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Preview Sunderland v Spurs, 19.09.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Sunderland


Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home           3   3   0   0     7 - 2   9
Away           3   2   0   1     8 - 4   6
==========================================
Total(Prem)    6   5   0   1    15 - 6  15
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  37  14  12  11    57 -45  42
Away (Div 1)  37   8  11  18    31 -60  29
==========================================
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88-105  71
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   1   0   0   1     2 - 3   0
Away (Div 2)   1   1   0   0     2 - 1   2
==========================================
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
==========================================
Total(Prem)    6   5   0   1    15 - 6  15
Total(Div 1)  74  22  23  31    88 -105 71
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1     4 - 4   2
==========================================
Grand Total   82  28  23  33   107-115  88
==========================================

The highlight of my memories of this fixture is a defeat rather than a victory. On September 27th 1969, the changes in the programme included one Steve Perryman, who was making his first team debut after only 14 appearances in the Reserves. He was still eligible to play for the Youth side and led them to the FA Youth Cup that season. I remember Spurs played very badly that day and we lost to a silly goal that Mike England back-headed into his own goal. It was clear even in that match that Perryman was going to be an impressive player. He was not overawed by his more famous team mates but was soon telling others what to do.

Sunderland are a team with a very impressive past but scarcely any modern tradition of success. Their best days were around the turn of the century 100 years ago. They were in continuous membership of top flight football from 1890, when they joined the Football League, until 1958 when they were relegated to Division 2. They were once the richest club in the UK and were once fined what was then the highest fine ever made by the Football Association in 1957 for making illegal payments. A number of their officials were indefinitely banned from having any connection with a football club including the club chairman at the time.

Sunderland made a quick return to the Championship but were relegated again at the end of the 1969-70 season, which makes their 1-0 victory, which I referred to earlier, all the more inexplicable. But they pulled off a shock FA Cup victory in 1973 when they beat Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley, thanks to Ian Porterfield's goal. Jimmy Montgomery played out of his skin that afternoon and pulled off two brilliant saves in seconds from Lorimer and Cherry.

They finally returned to the Championship in 1976-77 but only survived one season (Spurs going down with them). Whilst we made a quick return, Sunderland had to wait until 1980-81 and then experienced relegation again. But this time it was more disastrous as they then fell into Division 3 for one season. They climbed back to Division 1 but failed to spend more than one season in the Championship and did not return to top flight football until after the Premier League had been founded. Since Peter Reid was appointed Manager in March 1995, Sunderland have been much more difficult opposition and generally they have been consistent. In their current spell in the Premier League, they nearly failed to survive their first season but in each of the following seasons they have almost qualified for Europe.

One of the home games that remains clear in my mind is the Second Division game we had with them in April 1977. We were favourites to go up but had been hit by nerves from the tension. We lost that match 3-2, which saw us drop out of the top 3 for the first time that season. It left us requiring a minimum of 3 points from our last two games, both of which were nerve wracking matches.

Another match that remains clear in my mind is our defeat in the 4th Round replay of the Football League Cup tie in 1984-85. We had done the hard bit in drawing 0-0 at Roker Park but then inexplicably lost the replay 2-1. Our only goal that night was from a Graham Roberts penalty. We dominated for long spells but lost because we made silly mistakes at crucial moments of the match.

Probably the happiest game I have ever seen between Spurs and Sunderland was our 5-1 home victory in December 1968. We thrashed them 5-1 at Tottenham with Jimmy Greaves bagging 4 goals and Mike England, making his first appearance in the number 9 shirt for Tottenham, adding the other goal. Remember big Mike's Viva Zapata moustache he sported in those days?

Tomorrow night's match won't be easy. The Stadium of Light is never an easy venue to go to and we have been hit very badly with injuries. I think I'll be satisfied if we avoid losing up there. It's one of our toughest away assignments of the season.

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Cheers, Brian

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