Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Preview - Spurs v Leeds, 01.04.02
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Preview Spurs v Leeds, 01.04.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Leeds United

Premier         Pl  W  D  L  For- Ag  Pts
Home             9  3  3  3  14 - 10  12
Away            10  1  2  7   8 - 19   5
Total (Premier) 19  4  5 10  22 - 30  17
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)    28 14  8  6  47 - 34  37
Away (Div 1)    28  6 10 12  32 - 42  23
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)     4  3  1  0  10 -  4   7
Away (Div 2)     4  1  1  2   3 -  5   3
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
Total (Premier) 19  4  5 10  22 - 30  17
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
Grand Total     83 28 25 30 114 -115  87

Monday's match will bring back memories of the corresponding fixture in the very last match of the 1974-75 season. Spurs HAD to win to avoid relegation and duly did so. Leeds were 9th in the table but distracted by the thought of their European Cup Final match (which they lost!). Martin Chivers had not started a match for two months, having fallen out with manager Terry Neill, Spurs went ahead after only 5 minutes. The magical Alfie Conn, he of the flying mane and the socks around his ankles, was chopped down on the edge of the Leeds penalty area. Cue Cyril Knowles, who bent the ball around the wall in a similar fashion to 'Psycho' Pearce or Ian Harte (for the benefit of younger readers!). Spurs lay siege to the Leeds goal but could not score another. Pat Jennings only had two saves to make from Joe Jordan in the whole of the first half.

Five minutes after the break, Spurs went further ahead. Knowles took a quick free-kick, pushing the ball to Perryman. Conn's shot was beaten out by Stewart but Chivers was on hand to turn the ball back into the goal.

In the 63rd minute, Perryman was brought down by Cherry and Knowles took the resulting penalty. The atmosphere was such that a stranger would have thought Spurs had won the League instead of avoiding relegation! But Leeds reduced the arrears when a 30-yard shot by Lorimer came back off an upright for Jordan to score.

Conn rounded the evening off in the 75th minute when he took a pass from Chivers, then beat three men and scored from an impossible angle. Lorimer reduced the arrears again in the 81st minute. When the final whistle sounded, the Spurs fans streamed on the pitch and celebrated into the night.

Eight years later, again near the end of the season, Spurs played in a crucial match. But this time it was Leeds who were facing the drop. The Revie era was over and the stars had gone. Spurs got off to a good start when Garry Brooke put them ahead in the first half. Frank Worthington equalised for Leeds but then Kenny Burns conceded an own goal that was ultimately to condemn the Yorkshire club to relegation.

It was with Leeds City, the club that was wound up after WW1, that Herbert Chapman first started to gain experience as a manager in the Football League, having previously managed Northampton in the Southern League after leaving Tottenham as a player. But Leeds did not hit the heights until Don Revie became manager after retiring as a player.

I did not like the Revie era. There is no doubt Revie was a brilliant strategist but he also introduced time wasting tactics, disputing decisions the referee made and all the things that now occur in matches. They had some great players but they were never a popular side. I think the side that represented Leeds during 1973-74 was probably the best of the Revie era. They produced some sublime football and did away with some of their more objectionable tactics.

Since replacing George Graham as manager of Leeds, I have to say I like the way David O'Leary has developed Leeds. The accent is positive, but he has also built a strong defence but not one that relies on the offside trap as sides fashioned by Graham were wont to do. Synchronised offside waving was well-known at Highbury but, fortunately, no one else seems to have had a knack for it.

Monday's game will not be an easy one. Writing these lines before watching the Middlesbrough -v- Spurs match makes it even harder. I don't think Spurs will have any luck on Monday as Leeds will be desperate to qualify for Europe, even though it is unlikely they will now qualify for the Champions League.

I think Leeds will almost certainly win on Monday. The only question is how much resistance will Spurs provide. Given our lack of punch up front, it is the only result I can forsee.


Cheers, Brian

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