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Preview Spurs v Everton, 04.10.03

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Full Record of Spurs -v- Everton

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home          11   7   4   0   23 - 14  25
Away          11   4   6   1   12 -  8  18
Total(Prem)   22  11  10   1   35 - 22  43
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   54  25  16  13  107 - 67  72
Away(Div 1)   54  10  17  27   60 - 88  38
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    1   1   0   0    1 -  0   2
Away(Div 2)    1   0   0   1    2 -  4   0
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
Total(Prem)   22  11  10   1   35 - 22  43
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
Grand Total  132  47  43  42  205 -181 155

The most important day in Tottenham's long history was that of Saturday, October 11th, 1958. Two decisions were made that day that were crucial to Tottenham's fortunes. As Tottenham slithered into a relegation battle after two seasons of chasing Manchester United in the Championship, manager Jimmy Anderson resigned as Manager, thus severing a 50-year connection with Tottenham. The then-largely untried Bill Nicholson was appointed as his successor.

Nicholson had been club coach to Tottenham since retiring during season 1954-55, He had also devised the tactics for England v Brazil during the 1958 World Cup, which England drew 0-0. Nicholson never had a contract with Tottenham during his 16-tears stewardship. When the time came to go, he did not hang around.

His first game in charge was against an Everton side, whose single ambition seemed to be to secure relegation before Christmas. Everton were, in short, hopeless. Spurs scored 10 that day but Everton, hopeless as they were, managed to score 4 against one of Tottenham's poorest defences. And yet the paradox was that it was almost, but not quite, the Double defence.

I have related the events of the match before. Spurs were 6-1 ahead by half-time and ran out 10-4 winners. Smith grabbed 4 goals, Stokes added two more and the remaining goals were scored by Ryden, Medwin, Harmer and Robb, who had returned to the team after Cliff Jones had broken a leg.

Last season, Spurs won the corresponding match, 4-3. Robbie Keane scored a hat-trick after Poyet had put us ahead.

The most disappointing match that I have experienced between these two clubs was Tottenham's 2-1 home defeat in April 1985 when Graham Roberts scored our only goal in a packed White Hart Lane. We had been having a tussle for the Championship with Everton and it was a game we had to win. But on the night we crumbled when we needed to bee strong. We have not figured as a championship contender, just occasionally flattered, since that match.

Everton have had some serious flirtations with relegation over the last few years but David Moyes has ended the dismal run of failure and looks set to restore dominance to the blue half of Liverpool. They are certainly a more resilient side under Moyes so we shall have to be at our very best tomorrow (Saturday). They have made a brilliant find in Wayne Rooney, probably the best find since Liverpool unveiled Michael Owen. Rooney looks set to rewrite all the record books given thee breaks.

The Toffees, as they are popularly known, have only spent three seasons outside the top flight since the Football League was founded in September 1888. They were relegated to Division 2 at the end of season 1929-30 and only stayed downstairs for one season. They stayed in the top flight until the end of season 1950-51 but only needed two seasons to regain their position when they passed Liverpool, who had just been relegated for the first time in 49 years.

Everton once had a TV play devoted to one of its greatest players : Alex Young, who was christened 'The Golden Vision'. But good as the 1962-63 side was, I have always regarded the Everton Championship side of 19699-70 as the better one with that midfield of Ball, Harvey and Kendall. Much of the 1980s saw Kendall and Harvey in charge of Everton. Kendall, in fact, has had three spells in charge of Everton, the last of which saw Everton seriously threatened by the spectre of relegation.

Much will depend on Tottenham's defence. I suspect Pleat will probably adopt a 4-4-2 again as the defence may face a testing examination of its credentials. If Tottenham win, it will be more by good fortune, luck and poor shooting by Everton. Let's hope Tottenham's man marking, particularly in dead ball situations, is not faulty!



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