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Preview Spurs v Ipswich, 22.12.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Ipswich Town

Prem         Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home         4   2  1  1    7 - 4   7
Away         4   1  2  1    6 - 7   5
Total(Prem)  8   3  3  2   13 -11  12
Football Lge
Home(Div 1) 20  12  3  5   40 -24  31
Away(Div 1) 20   7  2 11   26 -36  18
Total(Div 1)40  19  5 16   66 -60  49
Total(Prem)  8   3  3  2   13 -11  12
Total(Div 1)40  19  5 16   66 -60  49
Grand Total 48  22  8 18   79 -71  61

We have played Ipswich Town in the FA Cup. 
The details are:

FA Cup    Rd  H/A   Res   Goalscorers

64-65      4   H    5-0   Greaves 3 (1p) 
			  Gilzean 2

93-94      4   A    0-3

Last season the Tractor Boys were a surprise packet after returning to the top flight and qualified for the UEFA Cup. This season, things have not gone right for them domestically and they are already stranded at the bottom of the table and facing a return to the Football League. Their Chairman, David Sheepshanks, has warned that relegation will cost them a great deal of money and that their promising team may have to be broken up.

Ipswich's problems have demonstrated the truth that the second season after promotion is always the hardest season. Survive two seasons after promotion and most teams have sussed out what they need to do to survive.

In common with most clubs, Ipswich have been rebuilding their ground in the hope of making more money in order to survive in the top flight. They are never going to be serious championship challengers but they are a friendly club and try to play football with a smile, which is why I hope they survive.

Their one championship success in season 1961-62 deprived Tottenham of something that no one else has ever achieved - a back-to-back double of winning the League and the Cup. Had Ipswich lost one of the two games against Tottenham, Spurs would have been champions again instead of finishing 3rd behind Ipswich and Burnley.

It is incredible to think that as recently as 1935, Ipswich were not even in senior non-League football. That is a measure of how fast and how far they have come. They spent two seasons in the Southern League before being elected to the Football League Division 3 (South) in 1938 at Gillingham's expense. But it was not until Alf Ramsey became manager of Ipswich in the summer of 1955 that the fireworks began. Ramsey was a canny player and an even cannier manager. He left Ipswich for the England managerial vacancy at just the right moment as Ipswich were teetering on the cusp of a rapid decline and subsequent relegation.

Ipswich's second great spell occurred during Bobby Robson's tenure as manager from 1969 to 1982. Eyebrows were raised when Robson was given the job at Ipswich as he had been a flop at Fulham and swiftly sacked. But he steered Ipswich into Europe although Spurs fans prefer to remember their victory in the 1978 FA Cup Final as Roger Osborne scored a particularly sweet goal!

But on Robson's departure to Lancaster Gate, Ipswich fell on hard times and have yet to recapture the glamorous times. In George Burley, though, they have a manager who absorbed a great deal from Bobby Robson as he was one of the most consistent players of the Robson era at Ipswich. Given a modicum of luck, Ipswich should survive if they continue to play as well as they have demonstrated in European matches this season until Inter Milan beat them at the San Siro.

Tomorrow's match will be a much more difficult game for Tottenham than it would appear at first sight. Students of Tottenham's history will not have forgotten their habit of losing at home to clubs occupying the bottom place in the table. The classic occasion was on 15th October 1966. Spurs were top of the table, unbeaten at home; Blackpool were bottom, yet to win away. They were 3-0 ahead before Cyril Knowles grabbed a late consolation. That was Roy Brown's one and only appearance in goal for Tottenham as Bill Brown had left for Northampton two days earlier before Pat Jennings had been unexpectedly injured. There are, of course, many other notable occasions but, for me, that is the classic sting of all time.

So, patience will need to be our watchword tomorrow! Spurs SHOULD win but let's not count our chickens before the final whistle tomorrow afternoon!


Cheers, Brian

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