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Preview Spurs v Chelsea, 03.11.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Tottenham Hotspur -v- Chelsea

Premier      Pl   W    D    L    For-Ag  Pts
Home         10   0    4    6     9- 21   4
Away         10   0    3    7     6- 21   3
Total (Prem) 20   0    7   13    15- 42   7
Football Lge
Home (Div 1) 42  20    9   13    79- 57  51
Away (Div 1) 42  19    6   17    63- 50  46
Total(Div 1) 84  39   15   30   142-107  97
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)  2   1    1    0     7-  4   3
Away (Div 2)  2   0    1    1     1-  4   1
Total(Div 2)  4   1    2    1     8-  8   4
Total (Prem) 20   0    7   13    15- 42   7
Total(Div 1) 84  39   15   30   142-107  97
Total(Div 2)  4   1    2    1     8-  8   4
Grand Tot   106  40   24   44   165-157 108

I have resisted the temptation to include the sequence of poor results against Chelsea, because we do not need to be depressed about them any more than we are now. Suffice to say the younger element of our readership cannot remember the last time we actually won a League match against them.

Instead, let us concentrate upon some good memories of Tottenham beating Chelsea! Obviously, this means digging deep into one's recollections as regards League matches since our only win has come in last season's League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg.

The best League match I ever saw that involved both clubs took place on November 14th 1970 at Stamford Bridge. In those days, it was a dump and the Spurs fans were herded to the Britannia end, which was exposed to all the elements. I was lucky enough to have a seat ticket. At 2.45pm the heavens opened and a monsoon swept in. (It didn't stop raining until very late that night!) The referee that day was Pat Partridge, a brilliant referee, who kept the game flowing. At one point he checked with Ron Harris and Alan Mullery that they were happy to continue playing in the downpour and they said they were.

At 4.40pm there was still no score and many people were leaving early, convinced there would be none. At that point, Spurs won a corner and Mullery cracked home a stunner. Almost immediately afterwards, Pearce nicked a second goal and, with the referee looking at his watch, Chivers rattled the crossbar. It was a hell of a game with no quarter asked or sought.

Barely five years later, both teams faced each other at White Hart Lane, knowing the losers would almost certainly be relegated from the top flight. The game was very nearly abandoned without a ball being kicked when the Chelsea fans invaded the pitch and confronted Tottenham's silly element. But Jack Taylor, the referee that day, strode out at 2.55pm with the hooligans still on the pitch and strode to the centre circle. The tannoy announced he intended to wait as long as it took but the game would be played even if he had to wait until midnight. Chelsea were poor that season and scarcely put up a fight, despite all that Ray Wilkins, then only 18 and sporting more hair then, could do. Alfie Conn scored one of our goals whilst Stevie Perryman grabbed the other.

And I can claim that I was there the day Jimmy Greaves made his debut for Chelsea in August 1957. The game was drawn 1-1 with Alf Stokes scoring for Spurs. Greaves, inevitably, scored for Chelsea, having scored 114 goals for their Youth side the previous season.

Apart from Jimmy Greaves, probably the most famous player to play for both clubs was Vivian Woodward, who played for both as an amateur. He was probably one of the best players of his era before WW1.

Spurs and Chelsea have been frequent swappers of staff. Probably the best example was that of Johnny Brooks for the then unknown Les Allen. Spurs got by far the better deal on that as Brooks quickly faded from view after leaving Tottenham. Brooks had a great deal of talent by he lacked the drive and ambition to make full use of it. He was so annoying that it was impossible to guarantee he would play the same way in different halves of the same match.

For those of you who have never seen Stamford Bridge as it was before it was re-constructed, the original ground was enormous. It was very primitive by today's standards. I am surprised there were no accidents or disasters because I remember going there once and being crushed in the crowd as we left the ground. The barriers were not very safe either and there was a huge drop to the ground. I have seldom been as relieved as I was that afternoon to leave Stamford Bridge.

Those of you who will remember the Britannia End will remember how exposed it was to all the elements. There was very little atmosphere there because the pitch was remote from the spectators because of the greyhound track, which was removed when the FA banned the running of greyhound meetings from football stadia.

THAT run has to end some day. Why not this week? Chelsea have not been playing well on the road this season so perhaps we can take advantage of that this week. A lot depends on our defence. We played fairly well at Liverpool last week so it is important we try to extract something from this match. I think we are capable of winning but we need to be patient. I take us to win 2-1 but the winner may be very late in coming so if things don't seem to be going according to plan, please be patient!


Cheers, Brian

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