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Preview Pack - Cardiff v Spurs - 07.01.07

Our last meeting with Cardiff
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Spurs Cup Record against Cardiff


Year     Rd     Score    Scorers
1921-22  Q-F(A)  1-1     Seed
1921-22  Q-F(H)  2-1     Wilson, Dimmock
1922-23   3 (A)  3-2     Seed, Lindsay, Handley
1976-77   3 (A)  0-1     -


2002-03   2 (H)  1-0     Sheringham

First and foremost, we Spurs fans must give a nod of acknowledgement of Cardiff's place in FA Cup history. The "Bluebirds" were the first and only ever team from outside England to win the Cup, and moreover, they beat our arch-enemies - Arsenal 1-0 to take the trophy back to Cardiff! Cardiff's visit to Wembley was not a one-off either, as they had finished runners-up to Sheffield United in the 1925 Final.

Like many clubs (including Spurs), Cardiff were borne out of a cricket club, established in 1899, turning professional in 1910. It was 10 years later that they were elected to Division Two, and the next year saw them in the First Division, where they played for 8 years, being relegated one year after Spurs in 1929. In their first season in the first division, Cardiff finished 4th - just three points behind Spurs.

In that 1921-22 season, Spurs had a run of 14 successive home wins in all competitions - a record that we just failed to beat this season. We played Cardiff four times that season too, completing a League double over them, and also knocking them out of the FA Cup in a quarter final replay. Spurs goals were scored by Charlie Wilson and Jimmy Dimmock.

Cardiff did not return to the top flight until 1952, spent three years back in the second division and their final two years in Division One between 1960 and 1962, during which time Spurs of course won the famous Double.

The two teams have met just five times down the years in Cup Competition. The last meeting was only 4 years ago, at White Hart Lane, when we beat the visitors by a solitary goal, scored by Teddy Sheringham - on his second stay at Spurs. The full match report can be read here To the best of my knowledge, the only surviving players from both squads that day are 28 year old Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Alexander, and our own Robbie Keane, who was in his first season at White Hart Lane.

Sadly, I do remember that an element of the Cardiff support lived up to its bad reputation, and the police were very active up and down the Tottenham High Road. There had been some ugly crowd scenes at Ninian Park in the previous year, after Cardiff had famously knocked a strong Leeds side out of the FA Cup.

Cardiff will no doubt seek to make capital out of the fact that the last time we met them in this competition (at Ninian Park in 1977), they beat us in the Third Round. This was our relegation season, and the two teams met the following year in the League.

The Cardiff fans will not be in the best of spirits for this game. Of course they will be smelling the blood of a Premiership scalp, remembering that last year at this stage, in front of the Television cameras, Spurs were knocked out by Leicester.

However, things are not too rosy in this corner of Wales at present. Former owner Sam Hamman (he of Wimbledone fame) has left with his tail between his legs, having considerable debt discharged. Would you believe the current Chairman of Cardiff is Peter Ridsdale, who will remember all too well, what it was like when Leeds lost at Cardiff 5 years ago.

There will be some discontent at present due to Cardiff's Championship position of 8th, after they had been flying at the head of the table until 25th November. That's when Cardiff drew against Sheffield Wednesday, and they have drawn 6 and lost 2 of their 8 games since. Hence the slide. Manager Dave Jones is desperately seeking re-inforcements during the transfer window, but recognises that plenty of his peers in the Division are doing the same.

Jones has some recognised names amongst his squad, including skipper Darren Purse (formerly of Birmingham and West Brom), Riccardo Scimeca (once of Villa, and more recently at West Brom), Stephen McPhail (ex-Leeds and Barnsley), and strikers Michael Chopra and veteran ex-gooner Kevin Campbell, now in his twentieth season in Professional football. Cardiff also have the diminutive full back, Alan Wright on loan from Sheffield United.

This FA Cup tie in front of a horde of passionate home fans will give Jones' squad a chance to build their confidence for the remainder of their campaign to win back a top flight place for the first time in 45 years. Spurs (for reasons of safety) have taken a reduced allocation, but the 2000 Spurs contingent will be hard pushed to be heard, I suspect. (We'll try hard, don't you worry!)

As I write, team news is sparse, but I do wonder if the likes of Ledley King and Aaron Lennon will be risked (if fit of course)for this game, when the team that played at Pompey should be able to do a job here. It would be no surprise if Cardiff did force a replay (thus adding to Spurs growing chaotic fixture list), but I'll take us to do the job first time round - 2-0.

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