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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Wimbledon, 16.01.1999

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           7   3   1   3    12-10  10
==========================================
Total (Prem)  13   5   4   4    18-15  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)  13   5   4   4    18-15  19
Total (Div 1) 12   5   1   6    21-27  16
==========================================
Grand Total   25  10   5  10    39-42  35
===========================================

This weekend sees the first of a series of matches involving Tottenham and Wimbledon. Some spice has been added by the sensational 7.5M ukp transfer of John Hartson, the former Gooner, from West Ham United to Wimbledon. Hartson is expected to make his debut for Wimbledon tomorrow at some stage of the match but he will not be able to play in either cup tie as he is not qualified to do so on time grounds alone.

These matches have always been hard. Wimbledon seem to win as often as Tottenham do in these fixtures. In the early days, Spurs found it very difficult to beat Wimbledon at Tottenham, principally because of the scatter gun approach of Vinnie Jones in his tackling. Gary Stevens, for one, was a broken leg victim in this fixture in 1988-89.

When they first reached the top Division at the start of the 1986-87 season, they had a reputation for route 1 football and strongarm tactics. They now have a more sophisticated brand of football and are not as bad as they were with the more physical side of football. Yet, despite this, Wimbledon are usually one of the teams tipped for relegation simply because they are not a rich club and do not have a ground with a Grade 'A' qualification at which they can play their home games. They continue to defy the odds and are, currently, placed 6th in the table and looking likely to qualify for European competition for the first time. (On the occasion they won the FA Cup in 1988 English clubs were banned from Europe because of Heysel.)

I first remember Wimbledon as a club playing in the Isthmian League and winning the FA Amateur Cup in the 1960s. They later joined the Southern League which they quickly proceeded to dominate. They were eventually elected to the Football League in the summer of 1977 when Workington Town were voted out of the League. Their rise to the top tier of football has been quite progressive. Unfortunately, the London Borough of Merton has not helped Wimbledon in their quest for a new ground. They considered moving to Dublin but FIFA and the IFA and FAI all blocked that particular idea.

It will be a very close game tomorrow and I suspect there will only be one goal in it. I also suspect it will not take John Hartson very long to chalk up his first booking for Wimbledon : in fact, I would not be surprised if he were to be dismissed for an early bath!

Cheers, Brian

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