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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Chelsea, 06.12.97

"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published December, 2017, but first written in 1997 by the late Brian Judson




Full Record of Tottenham Hotspur -v- Chelsea



PremPl W D L For-Ag Pts
Home 50 3 2 4-6  3
Away 50 3 26-9  3
==========================================
Total (Prem) 100 6 410-15 6
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 1) 42 20 9 13 79-57 51
Away (Div 1) 42 19 6 1763-50 46
==========================================
Total (Div 1) 84 39 15 30142-107 97
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2) 2 1 1 0 7-4  3
Away (Div 2) 2 0 1 11-4  1
==========================================
Total (Div 2) 4 1 2 1 8-8  4
==========================================
Total (Prem) 10 0  6 4 10-15  6
Total (Div 1) 84 39 15 30142-10797
Total (Div 2) 4 1 2 1 8-8  4
===========================================
Grand Total 98 40 23 35160-130 110
===========================================

Unhappily, our recent record against Chelsea is absymal. We have yet to record our first win over the Blues in the Premier League. We have to go right back to August 1987 when a solitary Nico Claesen goal was sufficient to hand the spoils to Tottenham in a home game. (Ed: We did win at Stamford Bridge in February 1990)

The last time that Spurs won at home and away against the Blues was as long ago as 1970-71. I remember the away game at the Bridge more than the home game because it was such a cracker. The pity of it was that neither Match of the Day nor the Big Match were there to record the match for posterity. It was probably Spurs' finest performance against the Blues.

Chelsea were the FA Cup holders having won the Cup by beating Leeds United in a replay at Old Trafford thanks to goals by Peter Osgood and David Webb cancelling out an earlier Mick Jones goal. In the summer, England's finest ever World Cup squad had crashed in a Quarter Final game against West Germany. Mullery and Peters (Tottenham) had put England 2-0 ahead before Bonetti (of Chelsea), in goal instead of Banks, who had fallen ill to Montezuma's Revenge, conceded three goals to hand the tie to West Germany.

Small wonder then the Tottenham contigent were singing

"BONETTI LOST THE WORLD CUP!
BONETTI LOST THE WORLD CUP!
BONETTI LOST THE WORLD CUP!
AND SAY SO ALL OF US!"

It began to rain at 2.45pm and fell in torrents throughout the whole of the match. Referee Pat Partridge (from Middlesbrough), a very unfussy referee, asked Mullery and Ron Harris if they were happy to play on through the monsoon. Both captains said yes.

The match swung from end to end but at 4.40pm there was still no score. Just as I was thinking of leaving for the tube at Fulham Broadway, Spurs won a quick corner. The ball was pushed to Mullery on the edge of the penalty area, who slammed it home. All thoughts of an early departure vanished!

Chelsea re-started the game; Spurs roared onto the attack; the ball came over from the wing, Gilzean dummied, the ball ran on to Pearce who scored from underneath the crossbar.

Chelsea re-started the game; Spurs roared onto the attack; Chivers unleashed a thunderbolt that almost rocked the crossbar off its supports.

It was worth getting soaked in the queue for the tube at Fulham Broadway to see the Spurs fans from the Brittania End escorted to the tube at Fulham Broadway.

"NOW YOU'VE GOTTA BELIEVE US!
NOW YOU'VE GOTTA BELIEVE US!
NOW YOU'VE GOTTA BELIEVE US!
WE'RE GOING TO WIN THE LEAGUE!"

Needless to say, we lost at home the following week to Newcastle, 1-3.

The most vital game between Spurs and Chelsea in my time as a supporter was on April 19th 1975. Both sides were staring at relegation and it was fairly obvious that whoever lost would be one of the relegated sides. The game almost didn't start. The Chelsea idiots invaded the pitch at 2.45pm, catching the police unprepared for it. Jack Taylor, the referee from Wolverhampton, was quite unfazed by it all. "There a match going to be played and I'm prepared to wait until midnight if need be!" He went out at 2.55pm and single handedly cleared the hooligans off the pitch.

Spurs were least affected by stage fright and won the match, 2-0. Alfie Conn and Steve Perryman were the scorers. If I remember rightly, Butch Wilkins was captain for Chelsea that day at the very precocious age of 18. He was a great deal more hirsute then than he is now!

The best sequence that Spurs have had over Chelsea have been the 10 matches played at Stamford Bridge between 1913-14 and 1951-52 8 wins and 2 draws. Our best sequence at home was between 1964-65 and 1971-72 5 wins and 3 draws.

But mostly in recent years we have seen Chelsea toy with us which is why I prefer not to discuss in any great detail Spurs and Chelsea matches in recent years.

The most one-sided Spurs -v- Chelsea match was the 1967 FA Cup Final. Spurs should have had at least five goals that afternoon. Chelsea were never in the game and Tambling's late goal was a lucky one. Once Robertson had fired Tottenham ahead in the 44th minute the result was never in doubt. Saul's 66th minute goal was merely the icing on the cake.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO THE GAME, GET BEHIND THE BOYS! I want to read that Boots have sold out of sore throat lozenges as a result of tomorrow's match. WE MUST WIN!

Cheers, Brian

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