Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Europa League - Hearts (Scotland) v Tottenham (England)

They've Met Before:
Tottenham Hotspur travel to Edinburgh to play Heart of Midlothian in the Qualifying Stage of the Europa League on Thursday evening.  It will be the first time that the two clubs have met in a competitive match but they have played numerous friendlies over the years.
FA Cup Winners v Scottish Cup Winners
The first game between Spurs and Hearts was played on 1st September, 1901 at Tottenham's old Northumberland Park ground.  Non-League Spurs of the Southern League had just won the FA Cup at the end of the previous season and Hearts were the holders of the Scottish Cup.  Spurs full Cup winning team played out a scoreless draw against Hearts.  
Team:  Clawley; Erentz, Tait; Morris, Hughes, Jones; Smith, Cameron, Brown, Copeland, Kirwan.
Four months later a return friendly was played at Tynecastle on 2nd January, 1902 which Hearts won 3-1, the Tottenham scorer is unknown.  Only three changes were made in the Tottenham team - Griffiths played in goal, McNaught replaced Hughes in defence and Gilhooley took Cameron's place.

It was another fifty years before the clubs met again when Spurs travelled to Edinburgh for an end of season friendly which Hearts won 2 - 0 in May, 1953.

Anglo-Scottish Floodlit Tournament
In season 1957-56, a number of Scottish and English clubs took part in a short-lived Anglo-Scottish Floodlit competition.  Tottenham met Hearts in Edinburgh in October, 1956 but lost 2 - 3.  the Spurs' goal scorers were Tommy Harmer (p) and Terry Dyson.  the following month Spurs achieved their only success over their Scottish rivals by winning the return game 4 - 1 with Bobby Smith scoring a hat-trick and Alfie Stokes getting the other goal.

Pre-Season Friendlies
From 1969 to 1974 Bill Nicholson took his team to Edinburgh to play Hearts on three occasions as part of his pre-season preparations.  In 1969 Roger Morgan scored for Spurs in a 1 - 1 draw.  
Two years later Spurs lost 1 - 2. The team contained Pat Jennings, Alan Mullery, newly signed Ralph Coates and Martin Chivers who scored their goal but the winning Hearts goal came from full-back, Roy Kay.  
In August, 1974, in what was to be Bill Nicholson's last pre-season as manager at Tottenham ahead of his resignation  a few weeks later, a poor Spurs team were fortunate to get a 1 - 1 draw with John Pratt scoring from an off-side position.  After losing the opening four games of the season Nicholson resigned and his final game in charge was a 0 - 4 reversal to Middlesbrough in the League Cup at White Hart Lane.  He was replaced by Terry Neill.

At the start of 1990-91 David Howells goal earned Spurs another draw at Tynecastle.This team included many players who would lift the FA Cup he following May - Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Paul Stewart, Paul Allen and Erik Thorstvedt. 
The last meeting also ended as a draw in July, 1999 when Spurs two goals came from Stefan Iversen and an o.g.

Legend - Dave Mackay
Dave Mackay - legend for Spurs and Hearts
It's not often that two clubs can claim a shared legend among their playing staff but on this occasion Dave Mackay is worthy of the accolade.  He learned his football with Hearts and was a member of their very successful team in the 1950s and he really didn't want to leave but fortunately for Spurs the persuasive tongue of Bill Nicholson brought him to London where he became a pivotal member of the successful 'Double' winning team in 1960-61 and in Spurs other successes in the early sixties.  He recovered from a twice broken leg to captain Spurs to an FA Cup success in 1967and will always be regarded as a hero at Tottenham.  He played with such passion and drive that he lifted the players around him and led by example at all times.  He wasn't just a 'hard' man he had tremendous skill and ability which he used in latter years as he helped Derby County to success under Brian Clough.

It will be a real test for Mackay to know who to support in these up-coming matches as he loves both clubs with a passion.
All of the matches between the two clubs have been close and while there is a tendency among English supporters to dismiss Scottish football, Spurs will find Hearts a difficult team over the two legs of the Europa League.

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