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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Crystal Palace v Spurs, 28.03.98

"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published March 2018, but first written in 1998 by the late Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Crystal Palace

Prem           Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            3   0   2   1     2-3    2
Away            2   1   1   0     4-2    4
Total (Prem)    5   1   3   1     6-5    6
Div 1          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           10   5   3   2    16-8   13
Away           10   6   3   1    19-10  18
Total (Div 1)  20  11   6   3    35-18  31
Div 2          Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            1   0   1   0     2-2    1
Away            1   1   0   0     2-1    2
Total (Div 2)   2   1   1   0     4-3    3
Total (Prem)    5   1   3   1     6-5    6
Total (Div 1)  20  11   6   3    35-18  31
Total (Div 2)   2   1   1   0     4-3    3
Grand Total    27  13  10   4    45-26  40

THIS IS A MATCH WE MUST *NOT* LOSE! If we lose, we'll become the laughing stock of the Premiership for having lost a League match to a team that has yet to win at home this season.

Like ourselves, Palace have had their problems with injuries, but have managed to win five away games compared with our measly two. They have also gone for short-term buys to try to extract themselves from trouble. But Lombardo, their principle close season purchase, has spent much of the season on the side lines and has recently replaced Steve Coppell as Head Coach. But, unlike Gross, Lombardo has no previous managerial experience.

Palace have never established themselves as a first class club, unlike their tenants, Wimbledon. They have occasionally flattered to deceive and were once christened 'The Team of the '80s' before certain key personnel were sold.

Whilst Palace signed Sasha Curcic from Aston Villa on deadline day and allowed Neil Emblen, a summer purchase from Wolves, to return from Molineux, Tottenham's only activity was to allow Paul Mahorn to leave on a free transfer to Port Vale. It's a far cry from the days of sudden swoops for players like Dave Mackay and Martin Peters when we frequently set new standards for transfer fees.

Exactly who plays at Selhurst Park on Saturday depends on how many (if any) report injuries after returning from international duty. One assumes that Sol Campbell will be fit having spent England's match against Switzerland on the bench. But Calderwood, Vega and Nielsen were all playing for their respective countries.

I think the first half hour will be crucial to the outcome of the game. If we can survive that first half hour without conceding a goal, I feel sure that we can go on to win the match and claw ourselves closer to safety. But if we lose, then I think we will have to match championship form in order to stay up and I have my doubts about our ability to do so.

I hope Gross decides to play two up front in order to reduce the responsibility riding on Klinsmann's shoulders. It is now obvious that he has 'lost' that vital yard of pace he had three years ago. It is also obvious there is no one who can switch into the same wavelength as Sheringham did three years ago when they smashed and grabbed so many goals. Ginola is not included in that assessment purely because Ginola is not a team player but a maverick who plays and calls the shots as he sees them.

So, possibly a 3-0 win, if we can keep cool for the first half-hour, or gloom and doom and a massive feeling of depression when the result becomes known. I know what I'm *PRAYING* for!!!!!!!

fx : points prayer mat in south easterly direction.

Cheers, Brian

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