Friday, October 14, 2011

They Played for Tottenham and Newcastle

Three players who have been among the most exciting to grace the white shirt of Tottenham were signed from Newcastle United.  Other players made the move from White Hart Lane to Newcastle while Ossie Ardiles has been manager of both clubs and Keith Burkinshaw was a coach at St James Park before arriving at Spurs.

Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola

If asked to name three of the most graceful and exciting players to play for Tottenham and these three would be among the first players mentioned.  All three moved to White Hart Lane and had an immense impact on the club.

Chris Waddle signed for Spurs in July, 1985 for a fee of £590,000.  He made 138 League appearances and scored 33 goals.  He made an immediate impression by scoring twice on his debut on the opening day of the season in a 4 - 0 home win over Watford.  He established himself in the England team during his time with Spurs and in 1986 - 87 he was part of the exciting team that David Pleat managed to 3rd in the League and to the FA Cup Final.  Spurs also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup.  In that team Clive Allen scored 49 goals in all competitions and Waddle was a vital part of the 5-man midfield which supplied their prolific striker.

By the summer of 1989, Terry Venables had taken over as Spurs manager and was building an exciting team with Paul Gascoigne and newly signed Gary Lineker to play with Waddle.  It was looking very exciting for Spurs fans but unbeknown to them Spurs' financial position was precarious and when Olympique Marseilles made an offer of £4.5 million for waddle it was too good an offer for both player and club to turn down.  To the great disappointment of supporters, Waddle went to France where he won the French title in each of his three years there and also reached a European Cup Final.  Spurs fans still lament at the missed opportunity of having the three England internationals, Waddle, Gascoigne and Lineker, playing in the white of Tottenham.

When he returned to England, Tottenham were in financial distress and Waddle joined Sheffield Wednesday.

Chris Waddle at Tottenham: 138 Lge App. 33 goals.  36 Cup App. 9 goals. 

Paul Gascoigne was an immense talent who brought exhuberance and an amazing talent to the football field.  He joined Spurs from Newcastle for a then record fee of £2 million, turning his back on Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.  Under Terry Venables he blossomed into the best footballer in England and a regular England international.  He helped Spurs finish third in the League in 1989 - 90 and at that summer's World Cup in Italy, the whole world became aware of his precocious talent as England reached the semi-finals.

The following season he lit up English football as crowds flocked to see the World Cup heroes, Lineker and Gascoigne.  Not put off by the publicity he raised his game and in the second half of the season, almost single-handedly took Spurs to the FA Cup Final at Wembley.  That season he scored 19 League and Cup goals.  He scored seven in the League including an amazing hat-trick against Derby County with Peter Shilton in goal and six in both Cup competitions.

Spurs financial standing was in a critical position and there was much doom and gloom surrounding the club as the banks threatened to call in their debts and put Tottenham Hotspur out of existence.  Against this uncertain background the FA Cup started in January but Gascoigne with outstanding performances and goals to match managed to get Spurs past Portsmouth, Oxford United and Notts County, scoring five goals, to reach a semi-final at Wembley against north-London neighbours, Arsenal.

During the Cup run, Gascoigne had been playing with an operation that required surgery.  This was arranged for immediately after the 6th Round tie, in the hope that he would be fit for the semi-final.  Gascoigne recovered in time and took his place in the team at Wembley.  He was pumped up for that match against opponents who were looking to win the League and Cup 'double'.  Within five minutes he had given Spurs the lead with a free-kick from forty yards.  For an hour he was everywhere and involved in everything that was good for Spurs as they went on to win 3 - 1 and the Final against Nottingham Forest.

In the build up to the Final, Gascoigne became part of the financial solution to rescue Spurs.  A transfer was agreed for him to go to Lazio in Italy for £8.5million but in the Final an over excited Gascoigne made a rash tackle and damaged the cruciate ligaments in his knee.  He was carried off the Wembley pitch on a stretcher and went straight to hospital.  A goal down Spurs re-organised, re-grouped and won 2 -1 in extra time.

Gascoigne was out of football for a year but the deal with Lazio was re-negotiated and in July, 1991 he signed for £5.5 million.  He made 92 League appearances for Tottenham and scored 19 goals.  Gascoigne played for a number of different clubs but never again reached the level of performance he showed with Tottenham in those first three seasons.  His life has been blighted with many problems but he is held close to the hearts of every Spurs fan and it is to be hoped that he will find a purpose in his life and avoid the pitfalls that have so hindered him in the past.

Paul Gascoigne at Tottenham: 92 Lge App. 19 goals.  19 Cup App. 14 goals.

David Ginola was signed by Gerry Francis in the summer of 1997 for £2.5 million.  He was a great favourite on Tyneside and soon became a member of that elite group of players for whom spectators would willingly pay the entrance fee to see them perform at White Hart Lane.  He brought excitement and flair to the rather workman-like team that Francis had produced and his thrilling runs down the left wing, along with his cut-ins to strike at goal stay long in the memory of Tottenham fans as he gained hero status at the club.

Ginola arrived with Les Ferdinand, also signed from Newcastle, to provide the crosses for Ferdinand to score the goals but in his time at White Hart Lane he also added a versatility to his game by playing as a second striker or dropping back into midfield.  Within months of his arrival at Spurs, Francis was replaced by Christian Gross and the team struggled through the season to avoid relegation.  Ginola contributed to their survival with both flair and hard-work and while Jurgen Klinsmann received many of the plaudits it was Ginola who did much to preserve their status.  In the crucial success at Wimbledon, Klinsmann scored four goals but it was the play of Ginola which destroyed the dons defence and supplied the German with the goal scoring opportunities.  That day David Ginola was simply unplayable.

After the departure of Gross, the arrival of George Graham led many to believe that Ginola would be the first player sacrificed by the new manager in his efforts to produce an effective, hard-working team.  However, Ginola probably produced some of his best football at Spurs under Graham and his performances and goals took Spurs to Worthington Cup Final success and the FA Cup semi-finals in 1998 - 99. 

The FA Cup 5th Round tie against Leeds United is memorable for the quality of the goals that Spurs scored in the replay at White Hart Lane. A goal from Tim Sherwood had earned Spurs the replay but Darren Anderton and David Ginola scored two goals of outstanding quality to take Spurs into the quarter finals. Another amazing strike from Ginola which went narrowly past is equally remembered for the reaction of George Graham and the Spurs’ bench as they leapt to their feet in celebration, thinking that it was a goal.

The 6th Round draw took Spurs to Barnsley where they had lost in a 5th Round Replay twelve months earlier but on this occasion it produced a scintillating performance and a wonder goal from Ginola.  An inspirational run down the left from Ginola saw him leaving defenders floundering behind him so he cut in on goal to strike the ball past a bemused keeper.  This was sufficient to overcome the side that had suffered relegation at the end of the previous season.

His performances that season saw Ginola win both the PFA and the Football Writers Player of the Year awards.  In July, 2000 he reluctantly signed for Aston Villa for £3 million, neither the player nor supporters wanted him to go.

His time at Tottenham may have been short, three years, but the memories that David Ginola created are long lasting and he still has an affinity with the club and the supporters.

David Ginola at Tottenham: 100 Lge App. 13 Goals.  26 Cup/European App. 9 goals.

Others have also played for both clubs but none can compare to the Ginola, Gascoigne or Waddle:

Les Ferdinand the current striker coach at Tottenham joined in the summer of 1997 for £6 million and in five and a half seasons made 118 appearances, scoring 33 goals.  Injuries affected him badly during his first three seasons at the club when he only managed 12 goals.  He was part of the teams which reached the League cup Finals of 1999 and 2002.  He had his best period at the club in the third and fourth seasons when he scored 25 League and Cup goals but in the 2002 Final against Blackburn Rovers at Cardiff he was thwarted on three occasions by the Rovers goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, as the trophy headed north.  In January, 2003 he was transferred to West Ham United and scored his first goal for his new club against Spurs.

Stephen Carr was transferred to Newcastle in 2004 after thirteen seasons at Tottenham.  He came through the youth system at White Hart Lane and established himself as an important member of the team, attacking from the right and scoring vital goals.  he was a member of the 1999 Worthington Cup winning team and a full international for the Republic of Ireland.  In total he made 226 appearances, scoring 7 goals.  Injury hindered him and he was out for over eighteen months and on his return he had lost some of the impetus he had previously had and as the team struggled he looked for a new challenge in the north east.  He departed saying that he was moving to ' a bigger club' which infuriated Tottenham supporters who had previously idolised him before tiring of his seemimg lack of interest.

The Managers:
Ossie Ardiles managed Newcastle United from 1991 for a year but it was not a successful time for him as the club struggled against relegation from the 2nd Division.  In 1993, after a successful time at west Bromwich he was appointed manager of Tottenham by Alan Sugar.  the chairman was trying to appease irate fans who were displeased at the departure of Terry Venables.  It was difficult for Ardiles to take over in such circumstances and while supporters enjoyed his attacking team which included Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Barmby, Darren Anderton and Ille Dimitrescu, the team lacked consistency and he was sacked in October, 1994.  Although as a manager Ardiles was not a success, he is still remembered for his successful time as a player at Tottenham.

Keith Burkinshaw arrived at Tottenham from Newcastle to work as 1st Team coach under Terry Neill.  On Neill's departure in the summer of 1976, he was appointed manager and although the club suffered relegation at the end of his first season in charge, the directors decided to give him another chance and he built the successful team of the early 1980s which included Ardiles, Ricky Villa, Graham Roberts, Steve Perryman and Glenn Hoddle.  That team won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 and the UEFA Cup in 1984.

Other players who have played for both clubs are Garry Brady, Jim Iley, Mark Stimson, Ruel Fox and Kevin Scott.


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