Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Preview Arsenal v Spurs - 16.11.02
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Preview Arsenal v Spurs, 16.11.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Arsenal

Prem          Pl  W   D   L  For-Ag  Pts
Home          10  4   4   2  10 - 9  16
Away          10  1   5   4   8 -12   8
Total(Prem)   20  5   9   6  18 -21  24
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   55 24  12  19  93 -83  63
Away(Div 1)   55 16  12  27  65 -85  46
Total(Div 1) 110 40  24  46 158 -168 109
Total(Prem)   20  5   9   6  18 -21  24
Total(Div 1) 110 40  24  46 158 -168 109
Grand Total  130 45  33  52 176 -189 133

Once again, it is time to wrap up in protective clothing and set out for the other place in North London. This is a fixture I always used to look forward to when I used to be in a position to watch Tottenham 'live'.

The Gooners, as usual, are doing well, though they recently lost four consecutive games, something they had not suffered for a while. But they are still challenging for the Premiership title, unlike ourselves, who, seemingly, have settled for yet another season of transition. Arsenal have strengthened their team with the return of Robert Pires, from a long standing injury. Pires was deservedly the Footballer of The Year last season.

But the Gooners aren't having things all their own way. Balls are flying over the head of a bemused Seaman much more frequently this season. The colossus they called Adams has retired. Keown has been injured and the defence, consequently, far less organised than it has been for a very long time. Judas has also been injured and missed matches.

Over the years, Tottenham haven't always been 'up' for certain matches but this is one they KNOW they must be seen to fight and to fight harder than usual. Their supporters will not allow them to do otherwise, even though only a fraction of our normal away support will be allowed into the library.

Younger readers may be surprised to know that Arsenal HAVE suffered relegation from the top flight, despite what they may like to say on that subject. They finished rock bottom of the original Division 1 in season 1912-13, FIVE points behind Derby County, their companions in distress, TEN points behind Chelsea, the club closest to the drop, and TWELVE behind Tottenham.

It is also ironical that Arsenal's first great triumphs were plotted by a former Spurs player called Herbert Chapman. He scored 22 goals in 71 appearances in the old Southern League. A bust of Chapman reminds all of Arsenal's staff of the debt they owe Tottenham!

Unhappily, two of Spurs' heaviest defeats were inflicted by Arsenal during our dreadful relegation season of 1934-35. In the corresponding fixture, in October 1934, Spurs were crushed 5-1. Ted Drake scored three, Pat Beasley grabbed one and Tom Evans conceded an own goal whilst George Hunt scored our consolation goal. Evans was unexpectedly playing at left-back as Whatley apparently failed a last minute fitness test.

Spurs biggest win at Highbury was the 3-0 victory on 27th February 1954. Both teams were being rebuilt as ageing stars retired. George Robb, who had replaced Les Medley, scored twice and 'Sonny' Walters scored the other goal.

Two personal memories I have of Spurs winning at Arsenal follow. The first was on 11th May 1972 when Mullery and Coates scored the goals. It is Coates' goal that sticks in the mind most. He didn't score many goals. A poorly taken corner allowed Coates to set off on a 70-yard run with the entire Arsenal team chasing him. Pratt was on the other side of the pitch, totally unmarked, with the Arsenal players dithering. Coates kept running and running ... Barnett came out of his goal to try to reduce the options for Coates but the former Burnley player spotted a tiny gap and scored.

The other game I remember was our 3-1 win there on May 11th 1993. Admittedly, it was mostly Arsenal Reserves on view that night but a win is still a win! John Hendry scored twice and Sheringham once whilst Dickov scored for the hosts. (Arsenal were playing in the Cup Final two days later, hence the reserve side. Remember those oh-so-boring Cup Finals against Sheffield Wednesday?) I remember Hendry and Sheringham celebrating with us at the Clock End that night!

So to tomorrow's match? Much as I'd like to predict a Tottenham victory, I find it hard to do so. Tottenham only seem to play for an hour or so before conceding control of the midfield. Even without injured and suspended players, I suspect Arsenal will be too good for us. If we lose 2-0, I'll be satisfied with that but suspect it may be a heavier defeat. I know that Arsenal will be without Seaman but he is way past his best now anyway. I hope Taylor gets the nod because I liked his style when he played last season and it would be nice to see a home grown lad in goal rather than a foreign import.

Here's hoping for a shock win but seeing six pink pigs flying in the direction of Highbury ......


Cheers, Brian

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