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Preview Spurs v Charlton, 18.03.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full League Record of Spurs v Charlton:-


Premier             Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home                 2  0  2  0    2 - 2   2
Away                 3  1  0  2    5 - 5   3
============================================
Total (Premier)      5  1  2  2    7 - 7   5
============================================
Football Lge Div 1     
Home                11  6  1  4   22 -15  15
Away                11  6  4  1   20 -11  18
============================================
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
============================================
Football Lge Div 2
Home                 6  5  1  0   20 - 5  11
Away                 6  1  0  5    5 - 9   2
============================================
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
============================================
Total (Premier)      5  1  2  2    7 - 7   5
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
============================================
Grand Total         39 19  8 12   74 -47  51
============================================

Monday night's match will be of interest if only to see whether Tottenham can improve on their recent form. Tottenham's hopes of attaining European football next season are realistically NIL as they will have to win the majority of their remaining games AND hope for a corresponding collapse of form on the part of those teams immediately above them. Both of these aspirations are unlikely to happen.

Tottenham's confidence has never been particularly strong in recent years. The days when we could arrogantly emerge from the dressing rooms in the belief that we only had to score once to secure the points have long disappeared. Others have pointed to the lack of depth in the squad whilst some have also pointed to the number of players who are coming to the end of their career. It seems to me there is a clear parallel with the Spurs team of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Board of those days made it clear to their various managers that there could be no big spending so players purchased in those days tended to be those coming towards the end of their career or players discarded by other clubs. Spurs paid the price for that by being relegated twice in eight years. After the second occasion, Spurs had to wait 15 years before they returned to the top flight.

At the time we were relegated on the second occasion, Charlton were in the process of being promoted to the top flight for the first time. They had been elected to Division 3 (South) in the summer of 1921 and had been 21st in the table in season 1925-26. Charlton won promotion to the Second Division in season 1928-29 but were relegated at the end of season 1932-33 (as we gained promotion to the First Division). Charlton regained promotion to the Second Division as we were relegated to the Second Division at the end of season 1934-35. Both clubs figured in the fight for promotion during 1935-36 but it was Charlton who accompanied Manchester United in promotion to the top flight at the end of season 1935-36. A dreadful lapse of form around the turn of the year foiled Tottenham's hopes. In 1937-38, Charlton were runners-up to Manchester City in the First Division, which is the highest position Charlton have ever attained.

After World War 2, Charlton appeared in successive Cup Finals, being runners-up in 1946 and winning it in 1947. An oddity of those two Cup Finals was that the ball burst in both of them. Charlton were eventually relegated from the top flight at the end of season 1956-57. They had earlier sacked Jimmy Seed, who had been their manager from the 1930s. Seed was, of course, a former Spurs player.

Charlton have known many ups and downs over the years and spent a nomadic existence for several seasons, sharing grounds with Crystal Palace and West Ham United, when they decided the Valley was too expensive to maintain but they have since returned to their spiritual home, albeit in a reduced size. The fact that Charlton have managed to reclaim their position in the top flight shows what can be achieved on a limited budget. I doubt if Charlton will ever win any major honours but it is a terrific achievement to play in the Premiership.

Monday night may well determine the future of several of our expensive players. The supporters will not tolerate another collapse. Indeed, if Spurs continue to drop points they will be staring into the abyss of relegation if they are not careful, as the situation at the foot of the table is very tight this season.

Let us hope SOMEONE, it doesn't matter who it is, manages to score a goal at the right end of the pitch for Tottenham. It might just restore some confidence to our brittle superstars!

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Cheers, Brian

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