Saturday, March 17, 2007

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.


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