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Preview Spurs v Derby, 15.10.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Derby County

Premier Pl W D L For-Ag Pts Home 5 2 3 0 7- 4 9 Away 5 2 0 3 6- 8 6 ======================================= Total (Prem)10 4 3 3 13 -12 15 ======================================= Football Lge Home (Div 1)24 13 4 7 41-25 31 Away (Div 1)24 3 8 13 29-60 16 ======================================= Total(Div 1)48 16 12 20 70-85 47 ======================================= Football Lge Home (Div 2) 1 0 1 0 0- 0 1 Away (Div 2) 1 0 1 0 1- 1 1 ======================================= Total(Div 2) 2 0 2 0 1- 1 2 ======================================= Total (Prem)10 4 3 3 13 -12 15 Total (Div1)48 16 12 20 70-85 47 Total (Div2) 2 0 2 0 1- 1 2 ======================================= Grand Total 60 20 17 23 84-98 64 =======================================

The visit of Derby County each season always reminds me of the match that saw Gazza at his imperious best scoring a hat-trick from free-kicks and footballing trickery against a Derby side that had Peter Shilton in goal in September 1990. At that stage, Tottenham's debts were only known to a select few : the rest of us had yet to find out the true depth of Spurs' financial mess. I really must dig out my Spurs video of that match just to see once again how easy it was for Gazza to score those free-kicks. Arsenal were going to be stunned at Wembley in April 1991 by one of those Gazza free-kicks but no one should have been surprised by it!!!!

However, Derby have also handed us some shocks, none greater than the FA Cup tie in which we were leading 3-1 in February 1973 with ten minutes to go and then losing 5-3 in extra time. Anyone remember a gangling clumsy player called Roger Davies??????

Derby's best years occurred during the early 1970s when a young manager called Brian Clough was their boss and took them from the lower regions of the old Second Division to European football in a very short space of time. That Derby side was as attractive as any I have seen with John O'Hare the target man for the cross from Alan Hinton for Kevin Hector to hammer home. Dave Mackay, our former player, was sweeper in that team and helped to bring on Roy McFarland, then a very young defender. That Derby team was almost but not quiet as attractive as the Everton team that had enjoyed the skills of Ball, Harvey and Kendall in midfield in season 1969-70.

Unhappily for Derby, they have had more downs than ups in their career. They had never won the Championship until Clough took them to the title before jumping ship and moving to Nottingham Forest, taking half the Derby side with him in the process. But Mackay took Derby to a second championship but could not sustain the team, which slowly faded.

I first remember seeing Derby mentioned when they were competing in the old Third Division (North) when they were thrashed at home by Boston United 6-1 in the FA Cup. Spurs then beat Boston 4-0 two rounds later.

The Rams, however, have not had a spectacular history and have generally figured in the lower half of the top flight or the upper half of the second flight of football. They have not been noted for famous footballers as such, usually preferring to play a steady side rather than a star-studded side. They have always had to watch their finances carefully so it has come as a surprise to hear they are 20M in debt as they struggle at the foot of the table yet again this season. Given the way the Premier League is going with the richer clubs becoming richer, if Derby do go down at the end of this season, they will find it very difficult to regain their place.

Last week, Derby sacked their popular manager, Jim Smith, and appointed a former player, Colin Todd, as their manager. Smith has been a popular manager, fondly nicknamed the Bald Eagle, but even with his skills of wheeling and dealing, he has not been able to save the Rams from crashing to the foot of the table. Spurs will have to be alert if they are not to succumb to the 'change of manager' syndrome where a previously unsuccessful side suddenly start to win on the advent of a new manager. Somehow, I don't think Spurs will make that mistake and I take them to win the televised match 3-0 at least.

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Cheers, Brian

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