OK, seeing as we find ourselves in a new decade, (and still no flying cars, curse you Back to the Future films), and as I have a couple of hours left, before it’s home time, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the previous decade as a Spurs fan, in which we reached 3 League Cup Finals, the sort of success that say Everton would kill for, and in doing so, look at the team that we put out in our very first game in this decade, and indeed new century and millennium. Surely owing to our tradition and pedigree of beautiful football in the past century, we’d offer a first 11 of such dazzling flair, panache and integrity that the teams in the Premiership would just put their hands up, admit defeat and acknowledge that we’d pretty much clean up in the following decade…Hmmm, maybe not. In fact, it just goes to show how pessimistic I am and how bad we were back then that I was amazed that we started this decade with a win…against Liverpool!!! Yeah, alright I know these days that’s a given, and just about everyone from the Dog & Duck to Pompey are beating them, but I fully expected us to start the decade with a more befitting result, such as a 1-2 defeat at home to Bradford City. Anyway, onto the team:
Ian Walker: Our favourite floppy haired shot-stopper, an absolute trend setter, having a WAG before it became de rigueur, a great goalie on his day, just a shame that he’s more remembered for Zola’s goal at Wembley than he is for anything else. Stints at Leicester and Bolton followed, as well as his marriage falling apart.
Stephen Carr: Wanker
Chris Perry: Sort of a 2000 version of Michael Dawson (bless him), came from Wimbledon who he’d supported as a lad, and impressed so much that we spunked 4 million on him, a huge fee at the time. 120 appearances and 3 goals for the club, before suffering a slipped disc, and on his re-emergence finding himself way down the pecking order, behind Ledders and the defensive behemoth Anthony Gardner. Now at Southampton.
He who cannot be named: And I don’t mean Voldermort!!!! Broke all our hearts when he abandoned ship for the dark side. Currently…who cares???
Mauricio Tarrico: George Graham’s first signing. One of my favourite players at the time, he was a character, we loved him in the same way that Leicester fans used to love Savage, doing his all to piss off opposition players and supporters alike. 158 appearances and 4 goals in a 5 year stint, although he was seen by some as the epitome of a slippery cheating Argentinian, when he found himself injured 27 minutes into his debut for West Ham, and realising that his career was over, he offered to rip up his contract with the club. His then manager Alan Pardew said it was: “one of the most honest things he’s ever known a footballer to do”. Now assisting fellow ex-yid Gus Poyet at Brighton, and good luck to both of them.
Luke Young: Started his career at Tottenham, making over 50 appearances. A 6 year spell at Charlton followed, as well as a move to Boro, and is currently enjoying somewhat of a resurgence at a vibrant and fast flowing Villa side. Tragically lost his 17 year old brother this year and his retirement from international football was made public, after he rejected to reverse the decision he made earlier this year to play for England against Brazil, following an injury to Glen Johnson.
Tim Sherwood: Captained Blackburn to Premier League victory in 1995, before joining Spurs in Feb 99. Never a personal favourite to be honest, always found him a bit wooden, and seemed like a difficult character; and his bust up with Goddle, made sure that he was soon on his way out, moving down south to join Arry at Pompey. Pundit for ill fated Setanta Sports, the only other notable thing he’s done since leaving football is co-creating Icon magazine with Jamie Redknapp. Currently trying to whip our midfield into a formidable force as part of Arry’s staff..
Stephen Clemence: Son of absolute Spurs legend, Ray Clemence, career hampered by quite a few serious injuries. Never really got a consistent run, and remembered as quite an un-remarkable player. Has had operations in which the surgeon had to take the Achilles off the heel-bone, clean it and then sew it back on. He also shaved some of the bone off the heel. Blimey, that’s got to hurt!!!
David Ginola: What can I say about him that has not been said before: A beautiful player, a beautiful man, we loved him, he loved us, quoted as saying that “White Hart Lane was always a place where I felt I belonged”. Brief spells at Villa and Everton when he left us, never got the international recognition that he deserved, due to major twat Gerard Houllier blaming all of France’s woes on him. Has tried his hand at acting and wine making, and recently inducted into Spurs hall of fame. It’s fair to say that we’ve never really replaced him. One of the best to ever grace our hallowed turf.
Chris Armstrong: Scorer of the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute, his time at Spurs was not quite as successful as we’d all hoped, despite bagging 48 goals in just under 150 appearances. Maybe a tad too much expectation was thrust upon him as he was our record signing at the time, (he was also Palace’s record signing until as recently as 2006), but he never really did it for us fans. Retired after brief spells at Bolton and Wrexham with whom he started his career.
Steffen Iversen: Our poor man’s Solskjaer, is still as baby faced at 33 as he was when he first joined us at the tender age of 20. To be fair, I always really liked Iversen, he was a great poacher, scored a fair few goals for us (incuding 17 that season) and was with us for 7 years, so must’ve been doing something right. Still going strong for Rosenborg BK and Norway.
And that’s that. Not the greatest team we’ve ever had, but surely not the worst. A quite unremarkable mid table team, with a dodgy manager in charge (not much changed then), and a few remarkable results that year…Hang on a minute, that year we beat Liverpool, Arsenal and United…and beat Southampton 7-2!!! You hear that Lennon and Defoe!!!! Come back when you’ve achieved what messrs Iversen and Clemence have yeah?
Here’s to another decade of ups and downs as a Spurs fan. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. COYS!!!
P.S. If you are wondering what such luminaries as Mark Gower and Espen Baardsen are up to now, (and who amongst you isn’t), well fresh from warming our bench for that game, the former is at Swansea and the latter is currently a partner and fund manager for Eclectica Asset Management, a London based asset-management company.He is a frequent guest on the business television network, CNBC. Ooooh, get him, the big cheese.