· See the current injury list for all Premiership Teams
With thanks to Declan Mulcahy for some of the facts and figures featured in this preview:-
Full List of Results
Spurs v Port Vale
Season Div H A
1919-20 2 W 2-0 W 1-0
1928-29 2 W 4-2 L 1-2
1930-31 2 W 5-0 L 0-3
1931-32 2 W 9-3 W 3-1
1932-33 2 W 4-0 D 1-1
1935-36 2 W 5-2 W 5-1
FA Cup Rd H A
1954-55 4 W 4-2
1987-88 4 L 1-2
Spurs have a better home record against Port Vale than any other team.
They have played six league games and one FA Cup game at home to Port Vale winning all seven and scoring 33 goals in the process. Port Vale are the only team that they have played five or more times at White Hart Lane and won every game. The seven games all occurred a long time ago. The six league games took place between 1920 and 1936. The FA Cup game was during the 1954-55 season. In November 1931 Spurs scored nine goals for the first time beating Port Vale 9-3.
Spurs have never met Port Vale in the League Cup. The two clubs last met famously on 30th January, 1988 at Port Vale's Vale Park ground, in front of 20,045 fans. At the time, Port Vale, managed by John Rudge (who managed the club until 1999) were 18th in the old Division Three, the equivalent of "League One" in today's terms. Spurs were 11th in Division One, and had beaten Oldham 4-2 away in the third round. Port Vale, of course, had to start their campaign from the First Round, beating Tranmere, Notts County and Macclesfield, before facing Tottenham. It is amazing to think that Rudge nearly got the sack, until Vale made progress in the Cup competition, but was to become their longest serving manager.
The Port Vale goal-scoring heroes on that day were Ray Walker and Phil Sproson, with the goals coming in the first 25 minutes. Neil Ruddock scored for Spurs in the second half, but the home side kept the upper hand on what was described as a mud bath.
The teams that day were:-
Mark Grew, Kevin Steggles, Darren Hughes, Ray Walker, Bob Hazell, Phil Sproson, Gary Ford, Robbie Earle, David Riley, Darren Beckford (sub Finney), Michael Cole.
Tony Parks, Chris Hughton (sub Howells), Mitchell Thomas, Neil Ruddock, Chris Fairclough, Gary Mabbutt, Clive Allen, Paul Allen, Chris Waddle, Terry Fenwick, Paul Moran.
Port Vale's Robbie Earle was indeed the same player who transferred to Wimbledon in 1991, now working on ITV as a pundit. Phil Sproson was the nephew of Roy Sproson, who played and managed at Port Vale, but passed away in 1997, aged just 67.
Port Vale have never played in the top flight. The year before Spurs knocked them out of the FA Cup in 1955, Vale had acheived their best ever progress in the FA Cup, when they made the semi-finals, whilst in the old Third Division.
Port Vale are currently sitting thirteenth in League One, and are managed by former player Martin Foyle, who scored 66 league goals for the club in 222 appearances. Robbie Williams is a famous fan. The "Valiants" have not won for 6 games, when they beat Tranmere 2-1 away. Vale saw off Norwich in the last round, after a penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 draw. This is the furthest the club have progressed in this competition. In earlier rounds, Port Vale were conquerors of Preston North End, and QPR, so they are not to be taken lightly.
Port Vale's top scorer this season is 28 year old Leon Constantine, with 9 from 17 games. Akpo Sodje has weighed in with another 4, but otherwise the goals have been spread around the side.
Anthony Gardner has been relishing this game of course, as he was brought as a youngster by Spurs from Port Vale as a 19 year old in 1999. Assuming that Martin Jol would have played something resembling the team that beat Milton Keynes 5-0, Gardner would have been assured of a start, and may even have been Captain for the occasion. However, I understand that unfortunately Gardner is injured. The Spurs team is likely to be radically different from that which beat Chelsea on Sunday, with several first teamers needing a rest, and one or two nursing injuries that need recovery time, before Sunday's test at Reading.
There may be room for a surprise name or two, as Paul Stalteri and Calum Davenport are injured, although Young-Pyo Lee is set to start. Steed Malbranque is going to make his Spurs debut, and I would expect Mido and Defoe to get the nod to start this one. Dorian Dervite, Charlie Lee and Andy Barcham are also in the squad. A possible starting line-up will be Cerny; Ifil, Dawson, Dervite, Y-P Lee; Murphy, Huddlestone, Davids, Malbranque; Mido, Defoe.
There will be 2,900 "Valiants" fans cheering on their team, and the ground is not likely to be full, so it will be a different test for Tottenham, who will be keen to progress to the Fifth Round being played in the week before Christmas. I fancy that whatever team we put out will do the job comfortably.
Top of page | Index to 2006-7 Match Reports