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Preview Spurs v Aston Villa, 18.08.01

This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Aston Villa.

Prem          Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           9  3  3  3   11 -12  12
Away           9  0  3  6    6 -15   3
Total(Prem)   18  3  6  9   17 -27  15
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  47 25  5 16   99 -77  62
Away (Div 1)  47 17 11 19   72 -75  48
Total(Div 1)  94 42 16 35  171 -152 110
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   2  1  1  0    4 - 3   3
Away (Div 2)   2  0  1  1    1 - 3   1
Total(Div 2)   4  1  2  1    5 - 6   4
Total(Prem)    18 3  6  9   17 -27  15
Total(Div 1)   94 42 16 35  171-152 110
Total(Div 2)    4 1  2  1    5 - 6   4
Grand Total   116 46 24 45  193-185 129

When I first started to support Tottenham in the later 1950s, Spurs always regarded games against Aston Villa as a banker home win and a banker away win. We had an amazing record at Villa Park where we had a long unbeaten run for a long time. But then Spurs started to make stupid errors which cost us games.

One such hilarious home match was in March 1966 when Spurs drew with Aston Villa 5-5. I have recounted this story before but it bears repeating again. Spurs were 5-1 ahead at half-time and threatening to create a new Football League scoring record. In the second half, helped by some atrocious defending, particularly by Laurie Brown, Spurs slumped to 5-5 and almost lost the match in the dying seconds. Rarely did I see Bill Nicholson fidget as much as he did that afternoon. It was hardly surprising that Laurie Brown was subsequently dropped : his confidence had been shattered by some cruel barracking from the Spurs faithful. Spurs experimented with various replacements (anyone remember Roger Hoy for example?) but I then received the best birthday present I ever had when Spurs signed Mike England for 95,000 on August 19th 1966.

Another horrible game came in October 1966 when Spurs crashed at home to Aston Villa 1-0. Villa were struggling to avoid relegation (they were ultimately relegated with Blackpool at the season's end). We were terrible that afternoon and Chatterley scored a freak goal that bobbled in off the post.

Happier memories were of going to Wembley in February 1971 to see two goals by Martin Chivers secure our first win in the Football League Cup. We had been outplayed by Aston Villa for much of the match. Peter Collins, who had replaced Mike England (broken ankle) in December 1970 had his hands full with the Villa strike force but Chivers scored two late goals to secure a thoroughly undeserved victory.

Villa were a Third Division team at that time but they made a swift return to the top flight. They were not yet quite the team who were soon to win the European Cup but the signs were already there when Spurs returned to top flight football with the first home game of the 1978-79 season against Villa. Spurs fans looked forward to seeing Villa and Ardiles making their home debut but it was Villa who won 4-1! Hoddle scored the only Spurs goal (a penalty) and Spurs were clearly at sixes and sevens for most of the match.

We had a further date with Aston Villa at Wembley when we played in the Charity Shield at the start of the 1981-82 season. I remember Mark Falco smashing home two great goals that afternoon to ensure Spurs and Villa shared the trophy for 6 months. There were many detractors of the clumsy and ungainly Falco but I always enjoyed watching him, particularly after Crooks lost confidence because of a series of injuries.

Finally in 1991-92, Spurs had a curious home match against Villa, in which we lost 5-2. We played well in short spells, as I recall, but we made several silly mistakes that led to our conceding goals we should never have conceded. One of our goals came from an own goal conceded by Shaun Teale - the other, inevitably, was scored by the Nicest Man on Earth - our very own Big Ears! Lineker defied injury that season as his big toe was giving him gyp but he played through the pain (Darren Anderton : please note!) and scored 28 goals from 35 appearances in his final season.

And on Saturday? Pre-season form is no guide to the serious stuff. We also have a number of players missing through injury and new players to bed down into the team. However, Villa also have their problems, not the least being the continuing on-going argument between manager John Gregory and David Ginola, which may end up in the courts.

The IMPORTANT thing for ALL Spurs fans is to get behind the team and give your all. Forget Campbell until we play Arsenal : THAT is the time to express your opinion of Campbell!

If we can get off to a good start, we may have a season to remember!


Cheers, Brian

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