Saturday, December 31, 2011

Swansea 1 Tottenham 1

A Swansea equaliser six minutes from time denied Spurs the opportunity to end 2011 with a win and move to within four points of Manchester United with a game in hand.  Rafael Van der Vaart had given them the lead just before half-time but in the end a draw was all that Spurs deserved.

Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Scorers: Sinclair                                Van der Vaart

Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Sandro, Parker (Livermore), Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart (Defoe), Adebayor.  Subs (unused): Cudicini, Dawson, Rose, Kranjcar, Pienaar

Tottenham were unchanged from the team that played so well at Norwich but Swansea had made six changes from their draw with QPR.  Swansea started much quicker and denied Spurs time to play the ball out of defence and on four minutes Brad Friedel was called on to make a good save from Nathan Dyer after former Spurs player, Mark Gower, had robbed Scott Parker out on the left wing.  Three Swansea corners in quick succession caused Spurs problems as the home side competed all over the pitch but then ran with purpose when they gained possession.  Spurs were struggling to make an impression on the game and on ten minutes Friedel collected comfortably from a long range shot. 

Two minutes later, Spurs first attacking move ended with a shot from Luka Modric which went past the post.  Gareth Bale's first contribution saw the fullback, Richards, booked for a heavy tackle.  Spurs were unsettled by the Swansea players closing them down quickly and the two wide men were keeping Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto occupied.

Spurs looked dangerous after twenty minutes as they broke through Scott Parker but Emmanuel Adebayor was crowded out.  It was Scott Sinclair who then caused Spurs further alarm with a shot from outside the area which he curled wide.

Spurs were playing much too close and intricate football which encouraged the home players to pressurise them to try to pinch the ball.  Spurs players were never able to turn with the ball and move forward, always having to play it in the direction they were facing.   

It was almost half an hour before Spurs first corner and their first period of pressure around the Swansea area but then Gower took the ball off Adebayor and his long dangerous cross was cleared for a corner.  Spurs nearly benefited from a Swansea error when a short back pass to the goalkeeper fell to Adebayor but Vorm cleared the danger.  From a corner Assou-Ekotto shot just wide as Spurs started to match Swansea by pressurising the home players much more quickly, denying them time but they still had the greater possession which they used well with crisp, accurate passing.

Gareth Bale was having a quiet afternoon and he was booking for diving which created an even more hostile reception for his return to Wales.  Spurs got the break that their play didn't really deserve when Assou-Ekotto crossed from the left and it was deflected to Van der Vaart whose shot was also deflected past Vorm.  Spurs were grateful for that goal and the half-time lead.  Van der Vaart's goal was only the fourth that Swansea had conceded at home this season and in the previous seven games where they had conceded the first goal, Swansea had lost.

After the interval Spurs seemed to start with more purpose and had a break on the left from Bale but Adebayor put his cross just wide.  Luke Moore then had two quick chances for Swansea - a header wide and Wiliam Gallas blocked another attempt on goal.  Another break for Spurs saw Adebayor feed Van  der Vaart but he shot from distance rather than going on into the penalty area and the goalkeeper saved for a corner.  After an hour Bale shot wide after going through the middle from a pass by Adebayor.

Swansea began to exert greater pressure on the Tottenham defence and Friedel saved from Moore and from the resulting corner, a shot was volleyed past the post.  Swansea brought on Danny Graham, their leading goal scorer and with twenty minutes remaining Jermain Defoe replaced Van der Vaart and Jake Livermore came on for the injured Parker.  

Defoe was playing on the right of a five man midfield and Spurs were finding it increasingly difficult to thwart the Swansea attacks.  Sinclair shot and Graham headed over, Kyle Walker cleared a dangerous cross and Modric cleared off the line from the corner.  Walker relieved the pressure with a break and gave the ball to Bale.  He crossed for Adebayor who played in Modric whose shot was blocked and Vorm saved from Adebayor who'd picked up the rebound.
Almost immediately, on 84 minutes, Joe Allen played a long ball out from defence to the right wing and the quick cross was deflected by the lunging Assou-Ekotto but Friedel couldn't hold the cross which fell to Sinclair who scored into the empty net.  Disappointing for Spurs but only what Swansea deserved for their play and endeavour.

In the final minutes Spurs tried to regain the lead - a free-kick from Bale was deflected off the wall and into the hands of Vorm who then saved from a header by Sandro following a cross.

Swansea deserved a point and are probably annoyed not to have won the game.  Spurs will be disappointed to have dropped two points which would have closed the gap on Manchester United to four points with a game in hand but in reality they hardly deserved the single point.  Spurs looked slow in body and mind and never achieved the levels of skill or endeavour they've shown in previous matches.  It's been a tough schedule with two away matches following the home game with Chelsea which was another high pressure game.  Swansea never allowed Spurs to settle or to play their game, the home side dictated throughout and were quicker and more positive in their play.

Spurs missed an opportunity when those around them lost unexpectedly - United at home to Blackburn and Chelsea at home to Aston Villa.  Arsenal have moved into fourth but remain three points behind Spurs who have their game in hand.  Chelsea was a missed opportunity as was Stoke although there were extenuating circumstances.  Spurs can't afford to let many more opportunities slip past them so they need to take advantage of their next three games being at White Hart Lane.  They are then away to Manchester City, followed by a home game against Wigan.  By the end of January we might be in a better position to decide how damaging today's dropped points were in the bigger picture of the Premier League title race.

Swansea will not be an easy side to beat at home and their next opponents at the Liberty Stadium are Arsenal and Chelsea so let's hope they find it as difficult as Spurs found it on the last day of 2011 which has been quite an amazing year in the history of Tottenham and let's hope that the new year brings much more excitement from Harry Redknapp and his players..


They Played for Spurs and Swansea

The history of Tottenham Hotspur is littered with Welshmen who have played for the club and have brought glory to the club both as individuals and with trophy winning teams.  Gareth Bale is currently the name on everyone's mind but before him there was Mike England, Ron Burgess, Cliff Jones and Terry Medwin.  Some of those players played for both Spurs and Swansea with the Welsh club providing Spurs with two members of the 'Double' winning squad.

As Gareth Bale returns to Wales, Spurs can be extremely grateful for the Welsh born players who represented the club in earlier years and for a time after the Second World War there was a succession of players who came from Wales to play football at White Hart Lane.

Terry Medwin signed from Swansea Town in April, 1956 for £25,000.  He played mostly for Spurs on the right wing but had filled all of the forward positions for Swansea.  He had already made three international appearances for Wales prior to joining Spurs and went on to add another 27 caps for his country.  He was a regular for Spurs for the next four seasons but lost his place to Terry Dyson at the start of the 1960 - 61 season but came into the team at times of injury, making 15 appearances.  He regained his place for the 1962 FA Cup triumph but a serious injury on tour in the summer of 1963 led to his eventual retirement.  He made over 200 appearances for Spurs and scored 72 goals.

Cliff Jones - 'Spurs Legend'
Cliff Jones followed Medwin from Swansea to London in February, 1958 and became a Tottenham 'Legend' in his ten years with the club.  He was a member of the 'Double' winning team and the success that followed in 1962 and 1963.  He was an unused substitute for the 1967 FA Cup Final and was still a member of the team when he was transferred to Fulham in October, 1968.  A quick winger who could create and score goals and was fearless when diving in to score goals with his head against players of much greater height and build.  He made 378 League and Cup appearances, scoring 159 goals.

Ron Burgess captained the 'Push and Run' team of the late 1940s and early 1950s, leading them to promotion in 1950 as 2nd Division Champions and then securing the 1st Division title the following year.  He was one of Spurs greatest players and had arrived from Wales in 1939, an immense half-back he eventually moved to Swansea as player-manager in 1954 and ten years later as manager of Watford sold a young Northern Ireland goalkeeper to Tottenham - Pat Jennings was his name.  He made 301 Football League appearances for the club but like so many players of that era, the total would have been so much greater but for losing six years of his footballing career to the Second World War.

Ernie Jones was another winger to move from Swansea to Spurs. He was an amateur with Swansea before the War but joined Bolton in the early 1940s and turned professional.  He returned to Swansea and played for them in the war-time football and had a year in the Football League with the Welsh club before joining Spurs in June, 1947.  He made his debut a few days later on 7th June, 1947 - the latest date on which Spurs has ever played their final game of a season.  He spent two seasons with the club before joining Southampton in May, 1949 as part of the deal which brought Alf Ramsey to White Hart Lane.

Arthur Willis was a full back in the 'Push and Run' team which won the 1st Division title in 1951.  He had joined Spurs in 1938 as an amateur and made 145 League appearances before moving to Swansea in 1954.  He played for them for four seasons and helped them to the Welsh Cup Final in 1956.  He later joined their coaching staff.

In more recent times, Paul Price who played in the 1982 FA Cup Final spent three seasons with Spurs, having joined from Luton Town in 1981.  Price, a Welsh international central defender, joined Swansea in 1984 and spent two years at the Vetch Field.

Mark Kendall was a reserve goalkeeper with Spurs in the late 1970s, making 36 appearances during his time at White Hart Lane.  He left Spurs in 1980 but later in his career he had two seasons with Swansea, helping then win the Welsh Cup.  He also played for them in European competition but was back-up during his time there.  Sadly, Kendall passed away suddenly in 2008, aged 49.

John Hendry who had five seasons with Spurs joined Swansea on loan for a period in 1994.  He later joined Motherwell.  He scored on his Spurs debut at Norwich and scored twice at Highbury as Spurs beat Arsenal 3 - 1 in the last game of 1992 - 93.  He scored five League goals for Spurs in 17 League appearances.

Paul Miller who was such a vital member of the Spurs central defence in the successful team of the 1980s made 12 appearances for Swansea in 1990.  At Tottenham, he formed a great partnership with Graham Roberts and scored the goal in the first leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht in Belgium.

Mark Gower and Wayne Routledge who are currently with Swansea spent time with Spurs earlier in their careers, while Steven Caulker is on loan at Swansea from Spurs for this season to gain Premier league experience.

Terry Yorath played for both clubs as did Mick Stead, Alan Woods, Derek King, Joe Meek, Percy Hooper, Jack Illingworth, Charlie Handley and Wilie Davies.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Tottenham at Swansea - Preview

Spurs go to Swansea for a League game for the first time since October, 1982.  The last time that Tottenham came away with a win in a competitive match was in the first season after the Second World War in September, 1946.

Spurs go to the Liberty Stadium for the first time, all other games in Swansea having been played at the club's former Vetch Field ground which they vacated in 2005.  Swansea won promotion last season by defeating Reading in the play-off Final at Wembley.

They have received credit for their style of play under manager, Brendan Rodgers, and have one of the best home records in this season's Premier League, bettered by only the top five clubs.  They are in 14th position in the League with 19 points, having gained 16 points from their nine home matches.  They have suffered only one defeat by the only goal to Manchester United and were unfortunate to miss the opportunity of a late equaliser.  At home they have conceded only three goals, the meanest home defence in the League, so Spurs will have to be at their attacking best to break through a defence which has had to cope with a number of lengthy absences through injury.

Steven Caulker who is on loan from Tottenham will be missing as he is ineligible, having just returned following a time of injury.  His time with Swansea had been beneficial to him as he has been a regular member of the team at the centre of their defence and has been gaining good reviews as he builds up his Premier League experience, having stepped up from Championship football last year.  Swansea have also been without their captain, Alan Tate, with a broken leg but have coped with the necessary re-organisation.  One of their stars has been Dutch goalkeeper, Michel Vorm, whom they signed from FC Utrecht during August - he made his debut in Swansea's first game in the Premier League at Manchester City.  He kept the City strike force at bay for almost an hour with an exceptional performance and has grown in stature and confidence since that match.

Danny Graham has scored six League goals, two ahead of Scott Sinclair who scored a hat-trick in the play-off final to secure Swansea's Premier League place.  The former Chelsea player joined Swansea in July, 2010.  A year earlier, Nathan Dyer, a winger, another product of the Southampton Academy joined Swansea and he has scored two goals this season, the same as Joe Allen the Welsh international midfielder.

Two former Tottenham players who will be anxious to make an impression are Mark Gower and Wayne Routledge.  Gower came through the Spurs youth system but didn't make it into the first team before moving on to Barnet.   He spent five seasons with Southend United before joining Swansea in 2008 and helped them to promotion last season.  Routledge joined Spurs from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2005 but only made five League appearances for the club.  An early injury hindered his progress with Spurs and he had periods on loan with Portsmouth and Fulham before joining Aston Villa in January, 2008.

Swansea's 2011 - 12 Home Record:
Swansea's last home match ended in a 1 - 1 draw with QPR, their goal being scored by Danny Graham.  That goal in last Tuesday's match was only the third goal they have conceded at home this season.

After their tough introduction to the Premier League, Swansea played out two scoreless draws at home to Wigan and Sunderland.  They then won three home games in a row against WBA (3 - 0), Stoke (2 - 0) and Bolton (3 - 1).  Following the close defeat to United, they drew 0 - 0 with Aston Villa and then defeated Fulham (2 - 0).  The win over Fulham being their only win in their last eight matches as their early season form has taken a dip.

Spurs' League Record at Swansea

P  13  W  4  D  3  L  6  For  14  Ag  18

Spurs and Swansea have only met in the top Division on two occasions, in 1981 - 82 and 1982 - 83 in the 1st Division when Swansea won both of their home matches.  In September, 1982 Glenn Hoddle scored a penalty for Spurs as they lost 1 - 2 and the following year Swansea won 2 - 0.

Prior to those matches, the clubs met in the 2nd Division in the years from 1928 until Spurs won promotion in 1950.  Spurs first match at the Vetch Field ended in a 4 - 0 defeat but the following year in November, 1929 they won 1 - 0, with Ted Harper scoring the goal. The following season Harper scored again as Spurs triumphed 2 - 1, Jimmy Smailes scoring the second goal.  

In March, 1932 they earned a point from a 1 - 1 draw when Tom Evans scored with a penalty.  Spurs' good form in Wales continued in March, 1933 with a 2 - 0 success provided by goals from Les Howe and Willie Evans.

That was the end of their success until 1946 when two goals from Les Bennett gave Spurs another 2 - 0 win.  Even in their promotion year of 1949 - 50 the Spurs 'Push and Run' side failed to take any points from Swansea, losing 0 - 1 in April, 1950.

Having triumphed in the east (at Norwich) last Tuesday, Spurs will need to show the same resilient form which has stood them in good stead for most of this season as they travel west to Wales for their final game of 2011.  Gareth Bale will want to make an impression as he returns to his homeland but may not necessarily receive a warm welcome from the home fans, especially as he was born in Cardiff.  

The miserly Swansea defence will be doing their utmost to prevent Spurs getting into their free-flowing style of play so the visitors will be able to take no liberties with Swansea on their first match at the Liberty Stadium.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Norwich City 0 Tottenham 2

Spurs, thanks to two second half Gareth Bale goals, reduce the gap at the top to seven points, with a game in hand, and four points ahead of Chelsea.  Tottenham dominated the match at Carrow Road and could have added to the scoreline but will feel satisified with a job well done.

     Norwich City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Scorers:                              Bale (2)

Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Rose), Sandro, Parker (Livermore), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Kranjcar), Adebayor  Subs (unused): Gomes, Bassong, Pienaar, Pavlyuchenko 

Tottenham started the game with only one change to the team, as expected, Ledley King, having played two matches in four days last week, sat this one out.  Norwich were without Tottenham's Kyle Naughton who was suspended and ineligible while on loan at CarrowRoad.  Spurs dominated possession and should have been ahead by half-time but Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor spurned good chances as John Ruddy made a number of crucial saves.  Norwich worked hard and often had eight men back on the edge of their area to prevent Spurs from applying their intricate passing movements in search of a goal.

In the second half, Norwich saw a free-kick pass narrowly wide of Brad Friedel's goal, although the keeper appeared to have it covered.  So dominant were Spurs that after 77 minutes when Norwich earned their first corner, Spurs had had ten but more importantly two goals.

The first goal came after 55 minutes, only seconds after the Norwich free-kick.  Scott Parker played the ball across the edge of the area to Rafael Van der Vaart whose pass to Adebayor gave him time with quick control to make a short pass to Bale in front of goal who shot with power under the diving goalkeeper.

Bale was playing a more central role and getting into the box to support Adebayor more often.  His second goal came twelve minutes later as he picked up a pass from Luka Modric and ran with pace through the centre of the home side's defence to shoot past Ruddy.

Spurs with an excellent team performance had done enough to earn the three points and played out time without their usual scary moments.

This is Spurs third consecutive 2 - 0 win at Carrow Road and at the end of the previous two seasons, Norwich were relegated - they'll be hoping this doesn't happen to them in May, 2012.

Some Interesting Facts:
The match was a local 'derby' for Norwich as the 110 miles to White Hart Lane makes Tottenham their closest rivals this year.

Spurs have taken more points in their last 15 matches (38) than either of the Manchester clubs.

That was Spurs sixth clean sheet of the season.

Tottenham have won the last ten Premier League games in which Gareth Bale has scored - changed days from his early record at Spurs.

So Gareth Bale having conquered the east (Norwich) goes out west on New Year's Eve to his homeland, Wales, hoping for another performance against Swansea to bring Spurs three points and victory over teams from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales this year.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

They Played for Tottenham and Norwich

There's a long list of players who have represented both Spurs and Norwich but only a few who have come from Norfolk to London and of those, only one has had a major influence at Tottenham but what  a massive impact he had in the early 1960s.

Maurice Norman
Maurice Norman is one of only three players who has been transferred from Norwich City to Tottenham Hotspur.  He had played only 35 League games as a centre half for Norwich when he signed for Spurs in November, 1955 to replace Alf Ramsey at right-back.  He immediately settled into his new position which he held for most of the next two seasons.  In late October, 1957 he reverted to centre half - his position through the greatest years in Tottenham's history.  At the start of season 1965-66 he returned to right back and was an ever present in the team until cruelly struck down by injury sustained in a friendly that November.  So serious was his broken leg that he never played again and retired in 1967.

At centre half in the 'Double' team he was a massive influence at the heart of the defence and at set-pieces, he was one of the first defenders to go forward for corners and free-kicks.  He missed only one game in 1960-61 and scored four goals in the League.  He was present as Spurs won the League and Cup in 1961, retained the FA Cup the following year and won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.  He made 23 appearances for England and was just as important to those successful Spurs' years as the more celebrated players.

More recently, Tim Sherwood and Ruel Fox had played for Norwich before arriving at Spurs via Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

The first player to sign for Spurs from Norwich was Roy Hollis.  He was a prolific goal scorer during his time at Norwich and although he scored twice on his debut as Spurs beat Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup, he only played three League games, scoring once.  He scored regularly in the reserves but couldn't replace Len Duquemin and moved on to Southend United in February, 1954 after just over two years with Spurs.

Johnny Gavin was  Republic of Ireland international when he joined Spurs from Norwich in October, 1954.  A winger who scored goals he made 32 League appearances for Tottenham and scored an impressive 15 goals.  he returned to Norwich as part of the deal which brought Maurice Norman to White Hart Lane.

Many young players who have progressed through the Tottenham youth system have moved to Norwich where they have had long and successful footballing careers.  Kyle Naughton is currently on a season-long loan with Norwich and his career is developing as he adds Premier league experience to his CV.  Before him, however, many who have been unable to break into the first team at Spurs have become regulars at Carrow Road.

Mark Bowen made 20 League and Cup appearances for Spurs at full back, scoring twice.  He joined Norwich in 1987 for £90,000 and became a full international for Wales and made over 321 League appearances for Norwich in nine seasons.

Ian Crook scored once for Spurs in twenty appearances but found it difficult to break into the first team when Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles were in his way.  He was an unused substitute for the UEFA Cup Final of 1984.  He joined Norwich in 1986 for £80,000 and played 418 League games in midfield during eleven seasons with Norwich, scoring 24 goals, some of them against Spurs as he reminded his former employers of his capabilities.  He was part of Norwich's most successful team and helped them into European competition through a high league finish.

John Polston was a defender who made 28 appearances for Spurs before moving to Norwich in July, 1990 for £300,000.  He and his brother Andy played in a game for Tottenham, the first brothers to appear together in a first team match for the club since 1912.  He made 263 appearances for Norwich in eight seasons with the club.

Ian Culverhouse made only two League appearances for Spurs and was transferred to Norwich in October, 1985 for £50,000.  He had been an unused substitute in the UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht.  A full back, he spent nine seasons at Carrow Road and made over 360 League and Cup appearances.

Garry Brooke made an immediate impression at Spurs with his powerful shot and spectacular long-range goals.  He was substitute for both the 1981 and 1982 FA Cup Finals.  He made just over 100 appearances for the club but he was involved in a serious car accident which threatened his football career.  He recovered but was never quite the same payer and joined Norwich for £50,000 in May, 1985.  He was there for only a short time and moved around many clubs during th erest of his career.

When Martin Peters left Tottenham he joined Norwich in 1975.  He had won League Cup medals and a UEFA Cup with Spurs, captaining the successful 1973 League Cup winning team.  The appointment of Terry Neill as replacement for Bill Nicholson, saw Peters move on to Norwich where he spent five seasons - as he points out in his book - longer than he was at Spurs.  He formed a great partnership with Alan Gilzean and Martin Chivers at Spurs, scoring and creating many goals.  He scored 76 goals for Spurs in 260 appearances.  He joined Spurs from West Ham United in 1970 in the deal which took Jimmy Greaves to Upton Park.

Gary Doherty is the last player to join Norwich from Spurs, signing in the summer of 2004.  He spent six seasons at the club and made over 200 League appearances.  He joined Tottenham from Luton Town in 2000 and played 64 League games, scoring four goals.

Others players who have appeared for both clubs include:
Laurie Brown, Willie Young, Paul McVeigh, Garry Brady, Neale Fenn, Kevin Scott, Jimmy Neighbour, Steve Walford, Martin Chivers, Fred Sharpe, Chris Adams, Andy Thompson, Jimmy Smith and Jimmy Banks who played in Spurs 1921 FA Cup winning team.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Preview - Spurs Record at Norwich

Tottenham play catch up again as they travel to Norwich for an evening kick-off at the end of the second set of matches for the Christmas/New Year period.  Norwich have made a favourable impression on their return to the Premier League following an absence of six seasons.

Norwich City were last in the Premier League in season 2004 - 05, a one season sojourn before returning to the Championship.  They won automatic promotion last season as runners-up to champions QPR and are currently the highest of the three promoted teams in ninth position with 21 points.  They've gained 14 of those points at Carrow Road with four wins and two draws.  Their only home defeats have been against Arsenal (1 - 2) having taken a first half lead and WBA who took an early lead and held out for the next 87 minutes.  In their last home match they defeted Newcastle United 4 - 2 with goals from Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt (2) and Steve Morison.

Norwich started their season with a draw at Wigan (1 - 1) and followed it with a home draw with Stoke City.  Following defeat at Chelsea and at home to West Brom their first win of the season came at Bolton.  They then won their first home game against Sunderland (2 - 1).  Swansea City lost 1 - 3 at Carrow Road and then Blackburn took a point home from a six goal thriller at Norwich.  Since the home defeat to Arsenal they have enjoyed home success against QPR (2 - 1) and Newcastle.  After a difficult start to life in the Premier League they have shown a resilience, an attacking spirit and a work ethic for which they have been rewarded, especially at home.

Their leading goal scorer is Holt with 7 Premier League goals but Morision is close behind with 6.  Anthony Pilkington has four goals.

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John Ruddy in goal has impressed for Norwich, especially when the team earned a point at Anfield in mid-October, thanks to his display.  Tottenham's Kyle Naughton will be missing from the team as he is ineligible while on loan from Spurs, although he is also suspended for five bookings - convenient.  He has established himself as regular in the team and is gaining good Premier League experience which hopefully will be of benefit to him on his return to White Hart Lane. Norwich are a hard working, well organised team who give their all in every game without any 'star' names.  They are making the most of this opportunity in the Premier League and their manager Paul Lambert knows that they must continue in a similar vein throughout the season to avoid an instant return to the Championship, the fate that befell them when they last won promotion.

Tottenham's Record at Norwich
Totenham have visited Carrow Road on four occasions in the Premier League with a record of three wins and a draw.  The last two matches were on Boxing Day and ended with Spurs winning 2 - 0.  In 2004 Robbie Keane and Michael Brown were the scorers, while in 1994 the goals came from Nicky Barmby and Teddy Sheringham.  The previous April, Spurs won 2 - 1 and Sheringham scored again.  The other goal was an own goal.  On Boxing Day, 1992 the clubs played out a scoreless draw.    

The overall League record:

P  24  W  8  D  6  L  10  For  32  Ag  36

As can be seen, Spurs record in the Premier League matches has improved the overall record which is not too impressive.  Matches have been close but Norwich have had the upper hand.  

In August, 1991 a Gary Lineker goal was enough to earn Spurs the points but the previous April Spurs lost 1 - 2, a few days ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.  The most notable aspect of the game was the return of Paul Gascoigne after missing five games following an operation.  Gascoigne was using this game to test out his fitness for the weekend's big match.  That Spurs lost was an irrelevance at the time and that John Hendry scored his first goal on his League debut for Spurs and that Ian Walker and Peter Garland also made their debuts has largely been forgotten.

The first League meeting between the clubs was in season 1935 - 36 in the 2nd Division.  Spurs lost by the only goal of the game on their first League visit to Norfolk in April, 1936.  The following season they won their first League match at Carrow Road - Johnny Morrison scoring a hat-trick in their 3 - 2 success.

Having met in four consecutive seasons up to 1939, the clubs didn't meet again in League football until Norwich won promotion to the 1st Division in 1972 when Norwich won 2 - 1, Martin Chivers scoring Spurs only goal.

Spurs eventually managed a win in March, 1978, their relegation season.  Goals from John Pratt, Gerry Armstrong and Peter Taylor gave them a 3 - 1 win.

On gaining promotion after a year's absence, it took Spurs seven attempts before winning at Carrow Road.  In December, 1994, Tony Galvin and Garth Crooks scored the goals as Spurs won two nil.

Norwich have proved difficult opponents for Spurs teams in the past and the current Spurs team can expect a difficult evening with a team prepared to battle against them in an effort to put them out of their stride.  The good news for Spurs is that Rafael Van der Vaart has recovered from injury and is expected to play.


Boxing Day with Spurs

The holiday season is traditionally a busy period for footballers with four games to be played over Christmas and New Year.  In years gone by, teams had to play on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day with no time to recover from injury or a disappointing result.

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 The Christmas fixtures frequently throw some unexpected scores with goals aplenty or teams suffering a blow to their aspirations with a couple of disappointing results.  Local derbies are often the order of the day over the festive season to reduce travel and encourage attendances around the country.  For many years clubs played a double-header at Christmas, meeting the same team, home and away, within twenty four hours.

The last occasion that Spurs played on Christmas Day and Boxing Day was in season 1958-59 when they faced West Ham United.  It was only a few weeks earlier that Bill Nicholson had taken charge as manager and if he was disappointed with the Christmas Day defeat at Upton Park (1 - 2), he must have been very anxious after West Ham won 4 - 1 at White Hart Lane the following day.  Alfie Stokes scored Spurs' goal as their struggle against relegation continued.

Better times have been witnessed over the holiday with the 'Double' team managing a Christmas 'double' over West Ham, following up their two goal home win on Christmas Eve with a 3 - 0 success at Upton Park on Boxing Day - John White, Les Allen and an own goal providing the goals.

Strange, unexpected score lines are often the order of the day and in the season between those West Ham games, Spurs met Leeds United.  They enjoyed a successful trip to Yorkshire on Boxing Day, winning 4 - 2 with goals from Tommy Harmer, Bobby Smith and Allen (2).  In  the return fixture two days later, Leeds gained revenge as Spurs lost 1 - 4, Dave Mackay scoring their only goal.  Spurs were challenging near the top of the table while Leeds were in a fight against relegation.  Leeds lost their 1st Division place at the end of the season and Spurs were left to rue that defeat as two points from that home game would have seen them finish the season as title winners.

On Boxing Day 1964, Tottenham travelled to Nottingham to play Forest - not something they'd have done with much confidence as that season they'd failed to win any of their eleven away matches.  To everyone's surprise they returned with the two points after a 2 - 1 success - Alan Gilzean and Cliff Jones scoring the goals, their only away win of the season.  Two days later they won the return game by four goals to maintain their unbeaten home record.  Season 1964-65 is the only occasion when Spurs have gone through an entire season undefeated at home.

Whether players had over-indulged the previous day but high scoring games also appeared regularly as part of the Boxing Day recipe for entertainment.  In 1980-81 Southampton were the visitors to White Hart Lane and took a share of the points in an eight goal thriller.  A young midfielder, Garry Brooke, started his first game for Spurs in place of the injured Ossie Ardiles and scored twice with his trademark thunderbolt shot.  Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks completed the Totenham scoring.

This season's holiday opponents, Norwich City were frequent opponents over the Christmas period during the early 1990s.  On four successive years the clubs met home and away with Spurs earning a home win, a scoreless away draw, suffering a home defeat and managing to win 2 - 0 on Boxing Day, 1994 at Carrow Road.  Nicky Barmby and Teddy Sheringham scored the goals.

A similar result was gained on Boxing Day, 2004 with Robbie Keane and Michael Brown scoring the goals on the last occasion that the two clubs have met competitively.  Norwich were relegated at the end of both of those seasons, so they'll be hoping to avoid a hat-trick of defeats this year.

Recent Boxing Day Matches:
Last season, Spurs enjoyed a trip to Villa Park and in an excellent display with ten men won 2 - 1 as Rafael Van der Vaart scored twice, with the second goal showing great team work as Spurs broke at pace from defence.

The previous three seasons Spurs games had involved Fulham - in 2007-08, Spurs won 5 - 1 at White Hart Lane through goals from Keane (2), Tom Huddlestone (2) and Jermain Defoe.  The next two years there was no goal-fest for spectators to enjoy.  Fulham were determined not to suffer the same fate at White Hart Lane as the previous year and the teams played out a dull, scoreless draw which was the score the following year at Craven Cottage.

Non-League Days
Spurs first competitive match on Boxing Day was in season 1898-99.  In the Southern League, just as Portsmouth were the designated opponents for Spurs on Christmas Day, their near neighbours, Southampton, were Tottenham's opposition on Boxing Day.  For ten consecutive seasons, Spurs travelled to Southampton on Boxing Day to fulfil the Southern League fixture.  The first of these matches ended in a 1 - 1 draw and it was only at the fifth attempt that Spurs managed to win.  John Kirwan scored the only goal in 1902 and it was their only success in that series of games in which they achieved three draws and suffered six defeats. 

Tottenham must have breathed a sigh of relief when they entered the 2nd Division in 1908 and had a home fixture on Boxing Day.  It was the return fixture with Oldham Athletic who had defeated them by a single goal twenty four hours earlier.  Spurs took full revenge with a three goal success as Billy Minter, Vivian Woodward and Bert Middlemiss scored.

In season 1911-12, the Christmas fixtures decided upon a London derby.  Spurs defeated Woolwich Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Christmas Day by 5 - 0 but the journey south of the river was less successful as Spurs lost 1 - 3, Minter scoring Spurs' goal.

One of Spurs' best Boxing Day wins was over Sheffield Wednesday in the 1st Division in 1914.  The previous day Spurs had lost out in Sheffield by the odd goal in five but at home Spurs were not to be denied and triumphed by a score of 6 - 1.  Bert Bliss netted four while Bobby Steel and Harry Sparrow scored the others.

In 1930, it was just like Southern League days as Spurs travelled to Southampton on Boxing Day in a less than confident mood, having lost to them at home the previous day.  They gained their first Boxing Day win against the south coast club in twelve attempts, having lost twelve months earlier.  This time they scored thre times without reply through Willie Davies, Taffy O'Callaghan and Dick Rowley.

One of their longest journeys on Boxing Day took Spurs to Plymouth in 1935 and they returned empty handed, suffering defeat by 1 - 2, as Argyle completed the 'double' over them, having won by a similar score in London.

Tottenham's last Boxing Day defeat came in 2003 at Portsmouth, the home side winning 2 - 0.  The last home defeat was back in 1991 when Nottingham Forest took the points with a 2 - 1 success, Paul Stewart scoring the Spurs' goal.

Boxing Day games can be very unpredictable and are frequently high scoring affairs which can be enjoyable to the neutral and to the supporters of the winning team.  Spurs aren't playing on Boxing Day this year, their game at Norwich having been moved for television.  I won't mind a high scoring game as long as Spurs come out on top to maintain their hold on third place in the Premier League.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Tottenham Hotspur Christmas Mastermind Quiz

A few years ago a contestant on the BBC quiz, 'Mastermind', selected Tottenham Hotspur as their specialist subject.  Here are the questions she was asked with an additional one included at the end to make the number up to twenty.

The links will give you the answer or a clue to the answer from information in Tottenham Spurs in History Blog.

Enjoy testing your knowledge on the "Mighty Spurs." 


Tottenham Spurs in History Christmas Mastermind Quiz

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1. Which former captain of Tottenham Hotspur said “The game is about glory, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom”?


2. Which team did Tottenham play for the first time on the 19th of November 1887 but the match was abandoned 15 minutes from time because of bad light?


3. Who scored the penalty that beat QPR in the 1982 FA Cup final replay?

4. From which brewery did the club lease the land for their new ground at White Hart Lane in 1899?
(Answer after the last question)

5. Who scored his first goal for Tottenham in November 2006 during their first League victory over Chelsea for 16 years?


6. At which ground did they win the 1901 FA Cup Final replay against Sheffield United to become the only team outside the Football League to win the Cup?

7. What name was given to the style of play that was introduced by Arthur Rowe and helped the club win their first league championship in 1950-51?


8.  Which striker became the club’s first £1 million signing when he was bought from Manchester City in 1988?

9. Tottenham were playing in which competition when their goalkeeper Pat Jennings scored from a clearance from his own penalty area when the bounced over Alex Stepney’s head?


10.What was the name of the property developer who became chairman in 1983 and floated the club on the stock market?


 11. Which song about a Tottenham defender reached number 14 in the charts when it was released to coincide with the 1973 League Cup Final?  Answer
12. In 1994 which one of their former captains served as caretaker manager after the departure of Ossie Ardiles and before the arrival of Gerry Francis?

13. By what score did Spurs defeat Athletico Madrid in the 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup Final to become the first English team to win a European trophy?

14. Gary Mabbutt, who captained the team to victory in the 1991 FA Cup Final, suffered from which medical condition during his playing career?

15. During the 1960-61 season Tottenham set the record for the most league goals by any side in the top division since the war. How many did they score?

16. Who saved two penalties to win the 1984 UEFA Cup Final?  Answer 

17. Which inside forward won the FA Cup as a player with Tottenham in 1921, then later manager with Charlton Athletic?

18. Since 1950 what is the only season the club has spent outside the top division of English football?

19. Who scored 36 goals for Tottenham in the 1930-31 season to set a record that was not beaten until Jimmy Greaves scored one more in the 1962-63 season?  Answer

20. Which defender who played in 1971 League Cup Final made his debut for Spurs in a pre-season friendly against Glasgow Rangers and scored twice?  Answer

Answer to Q.4: Charrington's Brewery, owners of the land and the White Hart pub on the High Road.

Now you're ready for Mastermind - specialist subject THFC! 


Tottenham 1 Chelsea 1

Spurs remain in third place, two points above Chelsea, after their draw at White Hart Lane.  Tottenham started the better and took an early lead but a loss of concentration defensively gifted the visitors a goal which revitalised them and Spurs could never regain the control and momentum with which they had started the match.

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 1
Scorers: Adebayor                  Sturridge 

Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto; Van der Vaart (Pavlyuchenko),Sandro, Parker, Modric, Bale; Adebayor  Subs (unused): Gomes, Bassong, Kaboul, Livermore, Rose, Kranjcar

Harry Redknapp had Gareth Bale and Ledley King available to start but Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe were out through injury.  Younes Kaboul returned to the substitutes bench following his one match suspension.

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Tottenham started the brighter with a good pace and touch to their passing and movement while Chelsea sat deep trying to stifle Spurs' game.  Spurs had the early control and took the lead when a burst of pace from Bale on the left gave him the space to put in a dangerous cross which Emmanuel Adebayor met ahead of John Terry and Petr Cech to put Spurs ahead after 8 minutes.

Tottenham continued to play the better football but almost immediately had a warning of how dangerous Chelsea could be.  When Brad Friedel failed to hold a long range shot from Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge's shot was deflected over an empty net.

After twenty three minutes Tottenham conceded a free-kick near halfway but were caught out when the visitors took it quickly.  That lack of concentration cost them dearly as Ashley Cole, having been given the benefit of a handball decision in the build up, put in a cross which Sturridge accepted to level the scores.  Assou-Ekotto was badly out of position, having failed to track back to mark Sturridge as the move developed and generally Spurs had been caught out by a lack of awareness of what was happening following the award of the free-kick and were slow to respond defensively to the situation with players querying the initial decision and then appealing for the handball offence.

The goal lifted Chelsea who could have gone ahead within five minutes when a Didier Drogba shot came off the post.  Tottenham had now lost their early control and impetus and were finding it difficult to make inroads through Chelsea's well organised defence.  Chelsea were preventing Spurs from playing out from the back as players were closed down quickly which prevented Spurs from picking the pass to set Bale, Rafael Van der Vaart and Modric free.

At half-time, Roman Pavlyuchenko replaced Van der Vaart who was injured but the Russian was unable to contribute anything to the game.  Through the second half Chelsea managed to keep control and on occasions looked dangerous but only in flashes were Spurs able to create a really threatening move.  From one Adebayor had the ball in the net but was ruled offside, another dubious decision from the officials.  Later Matu scored for Chelsea but was clearly offside and Cech saved well from a deflected shot from Sandro who had worked tirelessly both in defence and going forward in an effort to lift Spurs.

In the closing minutes Ramires was left unmarked at a free-kick but headed wide.  Tottenham put in a final drive to take the three points but Cech saved from Adebayor, Cole blocked a King shot and with almost the last kick of added time, Bale went on a run and fed the ball to Adebayor whose shot beat Cech but Terry sliding in at the back post prevented the shot from crossing the line.

For Tottenham it was disappointing to take only a point after the way they started the game but it was all they deserved - while Chelsea celebrated the point as if it was a win - changed days for the 'Blues' at White Hart Lane.

The injury to Lennon meant that Tottenham had to change their style of play from the system which has been so effective this season.  In the first half Van der Vaart had had little influence in the game while Modric and Bale were closed down quickly at every opportunity.  Sandro had a growing influence on the match with his tireless running and endeavour.  

Tottenham are beginning to encounter difficulties with injuries as Van der Vaart is to be out for a period at what is a very busy time in the football calendar.  With two away games at the promoted sides leading up to 2012, Spurs will be looking for good points at Norwich and Swansea in the week ahead to retain their hold on third place going into the new year.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

They Played for Spurs and Chelsea

Bobby Smith, Les Allen and Jimmy Greaves are just three of the players who have played for both Tottenham and Chelsea during their careers.  Looking back to the club's earliest days in the Football League and Vivian Woodward is a player who performed with distinction for both teams.

Jimmy Greaves
James Greaves started his career at Chelsea and made his scoring debut against Spurs at White Hart Lane in August, 1957.  In 1961 he had a short period in Italy with AC Milan before joining Spurs for £99,999, as Bill Nicholson didn't want him burdened with the label of being the 'first £100,000' player.  He marked his Tottenham debut with a hat-trick against Blackpool at White Hart Lane.  Spurs retained the FA Cup that season with Greaves scoring the first goal against Burnley and the next season he scored twice in the ECWC Final against Atletico Madrid as Spurs became the first British club to win a European trophy.  Greaves was in the 1967 FA Cup winning team and by the time he was transferred to West Ham United in 1970 he was Tottenham's record goalscorer - League: 220 goals, FA Cup: 32, League Cup: 5, Europe: 14.

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The leading goal scorers in the 1960 - 61 'Double' winning team both joined Spurs from Chelsea.

Bobby Smith who joined in 1955 was leading scorer with 33 League and Cup goals during the 1960 - 61 season, including two goals in the FA Cup semi-final win over Burnley and the first goal against Leicester City in the Final.  He also scored a goal in the1962 FA Cup Final against Burnley.  He was a typical 'old-fashioned' English type of centre forward who used to terrorise defenders and goalkeepers in the European competitions.  He joined Brighton in 1964 as the successful team of the early 1960s was rebuilt by Bill Nicholson.

Les Allen, the father of Clive Allen, was his strike partner.  He joined Spurs in 1959 and scored 27 goals in that successful season.  The arrival of Greaves led to him losing his place in the team but he remained with Spurs until 1965 being a very useful reserve to call upon at times of injury or loss of form.  He joined QPR and later became their manager.

Terry Venables joined Spurs in 1966 from Chelsea and was a member of the 1967 FA Cup winning team.  He left in 1969 to join QPR but returned to Tottenham as manager and led them to the 1991 FA Cup success.

Glenn Hoddle developed through the Spurs youth system to become a 'Legend' at the club.  His skill, vision and goals were a delight to behold and he was  a member of the successful team of the 1980s, winning FA Cup medals in 1981 and 1982, scoring the goals in the Final and replay win over QPR.  He left Spurs in 1987 and moved to France.  He played for Chelsea on his return to English football and managed them before returning to White Hart Lane as manager.

Mike Hazard grew up through the Tottenham youth scheme.  He was another member of the team in the early 1980s but suffered through competition with Hoddle, Ardiles and Villa.  A very skilful player with an outstanding passing ability who could score vital goals.  He played in the 1982 FA Cup team and the UEFA Cup winning team of 1984.  In 1985 he joined Chelsea but returned to Spurs towards the end of his career when Ossie Ardiles was manager.

Gus Poyet spent four years with Chelsea and joined Spurs in 2001, spending three years with the club, helping them reach the 2002 Worthington Cup Final.  After retirement he returned to Tottenham as Assistant to Juande Ramos who guided Spurs to Carling Cup success over Chelsea in 2008.

Vivian Woodward played for Spurs in their first season in the Football League helping them to promotion.  He was a true amateur with associations to the club since 1901 and was regarded widely as a 'gentleman' of football.  He became a director of the club in 1908 and played amateur internationals for England and captained the United Kingdom team which won the Olympics in 1908 and 1912.  He also played cricket and was often unavailable until the end of the cricket season.  In Tottenham's first season in the Football League he made 27 appearances, scoring 18 goals.  As Spurs prepared for their first year in the top flight the football world was shocked to hear of his retirement from football but the club was in even greater shock when a few months later he re-appeared with Chelsea for whom he played until the outbreak of the 1st World War.

From a similar era was Percy Humphreys who played for almost two years with Chelsea before joining Spurs in December, 1909, having lost his place to Woodward.  At the close of that season Spurs and Chelsea were battling against relegation and met in the final game of the season at White Hart Lane.  Tottenham won 2 - 1 and survived while Chelsea were relegated.  Tottenham's winning goal being scored by Humphreys who spent two years with the club.

Of more recent players, Graham Roberts spent two years with Chelsea, Clive Allen had a year at Stamford Bridge later in his career as did Neil Sullivan and Mark Falco.

Gordon Durie had five years with Chelsea before joining Spurs in 1991 and spent three years with the club.  Defender Jason Cundy signed from Chelsea in 1992.

Others who played for both clubs were Tommy Harmer, Johnny Brooks, Keith Weller, Colin Lee, Sid Tickeridge and Clive Wilson.

Of the current players, Wiliam Gallas joined Chelsea in 2001 from Marseille.  After five years he moved to Arsenal and joined Tottenham at the start of last season on a free transfer.  Carlo Cudicini moved to White Hart Lane from Chelsea in January, 2009 as goalkeeping cover, having spent nine years at Stamford Bridge.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tottenham v Chelsea Preview

Tottenham and Chelsea meet at White Hart Lane in their private battle for third place in the Premier League.  Tottenham regained their hold on third with a single goal win over Sunderland while Chelsea dropped two points at Wigan last weekend.

Thursday evening's match is crucial for both Tottenham and Chelsea in their endeavours to close the gap on the two Manchester clubs who head the Premier League table.  Defeat for either club would be a big blow at the start of the busy holiday period and both clubs will be hoping that injury doubts can be overcome so that they can field their strongest teams for such a vital game.  Chelsea have had a disappointing start to the season compared with previous years - and have lacked their normal consistency both as a team and as individuals.

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They dropped two points on Saturday, the Wigan goal coming from a mistake by their usually reliable goalkeeper,  Petr Cech.  The previous Monday evening, however, Chelsea inflicted the first League defeat of the season on Manchester City, coming back from conceding an early goal to win through a first half equaliser from Raul Meireles and a late Frank Lampard penalty.

New manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has taken time to find his best team and has ruffled a few feathers among the established Chelsea players heirarchy by omitting some of them from the team on occasions - Lampard, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Alex and Nicolas Anelka.  With the results not always going as Chelsea would have wanted, including two home defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, Villas-Boas has been under considerable pressure early in his Stamford Bridge managerial career.

Chelsea's draw on Saturday was only their second this season, having drawn at Stoke on the opening day of the season.  Their away record also includes four wins at Newcastle (3 - 0), Wolves (3 - 0), Blackburn (1 - 0) and Bolton (5 - 1).  They suffered defeat at Manchester United (1 - 3) in September and at QPR (0 - 1).  The loss at Loftus Road was eventful for a variety of reasons, including the dismissal of Jose Bosingwa and Drogba before half-time and allegations that John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand, a matter for which he has been charged by the police and is to appear in court at the beginning of February.

Their win at St. James' Park also caught media attention over the referee's failure to send off David Luiz in the fourth minute when his foul prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.  Drogba scored before half-time and two late goals rather flattered them.

Their leading goalscorer is Daniel Sturridge with nine, eight in the League.  He has impressed since returning from last season's loan spell with Bolton Wanderers.  While Lampard has not always been in their starting team, he has still accumulated 8 goals (7 in the League) but Drogba has only managed two in the Premier League.  Ramieres and Mata have three each and John Terry has scored four.  Terry appears to have overcome his injury scare in training on Monday and will be fit to play.

Tottenham have their own injury worries ahead of the game with Aaron Lennon definitely missing while doubts surround Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe who both missed Sunday's win over Sunderland.  The usual late decision will determine whether Ledley King will be able to play his second game inside four days.

Tottenham's Recent Home League Record against Chelsea
It is well documented that Spurs' record against Chelsea in the Premier League era is poor, so I don't intend to dwell on that and will focus on the recent years since November, 2006 which has seen Tottenham overcome their Chelsea hoodoo at the Lane.

Nov. 2006  PL  Won 2 - 1  Dawson, Lennon
Chelsea took the lead after fifteen minutes but Michael Dawson equalised from a free-kick ten minutes later.  Seven minutes into the second half, Aaron Lennon put Spurs ahead after good work on the left by Robbie Keane.  John Terry was sent off with eighteen minutes remaining and Spurs held out for their first victory over Chelsea in nineteen years.

Mar. 2008  PL  Draw 4 - 4  Woodgate, Berbatov, Huddlestone, Keane
Chelsea were ahead after three minutes through Drogba but Jonathan Woodgate equalised after twelve.  Essien restored the visitors' lead after twenty minutes and Joe Cole increased it early in the second half.  Ten minutes later Dimitar Berbatov reduced the lead and Tom Huddlestone equalised with thirteen minutes left.  Cole added his second, three minutes later to restore Chelsea's advantage, only for Robbie Keane to score with two minutes left with a beautiful curled shot.  With the match in added time, Berbatov missed an opportunity to snatch victory for Spurs.  

Mar. 2009  PL  Won 1 - 0  Modric
A well struck shot from Luka Modric, set up by Aaron Lennon, early in the second half gave Spurs the three points.  It was a great team effort with Heurelho Gomes making a number of crucial saves as the game drew to a close.

Apr. 2010  PL  Won 2 - 1  Defoe (pen), Bale
A week earlier Spurs had lost top Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final but had beaten Arsenal at the Lane three days later as their renewed drive for Champions League football got underway.  Spurs had the perfect start with a Defoe penalty after fifteen minutes.  They doubled their lead a minute from the interval through Gareth Bale who left his defender trailing before scoring past Cech.  Chelsea's goal came in the final minute from Frank Lampard. 

Dec. 2010  PL  Draw 1 - 1  Pavlyuchenko 
Michael Dawson returned for last season's game, having been absent since September with injury.  Roman Pavlyuchenko put Spurs ahead after fifteen minutes from a Jermain Defoe cross.  Tottenham held the early ascendancy but in the second half the introduction of Didier Drogba gave the visitors some inspiration and he equalised with twenty minutes remaining, when Dawson slipped as he challenged and Gomes allowed a fierce drive which was straight at him, go into the net.  Spurs avoided defeat in the final minute when Gomes redeemed himself by saving a Drogba penalty which he had conceded.

Previous Success Against Chelsea
Feb. 1990  1st Div.  (a)  Won 2 - 0  Howells, Lineker

Aug. 1987  1st Div.  (h)  Won 1 - 0  Claesen  

Tottenham, with two away games over Christmas, will want to take all three points to aid their own progress while denting those of one of their nearest rivals.  To have any chance of getting close enough to United and City to put in a challenge for the title, they need to win their home games and maintain their impressive record in London derbies.  Fitness worries will be a concern but they have adapted well so far to meet different problems so hopefully they will be prepared for the battle that will be required to overcome a Chelsea side who have extensive experience of coping with such important games.