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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Chelsea v Spurs, 28.10.2000

· Last season's game - Chelsea 1 Spurs 0, 12.01.2000
· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Tottenham Hotspur -v- Chelsea

Prem           Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            8   0   4   4     7-15   4
Away            8   0   3   5     6-14   3
Total (Prem)   16   0   7   9    13-29   7
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)   42  20   9  13    79-57  51
Away (Div 1)   42  19   6  17    63-50  46
Total (Div 1)  84  39  15  30   142-107 97
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)    2   1   1   0     7-4    3
Away (Div 2)    2   0   1   1     1-4    1
Total (Div 2)   4   1   2   1     8-8    4
Total (Prem)   16   0   7   9    13-29   7
Total (Div 1)  84  39  15  30   142-107 97
Total (Div 2)   4   1   2   1     8-8    4
Grand Total   104  40  24  40   163-144 108

Let us begin this preview by dealing with the most dismal aspect of it first. The following is the dreadful sequence of results over the years since 1986-87 :

1986-87 1-3  2-0
1987-88 1-0  0-0
1989-90 1-4  2-1
1990-91 1-1  2-3
1991-92 1-3  0-2
1992-93 1-2  1-1
1993-94 1-1  3-4
1994-95 0-0  1-1
1995-96 1-1  0-0
1996-97 1-2  1-3
1997-98 1-6  0-2
1998-99 2-2  0-2
1999-00 0-1  0-1

Normally I would include in my reviews a report of the previous season's matches but our record against Chelsea is so dreadful that I do not want to depress readers any further. We have only scored once in our last five visits to Stamford Bridge.

So, I thought for a change, I would write about some of the Chelsea and Spurs players of the past. Bobby Smith, Les Allen and Johnny Brooks all played for both Spurs and Chelsea. Smith made his debut for Chelsea in the early 1950s and was quite slim in those days but the two years National Service he had beefed him up considerably and he was overweight when he was demobbed. Smith never revived his Chelsea career and it was quite a surprise when Spurs signed him during the 1955-56 season. But, by golly, he was a very effective goalscorer. He broke George Hunt's long standing career record during the 1960-61 season and it has only been surpassed by one James P Greaves. Smith had so many good performances that I hesitate to pick one out but my personal favourite game was that of the European Cup Winners' Cup game against Slovan Bratislava when he reduced their goalkeeper to a mass of quivering jelly.

Les Allen was another Chelsea reserve whom Spurs bought in a straight swap for Johnny Brooks. Allen had not set the Bridge alight but Nicholson spotted something others had missed. For three seasons, Allen flowered at Tottenham as John White brought out the best in him. Thereafter, he slowly faded from the scene as injury dented his confidence. He transferred to QPR and played a part in their rise from the Third to the First Division in the late 1960s and was their manager from December 1968 until 1971 in the wake of Tommy Docherty walking out after only 28 days.

Brooks was an enigmatic player. No one could really predict what sort of a game he would play. Even Brooks was bewildered by his ability to play a blinder in one half of a match and play a stinker in the second half. And yet he had undoubted ability as he won a number of England caps. Ted Drake thought he had the better of the bargain as he thought he was offloading an average reserve team player for an established England international but Brooks did not stay at the Bridge very long.

No review could be written without mentioning Greaves but what can you say about a player who has been the subject of numerous articles, books and other ephemera. If you did not see Greaves as a player and have only seen Greaves the buffoon as a pundit, you will wonder why the older ones of us on the List drool when Greaves is mentioned. He was often criticised by Nicholson for his lack of work-rate (shades of George Graham!) but Greaves had the perfect riposte to that in what eventually became 220 League goals from 322 League matches. He would spend 89 minutes of a match talking to his marker but always found 10 seconds in which to lose his shadow and plonk the ball in the net.

One of the saddest feelings I have is that the great Chelsea side of the early 1960s never attained what it should have achieved. They could quite easily have been the Manchester United of that decade. They had a great team including certain players called George Graham and Terry Venables but both clashed with the mercurial Tommy Docherty and both were quickly sold. In those days, of course, both were playboys and spivs. Both are quite open today in admitting they did not train as hard as they should have done. But Venables was the lynch pin of that Chelsea team. I have rarely seen such a mature young side as that Chelsea team although the current Leeds side are showing similar signs. The reason that side never reached its apotheosis was because Venables and five other players went out on the tiles in Blackpool for an all-night bender in defiance of Tommy Docherty's instructions on the night before a vital match. They were caught and Docherty sent them home, summoning six inexperienced reserves. Burnley thrashed them 6-2 and Chelsea's chance had gone.

The greatest game I have ever seen between the two clubs occurred on November 14th 1970. My cousin and I had seat tickets for that game and got to the Bridge about 2.30pm. At 2.45pm the heavens opened and torrential rain fell throughout the match. In fact, Pat Partridge, the referee came close to calling the game off but Ron Harris and Alan Mullery, the respective captains, persuaded him to let them play on. The football was superb despite the monsoon that swept south-west London. There was real on the edge of the seat stuff. At 4.40pm, my cousin suggested we should leave and leg it to Fulham Broadway before the final whistle. At that moment, we won a corner from which Alan Mullery scored. All thoughts of leaving vanished! From the kick-off we roared into the attack and got another corner. This time, Gilzean back-headed the ball across the goal and Pearce popped it into the net. Pandemonium! The soaked Spurs fans at the Britannia end were singing in the rain! We almost scored a third! Pearce missed from point blank range from yet another corner.

I remember standing sodden in the queue for the tube as the Spurs fans from the Britannia end were escorted down Fulham Broadway to the tube. They were lustily singing:


Happy days!

And tomorrow? Spurs to win at the Bridge? Hey, there's more likelihood of six pink pigs flying in perfect formation over the Bridge! One day, that long run will have to come to an end. I don't think it will be tomorrow though given our current injury list. But with Sullivan on form, we ought to be capable of snatching a draw, although I would not risk money on that!


Cheers, Brian

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