Posts Tagged ‘Spurs’

Mackay: A Warrior Remembered
Joe Lovejoy pays tribute to the Scottish legend

by Joe Lovejoy.

dave-mackaySo farewell Dave Mackay. Football has lost a true legend, at a time when the term is used much too loosely, and sadly it’s RIP to my boyhood hero – who once tried to throttle me.

Remember the iconic image of the Spurs and Scotland iron man grabbing Billy Bremner, whose white shorts were in danger of turning brown..? Fast forward a few years and Mackay, as manager of Derby County, did the same to young Lovejoy, then of the “Derby Evening Telegraph”, who he thought was in the rebel camp trying to bring Brian Clough back to the Baseball Ground.

He couldn’t have been more wrong. I disliked “Old Big ‘Ead” as a drunken, egocentric boor whereas Mackay had been my idol since Tottenham’s Double days, when I grew up as an ardent Spurs supporter.

Nevertheless the man rightly renowned as the toughest footballer of his generation was intent on doing me some serious damage that day nearly 40 years ago [“I don’t read your effing paper, but I’m told you want me out”], and he would doubtless have done so but for the timely intervention of his assistant, Des Anderson.

As a player, much is always made of Mackay’s intimidating teak-toughness – maybe too much for it has come to overshadow his considerable footballing ability. George Graham, a big admirer, tells a lovely story from their playing days. In 1960 Scotland faced Hungary in Budapest and in that sepia-tinted era the Hungarians were a match for anyone in Europe. A fortnight earlier they had beaten England 2-0 and it wasn’t that long since they had humbled Billy Wright, Stan Matthews, Tom Finney et al 6-3 and 7-1.

Understandably a young Scottish team were in awe of the “Mighty Magyars” – all the more so as they stood on the touchline before the match and watched Florian Albert run through a stunning repertoire of tricks. It was the Hungarians who introduced the “keepy-uppy” and Albert had also learned from the peerless Ferenc Puskas how to strike the ball hard with so much spin that it would return, boomerang-like, to his feet.

Seeing his teammates mesmerised, Mackay sent for a half-crown, then repeated everything Albert had done, but this time with the coin and fully dressed, with his shoes still on! The spell was broken and a poor Scotland team went out and drew 3-3 [they lost their next two games to Turkey and Wales and conceded nine against England less than a year later.]

George Graham is just one of many well qualified judges who testify to Mackay’s ability to use the ball with the same expertise as he won it.

The bare bones of his CV have had a good airing since his recent passing at the age of 80, but a recap is in order here. A native of Edinburgh, he won the Scottish League and Cup with Hearts before moving south to repeat the feat in one coruscating season with Spurs. Bill Nicholson paid what now seems a laughable £32,000 fee to instal him at the heart of a Lilywhite team of fond memory. It has become a lazy or ill-informed cliche to describe Danny Blanchflower and John White as the brains of that side and Mackay the brawn. In reality, as evidenced earlier, he of the barrel chest could cream it around with the best of them.

That famous confrontation with Bremner occurred at White Hart Lane on the opening day of the 1966-67 season. Word has spread recently that he disliked the celebrated photo that captured it so well because it portrayed him as a bully. I don’t know about that. What I do know is that when he opened a bar in his native Edinburgh a mural of it occupied one wall, above the optics, and when I told him how much I liked it he gave me a key-ring which bore the image.

Warrior

At the age of 33, and after nine years of inspirational service Mackay, not Bill Nick, decided it was time he moved on and he was offered the chance to go back to Hearts as player and assistant manager. He was going, but at the last minute was instead persuaded [by a large signing-on fee] to join the Brian Clough Show at run down Derby, who were then in the wrong half of the old Second Division.

A left leg broken twice [it was Bremner’s kick on it on the day Mackay was making his comeback that provoked their photogenic confrontation] and a fondness of his “dram” had seen that barrel chest head south and the old warrior could no longer rampage like he used to, but Clough insisted he didn’t need to. He would be used not in a midfield role but to marshal the defence as sweeper, behind a 20-year-old centre-half by the name of Roy McFarland.

scotland-dave-mackay-19-panini-1920-1990Clough admitted it was Peter Taylor’s idea, and described how the Rams’ renaissance started thus: “It was at Huddersfield I think. Dave Mackay put his foot on the ball under the most intense pressure in his own six-yard area and then calmly and deliberately played us out of trouble with a pass that immediately switched defence to attack. I remember Peter Taylor’s reaction. Somebody else in the dug-out was yelling: “Kick it, get rid.” Taylor whipped round and shouted: “That’s what we bought him for, that’s what we want him to do – put his foot on it. They’ll all be doing it from now on. We’re on our way.” And we were. Confidence swept from one player to another and the successful Derby era was born.”

The “Rams” were promoted as champions in May 1969 and Mackay’s colossal contribution was recognised when, unprecedented for a Second Division player, he was voted Footballer of the Year, jointly with Manchester City’s Tony Book.

Mackay stayed on, helping to establish Derby in the top division before leaving to move into management, first at Swindon, then at Nottingham Forest. His stay at both was brief and unremarkable but in October 1973 Clough resigned in a fit of pique, believing Derby would beg him to go back but he reckoned without an adversary who was his match when it came to bloody-minded antipathy. Sam Longson was a typical chairman of the old school, a local businessman made good who preferred the parsimony that had made him a millionaire to Clough’s extravagance.

The manager’s spendthrift ways were definitely not to his liking, nor was his outspokenness, and he had tried to sack him once before, only to be outvoted by the other directors. Now, in a tacit reference to the sort of financial shenanigans that later saw Clough named and shamed by the Football Association’s “bungs” investigation, Longson said: “We’ll go into the Second Division with our heads held in the air rather than win the First Division wondering whether the club will be expelled from the Football League.”

He refused to have Clough back, claiming “I could manage this lot”, but this time the misjudgement was his. The players and supporters were outraged and, in danger of a public lynching, Longson could think of only one man who might conceivably be acceptable as a new manager: Dave Mackay. He was wrong. The players delivered a letter, which they had all signed, demanding Clough’s reinstatement, then staged a sit-in at the ground and police were called to disperse the crowd that had gathered outside. Roy McFarland, the captain, phoned Mackay and told him: “Don’t come Dave, we don’t want you. We’re going to force them to bring Brian back.”

Courage

Strangely, having witnessed it at close hand on the pitch, Mackay’s erstwhile teammate underestimated his indomitable courage and strength of character. Nobody was going to tell him what he could and couldn’t do and he took the job, strutting into a dressing room seething with disaffection with typical clenched fist disregard for any opposition. When the players threatened to go on strike he snorted and said: “I’ll field the reserves then.”

dave-mackay-derby-countyTo say he experienced a difficult start is like suggesting George Best wasn’t teetotal. Clough was meeting the players in secret, agitating for a return and it was a rebellious team and crowd that “welcomed” Mackay back after little more than two years away. It was against this mutinous background that Derby failed to win any of their first eight games under new management, and it was hugely to his credit that he engineered enough of a revival for a third place finish.

Clough had left the framework of a good team [they had been champions in 1971-72] and for his second season Mackay fleshed it out with the addition of Bruce Rioch and Francis Lee, who between them scored over 50 goals in 1974-75. In tumultuous times, which saw Clough hired and fired in 44 days by Leeds and Bill Shankly quit Liverpool, Derby won the title by a two points margin, Lee contributing 33 goals in all competitions.

It was Dave’s finest hour. The Clough demons were exorcised, temporarily at least, and the players were happy again – as they are everywhere when they are winning.

As champions Derby were able to recruit from a position of strength and now they signed the supremely gifted Charlie George, from Arsenal – another brilliant addition. When they drew Real Madrid in the European Cup they were given no more than a puncher’s chance, but George responded to the big occasion with a hat-trick in the home leg, a 4-1 win inspiring euphoric scenes on a night I was privileged to witness and can still recall vividly, despite the alcoholic haze in which the night finished.

The Fall

After the pride, the fall. The chink in Mackay’s managerial armour was that while he was an inspirational leader of men and knew a good player when he saw one, he was no tactician. Neither was his No 2, Des Anderson, and instead of having a plan to stymie Real in the return, at the Bernabeu, Derby were told to go out and repeat what they had done at home. They lost 5-1 and were eliminated.

It was not a one-off aberration by management. I remember Mackay’s cavalier approach [“Just go out and play, we’re better than them”] getting embarrassingly exposed on a more mundane occasion, against newly-promoted West Brom. In those days Albion had one outstanding player, Johnny Giles, who could boss any game, given the chance. Most opponents would man-mark him, but Mackay disdained the idea and the Irish playmaker was the man of the match at the Baseball Ground, making both his team’s goals in a 2-2 draw.

Dave was no disciplinarian either and knew that two of his signings, Francis Lee and Rod Thomas, could usually be found propping up the bar at the Midland hotel, opposite the station, after training or playing. Mind you, the boss could only have complained on a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do basis, having done much the same as a Derby player. As manager, too, there were occasions when I went to the ground in the morning for the “Derby Telegraph” and found him shaving in the gents toilet next to the main entrance. He would sleep in his office after a particularly convivial night out.

There were no complaints about such things in the good times, but recreational behaviour became a stick with which to beat him when results deteriorated, as they soon did.

In defence of their title, Derby finished a disappointing fourth in 1975-76 and a poor start the following season saw Mackay sacked in November 1976 and replaced briefly by his reserve team coach, Colin Murphy.

Sadly, it was a downward spiral after that, undistinguished sojourns at Walsall, Doncaster and Birmingham interspersed with lucrative spells coaching in Kuwait, Egypt and Qatar. But if Dave was bitter at the way his management career petered out you would never have guessed it. He was always good, lively company and I’m glad to say our contratemps in the Baseball Ground corridor was eventually put to bed in May 1986 when, over a glass or seven at Mortons club in London’s West End, all was explained.

Dave and a friend, Jimmy Burton, told me that night that George Graham was about to be named manager of Arsenal. I should have run the story in the “Mail on Sunday”, for whom I was working at the time, but when I phoned David Dein to check it out he said: “Joe, if you print that you are going to look very silly”, and the sports editor wouldn’t publish my “exclusive” without confirmation from the club [how times have changed].

Three days later Arsenal appointed Graham and Mackay concluded he was wasting his breath telling this mug anything!

I’m proud to say we remained friends after that and I will always treasure that key ring.

@Joe_Lovejoy

A former Chief Football Writer for The Sunday Times & The Independent, Joe Lovejoy now covers matches for The Guardian & The Observer and is an author of five books. 

 

 

Greavesie Sets The Record Straight He Tells BOBBY Why He Doesn’t Watch His Old Clubs Play

Jimmy-Greavesby Rob Shepherd.

Jimmy Greaves  has hit back at a report that he has snubbed former club Tottenham for 45 years since he left Spurs.

It was stated in an article in the Daily Telegraph that Greaves has never been back to watch a game at White Hart Lane since he moved to West Ham in 1970 with Martin Peters plus £200,000 going the other way.

But Greaves said: “As a Sun reporter then a TV reporter I went there loads of times. Really loads. I launched my autobiography there and I attended the funerals of both Bill Nicholson and Bobby Smith.

“But I don’t go to games. I never have. It’s not just Spurs. I don’t go to any of my other clubs either.”

And Greaves, who turned 75 last week, insists he did not turn down an invitation from Tottenham to be a guest of honour at Wembley for the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea, the club where he started his career.

“There was no invitation forthcoming but I wouldn’t have gone if they did. I’ve got a lovely giant screen TV, a lovely dog and a warm fire. That’s where I watch sport and it’s very nice. I’m not interested in driving in heavy traffic and enduring big crowds and being freezing cold. I love it on TV.”

And no doubt if he found the Spurs-Chelsea game a bit dull then Greaves will have flicked channels to watch the Six Nations crunch game between England and Ireland.

During a speech he made at a dinner recently Greaves made it clear he tires of the antics of players and has grown to prefer rugby union.

But Greaves DOES still feel raw about how his departure from Spurs was handled.

And that he was not told by the club that Manchester City and Derby were interested in him at the time – both clubs he would have preferred to the Hammers where he did not have a happy time, a period which really triggered his lurch into  heavy alcoholism. Greaves though has not had a drink since 1978.

In his autobiography Greaves said: “I was taken aback and I was angry. I was so annoyed with Bill for wantingGreavesTHFC to bring my Spurs career to an end, I simply said, ‘Okay. If you don’t want me at Spurs, I’ll go’. I didn’t have to go, not if I didn’t want to. I still had eighteen months of a contract to run. I could have told Bill I was staying at Spurs and there was little he could have done about it. But I was so peeved that he appeared so willing to get rid of me, I went along with it. What’s the point of staying at a club that doesn’t want you”

“Looking back on that day, I wish I had told Bill I wasn’t interested in moving.”

Greaves scored 268 goals in 381 games for Tottenham over nine seasons after joining the club for a record £99,999 from AC Milan in 1961. He had started his career at Chelsea, where he netted 132 times in 169 games. Greaves is fourth in the list of all-time leading England scorers, having scored 44 goals in 57 appearances.

@iLshep

Greavsie Leaves ’em Faint!
PLUS: Three Classic North London Derbies Remembered

by Karl Hofer.

FROM THE ARCHIVES…

Few derbies deliver the goods like the North London derby has a tendency to do. Over the years we’ve had some classic, high-scoring affairs with breath-taking goals aplenty.

Here BOBBY has searched back through the archives to deliver you three of the best;

Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal, FA Cup Semi-Final, April 14th 1991

The first FA Cup semi-final played at Wembley is one never to be forgotten by Spurs fans. In a season fraught with poor league form on the pitch and financial difficulties off it, Tottenham managed to turn the form book on its head to record a famous victory in the derby.

Paul Gascoigne had single handily dragged Spurs through the competition with some virtuoso performances and it was fitting that he should open the scoring with a scintillating free-kick; the finest in the history of the FA Cup according to boss Terry Venables (you can see it below).

Tottenham had saved their best form for the FA Cup that year and this match against the eventual league champions was no different. A mixture of slack defending and poor goalkeeping led to Gary Lineker scoring Spurs’ other two goals either side of an Alan Smith header for the Gunners, as Spurs denied their rivals the double.

Spurs went on to lift the Cup, although Gascoigne’s second famous kick of the competition, at Forest’s Gary Charles, landed the England star on a stretcher and denied him the opportunity of climbing the Wembley steps.

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal, League Cup semi-final replay, March 4th 1987

It took 270 minutes of League Cup semi-final football before, against the odds, Arsenal emerged triumphant in a season when Spurs – third in the league and beaten by Coventry in the FA Cup final – came quite close to winning everything but actually won nothing.

Tottenham won the first leg at Highbury 1-0 and looked Wembley bound when they led the second leg by the same scoreline at the half – when, as legend has it, ticket details for the final were announced to home fans. But two goals in 15 minutes from Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn brought the scores level on aggregate and, with extra time unable to separate the sides and no provision for a penalty shootout, the tie went to a replay three days later.

The venue for the third encounter was decided on a toss of a coin, and that was almost a draw, too: Spurs manager David Pleat said that when the coin fell to the ground it got stuck, almost upright, in the mud, but the referee adjudged it was leaning Spurs’ way so the decider would be at White Hart Lane.

Clive Allen put Spurs a goal up for the third successive game, but the game turned after the introduction of unlikely hero Ian Allinson for the adored but injured Charlie Nicholas. In the 82nd minute Allinson struck a shot that zipped through the legs of Richard Gough and past Ray Clemence to level things, and then in stoppage-time another Allinson shot deflected into the path of David Rocastle, who promptly swept Arsenal into the final to the jubilation of the away end. Uniquely, Arsenal beat Spurs three times at White Hart Lane that season.

Allinson’s gallant intervention was repaid in strange style by George Graham; he wasn’t in the squad for the victory over Liverpool in the final and in fact never started another game for Arsenal before being released at the end of the season.

rocastle_tottenham_1987

Rocastle fires Arsenal through to Wembley

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, Division One, 15th October 1963

67,857 crammed into Highbury stadium for the derby in 1963, filling it to capacity – and they weren’t to be disappointed.

An incredible first half saw Jimmy Greaves open the scoring as Spurs stormed into a 4-2 lead at the interval with further goals from Bobby Smith (2) and Dave Mackay – George Eastham twice pulling the Gunners within two in response.

With only five minutes remaining Tottenham still held the two goal lead acquired in the first half but Arsenal pulled one back on 85 through Joe Baker and then equalised with a Geoff Strong header from a corner with only twenty seconds of injury time remaining. For the third time in five years the North London derby had ended 4-4.

In the end the point was sufficient to take Tottenham to the top of the First Division, but after that finish it was Arsenal who felt like the victors on the night.

Soccer - League Division One - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Highbury

Jimmy Greaves walks away after helping to tend to a fan who fainted before kick-off at the packed Arsenal v Tottenham match at Highbury in 1963.

@KGHof

Footballers Injured in Storm
PLUS: Spurs Double-Winning Star John White Tragically Killed by Lightning

JohnWhiteby Rob Shepherd.

There were some who wondered last June why the kick-off of England’s friendly against Honduras in Florida last June was delayed ‘just because of a thunderstorm’.

But it is too easy to neglect the dangers of electric storms in open spaces.

Last week Peruvian player Joao Contreras and a linesman were both struck by lightning during a cup semi-final. Both were rushed to hospital suffered nasty burns, but thankfully have recovered.

For those who know their football history it was a reminder of the terrible fate one of the star players of Tottenham’s fabled 1961 Double side, John White, suffered.

Three years after that famous success at the age of 27 and while still a Spurs player, White was killed when struck by lightning as he took cover under a tree during a thunderstorm while playing golf in Enfield.

He is pictured below in the front row of this Ty-Phoo Tea card of the Spurs team from the 1963/64 season;

Tottenham Hotspur

 @iLShep

One 2 Eleven with Ossie Ardiles
Ex-Spurs Legend & World Cup Winner Spills the Beans with BOBBY

Ardiles_390

Now THAT’S how you wear a ‘tache!

Osvaldo César Ardiles was born August 3rd 1952 in the  Córdoba Province of Argentina.

He began his career with Instituto de Córdoba and also played for Club Atlético Belgrano and Huracán before joining Tottenham in 1978 as a World Cup winner. He spent ten years as a cult hero with the north London club winning the FA Cup in 1981 and the UEFA Cup in 1984. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in February 2008 along with team-mate Ricardo Villa.

He now runs his own football school in the UK called the Ossie Ardiles Soccer School and is a pundit in Ireland for RTÉ Sport.

First Car: An Austin Princess… Paul Miller (ex Spurs centre-half and social skipper) told me it was a good price. Maxie had a bit of Arthur Daley in him!

Best Ground: Apart from White Hart Lane? I’d say Wembley and Old Trafford.

Worst Ground: There were quite a few when we played lower division teams in the FA Cup, like Hull in 1981.

Best Goal: The second goal in Escape to Victory! Also a curler for Spurs against Manchester United at Old Trafford (See link below).

Best Goal Seen: Glenn (Hoddle) against Watford and of course Ricky (Villa) in the 1981 Cup final. Then there was a volley by Glenn at home to Man Utd also in the cup.

Favourite Memorabilia: Er…My World Cup winners medal – They don’t come better than that!

Best Team Played For: Tottenham. Oh, and the Argentina side of 1978 was pretty good…

First Music Bought: Beatles when I was a kid in Argentina … I am not sure which one

Music Now: I often listen to the classics; I like Puccini… and of course I like Ossie’s Dream by Chas & Dave!

Best Friend In The Game: I still stay in touch with many, many of my old Tottenham pals, but especially Glenn, Ricky and Paul Miller.

ossie-ricky-1

Ossie couldn’t wait to give his mate Ricky a lift in his new Austin Princess!

Boyhood Hero: Even as an Argentinian, Pele.

Best player Of My Era: Maradona.

Subs:

Hobbies: I like to play golf of course and chess.

Maradona or Messi: Messi.

ArdilesScores

 Thanks Ossie!

Memories of a Boy Being Taken to his First Football Match
A stroll down White Hart Lane

by Richard DJJ Bowdery.

The 2 November 1968 was my initiation into life as a football supporter. On that cold, damp day I was taken by my dad to watch my first professional game of football. I was…well it’s not important how old I was.

We journeyed from south London to N17 to watch Spurs take on Stoke City in a Division One match. But not for us queuing at the turnstiles to pay our admission.

My dad was a talented freelance photo journalist and had his pictures published in local and national newspapers. He also had the gift of the gab. And though he hadn’t been sent by any paper to cover the game, following a few words in the right quarter, we were in.

So as ‘members of the press’ we were escorted pitch-side and we took up our position behind the goal which Spurs were to attack.

GreavesTHFC

The great Jimmy Greaves

Oh, did I forget to explain my role? I was a runner for my dad. It sounds a bit dodgy but basically it meant taking used rolls of film containing the pictures he’d shot to the press entrance where a messenger would whisk them off to Fleet Street. Needless to say not once did I leave my perch behind the goal!

How could I, with Pat Jennings in goal, Mike England the rock at centre-half, and Alan Gilzean feeding that goal-poacher supreme, Jimmy ‘Greavsie’ Greaves.

Spurs could only manage a draw but at least Greavsie scored. And as he left the field guess who got his autograph? With my prized procession tucked away in my coat pocket, Dad and I left for home.

Being a south London boy it was beyond the pale to support a north London team. But nonetheless, it is a match, a day, a rite of passage that will live long in my memory…

@RichardBowdery

Arsenal v Spurs Preview
PLUS: Three Classic North London Derby Matches Remembered

Arsenal  v  Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Saturday September 27th, 5.30pm

Pochettino faces a tactical test against Arsene Wenger.

Pochettino faces a tactical test against Arsene Wenger.

by Karl Hofer.

It may be early days, but Spurs are going to have to roll their sleeves up and halt a run of derby-day disappointments if they want to divert their season away from an inexorable slide.

Arsenal overcame their bitter rivals on both occasions in the league last season, winning 1-0 both times to condemn former managers Andre Villa-Boas and Tim Sherwood to a loss each in the most important match on their fixture list.

A win would catapult Spurs ahead of Wenger’s men, but ominously the last time they claimed the spoils at Arsenal was in 2010 when they came from behind to win 3-2, which was their first away-day victory in the North London derby in 17 years.

For his part Pochettino is playing down the importance of the game to the Lillywhites season, saying: “We are in a good way. When I arrived here, I knew the situation – I knew that maybe there would be some ups and downs at the start of a new period. It’s always different when you arrive at a new club with different players and you need time to get to know each other. I’m not worrying about the situation. I believe at the moment we need to have more points to reflect the table. It’s the beginning of the season, it’s not how we start it’s how we finish.”

That may be true, but if Spurs were able to upset the odds it could prove to be the catalyst to their season.

To do so they will surely have to draw Arsenal on to them and counter behind their advanced full-backs, the way Dortmund did so effectively in the Champions League last week, proving that last years flaws still remain for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

But inviting players like former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez and the inspired Jack Wilshere to attack you has its obvious dangers, and the Spurs defence will need to perform better than it has thus far if they are to have a sporting chance.

Pochettino won’t be too worried about the club’s recent record on derby day, he’ll be keen to make some history all of his own. However the Argentine will hope his charges have learnt valuable lessons from what must have been a morale-sapping defeat to bottom of the table West Brom on Sunday, whilst confidence must be high with the Gunners after impressively sweeping aside what was a high-flying Aston Villa side 0-3.

 

SELECTED ODDS

ARSENAL:  3/4   DRAW:  27/10   TOTTENHAM:  10/3

Half-Time/Full-Time;

Draw/Arsenal: 7/2   Tottenham/Draw: 13/1   Arsenal/Draw: 13/1

Correct Score;

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham: 7/1,  Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: 7/1,  Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham: 14/1

Arsenal 0-0 Tottenham: 10/1, Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham: 13/2, Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham: 12/1

Arsenal 0-1 Tottenham: 14/1, Arsenal 1-2 Tottenham: 14/1, Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham: 35/1

First Goalscorer;

Sanchez  5/1,  Welbeck  5/1, Ramsey  6/1, Adebayor  13/2, Eriksen  10/1, Lamela  11/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: Arsenal to come from behind to win: 8/1

(Odds courtesy of PaddyPower)

 

FROM THE ARCHIVES…

Few derbies deliver the goods like the North London derby has a tendency to do. Over the years we’ve had some classic, high-scoring affairs with breath-taking goals aplenty.

Here BOBBY has searched back through the archives to deliver you three of the best;

Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal, FA Cup Semi-Final, April 14th 1991

The first FA Cup semi-final played at Wembley is one never to be forgotten by Spurs fans. In a season fraught with poor league form on the pitch and financial difficulties off it, Tottenham managed to turn the form book on its head to record a famous victory in the derby.

Paul Gascoigne had single handily dragged Spurs through the competition with some virtuoso performances and it was fitting that he should open the scoring with a scintillating free-kick; the finest in the history of the FA Cup according to boss Terry Venables (you can see it below).

Tottenham had saved their best form for the FA Cup that year and this match against the eventual league champions was no different. A mixture of slack defending and poor goalkeeping led to Gary Lineker scoring Spurs’ other two goals either side of an Alan Smith header for the Gunners, as Spurs denied their rivals the double.

Spurs went on to lift the Cup, although Gascoigne’s second famous kick of the competition, at Forest’s Gary Charles, landed the England star on a stretcher and denied him the opportunity of climbing the Wembley steps.

 

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal, League Cup semi-final replay, March 4th 1987

It took 270 minutes of League Cup semi-final football before, against the odds, Arsenal emerged triumphant in a season when Spurs – third in the league and beaten by Coventry in the FA Cup final – came quite close to winning everything but actually won nothing.

Tottenham won the first leg at Highbury 1-0 and looked Wembley bound when they led the second leg by the same scoreline at the half – when, as legend has it, ticket details for the final were announced to home fans. But two goals in 15 minutes from Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn brought the scores level on aggregate and, with extra time unable to separate the sides and no provision for a penalty shootout, the tie went to a replay three days later.

The venue for the third encounter was decided on a toss of a coin, and that was almost a draw, too: Spurs manager David Pleat said that when the coin fell to the ground it got stuck, almost upright, in the mud, but the referee adjudged it was leaning Spurs’ way so the decider would be at White Hart Lane.

Clive Allen put Spurs a goal up for the third successive game, but the game turned after the introduction of unlikely hero Ian Allinson for the adored but injured Charlie Nicholas. In the 82nd minute Allinson struck a shot that zipped through the legs of Richard Gough and past Ray Clemence to level things, and then in stoppage-time another Allinson shot deflected into the path of David Rocastle, who promptly swept Arsenal into the final to the jubilation of the away end. Uniquely, Arsenal beat Spurs three times at White Hart Lane that season.

Allinson’s gallant intervention was repaid in strange style by George Graham; he wasn’t in the squad for the victory over Liverpool in the final and in fact never started another game for Arsenal before being released at the end of the season.

rocastle_tottenham_1987

Rocastle sends Arsenal through to Wembley

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, Division One, 15th October 1963

 67,857 crammed into Highbury stadium for the derby in 1963, filling it to capacity – and they weren’t to be disappointed.

An incredible first half saw Jimmy Greaves open the scoring as Spurs stormed into a 4-2 lead at the interval with further goals from Bobby Smith (2) and Dave Mackay – George Eastham twice pulling the Gunners within two in response.

With only five minutes remaining Tottenham still held the two goal lead acquired in the first half but Arsenal pulled one back on 85 through Joe Baker and then equalised with a Geoff Strong header from a corner with only twenty seconds of injury time remaining. For the third time in five years the North London derby had ended 4-4.

In the end the point was sufficient to take Tottenham to the top of the First Division, but after that finish it was Arsenal who felt like the victors on the night.

Soccer - League Division One - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Highbury

Jimmy Greaves walks away after helping to tend to a fan who fainted before kick-off at the Arsenal v Tottenham match at Highbury in 1963.

 @KGHof

Spurs Roll The Dice Again!
Will Frank Replace the Very Frank Sherwood..?

sherwood_1895452a

Sherwood: Steadied the ship at Spurs

by Karl Hofer.

Sadly, but predictably, Tim Sherwood’s time at the helm of Spurs is up, despite former Tottenham hero Ossie Ardiles declaring that sacking  Sherwood will not provide Spurs with the solution to their problems.

Daniel Levy craves regular Champions League football, and sacked Andre Villas-Boas when he no longer believed that AVB was the man to lead them to a top four finish this term.

Sherwood was given the top job as a temporary measure, and despite steadying the ship, was relieved of his duties shortly after the season finished – confirming the widely-held belief that he was never in the frame for the job beyond the seasons conclusion.

But Ardiles, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, declared that replacing the coach yet again will not solve Spurs’ many problems.

“I believe that the players we have bought in this season have been the problem. They are not performing the way we expected. I don’t want to name names, but basically all the people we have bought. This is a serious, serious problem.

“At the end of the day, whoever the manager is, AVB earlier in the season and later on Tim, there is not a lot you can do with the kind of players we have right now.”

Mess

The new incumbent will certainly have a big job on his hands, rebuilding a team that was rebuilt less than a year ago with the money from the Gareth Bale sale. Many people will tell you that was money poorly spent for the most part – yet AVB and now Sherwood have paid with their jobs, and neither was to blame for that mess in the transfer market.

After what was his final game in charge of Spurs, who finished in sixth spot, Sherwood told Sky Sports: “It’s been a great learning curve for me.

“The one thing I have learned about football is that it’s all about winning, and if you win it covers up a multitude of sins.

“It’s an impulsive game. People who don’t know the game make impulsive decisions and that’s what they continue to do unfortunately.”

As for the new man; Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is the apple of Levy’s eye, whilst Frank de Boer has been strongly linked with the post for weeks now.

Next Permanent Spurs Boss

FdeBoer

You can double your money if de Boer gets de nod!

Pochettino: 11/10

de Boer: 2/1

Benitez: 5/1

Tuchel: 10/1

Moyes: 12/1

Laudrup: 25/1

Odds courtesy of SkyBet.

 

Liverpool v Spurs Preview
PLUS: Spurs Smashed for Seven by Rampant Reds in match from 1978

 Liverpool  v  Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday March 30th 4pm, Live on Sky Sports

LIVERPOOL   4/9   DRAW   7/2   TOTTENHAM   6/1

For the 165th meeting between the two clubs, Liverpool come into the match in second place on 65 points, while Spurs lay in 5th place on 56 points.

The first meeting came on Boxing Day in 1894 when Liverpool, who had been established just two years earlier after a dispute with Everton, played a friendly at Tottenham Marshes in a game won 3-0 by Spurs. A second visit from Liverpool was even less successful in Easter 1895 with Spurs winning 6-0.

The first Football League meeting between the two clubs took place at White Hart Lane in November 1909 with Spurs winning 1-0 thanks to a Bert Middlemiss goal. He became the first Spurs player to score against both Merseyside clubs.

The reverse fixture that season was won by Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield, which had previously been the home of Everton before their move to Goodison Park.

All 139 League meetings played to date between Spurs & Liverpool have taken place in the Top Flight of English football.

Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Anfield in March 1912 would be their last at the ground for 73 years with the jinx finally being broken when a goal from Garth Crooks won it 1-0 in March 1985.

To date, the clubs have met 7 times in the FA Cup with Tottenham’s only win coming at Anfield in the 6th Round in March 1995 when goals from Teddy Sheringham and Jurgen Klinsmann earned a 2-1 victory.

They have also met 7 times in the League Cup. Conversely Liverpool’s only win came in the 1982 Final at Wembley, which was won 3-1 after extra time. Steve Archibald put Spurs ahead but Ronnie Whelan’s brace and a goal from Ian Rush meant that the Reds lifted the silverware.

The teams contested the Charity Shield in August that year with League Champions Liverpool beating FA Cup Winners Spurs 1-0.

Overall, Liverpool have the upper hand over Spurs with 75 wins to 49 with 41 of the 165 matches played so far drawn.

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: A surprise result as Liverpool’s great run stalls. Correct Score of Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham at 13/1 is our tip.

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower

 

Liverpool  7-0  Tottenham Hotspur – September 2nd 1978

Tottenham hadn’t won at Anfield since the Titanic sank back in 1912 but they arrived full of hope and confidence having just strengthened their ranks with a pair of World Cup winners in Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa. But they met a Liverpool side at their imperious best that day and instead returned to London smarting from their biggest-ever League defeat.

Kenny Dalglish, a scorer in all three games so far that season, took only eight minutes to get off the mark in this one, turning to slide a low shot under Barry Daines after Jimmy Case had miscued his attempt at goal. Dalglish was on hand again after 20 minutes to put the home team firmly in control of the match. Before half-time Ray Kennedy had headed the Reds 3-0 in front and it was already clear which way the points would be going in.

David Johnson of Liverpool celebrates scoring one of his two goals in the 7-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur

David Johnson of Liverpool celebrates scoring one of his two goals in the 7-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur

Not that Liverpool were content with that, as it was in the second-half that Liverpool really tore Spurs apart. David Johnson,on as a first-half substitute for the injured Emlyn Hughes, took his chance to make a claim for a spot in the starting XI by scoring the 4th and 5th goals.

Midway through the second half Tottenham’s John Duncan made a tremendous clearance off the line to save a certain goal but then moments later tripped Heighway inside the box to concede a penalty. Phil Neal’s spot kick was saved well by Daines in the Spurs goal, but this really wasn’t the North Londoner’s day and the referee ordered a retake deciding that the Spurs ‘keeper had moved before the penalty was taken. Neal’s second attempt  had more power and accuracy than the first and Daines was unable to repeat his heroics.

Six-nil it was, but Liverpool saved the best until last. With about a quarter of an hour left came the goal of the day, perhaps the season even. It began inside Liverpool’s penalty-area during a rare spell of Spurs pressure. Clemence to Ray Kennedy, then on to Dalglish who then found Johnson waiting in the centre-circle. Johnson controlled and turned before spraying a wonderful pass out towards Heighway who was galloping up the left touchline. Heighway never broke stride as he crossed the ball first-time towards Terry McDermott, who had run almost the whole length of the pitch while all this was going on, met the cross at the far post with a bullet header which flashed past Daines who was rooted to the spot.

The goal typified Liverpool’s style during a season in which they played some wonderful football with great consistency.  At home they were almost invincible. Only four clubs even scored at Anfield and only Leeds and Everton escaped with a point that season as Liverpool stormed to their eleventh title losing only 4 games all season.

Liverpool : Clemence, Neal, Alan Kennedy, Thompson, Ray Kennedy, Hughes (Johnson), Dalglish, Case, Heighway, Souness, McDermott.

Tottenham Hotspur : Daines, McAllister, Naylor, Hoddle, Lacy, Perryman, Villa, Ardiles, Taylor, Duncan, McNab.

 

 

Chelsea v Spurs Preview
PLUS: Fantastic Four – Classic Games Between The Two Rivals

ChelseaSpurs

Chelsea battle with Spurs in 1994 with The Shed in the background

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Sat March 8th, 5.30pm

The North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal has historically been the deciding factor in dominance of the Capital, but the emergence of Chelsea in recent years as a force, not just in England but in Europe, has meant a certain realignment in what is meant by the ‘Big’ London derby.

Although contests between Arsenal and Chelsea have generally had an impact on who wins silverware, the games between Spurs and the Blues have carried a significant amount of extra spice about them – for numerous reasons.

Those reasons include; Abramovich supposedly choosing Chelsea ahead of Spurs as the club to lavish his millions on, Chelsea’s poaching of Frank Arnesen, trying to wrench Modric away from the Lane, the whole AVB thing, Chelsea’s marathon unbeaten run in the fixture, Mata’s ‘phantom’ goal in the semi-final at Wembley, the victory over Bayern that ousted Spurs from the following season’s Champion League tournament despite finishing 4th and, most recently, Willian’s snubbing of Spurs to join the Blues instead – all of which has ensured there is no shortage of animosity between the pair.

Chelsea have dominated in the modern era; of their 43 Premeir League encounters Spurs have been on the wrong end 23 times and won a mere 3, all of which were at White Hart Lane.

Not since Gary Lineker headed home Nayim’s cross at the far post on February 10, 1990, have Tottenham beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – a full two years before Christian Eriksen was born. Sinead O’Connor was number one at the time with ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’  – it was that long ago…

THE ODDS

CHELSEA  3/5    DRAW  11/4    TOTTENHAM  5/1

Correct Score:

Willian is 10/1 to score first against the team he snubbed

Willian is 10/1 to score first against the team he snubbed

Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham  6/1
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham  7/1
Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham  11/1
Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham  7/1
Chelsea 3-1 Tottenham  12/1
Chelsea 3-2 Tottenham  22/1

Draws- 0-0: 10/1, 1-1: 13/2, 2-2: 14/1, 3-3:  60/1

Chelsea 0-1 Tottenham  16/1
Chelsea 0-2 Tottenham  35/1
Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham  17/1
Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham  55/1
Chelsea 2-3 Tottenham  50/1

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY – Chelsea to come from behind to win: 8/1

First Goalscorer –

Eto’o 9/2
Torres 5/1
Schurle 11/2
Hazard 6/1
Lampard 13/2
Willian 10/1
Terry 25/1

Soldado 8/1
Adebayor 8/1
Townsend 12/1
Eriksen 14/1
Lennon 18/1
Pauinho 18/1

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower.

 

THE FANTASTIC FOUR

There have been many memorable games in this derby, but here BOBBY takes a look back at four classic encounters between Chelsea and Tottenham…

1. Chelsea  4-3  Tottenham Hotspur  – February 27th 1994

Chelsea, then managed by former Tottenham hero Glenn Hoddle, went behind to two goals in a minute from Steve Sedgley and Jason Dozzell, but in a half of two halves the Blues, thanks to Mal Donaghy, Mark Stein and a belter from John Spencer, were leading 3-2 after 40 minutes, with Hoddle ecstatically high-fiving his players on the touchline.

The second half was all about penalties; Andy Gray’s spot-kick drew Ossie Ardiles’ side level on 72 minutes and he had the chance to repeat the feat from the spot again a few moments later, but Russian stopper Dimitri Kharine saved. Into injury time and a rash challenge from Dean Austin on Gavin Peacock gave Stein the opportunity to win the game and he made no mistake with his penalty to make it 4-3 at Stamford Bridge, which was being redeveloped at the time. It was the seventh straight league defeat for Spurs, who finished one place and six points behind Chelsea in 15th place at the end of the season.

Chelsea
Kharine, Donaghy, Johnsen, Clarke, Kjeldberg, Burley, Peacock, Wise, Newton, Stein, Spencer
Manager: Glenn Hoddle

Tottenham Hotspur
Walker, Sedgley, Scott, Austin, Mabbutt, Nethercott, Edinburgh, Samways, Anderton, Dozzell, Rosenthal
Manager: Ossie Ardiles

Att: 19,398

2. Tottenham  Hotspur  1-6  Chelsea  – December 6th 1997

Chelsea fans, not surprisingly, still like to remind their rivals of this demolition-derby from 1997 in the Premier League, where Chelsea recorded their biggest away win ever against London opposition. That wasn’t on the cards though at half-time with the score at one apiece, after Chelsea’s Tore-Andre Flo and Tottenham’s Ramon Vega had scored in quick succession, but after the break the Blues ran rings around their hosts, whose lack of spirit was perhaps best demonstrated by the fact not one Spurs player made it into the referee’s book all game.

Roberto Di Matteo, Dan Petrescu and Mark Nicholls all scored, while Flo completed his hat-trick to ensure that “We won 6-1, we won 6-1, we won 6-1 at the Lane!” will forever be heard when these two meet.

Tottehnam Hotspur
Walker, Carr, Scales, Vega, Calderwood, Wilson, Ginola, Fox, Nielsen, Sinton, Ferdinand
Subs:Edinburgh for Sinton, Anderton for Nielsen, Allen for Scales
Manager: Christian Gross

Chelsea
De Goey, Leboeuf, Sinclair, Duberry, Petrescu, Le Saux, Babayaro, Di Matteo, Wise, Flo, Zola
Sub: Nicholls for Babayaro
Manager: Ruud Gullit

Att: 28,476

OK, we all know that – a couple of recent exceptions aside – Spurs wins over Chelsea have been as rare as rocking-horse shit this last quarter of a century, so we’ve had to dig deep to unearth a couple for you in the interests of fair play, but they are good ones;

3. Chelsea  2-3  Tottenham Hotspur  – March 6th 1982

A pulsating FA Cup Sixth round tie saw Tottenham produce some quality play on a bumpy Stamford Bridge pitch on their way to Wembley back in ’82. Chelsea took the lead through a fine Mike Fillery free-kick just before half-time, but second half strikes by Archibald, Hoddle and Hazard in a ten minute spell proved decisive. Alan Mayes puled one back towards the end, but Tottenham, with Hoddle at his imperious best, held on to send the travelling fans home happy  – after dodging a hail of bottles and bricks back to the tube station.

Chelsea
Francis, Locke, Nutton, Chivers, Pates, Hutchings, Walker, Bumstead, Fillery,  Mayes, Rhoades-Brown
Manager: John Neal

Tottenham Hotspur
Clemence , Miller, Perryman, Price, Hughton , Galvin, Hoddle, Ardiles, Hazard, Crooks, Archibald
Manager: Keith Burkinshaw

Att: 42,557

4. Chelsea  1-2  Tottenham Hotspur  – FA Cup Final, May 20th 1967

After 95 years this was, surprisingly, the first ever all-London FA Cup final.  Spurs were favourites, and the match went according to form, as they effectively controlled the whole game from the very start.

Spurs went in front when Alan Mullery unleashed a shot from outside of the box that struck Ron Harris and fell perfectly for Jimmy Robertson, who fired his shot past Bonetti. Spurs doubled their advantage as goalscorer turned provider when Jimmy Robertson fed Frank Saul, who turned swiftly to score.

Chelsea pulled one back with four minutes remaining through Tambling, but it was too little too late and the 2-1 scoreline ultimately flattered Chelsea as the Cup headed back to White Hart Lane for a third time in the decade.

Chelsea
Bonetti, Harris, McCreadie, Hollins, Hinton, Harris, Cooke, Hateley, Baldwin, Tambling, Boyle.
Manager: Tommy Docherty

Tottenham Hotspur
Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay, Venables, Robertson, Gilzean, Greaves, Saul.
Manager: Bill Nicholson

Att: 100,000

 

96675114_Chelsea_217479c

Osgood scores a penalty for Chelsea past Pat Jennings of Spurs