Sunderland's last 6 league games:-
Everton 1 0 Sunderland
Sunderland 1 1 Fulham
Sunderland 0 1 Middlesbrough
Man Utd 4 1 Sunderland
Derby 0 1 Sunderland
Sunderland 0 1 Newcastle Utd
P W D L F A GD Pts
8 Spurs 26 10 5 11 37 35 2 35
14 S'land 27 8 6 13 21 31 -10 31
Sunderland have won just one out of their last 6 games, and that was at lowly Derby, although it was the week after we sadly lost to John Gregory's side. Spurs management is in mourning as Glenn Hoddle has sadly lost his father, who died at the age of 68, and John Gorman's father-in-law has also passed away. As if the events at the Millennium Stadium were not enough to cope with. Both teams will be desperate for the points, but Spurs will be especially in need as they have to contemplate a trip to Old Trafford next Wednesday, where they have not taken so much as a single point since March 1995. Ever the optimist, I'll go for a 3-1 to Spurs. Look out for team news later this week.
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 4 3 0 1 10 - 5 9
Total(Prem) 7 6 0 1 17 - 7 18
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
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) 7 6 0 1 17 - 7 18
Total(Div 1) 74 22 23 31 88 -105 71
Total(Div 2) 2 1 0 1 4 - 4 2
Grand Total 83 29 23 33 109-116 91
Following last Sunday's dismal defeat at the Millennium Stadium in
Cardiff, it is vital that we win this match! The bottom half of the table
is so crowded that a couple of defeats could drop us down into the heart
of the relegation battle. There is NO room for complacency because keen
students of Tottenham's history will point to the events of the last six
weeks of the 1927-28 season as a precedent. There have been other dramatic
escapes from relegation in recent years. I need hardly remind everyone
that there is always a surprise package in the three going down.
The continued speculation regarding Kevin Phillips signing for Tottenham
in the summer coupled with the alleged threats of Sergei Rebrov to look
elsewhere for first team employment shows no sign of abating despite the
continued denials from both camps.
One thing I certainly do not want to see is a re-run of our game against
Sunderland on 30th September 1969 when an own goal by Mike England ensured
our defeat. It was a pretty dire performance that day enlivened only by
the debut of one Stephen Perryman. He was only 17 when he made his debut
but his attitude and determination put some of our more experienced
players that day to shame.
Sunderland were no longer the richest club in the country. For a few years
in the 1940s and 1950s, Sunderland were known as The Bank of England
because they seemed to be breaking transfer records a good deal because of
their desire to regain past glories. This lead in time to an investigation
of their financial books and some illegal payments to players. This led to
the suspension, some of which were for life, of various members of their
Board of Directors.
Thinking of those distant days reminds me that one of their greatest
players was Len Shackleton, who was nicknamed The Clown Prince of Soccer
by the media. Shackleton did not suffer fools gladly. In his
autobiography, he had a chapter headed "WHAT THE AVERAGE DIRECTOR KNOWS
ABOUT FOOTBALL". The following two pages were completely blank! I read
somewhere recently that he observed that it was still true today, although
I don't know when he made the further comment.
It was with Sunderland that Brian Clough sustained the knee injury that
ended his career and he began to develop an interest in coaching and
management. It was a tragedy for Clough that the greater part of his
career was played with Middlesbrough who were in the old Second Division.
Most of Sunderland's glory days were around the start of the 20th Century.
But there will be many who will recall with great joy their 1973 FA Cup
victory over Leeds United. Who can forget Ian Porterfield's strike in the
first half? Or Jimmy Montgomery's double save from Lorimer and Cherry in
the second half? Or of Bob Stokoe, the Sunderland manager, running the
length of the Wembley pitch to embrace Montgomery when the final whistle
Over the years since that Cup Final win, Sunderland have experienced some
very bitter days. Not long afterwards they were our companions in
relegation distress at the end of season 1976-77 and they eventually
suffered the further indignity of having to ply their trade in the old
Third Division for a single season, winning the championship at their
first attempt. And this from a club who once boasted they had never been
relegated from the top flight since being elected to the Football League
in 1890. Unhappily for them that record ended in season 1957-58.
I have not mentioned Tottenham thus far! We all know their shortcomings of
failing to beat clubs they ought to be able to beat. Certainly, the
statistics above show that Sunderland have never beaten us in the
Premiership at White Hart Lane but victory on Saturday CANNOT be taken for
granted. Sunderland are much too close to the edge of the scrap to avoid
the drop after their run of poor results. Only six points separate the
clubs immediately above Leicester City up to 12th position. They are
desperate for points as much as we are.
Tottenham need to win to stay in the top half of the table. Much depends
on the particular Tottenham side that decides to turn up on Saturday. Will
it be the time that dazzles us with its exciting play? Or will it be the
shambolic lot that look as though they have never met each other before?
WILL THE REAL TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STAND UP TO BE COUNTED?
Being pessimistic by nature, I won't be surprised if Spurs lose again this
week. I hope I'm very much proved wrong but Glenn Hoddle needs to think
hard about the timing of his substitutions. It's a waste of time putting
Rebrov or somebody else on when there is only 10 minutes left to play. It
takes at least 10 minutes for a player to strike a rhythm after sitting on
the bench ..... unless, of course, the player happens to be a genius!
COME ON YOU SPURS! LET'S STUFF SUNDERLAND!
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