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Spurs Odyssey FA Cup rd 5 (replay) Preview - Spurs v Rochdale, 28.02.18

· Rochdale 2 Spurs 2 - Heroes Rochdale make a late booking for a replay at Wembley
· Preview of the first game
· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Will there be a "beasting" at Wembley?

Weather permitting (the "Beast from the East" is in town) we will see the completion of our FA Cup Fifth Round tie tomorrow night against lowly Rochdale. I am very grateful to Declan Mulcahy who has prepared the bulk of this preview:-

Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale produced an entertaining 2-2 draw at Rochdale in the fifth round of the FA Cup a week ago on Saturday. The result was an unwanted one for Spurs. However for Rochdale and neutral supporters the prospect of Rochdale appearing at Wembley next Wednesday in the replay is an enticing one.

Ian Henderson and Harry Kane both scored in the first game for their respective teams. Both are contenders to become the leading scorer in this year’s tournament. The current leader is Will Grigg of Wigan Athletic. His seventh goal scored last Monday night to sensationally eliminate Manchester City will undoubtedly be one of the goals of the tournament. Henderson is one behind with six. Kane has four to date but should score more if Spurs progress to the later rounds of the tournament.

Last year the leading scorer distinction was held by two players, our own Heung-min Son and Adam Morgan of Curzon Ashton both with six goals. Curzon Ashton? Were these goals scored in the tournament proper you might say? The answer is yes. Curzon Ashton were in the sixth tier last year in the National League North and progressed to the first round of the FA Cup where they met Westfields of the ninth tier! Curzon Ashton won after a replay with Morgan scoring three goals over the course of the two games. Curzon drew AFC Wimbledon (our third round opponents this year) in the next round. A Morgan hat-trick meant that Curzon led 3-0 after an hour. However around the 80th minute Wimbledon scored three goals in three minutes and won 4-3 in time added on. Nonetheless Adam Morgan has permanently written his name in the records of the FA Cup.

Rochdale have been to Wembley once before. They contested the League 2 play-off against Stockport County in May 2008 but lost 3-2. That was during the first season of current manager Keith Hill’s first stint as manager.

Will this be the biggest crowd that Rochdale have ever played in front of? That remains to be seen. The attendance at the 2008 Wembley play-off was 35,715. However that was less then the crowd at Old Trafford in January 1986 for Rochdale’s third round FA Cup game against Manchester United which was 38,500. The attendance for the fourth round replay against Newport County at Wembley was 38,947 and a similar attendance would be a new attendance record for Rochdale.

Last week’s game at Spotland Stadium means that two Spurs players now have permanent associations with the ground. Harry Kane made his Football League debut there while on loan to Leyton Orient on 15 January 2011. Lucas Moura is the second Spurs player who will always remember Spotland Stadium. He made his full debut for Spurs there and scored his first goal for Spurs. It was also his first game in England. (He had made his debut five days previously coming on in the 89th minute as a substitute in Turin against Juventus in the Champions League game).

The manager of Rochdale and his playing staff do have some slight connections with the Premier League.

Keith Hill the manager started his career as a central defender with Blackburn Rovers. He made one substitute appearance during the inaugural Premier League season 1992-93. He spent most of his career as a central defender with Plymouth Argyle and Rochdale. After his retirement he joined the Rochdale coaching staff before being appointed manager in December 2006.

Ian Henderson the Rochdale captain and striker started his career with Norwich City. He made three Premier League substitute appearances during the 2004-05 season when the Canaries were relegated after only one season in the top division. Neither player made an appearance against Spurs.

Many of the top English teams are now owned by Eastern European or Middle East oligarchs or successful American businessmen. Chris Dunphy the Rochdale chairman who has been associated with the club for about 30 years certainly doesn’t fit this profile. He owns a company that supplies heating systems to churches through the UK. It is a fairly unusual occupation for a club chairman.

The Tottenham Hotspur website identified a number of players who had been associated with both clubs. However only four of these made competitive appearances for both clubs outside the war years. Ted Birnie made four appearances for Spurs during the 1910-11 season and later played for Rochdale. Defender Don McAllister made just under 200 appearances for Spurs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He made four appearances for Rochdale in 1984 as a non-contract player. Goalkeeper Kevin Dearden made two appearances for Spurs in the early 1990s. In between those two appearances he appeared twice for Rochdale while on loan. Andy Turner a winger who featured during the inaugural 1992-93 season made a total of 23 appearances for Spurs before making four appearances for Rochdale 15 years later at the end of his career.

In the unlikely event that Rochdale win at Wembley it would be classified as a giant-killing. Definitions of giant-killing vary. I would define giant-killing as a win by a club in a cup competition against another club at least two divisions higher. Wigan Athletic’s win over Manchester City last week qualifies as a giant-killing of the highest order.

Spurs have been the victims of giant-killing seven times spread over three different eras. The first three occurred before the First World War. In those days there were only two divisions. Spurs were in the top division and all three games featured defeats to teams who had not at that point reached the Football League.

In 1909-10 Spurs lost 3-2 away to Swindon Town in the third round (the modern equivalent would be the fifth round). Swindon went on to reach the semi finals. In 1912-13 and 1914-15 Spurs lost in the second round (modern equivalent the fourth round) 1-0 to Reading and 3-2 to Norwich City respectively.

Another 40 years would pass before the next series of embarrassments. York City of the Third Division (North) reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1955. In the fifth round at Bootham Crescent they beat Spurs 3-1. Spurs scored first through George Robb but York led 2-1 at the interval. They added a third in the second half for what has been described as the finest display in their history. The Spurs team contained five players who had won the league championship in 1951 Ramsey, Clarke , Walters, Baily and Duquemin plus Danny Blanchflower who would captain the double winning team.

Two seasons later in 1957 Bournemouth of the Third Division (South) managed by Freddie Cox a former Spurs player reached the sixth round of the FA Cup. They beat Spurs 3-1 in the fifth round. Bournemouth scored first and Terry Medwin equalised for Spurs. Bournemouth added two further goals. The team featured one member of the 1951 league championship team goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn and three members of the future double winning team Blanchflower, Peter Baker and Bobby Smith.

During Bill Nicholson’s first season as manager Norwich City of the Third Division reached the semi finals of the FA Cup in 1959. They beat Spurs after a replay in the fifth round. The first game was played at White Hart Lane and the attendance was 67,633. Apparently there were more than 20,000 Norwich supporters in attendance! Terry Allcock gave Norwich the lead after 64 minutes. Norwich must have thought they had won but Cliff Jones equalised in the last minute when his shot deflected off a Norwich player Barry Butler. Norwich won the replay at Carrow Road with a 63rd minute goal from Bly.

The Spurs team included five members of the future double team Baker, Maurice Norman (a former Norwich player), Smith, Cliff Jones and in the replay Blanchflower. Norwich are the only team to achieve a giant-killing over Spurs twice. After losing to Norwich Spurs would win the FA Cup twice in the next three years.

The final giant-killing event happened 30 years ago in 1988. Spurs were drawn away to Port Vale of the third division. Spurs had reached the cup final the previous year only to lose to Coventry City.

Vale Park was quite muddy. Terry Venables who had taken over as manager less than two months ago decided to omit Ossie Ardiles. The team was Parks, Hughton, Thomas, Ruddock, Fairclough, Mabbutt, C Allen, P Allen, Waddle, Fenwick and Moran.

Walker gave Port Vale the lead after 13 minutes with a 25 yard shot high into the net. A Sproston shot after 25 minutes put Vale 2-0 ahead. Spurs began the second half applying pressure. After 64 minutes Ruddock headed home Waddle’s free kick. However Spurs couldn’t fashion an equaliser.

Spurs haven’t fallen victim to a team from the two lower divisions in the FA Cup for thirty years and hopefully it will be a long time before the above section needs updating.

Since our visit to Rochdale, Keith Hill's side have played two League One fixtures. They drew 0-0 at home to MK Dons, and lost 1-0 away to Wigan on Saturday. Thus "Dale" are still bottom of League One and they have failed to score in either of the two games. Spurs remain unbeaten in this calendar year and the only other teams who have scored two against us in that time have been Liverpool and Juventus! Our unbeaten run goes back longer to 23rd December and now stretches to 15 games in all competitions.

Mauricio Pochettino won't be able to give the same team the chance to finish the job properly, as he has stated that both Toby Alderweireld (who played at Rochdale) and Jan Vertonghen (who didn't) are unavailable for this game, but are not expected to be out for at all long. I noticed that Vertonghen did travel to Selhurst Park, although it did look as if he was hobbling into the ground.

Rochdale will no doubt send an army of fans to Wembley for what will be a historic fixture for them, whatever the result. The upper tier will not be open, and many Spurs fans will not be so enthusiastic about travelling to a game which is being televised anyway (BT Sport), and when they may have to contend with the dreaded snow bearing "Beast from the East".

Will there be a "beasting" on the football pitch? I expect Spurs will field a similar team to that which drew at Spotland. Perhaps Eric Dier will have the job of partnering Foyth, but I expect both Trippier and Rose to play. Let's hope that those selected do a proper job this time. I think it could be 4-0, and a quarter-final booking (away to Swansea) for Spurs.

VAR will be in use for this game, which means an army of officials on site and in a TV studio away from the ground. Paul Tierney is the man in the middle, and as far as I can see we have not met this referee before. Mr. Tierney has been in charge of 10 Premier League games this season, and at the weekend had charge of the Cardiff v Bristol City Championship game.

· "It was Twenty Years ago today!" - Reviewing the 97/98 season on a match by match basis. It was not a good year!

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