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Preview Spurs v Charlton, 26.12.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Premier             Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home                 3  0  2  1    2 - 3   2
Away                 4  2  0  2    6 - 5   6
Total (Premier)      7  2  2  3    8 - 8   8
Football Lge Div 1     
Home                11  6  1  4   22 -15  15
Away                11  6  4  1   20 -11  18
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
Football Lge Div 2
Home                 6  5  1  0   20 - 5  11
Away                 6  1  0  5    5 - 9   2
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
Total (Premier)      7  2  2  3    8 - 8   8
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
Grand Total         41 20  8 13   75 -48  54

Boxing Day's game is the return match for the game played on a sunny August evening at the Valley. Simon Davies put Spurs into an eighth minute lead, following Ziege's corner on the right. Ziege himself sent a low pass across the edge of the box. Davies had a quick 1-2 with Sheringham, as Sheringham threaded the ball through for Simon to fire high into the net from the right angle of the 6 yard box.

Charlton have rarely matched the success of their pre-war rise to the top flight.They were founded in 1906, turning professional as late as 1920 and were elected to Division 3 (South) in 1921. They won the Championship of Division 3 (South) in 1928-29 but were relegated again at the end of season 1932-33. But Charlton bounced back upstairs at the end of season 1934-35 and were promoted to Division 1 as runners-up to Manchester United at the end of season 1935-36. The following season they were runners-up to Manchester City, who won the title by 3 points. Charlton finished 4th and 3rd in the seasons preceding WW2 and have never looked likely to figure in the title hunt since.

They have always struggled to attract crowds to the Valley, which is one of the more difficult grounds to reach in the Greater London area. Only Brentford or Crystal Palace are harder to reach, in my opinion, having visited all the London grounds, except Wimbledon when they were at Plough Lane, in my time.(Ed: Not in my opinion, although it depends where you travel from. M11, A12, under the Blackwall Tunnel, and you're there!)

Charlton have a very unusual coincidence : in 1946 and 1947 they were beaten and winning finalists and the ball burst on both occasions, something that has not happened before or since.

Charlton's longest serving manager was Jimmy Seed, who managed them from 1933 to 1957. Seed, of course, had once been a Spurs player, figuring in the 1921 FA Cup winning side and taking Sheffield Wednesday to consecutive championships as a player in 1928-29 and 1929-30.

Their present manager, Alan Curbishley, has done well to keep Charlton in the top flight as they are by no means well off, though they can boats of being 'in the black' unlike many of the other Premiership teams, notably Chelsea. Curbishley played for West Ham and Birmingham City as a player. He was a very graceful player but not quite as good as Trevor Brooking.

Having won quite unexpectedly at Maine Road, Spurs need to build on this as the Charlton game is their only home game over the Christmas and New Year period. With all the clubs above them seemingly dropping points, Spurs still have a chance of catching the leaders and trying to qualify for Europe. The snag is that we are not getting enough goals from the strikers but at least in seeing Perry, Davies and Poyet score on Monday night, we don't have to rely on the strikers. The rumours persist that Ferdinand will leave Tottenham when the transfer window opens next month. One hopes Spurs have someone lined up because Iversen is no striker, although he can work hard ... sometimes.

I think Spurs will win this match BUT they MUST concentrate for 92 minutes and keep clean sheets! We need to improve our goal difference quite urgently.

A very Happy Christmas to all of you!


Cheers, Brian

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