Thursday, September 20, 2007

History of Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

From formation to the first league title
In 1882 the Hotspur Football Club was formed by grammar school boys from the bible class at All Hallows Church. They were also members of Hotspur Cricket Club and it is thought that the name Hotspur was associated with Sir Henry Percy (Sir Harry Hotspur) who lived locally in the 14th century. The team later became Tottenham Hotspur to distinguish itself from another team called London Hotspur.

At first Spurs played in navy blue shirts. The club colours then varied from light blue and white halved jerseys, to red shirts and blue shorts, through chocolate brown and old gold and then finally, in the 1899-00 season, to white shirts and navy blue shorts as a tribute to Preston North End, the most successful team of the time.

In 1888 Tottenham moved their home fixtures from the River Lee marshes to Northumberland Park where the club was able to charge for spectator admission. They turned professional just before Christmas 1895 and were then admitted to the Southern League and attracted crowds nearing 15,000. Charles Roberts became chairman in 1898 and stayed in post until 1943.

In 1899 Spurs made their final ground move to a former market garden in nearby High Road, Tottenham. In time the ground became known as White Hart Lane, a local thoroughfare. Tottenham were the considerable beneficiaries of the escalating unionisation of the northern professional game in the 1890s. Both John Cameron and John Bell, formerly Everton players came to play for Tottenham as a result of the conflict caused by their organisation of the Association Footballers' Union, a forerunner of the Professional Footballers' Association. As a direct result of this in 1900, Tottenham won the Southern League title and crowned this achievement the next year by winning the FA Cup - becoming the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League.

Tottenham won election to the Second Division of the Football League for the 1908-09 season, immediately winning promotion as runners-up to the First Division. Their record between 1910 and the Great War was poor and when football was suspended at the end of the 1914-15 season, Tottenham were bottom of the league.

When football resumed in 1919, the First Division was expanded from 20 to 22 teams. The Football League extended one of the additional places to 19th-place Chelsea (who would have been relegated with Spurs for the 1915-1916 season) and the other to Arsenal. This promotion - Arsenal had finished only fifth in Division 2 the previous season - was controversial, and cemented a bitter rivaly (begun six years earlier, with Arsenal's relocation to Tottenham's hinterland) that continues to this day. Tottenham were Division Two Champions in 1919-20 and in the following year, on April 23, 1921, Spurs went all the way to their second FA Cup Final victory beating Wolves 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

After finishing second to Liverpool in the League in 1922, Spurs experienced a steady decline, culminating in 1928's relegation. Spurs were unable to advance beyond the quarter finals of the FA Cup, getting that far three years running 1935-1938. On September 3 1939, as Neville Chamberlain declared war, Spurs were seventh in the Second Division. League Football was abandoned for the "duration".

Following the war, football was an extremely popular interest attracting thousands of supporters each week-end. By 1949 Arthur Rowe was manager at the club and developed the “push and run” tactical style of play. This involved quickly laying the ball off to a team-mate and running past the marking tackler to collect the return pass. It proved an effective way to move the ball at pace with players' positions and responsibility being totally fluid. Rising to the top of the Second Division, Tottenham ran away with their first ever league title, winning the First Division Championship in 1951. Playing heroes included Alf Ramsey, Ronnie Burgess, Ted Ditchburn, Len Duquemin, Sonny Walters and Bill Nicholson.

The 1960s and 1970s
Nicholson had joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in 1936. The following 68 years saw him serve the club in every capacity from boot room to president. In his first game as manager on 11 October 1958, Spurs beat Everton 10-4. This was their record win at the time and a sign of things to come. He subsequently guided Tottenham to major trophy success three seasons in a row in the early 1960s: the double in 1961, the FA Cup and European Cup Semi-final in 1962, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963. Key players included Danny Blanchflower, John White, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones and Jimmy Greaves.

After 1964, the "Double" side began to disintegrate due to age, injuries and transfers. Nicholson rebuilt a second successful team with imports like Alan Gilzean, Mike England, Alan Mullery, Terry Venables, Joe Kinnear and Cyril Knowles. They beat Chelsea to win the 1967 FA Cup Final and finished third in the league.

Nicholson added the League Cup (1971 and 1973) and the UEFA Cup (1972) to Tottenham's illustrious history before he resigned at the start of the 1974-75 season due to both a poor start, and his disgust at seeing rioting fans in Rotterdam in a UEFA Cup final, which Spurs lost.

Nicholson had won 8 major trophies in 16 years and his spell in charge was without doubt the most glorious period in the club's history. However, what he left behind was an ageing squad and Spurs could no longer claim to be a true force in English football. Nicholson wished to select his replacement and lined up a 'dream team' of Johnny Giles and Danny Blanchflower to take over, but the Spurs board ignored his advice and appointed ex Arsenal player Terry Neill, who narrowly avoided relegation at the end of 1974-5. Never accepted by the fans, Neill left the club in 1976 and was replaced by his assistant Keith Burkinshaw that summer.

Tottenham slipped out of the First Division at the end of the 1976-77 season, after 27 years in the top flight. This was soon followed by the unwise sale of their Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Pat Jennings to arch rivals Arsenal, a move that shocked the club's fans and proved to be a serious error. Jennings played on for another eight years for Spurs' rivals, while Tottenham took until 1981 to replace him with a goalkeeper of genuine class in Ray Clemence from Liverpool.

Despite relegation, the board kept faith with Burkinshaw and the team immediately won promotion to the top flight. In the summer of 1978 Burkinshaw rocked the football world by signing two Argentinian World Cup stars Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa which was the kind of transfer coup never seen before in British football. But it took time for a new team to be forged into a successful unit.

The 1980s
It was not until 1981 that Burkinshaw was rewarded with a trophy - the FA Cup - by beating Manchester City 3-2 in a replay, with Ricky Villa scoring his memorable solo goal. Spurs retained the trophy the following year again after another replay, beating QPR. During this season the club chased four trophies and only a fixture pile up prevented a much closer challenge for the league title. At Easter, Spurs had games in hand which, if they had won, would have put them top ahead of Liverpool. But it was too much to ask and they had to settle for a fourth place finish.

Spurs reached the League Cup Final and were just 3 minutes away from victory before Liverpool equalised and then won in extra time. In the Cup Winners' Cup a disappointing semi-final with Barcelona was lost by a single goal in Spain, following a 1-1 draw at home.

Most neutrals agreed though Spurs deserved a trophy and, while the Cup Final was not the most exciting (Spurs were in fact holding on for the entire second half), it was a just reward. Key players in this successful Tottenham side included Steve Archibald, Garth Crooks, Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles, and Steve Perryman who, in 17 seasons, played 655 league games for Spurs. These players inspired Tottenham to UEFA Cup glory in 1984, but several weeks before this victory Burkinshaw announced he would be leaving at the end of that season. Hindsight shows that the failure to hold on to Burkinshaw was a major turning point in the club's history. He had won three trophies in four seasons with a brand of football not seen for many years. It is worth considering that prior to the 1984 UEFA Cup win, Spurs had won eleven major trophies - virtually one trophy every two seasons. This remains a prime reason why many still regard Spurs as a major club and why success is still expected by the fans.

The board initially approached Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson to succeed Burkinshaw and a deal came close to being signed, but when he opted to stay in Scotland the board turned to Burkinshaw's assistant, Peter Shreeves.

In 1982 the club was bought by Monte Carlo-based property tycoon Irving Scholar. He arrived in a boardroom which had seen just one or two proficient directors since the forties. The challenge for Scholar was to reinstate financial stability after the construction of the new West Stand which had almost bankrupted the club. Peter Shreeves was in charge for two seasons, achieving a third place finish in 1984-85 when Spurs were close contenders for the title all the way until Easter when a run of terrible home results ruined their chances. Shreeves lost his job after a slump in 1985-86.

Luton Town manager David Pleat was appointed the new manager, and for much of 1986-87 it looked as though it would be a very successful season. Playing with a five man midfield (Hoddle, Ardiles, Hodge, Allen, Waddle) supplying the prolific Clive Allen, Tottenham mounted a sustained challenge on all fronts. At one point in March, if they had won their remaining 13 matches, they would have claimed all domestic honours. As it was, they were defeated in an agonising League Cup semi final by rivals Arsenal.[1] After faltering at the final hurdle in the league, Spurs' hopes hinged on the FA Cup. Spurs had never before lost a domestic cup final while their opponents, Coventry, had never before even reached a Cup Final. Spurs were the favourites but suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of John Sillett's team. That a season of such splendid quality could produce no honours was hard to take for Spurs, but the future still looked bright.

However, as was to become a pattern in years to come, just when things appeared settled a 'banana skin' appeared. Pleat quit in October 1987 following allegations about his private life. He returned a decade later, but his short spell in charge was one of the great 'if only' stories in the club's history. Former Spurs player Terry Venables was named Pleat's successor, and after two league seasons, guided the club to third place in 1989-90 and an FA Cup win in 1991. The new-look Tottenham team included two players who starred in England's run to the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup – Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker.

Premier League
In 1990, a slump in the property market left chairman Scholar on the verge of bankruptcy. Venables joined forces with businessman Alan Sugar to take over Tottenham Hotspur PLC and pay off its £20 million debt, part of which involved the sale of Gascoigne. Venables became chief executive, with Shreeves again taking charge of first-team duties. His second spell as team manager lasted just one season, before he was dismissed in favour of joint coaches Ray Clemence and Doug Livermore. Tottenham's first Premier League season ended with a mid-table finish and Venables was removed from the club's board after a legal dispute with Sugar. Ossie Ardiles became the club's next manager in 1993.

Under Ardiles, Tottenham employed the Famous Five: Teddy Sheringham and Klinsmann up front, Nick Barmby just behind, Darren Anderton on the right and Dumitrescu on the left. Klinsmann was a sensation, scoring freely and becoming a firm fan favourite. Ultimately these expensive signings made little difference to Tottenham's form and Ardiles was sacked in September 1994.

During the 1994 close season, Tottenham was found guilty of making illegal payments to players and given one of the most severe punishments in English football history: a 12 point deduction, a one year FA Cup ban, and a £600,000 fine. Sugar protested and the Cup ban and points deduction were quashed.

Ardiles was replaced by Gerry Francis. He initially turned around the club's fortunes dramatically. Tottenham climbed to seventh in the league, and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, a mere 4-1 defeat against eventual winners, Everton, blocking them. Francis was unable to take the club forward from this point and his judgement in the transfer market was flawed.

1996-97 saw Tottenham finish in tenth place, and at the end of the season star striker Teddy Sheringham was sold to Manchester United after contract negotiations broke down. In November 1997, with Spurs second from bottom and in danger of relegation, Francis was sacked. Christian Gross, coach of Swiss champions Grasshoppers, was appointed. He failed to turn around the club's fortunes, however, and the team battled against the drop for the remainder of the campaign. Legendary striker J├╝rgen Klinsmann was re-signed in January, but initially failed to recreate the form of his first spell at the club. Four goals in a 6-2 win away to Wimbledon in the penultimate game of the season was, however, enough to secure survival.

Gross was sacked just three games into the following season, and George Graham was soon hired to take over. Despite heavy criticism from fans due to Graham's previous association with Arsenal, in his first season as Spurs manager the club secured a mid-table finish and won the League Cup. In the final against Leicester City at Wembley, full-back Justin Edinburgh was sent off after an altercation with Robbie Savage on the hour mark, but Spurs secured a dramatic victory through Allan Nielsen's diving header in the 93rd minute of the game. Spurs also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle after extra-time, after the referee had not given Spurs a definite penalty for handball in normal time. To cap a good season, star player David Ginola won both the PFA and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards.

However, another disappointing league finish followed in 1999-00. In 2001, Sugar's patience broke. He sold his controlling interest to ENIC Sports PLC, run by Daniel Levy.

Team management passed to Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle who took over in April 2001 with the team lying thirteenth in the table. His first game saw defeat to Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final. The club captain, Sol Campbell, defected to Arsenal on a Bosman free transfer that summer.

Hoddle turned to more experienced players in the shape of Teddy Sheringham, Gus Poyet and Christian Ziege for inspiration, and Spurs played some good football in the opening months of his management. Season 2001-02 saw Spurs finish in ninth place, as well as reaching the League Cup final, where they lost to Blackburn Rovers, having been the favourites after their 5-1 demolition of Chelsea in the previous round.

The only significant outlay prior to the following campaign was £7 million for Robbie Keane, who joined from Leeds United. 2002-03 started well, with Tottenham in the top six as late as early February. But with just seven points in the final 10 games, the club finished in tenth place. Several players publicly criticised Hoddle's management and communication skills. Six games into the 2003-04 season, Hoddle was sacked and David Pleat took over on a caretaker basis until a full-time successor could be found.

In May 2004, Tottenham signed French team manager Jacques Santini as head coach, with Martin Jol as his assistant and Frank Arnesen as Sporting Director. Santini quit the club in bizarre circumstances after just 13 games. He was replaced by Jol. The big Dutchman became a favourite with the passionate Spurs crowd and in his first season he almost managed to secure a European place. In the event, Spurs missed out on the final day of the season, and finished in ninth place. It was clear progress was being made. When Arnesen defected to Chelsea, Spurs appointed Damien Comolli as Sporting Director.

During 2005-06 Spurs spent six months in fourth place but ended fifth. Going into the final game of the season, they led rivals Arsenal by a point, but were forced to play their match at West Ham with a team suffering from an illness picked up the evening before. Spurs lost and were pipped to a Champions League place, but it was success nevertheless in gaining a place in the UEFA Cup.

Season 2006-07
For the 2006-2007 season, Tottenham changed kit sponsors to PUMA and shirt advertisers to Mansion.[2] Spurs home shirt saw the removal of the blue shoulders, with the away kit changing from cyan shorts to navy shorts, and the alternate kit changing from yellow to chocolate brown. Spurs wore an 'all-white' kit where possible for European fixtures, continuing a long-standing tradition. A notable signing was Dimitar Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen.

The season began with Jol losing holding midfielder Michael Carrick to Manchester United and club captain Ledley King to injury for the best part of the season. The acquisition of Pascal Chimbonda, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Didier Zokora, Berbatov and Steed Malbranque essentially meant a new side had to gel.

2006-07 was marred by injuries, particularly in defensive areas with Ledley King, Paul Stalteri, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Young-Pyo Lee, Anthony Gardner, Jermaine Jenas, Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio all suffering long-term injuries while Didier Zokora, Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon all suffered injuries causing Jol to rarely have a settled XI to pick for a extended periods.

Premiership form in the first half of the season was erratic, although there was a rare home win over reigning-champions Chelsea in November. Away form was poor during the first half of the season but saw a vast improvement in the second half with just two away losses from January to the end of the season and just one defeat in their final six away games, against Chelsea just 36 hours after playing a UEFA Cup tie in Spain.

The improvement in Spurs' away form, good home performances and an excellent late season lifted Spurs into fifth position in the final table and therefore into the UEFA Cup for the second year running. Tottenham show definite signs of attractive and effective football as Martin Jol makes his mark on the squad. Spurs reached the FA Cup quarter-final round but lost to Chelsea 1-2 having drawn 3-3 away. The League Cup run took them to the semi-finals, where they faced Arsenal. The home leg ended 2-2, but hopes of glory ended in the away leg losing 3-1 in extra time. In the UEFA Cup, Tottenham progressed to the quarter-finals, where they faced the cup holders and eventual winners Sevilla in the quarter finals, and were eliminated from the competition 4-3 on aggregate (2-1 away and 2-2 at home).

The highly effective Berbatov-Keane strike partnership was rewarded when they were named joint Player of the Month for April, a rare occurrence in the history of the award.

Season 2007-08
Tottenham completed their first signing prior to the 2007-08 season buying the highly-rated 17 year old left back Gareth Bale from Southampton for an initial fee of £5 million which may rise to £10 million, depending on his and the team's performances. Robbie Keane was rewarded on May 28, 2007 with a new five year contract with the club until 2012. Spurs also completed the signing of Adel Taarabt on a permanent basis following his loan from RC Lens. The fee was undisclosed. On 8 June Spurs signed defender Yuri Berchiche from Athletic Bilbao, who will be part of the Spurs Academy. On June 29, Spurs signed England forward Darren Bent, from Charlton Athletic, for the reported fee of £16.5 million (a club record) to be paid over a period of three years. Another major signing was French central defender and Under-21 captain Younes Kaboul from AJ Auxerre for a fee believed to be about £8 million. On 25 July Spurs announced the signing of 17 year old midfielder Danny Rose from Leeds United.[3] German midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng joined from Hertha BSC Berlin on 31 July 2007 for an undisclosed fee.

For this season, Tottenham will be playing in an all-white kit for the first time since the 1980s, as opposed to having navy blue shorts. The away kit is all navy blue, while the third kit is all yellow. There is also a shirt to celebrate the club's 125th anniversary, which is white and sky blue halves, and this will only be worn for one game, against Aston Villa F.C at home on October 1st 2007.

Regardless of their ambitious off-season transfers their season started in disappointing fashion, with the club near the relegation zone, and a defeat at home to rivals Arsena

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