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Preview Spurs v Arsenal, 17.11.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Arsenal

Prem          Pl  W   D   L  For-Ag  Pts
Home          9   4   3   2   9 - 8  15
Away          9   1   5   3   7 -10   8
Total(Prem)  18   5   8   5  16 -18  23
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)  55  24  12  19  93 -83  63
Away(Div 1)  55  16  12  27  65 -85  46
Total(Div 1)110  40  24  46 158 -168 109
Total(Prem)  18   5   8   5  16 -18  23
Total(Div 1)110  40  24  46 158 -168 109
Grand Total 128  45  32  51 174 -186 132

Never in the history of this fixture has it been awaited so eagerly by the Lilywhite and Blue element in North London. Since one former player crossed the divide of North London, never has thirty pieces of silver had so much effect on the populace since the days of one Judas Iscariot, of whom at least it can be said he did not sign up for Sega or Dreamcast. The Minute of Contempt will forcibly demonstrate to all players who wear the Lilywhite and Blue colours of Tottenham just what we expect of them. Other Spurs players have crossed the divide without arousing our ire but this was treachery of the highest kind. I wish I could be there to share in the Minute of Contempt!

Of all the Spurs -v- Arsenal fixtures we have played, four stand out for their importance. Two can be dismissed instantly as I do not want to remember either Ray Kennedy or the Donkey scoring vital goals for the opposition. But we can salute the memory of Gazza's free-kick and Lineker's big toe scoring two vital goals ten years ago. The other one is still too painful to recollect being considerably more recent. That was also the last appearance of the traitor in our colours.

The first time I saw Spurs play Arsenal was on October 12th 1957. Harmer the Charmer was the star player as Medwin scored twice and Smith once with Cliff Holton scoring for the Gooners. Ted Ditchburn had been recalled to the side following an awful 4-3 defeat by Nottingham Forest the previous Saturday. Eddie Baily had re-appeared on his old stamping grounds and had led Forest to a shattering win courtesy of some Ron Reynolds' blunders.

I next saw Spurs play Arsenal on 26th August 1961, having missed the intervening games through illness. Terry Dyson scored a hat-trick for us with Les Allen scoring the fourth whilst Mel Charles scored twice for Arsenal and Skirton once.

A year later, on 6th October 1962, Spurs drew 4-4. Jones scored twice, with Mackay and White scoring one apiece with David Court scoring twice for Arsenal, MacLeod and Strong one each.

But the game which gave us the biggest surprise of the lot was on 22nd February 1964. Smith was on his way out at Tottenham and Les Allen had lost confidence. On the eve of the match, Bill Nicholson sensationally spent 40,000 on Arsenal reserve defender Laurie Brown and played him at centre forward in place of Bobby Smith. Cliff Jones scored twice with Greaves scoring a penalty whilst Strong scored the only goal for Arsenal.

The following season, on 10th October 1964, Pat Jennings and Cyril Knowles made their first appearances in this fixture. Robertson, Greaves and Saul scored for Spurs with Joe Baker scoring for Arsenal.

Spurs were lucky to snatch a draw on 11th September 1965 when they drew 2-2. Laurie Brown conceded an 11th minute own goal, Joe Baker increased their lead in the 22nd minute. Saul reduced the arrears ten minutes before half-time and Gilzean equalised with fifteen minutes of the end of the match. This was the match in which Roy Low replaced Derek Possee to become the first substitute used by Tottenham.

A year later, on 3rd September 1966, Spurs beat Arsenal 3-1. This was the first fixture Mike England played in for Spurs v Arsenal games. Greaves scored twice and Cliff Jones one whilst Sammels scored once for Arsenal. Unusually for Arsenal, they had temporarily abandoned their red and white shirts and were playing in all red shirts.

The next home game in this series wasn't until 20th January 1968. By now there were two future Spurs managers playing for Arsenal and one playing for Tottenham in the form of Terry Neill, George Graham and Terry Venables. Pat Rice was substitute for Arsenal that day and replaced David Jenkins. Gilzean scored the only goal of the match with half an hour to play.

The first game of the 1968-69 season saw Spurs temporary superiority over Arsenal checked. Spurs had been unbeaten in pre-season matches and played like World Champions for twenty minutes before Phil Beal unfortunately conceded an own goal. Radford added a second before Greaves snatched a consolation goal late in the match. This was the match in which Jimmy Pearce made his debut. Pearce was very unlucky with injuries as he had a very promising future in the game and was forced out of the game into premature retirement after only two seasons or so.

Spurs did not meet Arsenal again at Tottenham until 2nd May 1970 when it was the final game of the season. There was nothing at stake and Gilzean scored the only goal of the match in what was described as a very tepid affair.

And so to Saturday's match. Arsenal are clearly distracted by the Champions League as they have not yet imposed themselves in the League. Their defensive problems have been analysed repeatedly on the back pages. Manchester United must be grateful they did not sign our former player as his performances have not matched up to the promise he once held. Some of Arsenal's players are coming to the end of their career and others have yet to stamp their authority on the team. Spurs have been playing confidently at Tottenham so this is a gilt-edged chance for us to demonstrate just how good we can be!

I think it will be a close game and that it will end in a draw but not before we have given them an awful fright!


Cheers, Brian

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