Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspur

Iconic Moments: Spurs’ damaging day at Stoke (October 2008)

In every Premier League season, some clubs will have a day to truly forget where everything you try virtually goes wrong. For Tottenham Hotspur, they haven’t had many more chaotic days than the damaging defeat they suffered away at newly-promoted Stoke City in October 2008.

Tottenham were in major trouble ahead of their trip to The Britannia Stadium. They were without a win in seven matches and rooted to the foot of the Premier League table. Manager Juande Ramos was under huge pressure and he needed a win to revive his fortunes.

The first incident occurred on 17 minutes. Gareth Bale dallied in possession and then fouled Tom Soares with the midfielder in a goalscoring position. The Welshman was given a straight red card by referee Lee Mason and Danny Higginbotham tucked away the spot-kick.

Darren Bent did equalise seven minutes later to ensure the teams went into the dressing rooms level at the break but things didn’t improve for Spurs and their embattled manager in the second half. First, Rory Delap was picked out by Mamady Sidibe and finished coolly at the far post to give Stoke back their lead. Then, Vedran Corluka was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious in a nasty collision with his own goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes.

11 minutes of stoppage-time were added with Corluka stretchered off requiring oxygen and Tottenham’s nightmare continued when Jonathan Woodgate bundled over Soares and Mason gave a second penalty. This time, Ricardo Fuller couldn’t convert the chance with his spot-kick hitting the post. To compound matters, Michael Dawson was sent off for a horror challenge on Sidibe.

Stoke won 2-1 and Tottenham had just two points from eight games. Not many teams can beat this kind of day, conceding two penalties, having two players sent off, losing a player to an injury in a collision with his own goalkeeper and losing the match!

Ramos was sacked a few days later and replaced in the dugout by the outgoing Portsmouth boss, Harry Redknapp.

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The Managers: Harry Redknapp

Premier League Clubs Managed: West Ham United (1994-2001), Portsmouth (2003-2004), (2005-2008), Southampton (2004-2005), Tottenham Hotspur (2008-2012), Queens Park Rangers (2012-2013), (2014-2015)

Harry Redknapp’s career in professional football has spanned a staggering six decades. He had moderate success as a player but in management, has become one of the English game’s most charismatic and enjoyable characters to witness. He remains the last English manager to win the FA Cup when he guided Portsmouth to the trophy in 2008 and in 2018, become the star of the ITV reality programme I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Redknapp became King of the Jungle.

His son, Jamie Redknapp played under him at both AFC Bournemouth and Southampton whilst the football connections continue with him being uncle to Frank Lampard, who is now making his first steps in management at Derby County.

In his playing career, Redknapp was a midfielder. He began his career at Tottenham Hotspur before moving to West Ham United at the age of 15. He broke into the Hammers first-team in the 1965-1966 season and would spend the next seven seasons in the East End of London. His best campaign was in 1968-1969, where he was a regular fixture in their team, scoring three times in 42 appearances. In total, he made 175 appearances in all competitions for West Ham.

He dropped into Division Three in 1972, joining AFC Bournemouth, spending four seasons on the south coast. In 1976, he got the opportunity to experience the American game, joining Seattle Sounders as a player-coach, reaching the play-offs in his first season out there before losing in the Division Championship final to the Minnesota Kicks. By now, Harry’s playing career was winding down but his time in management was about to get its first significant scalp.

Taking United’s scalp

He began his coaching time as an assistant manager, first to his former teammate Bobby Moore at Oxford City in the Isthmian League, then with David Webb at AFC Bournemouth. When Webb left midway through the 1982-1983 season to take the vacant position at Torquay United, Redknapp applied for the position but the board elected to give the position to Don Megson. It didn’t work out for Megson and when he was sacked with the club in the Third Division relegation zone, Harry was hired as his successor in October 1983.

Months into his first management post, he took a huge scalp as Bournemouth stunned mighty Manchester United in the FA Cup third round, beating the cup holders 2-0. This gained big national publicity and increased his rapport with the supporters which remains today whenever he comes back to The Vitality Stadium as a spectator.

Redknapp’s first major honour as a manager came in 1987 when he guided Bournemouth to the Third Division title when they broke their own club record for most points in a season, amassing 97 by the season’s end. The Cherries stayed at Second Division level for three years before being relegated in 1990. Fate was about to play its part in the next chapter of his career.

Road accident twist

At the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, Redknapp experienced an event that would change the course of his career. On 30th June in Rome, he was on a chauffeur-driven minibus that was involved in a head-on collision with a car that was carrying three Italian soldiers.

The minibus was flipped onto its roof in the accident and doused in petrol, Redknapp was pulled to safety by York City owner Michael Sinclair, who was travelling with him at the time. He suffered a fractured skull, cracked ribs and a broken nose and also lost all his sense of smell in the accident. Tragically, there were four deaths in the crash. The soldiers in the other vehicle were all killed as was one of his best friends, the Bournemouth managing director, Brian Tiler. Had it not been for Sinclair’s intervention, there is a good chance Redknapp wouldn’t have survived.

Scarred and shattered by the experience, Redknapp returned to Dean Court in time for the new season but the zest had disappeared and he chose to resign from his position as manager at the end of the 1991-1992 season. He decided to return to the other club he’d represented as a player, West Ham United in a reduced capacity.

Redknapp returned to an assistant manager’s role, serving as no.2 to club legend Billy Bonds. It was a role he would hold for the next two seasons and a position he seemed more than comfortable with. However, with his former club Bournemouth keen to rehire him as manager in the summer of 1994, the West Ham board made a decisive decision. They decided to offer Redknapp the managerial position and move Bonds into a role upstairs. Bonds was furious and promptly quit on the eve of the 1994-1995 campaign beginning. Redknapp was now the boss at Upton Park. It damaged the relationship between the two to a point where they didn’t speak to each other for years afterwards.

Redknapp admitted: “It wasn’t a situation I wanted, I was happy working with Billy. I had nine years managing Bournemouth and didn’t want the aggro. But I suppose I came round to it.”

Stabilising the Hammers

Harry Redknapp would remain West Ham manager for seven years and for the majority of that time, enjoyed plenty of success, whilst ensuring the football played at The Boleyn Ground was often exciting for the supporters. Redknapp was keen to see youngsters come through the academy and the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole all made their breakthrough into the senior team under his tenure as Hammers boss.

It was an initial early struggle after succeeding Bonds and West Ham were at the wrong end of the table for the majority of the 1994-1995 season. However, the goals of Tony Cottee kept them safe from relegation, finishing in 14th place at the season’s end. There were crucial victories in the run-in at home to Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool FC and on the final day, their point at home to Manchester United denied the Red Devils a third successive title with the Premier League championship heading to Lancashire and to Blackburn for the first time in 81 years.

West Ham finished in the top half of the table in four of the next five campaigns with their best-ever Premier League finish being recorded in 1998-1999. A 5th place in the table ensured qualification for the much-criticised UEFA Intertoto Cup. West Ham came back early for pre-season that summer to win the competition and earn a place in the UEFA Cup.

However, tensions would rise in his final campaign with the club in 2000-2001. After an underwhelming season with the club in the bottom half of the table, he departed one match before the end of the campaign. It wasn’t until 2007 that Redknapp admitted that he had been sacked by owner Terry Brown. Brown had offered him a four-year contract but when Redknapp made some comments about him to a fanzine, those comments were leaked and reached the owner. Brown was less than impressed. Redknapp said: “I walked into his office expecting to sign the contract and walked out without a job!”

From Pompey to Saints, then back to Pompey

He returned to the managerial dugout at First Division Portsmouth in March 2002, replacing Graham Rix with the club struggling to avoid relegation. Redknapp was already at the club as Director of Football and he moved downstairs after a string of poor performances that even had owner Milan Mandaric threatening not to pay the players. He eventually did after mounting pressure.

After guiding them to safety, Redknapp added experience to the squad with the useful addition of Paul Merson and ex-Derby County boss Jim Smith joined him as assistant manager. Portsmouth stormed to the First Division title in 2002-2003 and were about to embark on Premier League football for the first time.

Survival was achieved in 2003-2004 after an excellent run towards the end of the season that saw the club finish 13th and be the only side out of the three promoted clubs that campaign to avoid the drop. The signings of Teddy Sheringham, Patrik Berger and Steve Stone played a significant part in their impressive debut campaign.

The 2004-2005 season started positively. There was a 4-3 win over Fulham and a super 2-0 success at home to Manchester United, with Yakubu in great goalscoring form. Two wins and two draws from four games in October 2004 saw Redknapp win the Manager of the Month award. He seemed a happy man. Or so we thought?

Mandaric was keen to hire Velimir Zajec as Director of Football and this was something that led to a major disagreement between the chairman and his manager. The off-field issues started to effect on-field performances. Portsmouth lost meekly to Aston Villa, Southampton and Manchester City in quick succession and after another row with Mandaric over the desire to move his assistant manager Smith on, Redknapp elected to walk away in November 2004.

Just over two weeks later, he turned up down the road at south coast rivals Southampton, replacing Steve Wigley as the club’s new manager. In the eyes of the Pompey supporters, Harry had just committed the ultimate betrayal. T-shirts were printed, calling him “Judas” and “Scummer” and it took a while for Redknapp to realise how angry the supporters felt towards him because of the fierce rivalry between the two clubs.

He admitted on the eve of his first return to Fratton Park after his departure in April 2005: “I’m not looking forward to it. It will be a difficult day. I will be glad to get it out of the way to be honest.”

He was right. Portsmouth supporters goaded him all afternoon and his new side were well-beaten 4-1. Defeat on the final day at home to Manchester United confirmed the Saints’ relegation to the Championship after a 27-year stay in England’s top-flight. It was his first Premier League relegation too.

He stayed on at Southampton that summer but was unhappy with chairman Rupert Lowe’s decision to add former coach of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup success, Sir Clive Woodward as technical director. With the club failing to sustain any consistency in the Championship to become promotion contenders, he walked out on Southampton in early December 2005.

To complete the south coast soap opera saga, he returned to Portsmouth after they had sacked his initial replacement, Alain Perrin. The club were in relegation danger and in early March 2006, looked almost certainties for the drop. Then, two cracking goals from Pedro Mendes helped Pompey to a vital 2-1 home win over Manchester City. Further wins followed over West Ham United, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Sunderland and on the final Saturday of the season, a 2-1 success away at Wigan saw them escape relegation at the expense of Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion. For now, Redknapp was a hero again with Portsmouth supporters. It had been a crazy few years.

Spurs come calling

Portsmouth finished ninth and eighth in the next two Premier League campaigns and with more money to spend following a takeover by Alexandre Gaydamak, they became a formidable side capable of challenging for the European positions.

In 2008, Redknapp led the side to victory in the FA Cup. After knocking out favourites Manchester United with a stunning quarter-final victory, Portsmouth saw off West Bromwich Albion in the semi-finals and Cardiff City in the final with Kanu scoring the winning goal. It was the club’s first FA Cup final in 69 years and to this day, Redknapp remains the last English manager to win a major English trophy.

During the 2007-2008 campaign, Newcastle United had made an approach to Redknapp but Harry turned down this opportunity to stay at Portsmouth. He couldn’t do that though when Tottenham Hotspur came calling in October 2008. Spurs were in dire straits, bottom of the Premier League having collected just two points from their first eight league fixtures. Daniel Levy had dismissed Juande Ramos and approached Portsmouth for Redknapp’s services. A £5 million compensation fee was agreed and Redknapp was on his way to White Hart Lane, returning to the club where he had started his playing career.

There was an immediate turnaround in results. Tottenham beat Bolton 2-0 in his first game as manager and days later, they produced a remarkable turnaround from 4-2 down in the closing stages to draw the North London Derby with Arsenal 4-4 at The Emirates. Five players were added in the January transfer window, including swift returns to Tottenham for Pascal Chimbonda, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane. They eventually finished well clear of danger, achieving 51 points for an eighth place finish and the club reached the League Cup final, losing on penalties to Manchester United.

In 2009-2010, he led Tottenham to the UEFA Champions League for the first time, finished in a brilliant fourth place in the table. The qualification was secured by a late Peter Crouch header to defeat major rivals Manchester City 1-0 at The City of Manchester Stadium. Redknapp received a soaking afterwards whilst conducting his post-match television duties from some of his players, especially David Bentley, who barely played for the club again afterwards. His efforts saw him become only the second manager to win the Premier League Manager of the Year award despite not winning the title.

Tottenham beat Swiss club BSC Young Boys in the play-off round to reach the Champions League group stages and they went on to beat both Milan clubs on their way to the quarter-finals where they eventually bowed out to Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side 5-0 on aggregate. The 2010-2011 season was slightly less successful domestically with a 5th place finish meaning UEFA Europa League football for the following campaign. However, this was the campaign where Gareth Bale started to make his major impact and won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year whilst the supporters enjoyed a first victory at Arsenal in 17 years.

The 2011-2012 campaign started slowly with two big defeats to the Manchester clubs but Tottenham quickly recovered to become the closest challengers from outside the city. They were third for much of the campaign but faded dramatically after a 5-2 North London Derby defeat to Arsenal. Issues were starting to play their part away from the game.

In January 2010, he had been charged with two counts of tax evasion along with his former chairman at Portsmouth, Milan Mandaric. The charge related to a £189,000 payment made by Mandaric to Redknapp via a bank account in Monaco. The trial began in January 2012 and he was eventually acquitted of both charges two weeks later. Later that day, England’s manager Fabio Capello resigned after seeing his skipper John Terry stripped of the national team captaincy for the second time following allegations of racial abuse during a fixture between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea. Redknapp was the overwhelming favourite and admitted it was tempting to take the position if it was offered to him. However, he was overlooked and the FA chose the West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson as Capello’s successor.

Tottenham ensured a fourth place finish for the second time in three years on the final day of the season but Chelsea’s victory in the UEFA Champions League final a week later against Bayern Munich meant they took an automatic spot and relegated Spurs into the Europa League. In June 2012, he was dismissed by Tottenham after talks broke down over a new contract.

A tough time at QPR

Harry remained out of the game until November 2012 when he agreed to take over struggling Queens Park Rangers, who were winless when they appointed him to replace Mark Hughes. The task looked immense and he could only guide the team to four league victories during his time with a heavily imbalanced squad and a team that looked short on confidence. In April 2013, a terrible game at Reading saw the match finish goalless and both clubs relegated to the Championship.

Redknapp stayed on and guided QPR back to the top-flight at the first attempt, as Bobby Zamora struck a dramatic late goal in the Championship play-off final against Derby County. However, the Hoops struggled on their return back to the Premier League in 2014-2015. Despite the goals of Charlie Austin and a decent home record, their failure to claim a single point on their travels, plus failure to capture the players Redknapp desired in the January transfer window led to his resignation in February 2015. The reason for his departure was an imminent knee operation and he felt he couldn’t focus 100% on the job.

This turned out to be Redknapp’s last appointment in the Premier League but he has managed again since. He got his taste of international management with Asian country Jordan. He coached two matches in March 2016 – an 8-0 win over Bangladesh and a 5-1 defeat to Australia. A brief tenure followed at Birmingham City where he managed to guide them to Championship safety in 2016-2017 after two wins from their last three games of the season. However, a run of five straight defeats early on in 2017-2018 led to his sacking and admittance from Redknapp that this was likely to be his last position in football management.

His public persona has continued though when in October 2018, it was confirmed he was heading into the Australian jungle to take on the challenge of the ITV reality show ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ He was much-loved by his fellow campmates and also, the voting public. He beat former star of The Inbetweeners Emily Atack in the final to be crowned The King of the Jungle.

He has since managed a team of England legends including Merson, David Seaman and Robbie Fowler to victory against a team of German legends in ‘Harry’s Heroes…The Full English.’ Later this summer, he will be going on a nationwide tour, sharing some of his amazing experiences in the world of football.

He might be light on honours but with bundles of experience and knowledge of The Beautiful Game, Harry Redknapp has had an amazing career and has to be considered easily as one of the best English managers in Premier League history.

Premier League Rewind: 27th-28th August 2011

Results: Aston Villa 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic 2-0 Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Everton, Chelsea 3-1 Norwich City, Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland, Liverpool FC 3-1 Bolton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City, Newcastle United 2-1 Fulham, West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Stoke City, Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

It was still early days in the 2011-2012 Premier League season but already, the form of the two Manchester clubs was looking fairly formidable as Manchester City and Manchester United destroyed the two north London clubs on a goal-filled Sunday afternoon of action. It set the trend for some incredible scorelines during the campaign between the top sides in the Premier League.

On the Saturday, Chelsea made it back-to-back victories but they were made to work hard for the win against newly-promoted Norwich City. The scoreline was tied at 1-1 with 10 minutes remaining when Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy conceded a penalty and was sent off. Frank Lampard converted the spot-kick before new signing Juan Mata scored the third goal to wrap the match up in the 11th minute of stoppage-time. It was the perfect start for the Spaniard who would become an important part of Chelsea’s successful season which ended with them winning the UEFA Champions League.

There was a dramatic game at Ewood Park between Blackburn Rovers and Everton. Blackburn were without a point from their opening two matches and were the better side in this match but missed their chances. Early in the second half, Rovers won a penalty but Tim Howard saved the spot-kick from Junior Hoillett. Incredibly, Blackburn were awarded a second penalty in the contest by referee Lee Mason and inexplicably, missed that too. Mauro Formica smashed his effort against the post. Then in stoppage-time, Mason pointed to the spot for a third time, this time for the visitors when Christopher Samba was adjudged to have fouled Marouane Fellaini. Mikel Arteta converted Everton’s penalty award to earn themselves a very fortunate three points. This would be Arteta’s last contribution for the club. He moved to Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

Wolverhampton Wanderers maintained their unbeaten start to the season, achieving a point in an awful match at Villa Park against Aston Villa which saw just five shots on-target across the 90 minutes between the two teams. There were also no goals in south Wales as Sunderland held Swansea City to a 0-0 draw. Swansea were still awaiting their first goal at this level after three matches.

With Saturday’s action out of the way, attention switched to the Sunday matches and whilst Newcastle United beat Fulham and Stoke City recorded a late victory at The Hawthorns, the headlines were dominated by the showdown matches at White Hart Lane and Old Trafford.

First in north London, Manchester City and in particular, Edin Dzeko, were in unstoppable form against Tottenham Hotspur. Dzeko scored four times and new signing Sergio Aguero scored his third goal since his summer arrival from Atletico Madrid. Manchester City won the game 5-1, inflicting the worst defeat on Harry Redknapp since he became Tottenham manager. As they hadn’t played their first match due to the London riots earlier in the month, the Lilywhites were bottom of the table and without a point from their opening two games.

However, that was beyond the problems Arsenal were experiencing. Star players Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas had been sold and despite a morale-boosting win in midweek in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers against Udinese, the Gunners were short on-numbers and quality ahead of their trip to Old Trafford. They experienced a nightmare afternoon as Manchester United went and surpassed City’s total – both when it came to margin of victory and number of goals. Wayne Rooney scored two inch-perfect free-kicks and a penalty whilst Ashley Young endeared himself to his new supporters with long-range strikes. Robin van Persie missed a penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent off on a demoralising afternoon for Arsenal supporters. It finished 8-2 and was Arsenal’s worst defeat since 1896. The pain on Wenger’s face was all too clear on the final whistle and he responded with a transfer deadline day spurge, signing Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos permanently whilst Yossi Benayoun came in on-loan to bolster his ranks.

What else happened in August 2011?

  • Five people are killed across five days of rioting in the UK following the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham. London is badly affected by the riots and parliament is recalled from its holidays to deal with the crisis.
  • Colonel Gadhafi’s government is effectively overthrown in Libya after rebels take control of the capital, Tripoli.
  • NASA confirms that it has captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars.
  • Mobile internet use has reached 50% in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
  • Usain Bolt sensationally false starts and is disqualified from the men’s 100m final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu. His Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake takes gold in his absence.
  • MPs are to consider a House of Commons debate after an e-petition calling for the release of Cabinet documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

 

Premier League Files: Steed Malbranque

Premier League Career: Fulham (2001-2006), Tottenham Hotspur (2006-2008), Sunderland (2008-2011)

Steed Malbranque might have started his professional career with Lyon and would finish his footballing playing days in France but he spent the bulk of his time in English football. He became a firm favourite with fans of the clubs he represented in the Premier League; Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland. He also was liked by a certain British Prime Minister too.

Malbranque made his professional debut in 1998 with Lyon and would play 96 times in all competitions in his first spell with the club. This included 19 appearances in European competition, scoring twice in the UEFA Champions League. It was clear that there was talent in Malbranque’s game and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent scouts to look at him. However, no move to the Gunners materialised.

In the summer of 2001, he did move to the Premier League and also to London but it was to top-flight newcomers, Fulham for a fee in the region of £4.5 million. He made his debut in the exciting 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford against reigning champions Manchester United and went on to score eight goals in his debut Premier League campaign.

Fulham fans loved Malbranque and he would score 44 goals in all competitions for the Cottagers during an impressive five-year spell with the club. One of his finest displays came in October 2003, when Fulham pulled off a brilliant result to defeat Manchester United 3-1. This was among a string of productive performances that saw him called into the full French international squad by Jacques Santini in March 2004 for a friendly against the Netherlands. However, he remained an unused substitute during the goalless encounter and he would never win a full international cap for Les Bleus.

In November 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair came onto the BBC’s lunchtime magazine show, Football Focus and was asked to name his favourite Premier League players. He picked Teddy Sheringham, Arjan de Zeeuw and Malbranque. Possibly boosted by having such a high-profile fan, Malbranque would score both goals later that afternoon in a 2-1 victory for Fulham over Manchester City. This would be his last season in west London. Despite having extensive talks over a new contract, these discussions broke down and with just one year left on his current deal, Fulham elected to cash in on his services.

There was plenty of interest in the summer of 2006 for Malbranque. The likes of Everton, Reading and Middlesbrough all made bids for him but he elected to stay in London and join Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day for around £2 million. A groin operation delayed his debut for the Lilywhites until November 2006 and he would score 12 times in his 18 months with Tottenham in all competitions. Part of the last Tottenham squad to win silverware (the 2008 League Cup), Malbranque’s work ethic was also widely praised by Spurs supporters. In 2007-2008, he ended up in the top five for tackles made and tackles per minute across the whole Premier League.

In July 2008, he surprisingly followed Pascal Chimbonda and Teemu Tainio to Sunderland, signing a four-year contract. He struggled to replicate his Fulham and Tottenham form during his days on Wearside, although he did play in a different position as a winger. He then dropped into a deeper role in the 2010-2011 season to accommodate Danny Welbeck into the team. Welbeck was on a season-long loan from Manchester United. He featured prominently that campaign and his work ethic was again clear to see. He made his 100th appearance for the club in February 2011 against Chelsea but manager Steve Bruce decided to make him surplus to requirements at the end of the campaign. It was decided that removing him from the wage bill would help fund new summer signings too for the Black Cats.

Malbranque joined Saint-Etienne but made just one appearance for them before asking for his contract to be terminated. After a year away from the game, he returned to Lyon for four seasons before winding down his playing days with SM Caen and Monts d’Or Azergues who play in the Championnat National 2.

A tireless worker, Steed Malbranque won’t feature on the list of greatest French players to have played in the Premier League but he is fondly remembered by the clubs he played for and his best spell on these shores was definitely at Fulham, where he had a canny knack of scoring crucial goals.

Great Goals: Stephen Carr – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR vs. Manchester United (October 1999)

On a wet and murky Saturday afternoon in October 1999, Stephen Carr produced a long-range pile driver for Tottenham Hotspur against reigning champions Manchester United. Driving forward from the right-hand side of the centre circle, Carr had plenty of space to run into as Red Devils defenders, including Phil Neville retreated away from making a challenge.

With this invitation, Carr elected to try his luck from distance and his terrific shot zipped into the top corner of the net. New Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich had no chance to stop this shot but in all honesty, the man he replaced, Peter Schmeichel, would have struggled to keep this effort out too.

Tottenham enjoyed a 3-1 victory on the day and it was one of only three Premier League losses Manchester United suffered during a dominant 1999-2000 season which saw them retain the title by a comfortable 18-point margin.

Memorable Matches: Manchester City 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur (October 1994)

Goalscorers: Paul Walsh 15, 44, Ilie Dumitrescu 29 PEN, 46, Niall Quinn 41, Steve Lomas 52, Garry Flitcroft 79

Teams:

Manchester City: Andy Dibble, Keith Curle, Richard Edghill, Ian Brightwell, Terry Phelan, Garry Flitcroft, Steve Lomas, Peter Beagrie, Nicky Summerbee, Niall Quinn, Paul Walsh

Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Sol Campbell, Justin Edinburgh, David Kerslake, Kevin Scott, Gheorghe Popescu, Nick Barmby, Jason Dozzell (Micky Hazard 72), Ilie Dumitrescu, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham

Referee: David Elleray, Attendance: 25,473

On a wet afternoon in Manchester in October 1994, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur produced a classic encounter for the supporters at Maine Road wrapped up against the elements.

Both sides were unchanged from their most recent matches and it was the home side who scored the first goal in this seven-goal encounter. Sol Campbell cutout Steve Lomas’ cross but his clearance only fell to City’s top scorer Paul Walsh who tucked his shot away with some aplomb against his old club. Walsh was enjoying a career renaissance since his move in March 1994 from First Division Portsmouth.

Tottenham flowed forward in search of an equaliser and found it 14 minutes later. Goalkeeper Andy Dibble committed himself and brought down Jurgen Klinsmann. Having seen red the previous weekend in an away win at Queens Park Rangers, his heartbeat must have been fluttering but David Elleray decided the foul was only enough for a yellow card.

Having missed his last three spot-kicks, Teddy Sheringham gave up responsibility to Ilie Dumitrescu and the Romanian made no mistake to level the scores. It was an end-to-end contest with both attacking outfits looking dangerous and neither defensive performance showing much signs of conviction. However, the Citizens showed their clinical approach just before half-time to score twice to go into the dressing rooms 3-1 infront.

First, Nicky Summerbee’s wicked cross was met by Walsh. Ian Walker kept his header out but Niall Quinn was first to the rebound to put City back infront. The home side’s direct approach was really working and moments later, Peter Beagrie tore down the left-hand side, found Quinn and Walsh once again provided the end product via Walker’s best efforts.

Tottenham got a goal back a minute into the second half. Klinsmann and Dumitrescu worked well together with the German’s clever backheel finding the Romanian and his shot took a deflection off Keith Curle to wrong-foot Dibble and give Spurs a pathway back into the match.

Ossie Ardiles was never known for his defensive shrewdness and more chaotic defending would follow which ensured Manchester City regained their two-goal advantage on 52 minutes. Beagrie got past David Kerslake far too easily and his inch-perfect cross found Lomas who got a free header to score. With 11 minutes left, Manchester City’s fifth goal finally put the game beyond Tottenham. Walsh again had a telling contribution, twisting and turning Campbell inside out. He then squared the ball back to Garry Flitcroft who provided a clean strike beyond Walker.

City’s 5-2 victory hastened a change in Tottenham management. After a humiliating midweek beating by Notts County in the League Cup third round, Ardiles was sacked and replaced by Gerry Francis. Tottenham ended up finishing the season in seventh position, 10 places above Manchester City in the final standings.

The Managers: Gerry Francis

Premier League Clubs Managed: Queens Park Rangers (1992-1994), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-1998)

Gerry Francis was a club legend at Queens Park Rangers and guided Tottenham Hotspur through a challenging but exciting period in the mid-1990s when he could call on the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann and Darren Anderton to drive the team on in the Premier League.

Management for Gerry in the top-flight ended over 20 years ago but he was still involved as a coach in the top-flight all the way until Tony Pulis’ departure from Crystal Palace on the eve of the 2014-2015 season getting underway.

QPR and England hand-in-hand

In his playing career, Gerry Francis made his name at Queens Park Rangers. He made his first-team debut against Liverpool FC back in March 1969. Throughout the 1970s, he was part of a Hoops squad that were thrilling to watch and challenged the elite in the old First Division. He was captain of the club during that period and also got the thrill of winning 12 international caps for England, skippering the Three Lions in eight of those games after being appointed captain by Don Revie. Unfortunately, this was during a difficult period for the men’s international team, who failed to qualify for the World Cup finals in both 1974 and 1978.

After a decade of loyal service to QPR, Francis left for Crystal Palace in 1979 but already troubled by a persistent back injury, his influence on sides he played in afterwards were limited. He ended his playing career in 1987 having had stints at Coventry City, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Portsmouth and Bristol Rovers which is where he hung up his playing boots. It was at Bristol Rovers where he would enjoy his managerial breakthrough.

Gerry had already a season on his books as a player-manager with Exeter City in 1983-1984 so he wasn’t a complete rookie when he took over as manager of Bristol Rovers. They were in the Third Division and he succeeded Bobby Gould in the role. Bristol Rovers were a club who often sold their best players and didn’t have much of a transfer budget but Francis often got the best out of his players. In 1990, he guided the club to the Third Division title which remains the only honour of his managerial career. In 1991 though, a return beckoned to the club he called as home.

Lack of consultation

Having made 313 league appearances across two spells as a player at Queens Park Rangers, the fans were thrilled to have Francis back as their manager when he returned to Loftus Road in 1991, succeeding Don Howe as manager. Like his playing days, Francis’ insistence was clear – to go out and have fun and thrill the supporters and at QPR, his sides definitely did that.

In the inaugural Premier League season, QPR finished fifth and were the highest-placed of all the London clubs in the division. Les Ferdinand flourished and finished as runner-up to Teddy Sheringham in the race for the Golden Boot and the Londoners were becoming a good watch for all concerned.

A ninth place finish followed in 1993-1994 and once again, Ferdinand was amongst the goals but Francis was becoming frustrated by the club’s desire to sell its best assets available. In March 1994, ambitious Wolverhampton Wanderers offered him the chance to manage them but Francis turned them down, staying loyal to QPR despite being annoyed by seeing Darren Peacock transferred to Newcastle United on transfer deadline day. Wolves eventually appointed the former England boss Graham Taylor as their new manager.

His resolve was being tested and in October 1994, his patience finally ran out. QPR made a slow start to the season and were amongst the relegation strugglers. Owner Richard Thompson decided to offer another club legend, Rodney Marsh, the opportunity to return to the club in a Director of Football capacity. Francis was not consulted about these desires and was absolutely furious. Ever the professional, he got on with the job in-hand and back-to-back home victories in three days over Aston Villa and Liverpool FC started to guide Rangers away from danger. This time though, he knew he couldn’t stay.

He tendered his resignation a week later which was reluctantly accepted by the board. Five days later, a new opportunity emerged at another London club who were in a spot of bother.

Testing Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur had sacked Ossie Ardiles in early November 1994 after a string of poor results which had culminated with a shock 3-0 loss to Notts County in the League Cup third round. Off-the-pitch, the club was facing a deduction of points for financial irregularities and had been banned from playing in the FA Cup. It didn’t seem like the most enticing job available.

Francis though realised there was plenty of potential in the squad and he took the job when offered the position by owner Alan Sugar. His principles remained the same as at QPR but also, defensive responsibility was required after the Ardiles reign which often bordered on recklessness. Tottenham immediately improved defensively and the likes of Sol Campbell, Colin Calderwood, Dean Austin and Justin Edinburgh became better players due to confidence and also, Francis’ coaching. Their improvement meant the likes of Klinsmann, Sheringham, Anderton and Nick Barmby could focus on doing the damage in a potent attacking line-up.

Tottenham became the first team in the campaign to stop Manchester United scoring at Old Trafford, beat champions-elect Blackburn Rovers 3-1 in February and with their ban successfully overturned, also reached the FA Cup semi-finals, knocking out Liverpool FC 2-1 at Anfield in the quarter-finals. They were tipped to go all the way in this competition but lost 4-1 in the semi-finals to a Daniel Amokachi-inspired Everton at Elland Road. In the Premier League, Tottenham finished in seventh place which was a good achievement considering they were just outside the bottom four relegation positions when Francis took over.

The summer of 1995 saw Klinsmann return to Germany and Barmby sold to newly-promoted Middlesbrough. Chris Armstrong arrived from Crystal Palace and formed a good partnership with Sheringham, whilst Ruel Fox added pace to the flanks after his October arrival from Newcastle United. Tottenham finished in eighth position in 1995-1996, with a 4-1 home victory over Manchester United on New Years’ Day among the highlights.

Fans though were unhappy with his handling of Anderton, who was developing a reputation of becoming an injury-prone player. Across his two full seasons at White Hart Lane, Darren was restricted to just 25 Premier League appearances due to injuries with many supporters believing he wasn’t given enough recovery and rehabilitation time by the manager after his latest injury setbacks.

In October 1997, supporters had had enough. Before a televised home game with Sheffield Wednesday, two fans were interviewed on television saying: “Had his time, spent his money, not producing results” and “Just get rid of him, he’s useless!”

Tottenham won that match 3-2 but despite the arrivals of David Ginola and Ferdinand that summer from Newcastle United, results just weren’t coming. 11 days after a second half collapse at Anfield which saw Spurs on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline, Francis resigned as first-team manager, despite Sugar trying to do all he could to persuade him to change his mind.

Coach time

In September 1998, Gerry decided to return to Queens Park Rangers as manager for the second time with the club now in the First Division. He couldn’t rekindle the magic of his first spell and despite keeping them in the division; they were often closer to the relegation strugglers rather than the play-off positions. He resigned in February 2001 before returning to Bristol Rovers four months later for a second time as manager there too. Like at QPR, it was a bad move and after a family illness meant he had three weeks of compassionate leave, he resigned just before Christmas 2001. That was the end of his management career.

Gerry returned to the Premier League in October 2008 as a first-team coach at Stoke City to work underneath Tony Pulis. That was after rejecting a similar role at Newcastle United due to the club’s uncertainty regarding the future of owner Mike Ashley at the time. When Pulis left Stoke in May 2013, Francis left too and resurfaced with the Welshman when Tony took over at Crystal Palace in November 2013. He stayed with the Eagles until Neil Warnock’s appointment as manager for the second time was confirmed in August 2014. Although Warnock wanted him to stay on, Francis elected to leave due to his close links with the previous manager.

Gerry Francis is a proud man and actually was never sacked as a manager which is an impressive feat. He might lack the managerial honours but often got the best out of his players and enjoyed some whirlwind moments whilst the no.1 at both Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur.

Great Goals: Harry Kane – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR vs. Arsenal (March 2016)

Harry Kane has loved playing against the old enemy from North London since he made his derby debut in 2015. In March 2016, he produced a glorious shot from the edge of the penalty area to give Tottenham the lead against Arsenal in a game both sides were looking to try and win to close the gap on Leicester City at the top of the table.

The game was delicately poised at 1-1 with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Toby Alderweireld either side of Francis Coquelin being sent off for two bookable offences. Kevin Wimmer played what seemed like a hopeful ball into the corner but Dele Alli hadn’t given it up, beating Per Mertesacker to the ball and back-heeling it into the path of Kane.

Kane cut inside and produced a special curling effort that flashed past David Ospina. Wearing a protected mask after a recent facial injury, Kane ripped it off and raced off into the opposite corner of the ground to be chased gamely by his jubilant teammates. It ranks up with the best-ever North London Derby goals scored at the old White Hart Lane ground.

It wasn’t enough for all three points as Alexis Sanchez found an equaliser for Arsenal and the points were shared in a 2-2 draw. Kane though had demonstrated again why he is considered as one of the world’s best strikers.

Iconic Moments: Klinsmann dives on his debut (August 1994)

In the summer of 1994, Tottenham Hotspur owner Alan Sugar and manager Ossie Ardiles managed to convince Jurgen Klinsmann to come and play in the Premier League for the north Londoners. Klinsmann was one of the leading strikers in world football, having played for the likes of VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan and AS Monaco in his club career. He’d also helped West Germany win the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Coming from the principality of Monaco, Klinsmann arrived with a bad reputation among the media and neutral supporters. He had developed a reputation as a ‘diver.’ In his press conference unveiling, he joked: “I just want to ask if there are any diving schools in London!”

On his debut at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday, Klinsmann was man-marked all day by Des Walker. However, he eventually broke free to head the winning goal in an exciting 4-3 victory for Tottenham. Encouraged pre-match by strike partner Teddy Sheringham, Klinsmann then famously did a ‘dive’ goal celebration, joined in by his new club teammates.

Klinsmann won over the fans and the media. He finished as Tottenham’s top scorer as they finished seventh and won the Football Writers’ Award before controversially returning to the Bundesliga to play for Bayern Munich in the summer of 1995. Klinsmann would finish his club career with Tottenham in a second spell three years later.

This remains one of the league’s most iconic goal celebrations.

The Clubs: Tottenham Hotspur

All statistics correct upto 23rd February 2019

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
1027 443 255 329 1535 1294 +240 1584 27

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Darren Anderton 297
Jermain Defoe 276
Ledley King 268
Aaron Lennon 266
Sol Campbell 255
Ian Walker 240
Robbie Keane 238
Michael Dawson 236
Teddy Sheringham 236
Hugo Lloris 229

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Harry Kane 123
Teddy Sheringham 98
Jermain Defoe 91
Robbie Keane 91
Chris Armstrong 48
Christian Eriksen 46
Gareth Bale 43
Dele Alli 42
Heung-Min Son 41
Emmanuel Adebayor 35

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Tottenham Hotspur 9-1 Wigan Athletic 22nd November 2009 2009-2010
Hull City 1-7 Tottenham Hotspur 21st May 2017 2016-2017
Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Southampton 11th March 2000 1999-2000
Leicester City 1-6 Tottenham Hotspur 18th May 2017 2016-2017
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Oldham Athletic 18th September 1993 1993-1994
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Burnley 26th September 2009 2009-2010
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Newcastle United 11th February 2012 2011-2012
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Swansea City 3rd December 2016 2016-2017
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 AFC Bournemouth 26th December 2018 2018-2019
Wimbledon 2-6 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd May 1998 1997-1998

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Newcastle United 7-1 Tottenham Hotspur 28th December 1996 1996-1997
Sheffield United 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd March 1993 1992-1993
Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 24th November 2013 2013-2014
Tottenham Hotspur 1-6 Chelsea 6th December 1997 1997-1998
Leeds United 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur 25th August 1992 1992-1993
Tottenham Hotspur 0-5 Liverpool FC 15th December 2013 2013-2014
Liverpool FC 6-2 Tottenham Hotspur 8th May 1993 1992-1993
Middlesbrough 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur 3rd May 2003 2002-2003
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 28th August 2011 2011-2012
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 29th January 2014 2013-2014

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Ray Clemence & Doug Livermore 1 19th June 1993
Ossie Ardiles 2 1st November 1994
Gerry Francis 4 19th November 1997
Christian Gross 2 5th September 1998
George Graham 3 16th March 2001
Glenn Hoddle 4 20th September 2003
David Pleat 1 3rd June 2004
Jacques Santini 1 6th November 2004
Martin Jol 4 25th October 2007
Juande Ramos 2 27th October 2008
Harry Redknapp 4 14th June 2012
Andre Villas-Boas 2 16th December 2013
Tim Sherwood 1 13th May 2014
Mauricio Pochettino 5  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Arsenal 10th February 2018 83,222 2018-2019
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester United 31st January 2018 81,978 2018-2019
Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Liverpool FC 22nd October 2017 80,827 2016-2017
Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Manchester City 14th April 2018 80,811 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool FC 15th September 2018 80,188 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United 13th January 2019 80,062 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City 13th May 2018 77,841 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Everton 13th January 2018 76,251 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea 20th August 2017 73,587 2017-2018
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 AFC Bournemouth 14th October 2017 73,502 2017-2018

 

Intro

Tottenham Hotspur have grown from a side that often frustrated their own supporters, let alone the neutrals to one of the most exciting teams in the English game. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have come a long way since his appointment in 2014, with Spurs now becoming a regular challenger for the title in recent campaigns. Whilst the main Premier League prize has eluded them so far, the excitement of playing in a new state-of-the-art stadium and the talents of the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen has supporters looking ahead to a future of serious promise.

 

1992-1993

Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence were appointed as joint managers for the first Premier League campaign and Tottenham finished in eighth position, only missing out on a top six finish because of a negative goal difference. Teddy Sheringham finished the season as top scorer in the league, scoring 21 times in his first season as a Spurs player after his August arrival from Nottingham Forest.

 

1993-1994

Club legend Ossie Ardiles was appointed in the summer as the club’s new manager and excitement was palpable around the supporters with his caviller all-out attack style set to bring plenty of excitement to White Hart Lane. It was for the wrong reasons though. Tottenham lost seven successive games in mid-season and finished a dreary 15th in the table. They weren’t helped by an Achilles injury to top scorer Sheringham in October, which meant he only managed 19 appearances during the season.

 

1994-1995

Tottenham began the season with a 12-point deduction hanging over their head after being found guilty of financial irregularities during the 1980s by the FA. Ardiles continued to stick to his principles and the signing of Jurgen Klinsmann in the summer attracted plenty of headlines and anticipation among both fans and media. Klinsmann scored on his debut and then produced his infamous ‘dive’ celebration. The German was a rousing success, winning the Football Writers’ Award and scoring 21 Premier League goals but he moved back to Germany at the end of the campaign.

Ardiles didn’t see the season out. A shock 3-0 League Cup loss to Notts County in October brought his unsuccessful reign to an end. Gerry Francis was appointed as his successor after he’d resigned from his position as Queens Park Rangers boss. Francis installed more defensive stability into the side, whilst still allowing the goalscoring and creative talents of Klinsmann, Sheringham, Darren Anderton and Nick Barmby to shine. They finished in seventh position in the final table.

In December 1994, chairman Alan Sugar won his appeal against Tottenham’s points deduction and also won them back entry into the FA Cup, having been initially banned from participating in this competition. Tottenham reached the semi-finals before losing to a Daniel Amokachi-inspired Everton at Elland Road.

 

1995-1996

Gerry Francis’ first full season as Tottenham manager started badly with just two points from the club’s first four matches but they quickly found their form, with Sheringham forming an excellent partnership with £4 million summer arrival Chris Armstrong following Klinsmann’s departure. The high of the campaign was a fantastic 4-1 victory over Manchester United on New Years’ Day which had Spurs hit the heights of fourth position in the table. They ended up finishing eighth, just one point below Arsenal in fifth who took the final UEFA Cup qualifying position.

 

1996-1997

It was a step backwards for Tottenham Hotspur in 1996-1997 with disappointing early exits from both domestic cup competitions and an uninspiring 10th place finish in the Premier League, finishing with 15 fewer points compared to the previous season. A 7-1 thrashing away at Newcastle United in December remains the club’s biggest-ever Premier League loss.

 

1997-1998

Gerry Francis aimed to ease concerns from the supporters by signing the Newcastle pair Les Ferdinand and David Ginola in pre-season but saw skipper Teddy Sheringham depart for Manchester United. Tottenham started the season poorly and 11 days after a 4-0 reverse at Anfield to Liverpool FC, Francis elected to resign from his position as manager. He was replaced by the relatively unknown Christian Gross, who became a scapegoat from the British press from the moment he arrived kissing a tube ticket at his unveiling!

Jurgen Klinsmann did arrive for a second spell from Sampdoria at the end of December and his four goals away at Wimbledon in a 6-2 victory at the start of May guaranteed Tottenham’s top-flight safety. However, finishing 14th was not good enough for the frustrated supporters and owner Alan Sugar. Gross already looked on borrowed time.

 

1998-1999

Three games into the new season and Christian Gross was fired by Alan Sugar after a year where his confidence and morale had been destroyed. Sugar then pursued the Leeds boss George Graham and compensation was eventually agreed between the clubs for Graham to take over at the start of October. For the fans, ex-Arsenal boss Graham was not a popular choice and it further soured the relationship between the chairman and the supporters.

Tottenham finished 11th in the Premier League but did achieve silverware with a late victory over Leicester City in the League Cup final thanks to Allan Nielsen’s strike. Tottenham did beat Liverpool FC and Manchester United on their way to the final.

 

1999-2000

Tottenham did top the Premier League table after four games but ultimately hovered around the mid-table positions again, ending an unremarkable 10th in the final standings. They did enjoy home victories over Arsenal and Manchester United though and also recorded a spectacular 7-2 win against Southampton in March where joint-top scorer Steffen Iversen scored a hat-trick.

 

2000-2001

A club-record fee was paid in the summer to acquire the services of Ukrainian forward Sergei Rebrov and Rebrov responded with nine Premier League goals but Tottenham failed to shift themselves out of the mid-table reaches, finishing 12th. In March, George Graham was sacked for breach of contract by the club’s new owners and he was replaced by the fans preferred choice, Glenn Hoddle who walked out on Southampton to take the vacancy at a club he served notably as a player in the 1980s.

One piece of history was achieved in December. During a 3-3 draw away at Bradford City, Ledley King scored what remains the fastest-ever goal in Premier League history.

 

2001-2002

Glenn Hoddle bought in international experience in the summer of 2001 with the arrivals of Christian Ziege, Gus Poyet and Teddy Sheringham, who returned for a second spell after four trophy-laden years at Manchester United. Tottenham’s highlight of the season was reaching the League Cup final, winning 5-1 in the semi-finals, second leg against London rivals Chelsea but they lost the final 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers. That ended European hopes for the season as league form again flattered to deceive. Tottenham wound up in ninth position.

 

2002-2003

The transfer deadline day arrival of Robbie Keane for £7 million from Leeds United was seen as a potential uplift in Hoddle’s fortunes at Tottenham, particularly after they ended August top of the table with 10 points from their first four matches. Keane finished as top scorer with 13, including a tremendous hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Everton in mid-January. However, it was another disappointing season for Spurs, who lost 16 Premier League matches and finished 10th.

 

2003-2004

After achieving just one victory in the first six league matches of the seasons, Glenn Hoddle’s time as manager was brought to an end in September. His last game was a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton – the club Hoddle had left behind to take the Tottenham job. David Pleat moved downstairs to guide Tottenham through the rest of the season and they ended 14th. There was little to shout about for the fans, although both Freddie Kanoute and Jermain Defoe did impress in their debut seasons at the club after arriving from West Ham United.

 

2004-2005

New Sporting Director Frank Arnesen and Head Coach Jacques Santini were appointed in the summer as big parts of a new management restructure but in early November, Santini resigned because of personal reasons after managing just 12 first-team matches. His assistant manager Martin Jol replaced him and led the club to their best Premier League run at the time of five successive victories. Spurs finished in ninth position as Jol laid down the foundations for a more consistent regular tilt at European qualification via the league.

 

2005-2006

2005-2006 was a case of so near, yet so far for Tottenham. They enjoyed a great campaign and for the majority of the season, looked set for a top four finish and therefore, a place in the UEFA Champions League. Robbie Keane was top scorer with 16 goals, whilst Edgar Davids impressed greatly in this first season in English football.

On the eve of the final match of the campaign at Upton Park, a number of Tottenham players were taken ill with suspected food poisoning after eating lasagne. The club called in the police and even appealed for a later kick-off time which was denied by the Premier League. Needing a win to secure that fourth spot, Tottenham had a sickening day, losing 2-1 to West Ham and this allowed bitter rivals Arsenal in to snatch fourth place as the Gunners beat Wigan Athletic 4-2 on Highbury’s last day.

 

2006-2007

Tottenham strengthened their attacking options with the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov for £10.6 million from Bayer 04 Leverkusen but injuries and erratic form in the first half of the campaign left the club in mid-table and nowhere near challenging the top four positions as they had in the previous season. Jol’s team improved greatly after a 4-0 home loss to Manchester United in early February, winning eight of their last 12 matches to finish fifth for the second successive season. They also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup before losing to eventual winners Sevilla, whilst Paul Robinson became only the third-ever goalkeeper to score in the Premier League with his 80-yard lob against Watford in March.

 

2007-2008

In the summer of 2007, chairman Daniel Levy was understood to have approached Sevilla boss Juande Ramos about taking over as first-team manager. This ruined Martin Jol’s creditability as an authoritative figure in the dressing room and after a poor start with just one victory recorded over hapless Derby County in their first 10 Premier League games, Jol was sacked shortly after a UEFA Cup loss to Getafe. Ramos eventually took over and guided Tottenham to League Cup glory with victory over Chelsea. January arrival Jonathan Woodgate won the match and it softened the blow of a lacklustre league campaign which saw them down in 11th position at the season’s end.

Tottenham were involved in some high-scoring matches, drawing 4-4 with both Aston Villa and Chelsea and beating Reading 6-4.

 

2008-2009

For the second successive season, Spurs sacked their manager in October. After just amassing two points from their first eight matches, Juande Ramos was dismissed after a damaging 2-1 loss to Stoke City which saw Vedran Corluka end in hospital and both Gareth Bale and Michael Dawson sent off. He was replaced by Harry Redknapp and he immediately led a revival, with an amazing 4-4 draw away at Arsenal, followed by a 2-1 victory at home to Liverpool FC.

Tottenham remained in relegation danger until February but the returns of Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane in the transfer window from Portsmouth and Liverpool FC respectively helped Tottenham recover from their awful start to finish a creditable eighth in the table.

 

2009-2010

2009-2010 was a real breakthrough season for Tottenham Hotspur. They accumulated 70 points which was their highest total at the time in a Premier League season and returned to the pinnacle level of European club football for the first time since 1962. By finishing fourth, Harry Redknapp led the club to UEFA Champions League qualification for the first time in their history. Qualification was sealed by a 1-0 away victory at closest challengers Manchester City.

With 18 goals, Jermain Defoe finished as top scorer and five of those strikes came against Wigan Athletic in a 9-1 victory in November – Tottenham’s biggest-ever Premier League victory.

 

2010-2011

Tottenham reached the quarter-finals of their maiden UEFA Champions League campaign before bowing out to Real Madrid. In the Premier League, they finished in fifth place and eight points adrift of their points tally from the previous season. The high in the league season came at The Emirates in November, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Arsenal and record a first away win at Arsenal in 18 years. This was also Gareth Bale’s breakthrough season. Bale put in some special performances throughout the campaign that ended with him winning PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

 

2011-2012

After two heavy defeats to the Manchester clubs to start the season, Tottenham enjoyed an 11-match unbeaten run, winning 10 of those games to climb into third place in the Premier League table. In February, manager Harry Redknapp was touted as heavy favourite for the England job after Fabio Capello’s resignation. He was also cleared of tax evasion charges at the same time. Tottenham supporters pleaded for Redknapp to stay but ultimately, the FA decided to appoint West Bromwich Albion manager, Roy Hodgson.

Tottenham’s form fell apart after a collapse in the North London Derby at The Emirates where they threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 5-2. Damaging defeats to Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City saw them finish in fourth place and below Arsenal in the table. Chelsea’s victory in the UEFA Champions League final denied Tottenham another shot at the Champions League for the next campaign and in June, Redknapp parted ways with the club by mutual consent.

 

2012-2013

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas was appointed as Redknapp’s successor and he guided Tottenham to their best-ever points tally in a Premier League season of 72 points. He also got the best out of Bale, who scored 26 goals in all competitions and was crowned PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the second time in three years, edging out current holder Robin van Persie to the main prize. However, Tottenham missed out again on Champions League football on the final day. Arsenal’s victory at Newcastle meant Spurs finished fifth and Bale looked set to leave after his stunning individual campaign.

 

2013-2014

As had been widely predicted, Gareth Bale was sold in August for a world-record transfer fee of £85.3 million to Real Madrid. Tottenham spent the money of several new additions including the likes of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue. However, apart from Christian Eriksen – none of the new arrivals made much of a positive impression.

Although Tottenham conceded just two goals in the first two months of the season, a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham United sparked off a worrying run of form which ultimately culminated in the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas in mid-December. Two damaging heavy defeats – 6-0 at Manchester City and 5-0 at home to Liverpool FC were the final performances that forced Daniel Levy into the decision to sack the Portuguese.

Tim Sherwood replaced him and despite some more capitulating performances at Stamford Bridge and Anfield, he did steady the team and Tottenham finished sixth in the table. However, Sherwood was dismissed shortly after the season concluded with Levy having already identified his successor.

 

2014-2015

After a fine 18 months as Southampton’s boss, Mauricio Pochettino was tempted away from the south coast to take the role on as Tottenham Hotspur manager. This was another season of transition which ultimately saw Spurs improve by one position on the 2013-2014 campaign, finishing fifth.

Highs included a memorable 5-3 victory over champions Chelsea and a thrilling North London Derby success at White Hart Lane against Arsenal in February. The season also saw the remarkable breakthrough of Harry Kane who scored 21 league goals in his first full season in the Tottenham first-team. Kane’s efforts saw him crowned PFA Young Player of the Year.

 

2015-2016

Tottenham started the season with a narrow defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United and actually went winless in the first month of the campaign. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were about to enjoy a breathtaking season that saw them become genuine title contenders for the first time in the Premier League Years.

Spurs lost just six times all season, recorded a famous league double over Manchester City, whilst Kane held off Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero to claim his first Golden Boot with 25 goals. Dele Alli’s debut season saw him score 10 times and succeed Kane as winner of PFA Young Player of the Year as Tottenham pushed Leicester City virtually all the way in the race for the most surprising Premier League title winner.

Ultimately, they fell short on a bad-tempered evening at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea came from 2-0 down to earn the point that ensured Leicester became champions. Tottenham’s rage exploded with every single outfield player booked on the night and Mousa Dembele earning a lengthy FA suspension after eye-gouging Diego Costa. They didn’t recover from this stormy evening and a 5-1 final day collapse at already relegated Newcastle meant Arsenal pipped them to the runners-up position, confirming a 22nd consecutive campaign they’d finish above their rivals from across the capital.

 

2016-2017

The final season at White Hart Lane turned into an unbeaten campaign. Tottenham dropped just four points on their home patch all season and lost only four games in the whole season. They claimed second position in the Premier League table in mid-January and never relinquished it, recording their best tallies for goals, wins, points and finishing position in the process. They finished seven points shy of Chelsea’s final total.

Pochettino continued to win widespread praise for the development and emergence of his young squad with Kane once again winning the Golden Boot and becoming only the second player in Premier League history to score four hat-tricks in a season.

White Hart Lane was demolished after the 2-1 victory against Manchester United in mid-May, to be replaced by a state-of-the-art new stadium near to the same site.

 

2017-2018

Tottenham moved to Wembley Stadium for the 2017-2018 campaign and initially found the going tough at the ground, as they dropped home points to Burnley and Swansea City, whilst Chelsea claimed a 2-1 victory thanks to two Marcos Alonso goals.

However, it was another impressive season from the Lilywhites who comfortably finished above Arsenal for the second successive league season and achieved a third consecutive finish in the top three. UEFA Champions League football was secured in the final week of the season with a narrow 1-0 victory over Newcastle United.

2017-2018 also saw the end of the barren wait for a Premier League win at Stamford Bridge. Two goals from Dele Alli helped Spurs to a 3-1 win in west London in April – their first win at the ground since February 1990. Kane scored another 30 goals but was pipped this time to the Golden Boot by Liverpool FC’s Mohamed Salah.

 

2018-2019

Delays to the new stadium have meant Tottenham have remained at Wembley Stadium for the 2018-2019 season and incredibly, they haven’t drawn a match in the Premier League this season. It has been wins or losses this term and Spurs remain as a potential title challenger in mid-February, keeping Liverpool FC and Manchester City honest.

Among the highlights already this season were a 3-1 win over Chelsea in November, a 6-2 masterclass at Goodison Park against Everton and a late winner from Harry Winks in a London Derby away at Fulham. With progression to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League looking likely, Tottenham supporters still have plenty of excitement to witness in this campaign.

Memorable Matches: West Ham United 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur (February 1997)

Goalscorers: Teddy Sheringham 7, Julian Dicks 20, 72 PEN, Paul Kitson 22, Darren Anderton 29, John Hartson 37, David Howells 53

Teams:

West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, Mark Bowen, Tim Breacker, Julian Dicks, Rio Ferdinand, Steve Potts, Ian Bishop, Michael Hughes, John Moncur, John Hartson, Paul Kitson (Iain Dowie 79)

Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Dean Austin, Colin Calderwood, Sol Campbell, Stephen Carr, Clive Wilson, David Howells (Ronny Rosenthal 84), Darren Anderton, Andy Sinton (Allan Nielsen 79), Steffen Iversen, Teddy Sheringham

Referee: Gary Willard, Attendance: 23,998

Things were looking desperate for West Ham United in February 1997. Four successive defeats in the Premier League had them in the bottom three and needing a vital victory in a London Derby against mid-table Tottenham Hotspur.

Manager Harry Redknapp had recently dipped into the transfer market, paying out a combined £7 million to acquire the services of John Hartson and Paul Kitson from Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively. The new strikeforce would have an important role in the destiny of this match, played in windy and wet conditions.

Tottenham were having an average season but played their role in this fantastic encounter. They took the lead after just seven minutes. Young right-back Stephen Carr drove a cross into the penalty area from the right wing and on his return from injury; Teddy Sheringham placed his long-range header beyond a stranded Ludek Miklosko to put the visitors ahead.

West Ham drew themselves level on 20 minutes. Captain Julian Dicks was left unmarked from a Michael Hughes corner and he equalised, placing his header into the bottom right-hand corner of Ian Walker’s goal. The Hammers now had momentum and moments later, Walker made a good save to keep out Hughes. The Northern Ireland international was having a fine match and from the resulting corner, his delivery once again caused havoc with the weather conditions. Kitson made the most of the ball hanging in the air to score his first goal for his new club.

The spectacular goal feast continued. Sheringham and Steffen Iversen combined and Darren Anderton was played through by the Norwegian. His delicate lob from 20-yards out over Miklosko made it 2-2 with just 29 minutes played. Then, like Kitson, Hartson scored on his debut too. Eight minutes before half-time, Dicks’ excellent free-kick delivery found Hartson and the Welshman outmuscled Sol Campbell in the aerial challenge and his header found the target.

3-2 at half-time, Tottenham quickly restored parity. Eight minutes into the second half, Sheringham laid the ball back to David Howells and he scored a rare goal with his shot creeping inside Miklosko’s far post. It was a poignant moment for the midfielder, who was playing despite the tragic death of his father earlier in the day.

The decisive goal came 18 minutes from full-time. Howells challenge on Hartson was deemed as a foul in the penalty area and Gary Willard pointed to the spot. Dicks was one of the best spot-kick takers in the Premier League, smashing his penalty into the net with power and passion and West Ham led for the third time in the contest.

This time, it was to be a decisive advantage and a vital win as they eventually ended up two points clear of the relegation zone at the end of the season.

Seasonal Stories: Tottenham Hotspur (2016-2017)

Farewell to the Lane

Tottenham Hotspur might have ended the 2016-2017 season without any silverware but it was a memorable campaign for Mauricio Pochettino and his young, exciting side. For the second successive season, they made a challenge for the title, eventually falling seven points short of London rivals Chelsea but they finished gallant runners-up.

They finished above north London rivals Arsenal for the first time in 22 years, Harry Kane won the Golden Boot for the second successive season and they dropped just four points all campaign on home soil as White Hart Lane received a fond farewell.

Splashing the cash

After coming close to winning the Premier League title in 2015-2016, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and his young squad were hungry to take two further steps following their third-place finish the previous season.

After impressing for France during EURO 2016, Moussa Sissoko was acquired from relegated Newcastle United for £30 million on transfer deadline day. He joined Victor Wanyama, who linked up with Pochettino again having played underneath the Argentine at Southampton and Vincent Janssen, who came in from Ajax as back-up for Harry Kane.

Tottenham made a brilliant start to the season and finished September in second place, with four wins from their opening six matches. Heung-Min Son started the season in peak form. The South Korean scored braces in away victories over Stoke City and Middlesbrough. The only blow was the loss of Kane for seven weeks after he sustained an ankle injury in the closing stages of a narrow home win against rock-bottom Sunderland.

Poch triumphing over Pep

October began with a visit to White Hart Lane from league leaders Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side had made an impeccable start, winning their first six league matches of the season but on the day, it was Pochettino who would triumph over Pep. Tottenham got at the Citizens early on and the visitors couldn’t handle their pressing tactics. An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and strike from Dele Alli helped Spurs to record an impressive 2-0 victory and meant, they were now the only club yet to taste defeat in the Premier League in 2016-2017.

The next period of league matches was frustrating and ultimately, a run of just two wins in eight matches proved to be costly come the final outcome in regards to a title challenge. Tottenham’s unbeaten record remained until the end of November when in their 13th match, they lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to league leaders Chelsea. By now, Kane was back from injury and rescued a point from the penalty spot in the first North London Derby of the season at The Emirates Stadium.

Defeat no.2 of the season came at Old Trafford in mid-December. Kane was robbed of possession in the centre circle and Manchester United broke forward, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring the only goal of the game. Tottenham’s response to this setback was a run of six successive victories which meant by mid-January, they were firmly in the shake-up for a top four finish.

15th JANUARY 2017 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 21 17 1 3 45 15 +30 52
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 21 13 6 2 43 14 +29 45
3 Liverpool FC 21 13 6 2 49 24 +25 45
4 Arsenal 21 13 5 3 48 22 +26 44
5 Manchester City 21 13 3 5 41 26 +15 42
6 Manchester United 21 11 7 3 32 20 +12 40

King Kane loves a treble

At the turn of the year, it was Dele Alli who was firmly in the goals. Alli managed to score three successive braces of goals during the festive period, including two headers at White Hart Lane in early January which saw Chelsea’s 13-match winning sequence end in a 2-0 defeat.

Kane was about to enjoy a stunning 2017 which ultimately saw him break the record for Premier League goals in a calendar year. His first hat-trick of the season came in mid-January in a fairly routine 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Kane followed this hat-trick up with back-to-back trebles in successive Sundays in February. First, his hat-trick took Spurs past Championship side Fulham in the FA Cup fifth round before a first half hat-trick saw Stoke City condemned to a third successive 4-0 loss against the Lilywhites in the Premier League.

Kane was locked in a tight battle for the Golden Boot with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku but it looked like the Belgian might have the edge, especially when Kane injured his ankle again in the FA Cup quarter-finals against Millwall, putting him on the treatment table again for another month.

With uncertainty around Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal and the inconsistency from Liverpool FC and both Manchester clubs, it was Tottenham who were the only team who looked capable of giving Chelsea some nervy moments in the run-in. 10 points behind with 10 games left to play, Tottenham quickly cut that gap to four points, enjoying a fruitful run of nine successive victories – their best-ever sequence in their Premier League history.

The end at White Hart Lane

At the end of April, Tottenham beat Arsenal 2-0 in the last North London Derby at White Hart Lane with goals from Alli and the returning Kane. This meant that Tottenham would finish above Arsenal in a top-flight table for the first time since 1995 and guaranteed a finish in the top four.

There was a sense within the supporters that a genuine bid for the title was on but a week later, that hope expired on Tottenham’s first visit to The London Stadium. Manuel Lanzini’s second half strike guided West Ham to a 1-0 victory, sending their supporters into ecstasy at crushing Spurs’ dreams. By the time Tottenham played their next match, Chelsea had recorded the two wins they had required to regain the Premier League title.

All that was left was for the final-ever match to be played at White Hart Lane. Tottenham were moving temporarily into Wembley Stadium whilst a new stadium was built on the site of the historic ground. Manchester United were the visitors but they couldn’t be the party poopers. Wanyama opened the scoring with an early header and fittingly, Kane would be the final Tottenham scorer at the ground, scoring his first-ever goal against Manchester United in the process.

A 2-1 victory over the Red Devils guaranteed second place in the table, their best-ever Premier League finish and an unbeaten home record in the last White Hart Lane season, recording 15 successive home victories. Only Liverpool FC and Leicester City avoided defeat. There was plenty of emotion as a final celebration was held with Tottenham legends past and present braving the rain to join in the celebrations. Kane wasn’t done though. Seven goals in the last week of the season, including another two hat-tricks as Spurs brushed aside Leicester and Hull City 6-1 and 7-1 respectively. That meant a second successive Golden Boot for the striker.

Alas, there was no silverware for the team but Tottenham Hotspur had produced plenty of excitement and entertainment for their supporters and the neutrals in season 2016-2017.

FINAL 2016-2017 TABLE – THE TOP SIX

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 30 3 5 85 33 +52 93
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 38 26 8 4 86 26 +60 86
3 Manchester City 38 23 9 6 80 39 +41 78
4 Liverpool FC 38 22 10 6 78 42 +36 76
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 77 44 +33 75
6 Manchester United 38 18 15 5 54 29 +25 69