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Monday, June 15, 2009

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Spurs badge 1983-2006Image via Wikipedia

The Greatest EPL Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs is the one and only team in EPL that I always love and love to watch since I ever know live football in television in eighties. I could not remember why I love this team so much but the evidence I found from internet now days, confirm my stories to my friends and my children when they ask me why ‘TOT’ is my favorite team, not Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal likes other young people now days. I think you know my reason when you read all the history below.


Ossie Ardiles (1978-88, 311 appearances, 25 goals)
At a time when blockbusting foreign signings were as rare as pink-coloured football boots, Tottenham pulled off a sensational transfer coup by signing two stars of Argentina's victorious 1978 World Cup campaign. Ardiles arrived with fellow midfielder Ricky Villa in 1980, and fans were soon won over by his sublime skill and endless endeavour for such a short, slight player. He was part of the Spurs side that won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and, despite winning the trophy twice, will forever be a part of FA Cup history for his line in the team's Cup final song 'Ossie's Dream', in which he expressed his desire to win the Cup for 'Tottingham'. Returned to the club for an ill-fated spell as manager in the early 1990s, but his penchant for fielding five forwards saw him win just 20 of his 65 games in charge.

Danny Blanchflower (1954-64, 382 appearances, 21 goals)
If Nicholson is remembered as Tottenham's greatest boss, then Blanchflower is their greatest captain. The Ulsterman signed from Aston Villa for a huge £30,000 fee in 1954, and went on to lead the side to the double in 1961 as well as another FA Cup, the League Cup and the Cup Winner's Cup. Blanchflower, the pass-master of a fearsome midfield that also featured Dave Mackay and John White, was voted player of the year twice during his nine year at the club. His forthright persona saw him become a successful journalist after his playing days, and caused ITV bosses much embarrassment when he refused to appear on This Is Your Life, saying "Nobody is going to press gang me into anything".

Paul Gascoigne (1988-92, 112 appearances, 33 goals)
If anyone embodies the recent history of Tottenham Hotspur, it is Gascoigne. An absurdly gifted midfielder who entertained the White Hart Lane faithful and footballing world at large, his foolishness and self-destructive streak meant he would never achieve the heady heights his talent deserved. After his performance at the 1990 World Cup made a world star of 'Gazza', Spurs fans were treated to a further two years of his cheeky guile and limitless drive, which culminated in his stunning free-kick in the 3-1 FA Cup win over Arsenal, the first semi-final to be played at Wembley. Ecstasy turned to agony in the final, however, when a baffling loss of control saw him lunge wildly at several Nottingham Forest players before rupturing his cruciate ligament while fouling Gary Charles, an injury from which he never fully recovered. Countless words have been written on Gascoigne's subsequent agonising decline - on both a professional and personal level - but his four years at Spurs will forever be remembered as the golden era of a great talent.

Jimmy Greaves (1961-70, 379 appearances, 266 goals)
A phenomenal 220 goals in 321 appearances for Spurs and the league's top scorer on no less than six occasions are feats more than worthy of securing Greaves's status as an all-time Tottenham great - not to mention his brace in the 5-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the 1963 Cup Winner's Cup final. However, the most potent finisher of his generation was cruelly denied his place in England history. After picking up an injury in the early stages of the 1966 World Cup, England manager Alf Ramsey brought in Geoff Hurst and kept him in the side ahead of Greaves all the way to the final - where the West Ham forward scored a hat-trick to seal England's victory. After battling alcoholism for much of the 1970s, Greaves built a new career as the Pringle jumper-sporting light relief to smartly-dressed straight man Ian St John on the long-running football show 'Saint and Greavsie'.

Glenn Hoddle (1975-87, 490 appearances, 110 goals)
The most gifted English player of the decade, Hoddle's technical ability and vision saw him draw wide acclaim during his 12 years at the club. Despite his status as Spurs' highest England cap-winner - 44 international appearances while at the club - he was unfortunate not to earn twice as many in a career that saw him win two FA Cups and play a major part in the victorious 1984 UEFA Cup campaign, although he missed the two-legged final through injury. Netting 110 goals in 480 games for Spurs made him the heartbeat of the last era of greatness at the club, before he moved to Monaco under Arsene Wenger. His career as a manager is decidedly mixed. After winning Premier League promotion with Swindon Town and ushering in Chelsea's renaissance, his time in charge of England was cut short after controversial religious views led to his sacking after the 1998 World Cup. His return as Tottenham manager did not go the way fans had dreamed but his career as a player cannot be held in anything other than the highest regard.

Gary Lineker (1989-92, 138 appearances, 80 goals)
Football's Mr Nice, Lineker's career is defined as much by his predatory goal-poaching as his exemplary disciplinary record: he famously never picked up as much as a booking during his professional days. The former Everton striker arrived at Tottenham from Barcelona - where he won the Cup Winner's Cup under Johan Cruyff - in 1989, very much England's number one striker. His 67 league goals in three seasons helped fire Spurs to a third in his debut campaign and an FA Cup triumph the following year - including two goals in the 3-1 semi-final win over Arsenal. Retired after a spell in Japan as England's second-highest goalscorer. Now makes a living selling crisps and tolerating Mark Lawrenson.

Bill Nicholson (1938-54, 344 appearances, 6 goals)
Nicholson's real legendary status was cemented as the club's greatest manager: a league and Cup double and two European trophies were among his historic trophy haul. But he was also a distinguished player in his own right. As an 18-year-old right-half, Nicholson signed professional terms for his one and only club in 1936. Young enough to resume his career post-World War II, he played an integral part in the famous 'push and run' side that won the 1950-51 First Division title, a year after winning promotion as Second Division champions. Nicholson also scored on his England debut, a 5-2 win over Portugal, with his first touch, although it was the last time he represented his country. That the club's White Hart Lane stadium now stands on Bill Nicholson Way says it all.

Steve Perryman (1969-86, 854 appearances, 39 goals)
Not the most universally celebrated of players, but the versatile midfielder's 20-year tenure at the club straddles two its great eras. Signing professional terms in 1969, two years after joining as a trainee, Perryman won two UEFA Cups and two FA Cups in 854 appearances, as well as the Football Writer's player of the year award in 1982. A special place will always be reserved for Perryman in the hearts of Spurs fans on account of remaining with the club after relegation from the First Division in 1977, before playing a key part in their immediate return.



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