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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Sheffield United, 09.11.19

This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 12 2018-19

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Sheffield United

Prem          Pl   W   D   L  For-Ag  Pts
Home           3   2   1   0   6 -2    7
Away           3   0   1   2   3 -10   1
Total(Prem)    6   2   2   2   9 -12   8
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   32  22   6   4  72 -32  50
Away(Div 1)   32   6  11  15  46 -70  21
Total(Div 1)  64  28  17  19 118 -102 73
Home (Div 2)   6   2   3   1  17 - 9   7
Away (Div 2)   6   0   2   4   7 -15   2
Total(Div 2)  12   2   5   5  24 -24   9
Total(Prem)    6   2   2   2   9 -12   8
Total(Div 1)  64  28  17  19 118 -102 73
Total(Div 2)  12   2   5   5  24 -24   9
Grand Total   82  32  24  26 151 -138 90

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    LWLDLD
Leicester  2-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-1    S'hampton
Brighton   3-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-1    Watford
Liverpool  2-1    Spurs
Everton    1-1    Spurs

Sheff Utd  -    WLDWDW

Everton    0-2    Sheff Utd
Sheff Utd  0-1    Liverpool
Watford    0-0    Sheff Utd
Sheff Utd  1-0    Arsenal
West Ham   1-1    Sheff Utd
Sheff Utd  3-0    Burnley

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 6. Sheff Utd 11  4  4  3  12-8    4   16
11. Spurs     11  3  4  4  17-16   1   13

The "Blades" are coming! Handle with care!

Congratulations to Chris Wilder's Sheffield United who won their way back to the Premier League after a 12 year sojurn away from the top flight, which included 6 years in the third tier. The "Blades" were only promoted from League One two years ago, but emphatically as Champions and with 100 points. It took them just two seasons to secure top flight football once again. After a steady start to the season, United were in the top six from September onwards, and with only one defeat in their last 15 matches (which included a 1-0 away win against promotion favourites Leeds) they ended up six points clear of their Yorkshire rivals.

Wilder was born near Sheffield at Stocksbridge and played for United primarily in the late eighties, but also briefly in the late nineties. Wilder is a "Blade" through and through, and it is he who has led them back to the top flight. This will be only the fourth Premier League season for United, but they were one of the founding clubs of the Premier League. With Dave Bassett at the helm, they won their first game at home to Manchester United on August 15th 1992, and Brian Deane scored the very first Premier League goal. Deane got the second too, with Mark Hughes on the scoresheet for a United side who would go on to win the first of 13 Premier League titles. (City have a long way to go yet to match that record)

Sheffield United have a prominent place in our history of course, as the first competitive meeting between the two clubs was the 1901 FA Cup Final, which we won (after a replay) to become the first (and only) non-league club to win the trophy. William "Fatty" Foulke was the United keeper, who weighed in at 22 stones at one time in his career. United were a Division One side, while Spurs were in the Southern League. Having lost to Spurs United had to play two league games, and they would have been irked to lose their next game to their local rivals, who were then known simply as "The Wednesday".

The last league game between Spurs and Sheffield United was not a happy affair for Spurs. United were managed by Neil Warnock (another true United fan). That last game was played at Bramall Lane. Jermaine Jenas had got us off to a great start with a nicely chipped goal from a Robbie Keane pass, but we succumbed to goals by Hulse (a header from a corner) and Phil Jagielka, who scored from the spot after a foul by Teemu Tainio. In his long career Jagielka (now 37 - August 2019) has been a two club man. That 2006-07 season was his last for United for whom he was ever-present in his last three seasons in league games. Jagielka made 254 league appearances for Sheffield United and 322 in his 12 seasons at Everton. Jagielka returned to Sheffield Uunited on a free in the summer, but has made just three substitute appearances so far this season in League games.

Spurs finished fifth under Martin Jol in 2006-07, whilst United were relegated only as a result of a goal difference just one worse than Wigan. There had been controversy over West Ham's acquisition of Tevez and Mascherano, with Tevez having such an impact on West Ham's successful run-in. (Yes, this was also the year of that Stalteri moment!)

Spurs have played United since that lst league game in the 2015 League Cup semi-final, wich we won 3-2 on aggregate. Christian Eriksen was a two goal hero for us in the second leg played at Bramall Lane. Kyle Walker, who played in that game was born in Sheffield, and was signed by us from United before being loaned back in the 2009-10 season.

Sheffield United have put 6 goals past Spurs three times over the years, the last of which was a disgraceful 6-0 in March 1993. You have to go back to our promotion season of 1949-50 for Spurs' biggest win which was a 7-0 at The Lane with goals by Duquemin (2), Walters (3), and Medley (2).

Sheffield United are linked to another piece of famous Spurs history as their manager at the time - Harry Haslam - brokered the signing of Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa in 1978. United couldn't afford those two, and they were a Division Two side at the time. United did sign another Argentine - Alejandro Sabella - who had a couple of seasons at Bramall Lane, followed by one with Leeds, before he returned to South America.

The "Blades" have had an excellent start to the season and come to Tottenham in better form than Spurs, three points and five places better off. Spurs could go ahead of United with a win, but no team has beaten them by more than one gloal so far this season, and Spurs would need to win by two to leap above their opponents. Such an event would appear to be a tall order against a team that simply overwhelmed Burnley last week, scoring three first half goals. More significantly, Chris Wilder's team has beaten Arsenal 1-0 at home and (unlike us) managed to beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park. The "Blades" lost only 1-0 at home to Liverpool.

We must hope for a performance similar to that on Wednesday night in Belgrade. Many people hope for the same team to start. Certainly Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela are not ready yet, and we had news yesterday that Hugo Lloris has now had surgery on his elbow injury.

I suspect there will be some rotation by Mauricio Pochettino with regards to his defence, but I won't second guess his selection. I'd certainly like Lo Celso to start, and I'd stick with Sissoko and Ndombele behind the front four. I'm even predicting that 2-0 win that would take us above the dashing "Blades" on goal difference!

Match referee Graham Scott was not at all appreciated by Spurs fans in his last game in charge. This was the game against Southampton when Aurier was sent off after a second booking in only the 31st minute. The criticism of Mr. Scott was not so much with regards to the sending off of Aurer, who was reckless, but as a result of the general standard of refereeing. Mr Scott has shown 4 red cards (all for second bookable offences) in his last 9 games. Three of those have been this season, in his last 4 games.

"It was Twenty years ago today!" - On 7th November, 1999 we beat Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane, thanks to goals by Steffen Iversen and Tim Sherwood.

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