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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Wimbledon v Spurs, 15.08.98

This article was written by Brian Judson

Full League Record of Spurs v Wimbledon





Premier       Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           6   2   3   1     6-5    9
Away           6   3   1   2    11-7   10
==========================================
Total (Prem)  12   5   4   3    17-12  19
==========================================
Football Lge   
Home (Div 1)   6   3   0   3    11-12   9
Away (Div 1)   6   2   1   3    10-15   7
==========================================
Total (Div 1) 12   5   1   6    21-27  16
==========================================
Total (Prem)  12   5   4   3    17-12  19 
Total (Div 1) 12   5   1   6    21-27  16
==========================================
Grand Total   24  10   5   9    38-39  35
===========================================

Although I will not be attending matches at White Hart Lane this season, I hope to provide previews of matches during the season, reflecting on times past and so on.

Unlike a certain North London club who would very much like us to think they have never been relegated from the top Division, Wimbledon are the only club in the Greater London area who can quite genuinely claim to be *THE* only club never to have been relegated from the top Division. Every year the critics predict their impending doom and every year the critics have ended up with egg on their face. Until now. But whether Wimbledon, the only club not to have bought any players, can continue to survive with the lowest attendances and the smallest squad will only be discovered over the next 38 League matches.

Spurs and Wimbledon have had some bone-jarring crushers over the years. Both Gary Stevens and Gary Mabbutt were on the wrong end of a Wimbledon tackle that may or may not have been deliberate. Stevens was suffered a number of bad injuries over the years culminating in one horrific tackle from Vinnie Jones. Stevens fought back to fitness but was never the same player again and eventually left for Portsmouth, where a further injury ended his career.

Mabbutt was elbowed in the face by Fashanu, who claimed it was an accident. The replays looked fairly conclusive to me at the time. Both clubs have to perform much better this season if they are to avoid the whirlpool at the bottom of the table. Both teams have struggled in recent seasons and both can claim to have been bothered by injuries in recent years.

Bias apart, Spurs *ought* to do a lot better this season. They were the first club to resume training barely a week after the World Cup had started. Much emphasis has been placed on stamina and endurance. They can also welcome back a fully-fit Darren Anderton and a fully-fit Les Ferdinand. Steffen Iversen is close to full fitness. The return of these players should equate to at least two signings to strengthen Tottenham.

One of the factors in Tottenham's survival was the power of Klinsmann's motivation. Having achieved just about winning everything going during his career, Klinsmann did not have to come back to Tottenham. But he worked hard to save a club that resurrected his career during the 1994-95 season when he looked as if he was going nowhere at the start of it. The question now is : post-Klinsmann, who will motivate Tottenham?

Wimbledon, of course, will continue to be party-poopers. I suspect they will finish in mid-table and may well have a good cup run. They must make sure they are able to keep Joe Kinnear at Wimbledon because it is difficult to see how they can find anyone as shrewd and 'right' for Wimbledon as Kinnear has been.

I don't think it will be 6-2 at Selhurst this Saturday but I think we may win 2-0. A lot depends on us settling quickly. If we can nick an early goal, I think we will win. But if Wimbledon score early, I can visualise us crumbling quite easily, particularly if Calderwood mis-times his back passes. Cheers, Brian

PS Could someone going on Saturday please post a quiet, thoughtful and reflective report of the game?

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24 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

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