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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Nottingham Forest, 24.09.14

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Spurs' Cup Record v Nottingham Forest


Season  Rd   H/A   Result

66-67   S-F   N    W 2-1
70-71    5    H    W 2-1
74-74    3    A    D 1-1
74-75    3R   H    L 0-1
90-91    F    W    W 2-1
95-96    5    A    D 2-2
95-96    5R   H    D 1-1
Forest won 3-1 pens
04-05    5    H    D 1-1
04-05    5(R) A    W 3-0


81-81   Q-F   H    W 1-0
89-90   Q-F   A    D 2-2
89-90   Q-FR  H    L 2-3
91-92   S-F1  A    D 1-1
91-92   S-F2  H    L 1-2 (a.e.t)
92-93    4    A    L 0-2

Here comes passion!

It is 15 years since Nottingham Forest graced the Premier League, and nearly 10 years since we last met them in an official game.

It is also 10 years since Forest's legendary manager Brian Clough passed away. This event is, of course, being commemorated by Forest (whose fans will wear replica green tops, as worn by Clough), and by Derby County. Those two teams, famously and gloriously led by Clough recently met in a fiery derby match at The City Ground in a game which finished 1-1. It is also 10 years since we lost Bill Nicholson. I believe the club will officially be commemorating that sad occasion near the actual anniversary in October, when we host Newcastle.

The two most famous meetings between Spurs and Forest occurred in the FA Cup. One was of course the Final in 1991 at Wembley. This was the last FA Cup Final in which either team have competed. It is a blot on our record that I would like to see eradicated this season, although Forest's priority will be to gain promotion back to the top tier.

Spurs, of course, won that 91 Final, which will be remembered for Paul Gascoigne (who more or less got us to Wembley) being stretchered off, rather than being sent off for his outrageous tackle on Gary Charles. Brian Clough was to fail in the quest for the one domestic trophy which had eluded him - The FA Cup.

The other most famous meeting was in the 1967 FA Cup semi-final, which we won 2-1 with goals from Jimmy Greaves and Frank Saul. Dave Mackay, who captained Spurs that day, and lifted the trophy was briefly in charge at Forest, before he succeeded Brian Clough as manager at Derby. Mackay had been signed at Derby by Clough and had led "The Rams" to League Titles as player and manager.

When you consider the success that both Derby and Forest had under Clough, and look at their lack of success for so many years now, it says so much for the abilities of Clough, not forgetting his managerial partner Peter Taylor.

So, here come Nottingham Forest, twice European Champions, now led again for Stuart Pearce, whose passion for the game has never been doubted. That clenched fist image of Pearce at Wembley in Euro '96, when he scored that penalty against Spain in the shoot-out stays with me.

Forest have made a great start to the season. They are unbeaten in all games they have played, which includes two League Cup wins, over Blackpool and Huddersfield. Unsurprisingly, they are top of the Championship.

Both teams will have more than half an eye on their coming fixtures on Saturday, with Spurs playing Arsenal away, and Forest playing Brighton at home. For Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of resources at his disposal. How Stuart Pearce treats this game remains to be seen. There is no doubt whoever he picks will be required to give maximum effort, which is not what we saw from Spurs on Sunday. The Spurs team could do with not a little of the passion that Pearce used to display on the pitch.

The Forest squad will no doubt include recent signing from Peterborough Britt Assombalonga, who is their top scorer with 8 league goals, and Michail Antonio, signed from Sheffield Wednesday, who has also scored 4 in the league. Former Arsenal trainee Henri Lansbury is in his third season at Forest now, and scored in their win at Huddersfield in the last round.

Former Spur Andy Reid would, I am sure, have had a popular reception, but sadly he will be absent through injury. Pearce will also be missing his Captain Chris Cohen, Jack Hobbs, Jack Hunt and Matty Fryatt. Andy Reid joined Spurs at the end of the January transfer window in 2005, with Michael Dawson, but he only made 20 league appearances for us before moving to Charlton. Reid is now 32, and is in his fourth season back with Forest, where he is ever popular.

We haven't met Forest in the League Cup for over 20 years. Our last meeting was an FA Cup 5th Round replay at The City Ground, which we won 3-0, with goals from Pamarot, Keane and Mido.

It has been suggested that Pochettino will again make a raft of changes for this game. Perhaps goalkeeper Michel Vorm will make his debut. Vertonghen, Naughton and Bentaleb were unused subs on Sunday, and may play a part. I think I'd prefer Vertonghen to be kept for Sunday, and let Chiriches "drop" to this level. Townsend is also available, having recovered from his "dead leg" suffered in Belgrade.

It's almost hopeless to try and predict the Spurs team, but I am assuming Naughton, Davies, Bentaleb, Townsend and Lennon will start. Players such as Paulinho and Soldado need a confidence boost, and, if fit, Harry Kane should feature here.

I don't think we are going to find it easy, but I'll take Spurs to win, perhaps by two clear goals. The match referee will be Andre Marriner. he's not one of our favourites (who is!), but last time out, he officiated when we beat Stoke 1-0 maway in April.

P.S. - I don't think we have ever started our League Cup campaign after Manchester United have finished theirs!

10 years ago on September 22nd, we beat Oldham 6-0 in the second round of the League Cup

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