoring. Burnley awaited in the semi-finals.

In 1962, Spurs had to meet Aston Villa. Spurs had beaten them 2-0 at Villa Park the previous season in the 5th Round and with home advantage recorded the same score this time. In a typical cup-tie, in slippery conditions due to constant rain, Spurs hit the post twice during the first half, with shots from Terry Medwin and Jimmy Greaves. However, Villa defended resolutely and the game remained scoreless but sixty seconds in the second half changed all that. In the 47th minute, Danny Blanchflower scored with a low shot and one minute later, Cliff Jones headed home a cross from Greaves.

Second Division, Birmingham City were Spurs 6th Round opponents in 1967. A visit to the Midlands saw Spurs held to a goal-less draw as the home team battled heroically to ensure Spurs could not play their natural game. The Spurs defence also had be alert to thwart Birmingham and Pat Jennings had to make a number of important saves. In the replay, order was restored and Jimmy Greaves threw off the shackles that had been imposed on him in the first game to score twice in the second half. Terry Venables had scored two early goals and Alan Gilzean made it three before half-time. Greaves’ brace and a final goal from Frank Saul completed the scoring after the interval and took Spurs to a meeting with Nottingham Forest.

In 1981, the draw was favourable to Spurs, a home game against Exeter City from the Third Division. Spurs couldn’t have been more delighted and were looking towards the semi-finals and beyond. Surely, a team with Perryman, Hoddle, Ardiles, Archibald, Crooks and Georgio Mazzon would have too much class for the lower Division team. However, it took two goals from the central defenders to take Spurs into the semi-finals. Exeter made Spurs fight all the way but two moments of Glenn Hoddle magic created the goals for Spurs. Firstly, a Hoddle cross enabled Graham Roberts to score his first goal for the club and then from his free-kick Paul Miller scored after the goalkeeper had made a mistake.

The two recurring themes from the 1991 Cup triumph are Spurs’ worsening financial situation and Paul Gascoigne. As the months passed so Spurs’ future outlook grew bleaker by the day but the one bright spot was the FA Cup and Paul Gascoigne’s ability to overcome injury worries and continue to amaze with his outstanding performances. The 6th Round opponents were Notts County at White Hart Lane and if Spurs were expecting an easy victory over the 2nd Division side, they must have been in a state of shock when County took the lead. Nayim scored to bring Spurs level and then a winner from the one and only, Paul Gascoigne, took Spurs to a semi-final tie against Arsenal.

Dismissal at the 6th Round is particularly disappointing as supporters watch other teams progress to the ‘big’ games of the semi-final and possibly the Final with all the added expectancy and media coverage that accompanies these games. Reviewing Spurs’ games at this stage of the competition, it is surprising to find that many have a claim to recognition, including Spurs’ last 6th Round experience in 2005. That took them to Newcastle and after conceding an early goal Spurs set about rectifying the situation but a certain referee managed to deny Spurs’ claims for at least two penalties and disallowed a goal which would have provided Spurs with the chance to bring the game back to White Hart Lane. Undeserved defeat in such circumstances brings such frustration and disappointment.

An unexpected hero emerged from the five goal thriller at Upton Park in 2001 when Sergei Rebrov showed why Spurs had spent their record transfer fee to sign him. His two goals and one from Gary Doherty gave George Graham’s team a thrilling victory and another chance to play Arsenal in the semi-finals. Everything was up-beat at Tottenham after that win but behind the scenes all was not well and within seven days Graham was gone with Glenn Hoddle to be his eventual successor.

In 1999, the 6th Round draw took Spurs to Barnsley where they had lost in a 5th Round Replay twelve months earlier. This time a David Ginola inspirational run and goal was sufficient to overcome the side that had suffered relegation at the end of the previous season.

In 1993 Spurs had to visit Manchester to play City and it was a memorable game, not just because Spurs won, but because of the football that Spurs played, the hat-trick scored by Nayim and the fact that the game had to be stopped due to a pitch invasion by the City fans. City went into the lead but Spurs were ahead at half-time through goals from Nayim and Sedgeley. In the second half Spurs took control with Nayim scoring twice. Spurs had a goal disallowed and direct from the free-kick City went the length of the pitch and scored. This was the signal for the City supporters to spill onto the pitch. The game was halted and the players left the pitch for thirteen minutes while the mounted police restored order.

Wimbledon have often proved a difficult side for Spurs to beat – they disliked their long ball, high pressured play and often came off second best. However, in 1987 David Pleat’s side showed their worth in a visit to Plough Lane and showed application and commitment that took them through and the skill of Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle provided the goals to ensure the ‘Diamond Lights’ were still shining for the semi-final tie.

Season 1955-56 was disappointing for Spurs in the League but the team showed great endeavour in the Cup and their 6th Round game against West Ham was one to remember. At White Hart Lane on a very heavy pitch Spurs came from 2-3 down to earn a draw after Captain, Danny Blanchflower, moved centre-half, Maurice Norman, forward to assist the attack. It worked and Spurs were grateful to Tommy Harmer (pen), Len Duquemin and George Robb for the goals. In the replay Harmer and Duquemin both scored as Spurs won 2-1.

Three years earlier Spurs were involved in a three game thriller against Birmingham City at this stage of the competition. They had already played five games and in those days extra replays were arranged to determine who went through rather than curtail the process with penalties as happens today. The original match was at St Andrews where Spurs earned a 1-1 draw with a goal from Les Bennett. In the replay at White Hart Lane Bennett again scored and with Len Duquemin ensured a 2-2 draw after extra time. Spurs won the third game with a goal from Sonny Walters and went on to meet Blackpool in the semi-final.

In 1995 Spurs gave one of the truly memorable performances of the decade in their 6th Round game against Liverpool. Having fought back at Southampton Spurs had a visit to Anfield as their reward but it wasn’t a ground with many happy memories for them and Spurs weren’t given much chance. Liverpool took the lead late in the first half but Teddy Sheringham managed to equalize right on half-time. In the second half Spurs played much better and it looked set for a replay but with two minutes remaining, Sheringham put Jurgen Klinsmann through to score the winner. A great result for Spurs as they went on to meet Everton in the semi-final.

Coincidently that victory over Liverpool and the win over West Ham in 2001 took place on 11th March – Spurs are due to meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 11th March – here’s hoping that today’s players can take inspiration from those results against the odds and bring further success on Sunday.



Can This be the Day?

A Day to Stand Up and Be Counted!

Today, Spurs face Chelsea in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge with a lunch-time kick-off, with the game shown live on BBC television. Can this be the day when Spurs make an impression on closing the gap between them and the top sides?

Spurs defeated Chelsea at White Hart Lane in the the Premiership in November, but can they get the upper hand in this cup tie?

Will this match return to the norm of the past decade and a half with Chelsea able to do as they like and sterp into the semi-final? Will Spurs put up a brave, heroic fight but just lose out?

It's time for Spurs to show they want to do it in these 'big' games. They go into the game in a rich vein of form having turned around the disappointments of January and after five consecutive wins their confidence is high. Berbatov is showing the form and class that made Spurs sign him last summer and his strike partners are reaping the benefits. Martin Jol appears to have finally settled on a midfield partnership which shows some balance and is working together in a much better way, both offensively and defensively.

Hope springs eternal and with Spurs it needs to but the cloud that has dulled that optimism was the news that Paul Robinson and Robbie Keane will both miss the match through injury. They join Jermaine Jenas who was injured last weekend at West Ham and long term injury victim , Ledley King. This is a massive blow, at a time when things were looking up for Spurs.

Radik Cerny is an experienced player although he has had few opportunities with Spurs and presumably Jermain Defoe will partner Berbatov.

Chelsea are expected to be without John Terry and that is a major loss to them but with their resources and experienced reserves Mourinho will be able to re-arrange his team.

If Spurs are looking for inspiration - they need look no further than the history of Tottenham Hotspur and its past heroes.

11th March 1995

FA Cup 6th Round Liverpool 1 Spurs 2 Sheringham, Klinsmann

11th March 2001

FA Cup 6th Round West Ham United 2 Spurs 3 Rebrov (2), Doherty

11th March 2007

FA Cup 6th Round Chelsea ? Spurs ?

Inspiration from the past, a foreign international player to provide the inspiration, a 6-year cycle of overcoming the odds and a chance to move closer to Wembley which seems almost certain to host this year's Final, now that the contractors have handed the keys over to the Football Association.

Is this to be Dimitar Berbatov's day?



Spurs in History - 11th March

Sheringham & klinsmann - Spurs' scorers against Liverpool at Anfield

11th March, 1995

Liverpool 1 Spurs 2 F.A.Cup 6th Round.

One of the truly memorable performances of the decade. Having fought back at Southampton Spurs had a visit to Anfield as their reward but it wasn’t a ground with many happy memories for them.

Liverpool took the lead late in the first half but Teddy Sheringham managed to equalize right at the end of the half.

In the second half Spurs played much better and it looked set for a replay but with two minutes remaining, Sheringham put Jurgen Klinsmann through to score the winner.

A great result for Spurs but sadly it was not built upon as Spurs produced one of their worst semi-final performances when losing to Everton. At the end of the season Klinsmann returned to Germany and Spurs lost ground on the clubs around them and they have been trying to catch up ever since.

11th March, 2001

West Ham United 2 Spurs 3 FA Cup 6th Round

An unexpected hero emerged from the five goal thriller at Upton Park in 2001 when Sergei Rebrov showed why Spurs had spent their record transfer fee to sign him. His two goals and one from Gary Doherty gave George Graham’s team a thrilling victory and another chance to play Arsenal in the semi-finals.

Everything was up-beat at Tottenham after that win but behind the scenes all was not well and within seven days George Graham was gone with Glenn Hoddle to be his eventual successor.

11th March, 1997

Spurs 2 Bristol City 0 FA Cup 5th Round

The 1967 Cup winning trail gave Spurs a home game against 2nd Division Bristol City and it was that man Greaves who again secured Spurs’ passage to the next round. Greaves put Spurs ahead after ten minutes but then the good fortune of Cup winners was again evident in Spurs’ victory as City missed a number of goal scoring opportunities and Pat Jennings was required to save a Bristol penalty in the second half. The penalty was retaken because Jennings moved too soon and the re-take was hit wide. To add insult to injury Greaves scored Spurs’ second goal from the penalty spot in the final minute.

Captain Dave Mackay put the win in perspective, ‘We should have won more easily but few top teams manage to win convincingly against lesser opposition.’