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Preview Leicester v Spurs, 11.05.02

Hare is Brian Judson's preview of the game


Full Record of Spurs -v- Leicester City

Premier       Pl  W  D  L   For- Ag Pts
Home           7  3  1  3   10 - 9  10
Away           6  1  1  4    6 -13   4
======================================
Total(Prem)   13  4  2  7   16 -22  14
======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   29 13  6 10   64 -46  34
Away(Div 1)   29 16  4  9   53 -54  40
======================================
Total(Div 1)  58 29 10 19  117 -100 74
======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    7  3  3  1   12 - 7   9
Away(Div 2)    7  4  1  2   14 -13   9
======================================
Total(Div 2)  14  7  4  3   26 -20  18
======================================
Total(Prem)   13  4  2  7   16 -22  14
Total(Div 1)  58 29 10 19  117 -100 74
Total(Div 2)  14  7  4  3   26 -20  18
======================================
Grand Total   85 40 16 29  159 -142 104
======================================

And so to the conclusion of another footie season! Leicester City have, of course, already been relegated to the Football League so we should be able to witness the debut of Jamie Redknapp this week. (Ed's note:- I do not think that dispensation has been or will be given for Redknapp to play) There will be those who will take some feeling of satisfaction of seeing Ian Walker between the posts of a relegated team. I never rated Walker but appreciate that succeeding Erik Thorstvedt must have been difficult for him as Erik The Viking was a very popular goalkeeper once people accepted that Erik was not out of the same mould as his predecessor, Ray Clemence.

Tottenham have been blessed by a number of good goalkeepers since the advent of Ted Ditchburn. Before Ditchburn, Tottenham had never had a really superb goalkeeper. But since then we have seen Bill Brown, Pat Jennings, Ray Clemence and Erik Thorstvedt. There are others who were courageous, such as Milija Aleksic, who suffered some horrible injuries (anyone remember a certain Mr Hoddle playing in goal?) and there have been some awful goalkeepers (make your own nomination but I am sure Barry Daines or Mark Kendall will figure high in the list!).

Leicester were a very good side in the 1960s and were unlucky to be around at the same time as some other good sides. They have never won the Championship and have frequently shuttled between the top two Divisions, accompanying Tottenham in their downward plunge in season 1934-35. There was also the famous occasion when Leicester City were the final obstacle to Tottenham completing the first League and Cup double of modern times in season 1960-61. Those of us who saw that Final will remember that Spurs were not at their best and were fortunate that it was Leicester's len Chalmers who was stricken by injury on Wembley's lush turf rather than Tottenham.

This will be the last match to be played at Filbert Street before Leicester move to their new ground. It is a sad co-incidence this is happening as they are about to be relegated to the Football League, particularly in view of the fact that football has been hit by the demise of ITV Digital, which means that the balmy salad days of improbable salaries are now coming to an end. I am sure Leicester will be back in the Premiership but whether it is a swift return or a long one depends on how Micky Adams reacts to the challenge.

Leicester began the season with Peter Taylor as their manager in succession to Martin O'Neill. Leicester had been fortified by the squad O'Neill had constructed but he began to process of derailing that success by whisking away some of the components of that squad to Celtic. The momentum took a while to slow down but it was obvious during last season's run-in that Leicester had run out of steam. They made an awful start to the season with Walker unhappy about being cover for the ageing Flowers but Walker eventually replaced Flowers when the latter player was injured. Walker, along with some of the squad, has declared he wishes to remain with the club despite its relegation. Obviously, he is mindful of the fact there will be fewer vacancies for a goalkeeper next season and that the only way out for him is further down the pyramid.

Despite Spurs well-known problems, they have improved slightly over their performance under their previous manager, who is now a TV pundit for Sky and once again free to eulogise about the other team in North London. None of us want to be reminded of the history they look set to create (as I write these lines before a certain fixture in Manchester tonight). But I feel sure that we will see further progress next season.

And the outcome of the final match? Spurs to record another away win, surely? I am not so sanguine about that. In the final match of our last relegation season, we beat Leicester City 2-0 at Tottenham, a result that heralded problems for Leicester the following season. I think we will do well to achieve a 1-1 draw as Leicester will be keen to sign off on a cheerful note for their supporters.

I hope everyone has a lovely summer. If your country is going to the World Cup Finals, I hope you do well (except if you play England!). Hopefully, I'll be back in August with some more previews.

Cheers, Brian

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