Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey match preview - Zimbru Chisinau v Spurs, 30.09.99
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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Zimbru Chisinau v Spurs,30.09.99

This season's home game - Spurs 3 Zimbru Chisinau 0, 16.09.99
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This preview was written by Brian Judson

Our record in Europe :-



European Cup Pl W D L For-Ag
        Home 4  3 1 0  15-4 
        Away 4  1 0 3   3-13 
============================
Total(European Cup)
             8  4 1 3  18-17
============================
European Cup-Winners Cup
       Home 16 13 3 0  42-12 
       Away 16  6 2 8  18-21
Final     N  1  1 0 0   5-1
=============================
Total (European C-W C)
            33 20 5 8  65-34
=============================
UEFA Cup
       Home 28 22 5 1  84-13
       Away 27 11 8 8  50-27
=============================
Total (UEFA Cup)
            55 33 13 9 134-40
==============================
Total (European Cup)
             8  4  1 3 18-17
Total (European C-W C)
            33 20  5 8 65-34
Total (UEFA Cup)
            54 32 13 9 131-40
==============================
Grand Total
            96 57 19 20 217-91
==============================

Tottenham take a step into unknown and uncharted territory when they play the second leg of their UEFA Cup tie against Zimbru Chisinau from Moldova. In these days of rapidly changing boundaries and nationalities, I would be extremely hard put to find them in any atlas of the world. Certainly the one I have in my possession doesn't provide much help!

As Tottenham have the advantage of a 3-0 lead from the first leg of this tie, it should, in theory, be sufficient to take us through to the next round of the Cup. Certainly if we can score at least once on Thursday night, that will mean our hosts will have to score five to beat us on aggregate. Even Tottenham won't be so generous as to gift goals like that, surely .........

I thought that, to prevent complacency, I would have a look at ties where one or the other team had won an advantage in the first leg but collapsed in the second in ties involving us.

Our very first tie in Europe was a classic example. Spurs were drawn against the Polish champions, Gornik Zabzre. In those days, the clubs were left to make their own arrangements to play the ties and not all matches were played on the same dates. We flew out to Poland for the first match. Late in the game, we were 0-4 in arrears and looking down and out. Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson scored two late goals to reduce the arrears.

In the week between the two matches of the tie, a lot of criticism appeared in the Polish press suggesting that Tottenham had set out to intimidate and physically abuse the Polish team. This enraged the Tottenham fans. Half an hour before the home game started, the crowd were singing so loudly I am told the roar could be clearly heard in Walthamstow. What it must have sounded like in the Polish dressing room can only be imagined. Certainly the Poles were a beaten side before they even emerged from the dressing room. Cliff Jones scored 3, Bobby Smith 2, Blanchflower scored a penalty and Terry Dyson and John White completed the scoring.

A similar story lay behind the tie that Tottenham had with Dukla Prague two rounds later. We played very poorly in Prague and were fortunate we only lost 1-0. But in the return match, played on a Monday night on a snowbound pitch, Dave Mackay, playing in the number 10 shirt as Jimmy Greaves was not eligible to play, scored twice and Bobby Smith scored twice. It was a terrific performance on a very hard pitch.

In our first venture into the European Cup-Winners Cup, we lost 2-0 in the first leg of our tie against Slovan Bratislava. Again, we played very poorly. If I correctly recall, I remember Bill Nicholson was very caustic about our poor display and criticised the attitude of our players. But, of course, Bill was playing mind games with his team because he knew his public criticism would fire the players up. Spurs grabbed a very early goal in the second leg, which was played on a terrible pitch because of heavy downpours of rain. Greaves scored 2, with Mackay, White, Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones completing the scoring. I remember the rotund Smith frightened the living daylights out of the Czech goalkeeper, who was responsible for some of the errors they made that night.

The following season, as Spurs prepared to defend the Cup, they were drawn against Manchester United, who had won the FA Cup the previous May. The match was fogged off on the date it was originally supposed to be played when a pea souper descended over the ground in thirty seconds flat after the teams had come out to warm up. The club had to send someone out to tell Bill Brown the game had been abandoned. The following week, Spurs won 2-0, thanks to goals by Mackay and Dyson but Spurs lost the tie after Mackay sustained the first of his two broken legs in an era when substitutes were not permitted. We lost 1-4 with Greaves scoring our only goal on the night.

I will, however, pass over the events of the match against Olympique Lyonnaise as I have absolutely no wish to recall the events of this tie from season 1967-68.

In September 1991, we were drawn against Hadjuk Split for the second time in the Cup Winners' Cup and the third time in all, having previously played them in 1967-68. The first leg was played in Linz (Austria) because of the problems of the former Yugoslavia which was in the middle of a civil war that had its roots in the 13th Century. We lost the first leg 1-0 but goals by David Tuttle, now with Huddersfield Town, and 'Juke Box' Durie enabled us to win the tie. As I recall the evening, we didn't look very convincing at all. Perhaps that may have been due to the diffident attitude of Peter Shreeve who was not entirely master of his own house with Venables looking over his shoulder as he played out his Walter Mitty dreams of being the J R Ewing of football .....

Spurs had no problems during their march to success in the first UEFA Cup during season 1971-72. But they had contrasting experiences in trying to defend their title the following season. They reached the Fourth Round where they were then opposed by a Portuguese club called Vitoria Setubal. We won the home leg 1-0 (Ray Evans scoring) but lost the away leg 2-1 (Chivers scoring the all important away goal enabling us to qualify for the tie against Liverpool).

I remember that Semi-Final very well. We lost at Anfield 1-0 but two goals by Martin Peters dragged us back into the game only for us to concede a goal by Liverpool late in the match.

In 1983-84, we were drawn against Bayern Munich. We had played them ten years earlier when they had provided the opposition for Phil Beal's testimonial. The Bavarian team won the first leg 1-0 but goals by Steve Archibald and Mark Falco turned the tables on the better team.

Later in the season, we played Hadjuk Split. We lost the first leg of the semi-final, 2-1, Mark Falco scoring the vital goal in Split. Micky Hazard's goal in the return game ensured we progressed to the Final, which we won in rather dramatic fashion as most of us will recall.

The last occasion in which we saw a tie see-saw in the UEFA Cup was against FC Bruges in the Second Round of the 1984-85 competition. We lost the away leg 2-1, Clive Allen grabbing the vital goal, but went on to win the second leg, 3-0, thanks to goals by Hazard, Allen and Roberts.

So there we are. We may be 3-0 up from the first leg but we cannot relax yet. To those who are travelling to see us play in Moldova we hope you will tell us what it was like. But for many of us we will only be able to see the match courtesy of Eurosport. I suspect many people will find an excuse to leave their offices early on Thursday while I will certainly have an earlier tea than usual ......

And my prediction? I think we will see Spurs under the cosh in the first half on Thursday night but then Steffan Iversen or Oyvind Leonhardsen will score a vital second half goal to ensure either a 1-0 or a 1-1 draw on the night. But patience above all is the key to eventual success .......

Cheers, Brian

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