Lilywhite Riot!

Some would see February 2001 as a bleak twenty-eight day stretch for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Not only was it the month ENIC were confirmed as our new owners, it was also the last time we tasted a home defeat at the hands of Leeds United, with George Graham’s Tottenham going down 1-2 to David O’Leary’s ‘young boys’.

Leeds made the Champions League semi-finals that season, their rise aided by big money signings which included Rio Ferdinand for £18m and Robbie Keane for £12m, splashing out £30.75 million net at a time when you would have to tot up roughly four seasons’ worth of splurging by Sugar to match their outlay that summer alone. In that respect, ENIC did not come in promising change.

Like Newcastle around the same time (who were just re-establishing themselves under Sir Bobby Robson following Ruud Gullit’s failed reign) if someone had offered me the chance to swap Tottenham’s immediate prospects for Leeds United’s, I’d have jumped at the chance.

In all competitions, that 1-2 at The Lane was their fifth straight win over us, a run they extended the following season when we traveled to Elland Road in November 2001 and went down 2-1, a result which left us ninth and them first.

No one would have predicted that was to be their last Premier League victory over us for at least the next nineteen years, and short-term hindsight never did shed favourable light on George Graham’s decision to swap their dugout for ours, even though he led us to this FA Cup Fifth Round Replay victory over them the same season he made the switch:

Yet, for Leeds, the financial calamity of only coming fourth and missing out on a Champions League place by a single point to Liverpool at the end of the 00/01 season would be compounded at the end of the 01/02 season when Newcastle pipped them to the final CL place, meaning they could no longer sustain the lavish spending endorsed by Chairman Peter Ridsdale in their bid to live the dream.

O’Leary was sacked in the summer of 2002 and Terry Venables came in. Levy also moved in on them for the first time, snapping up Robbie Keane for a fee believed to have been between £3m and £5m less than Leeds had paid to sign him from Inter just a year or so earlier.

Keane and Venables would indirectly combine for a goal when Leeds next came to N17: In what must have been El Tel’s first managerial return to the touchline at White Hart Lane since his sacking by Sugar in May 1993, the ball went out of play for a Spurs throw in near the dugouts as half-time approached. For no apparent reason, Venables rushed to retrieve it and threw it to one of our players while Leeds players, seemingly expecting a free-kick or throw-in to be awarded to them, stood around like statues as a long throw was immediately launched to our brand spanking new Republic of Ireland international who was then free to scamper in on Paul Robinson’s goal and thump home our second in a comfortable 2-0 win.

I can’t find the footage anywhere on YouTube, but I can remember the pundits discussing it at half-time and I’m sure they showed an angle from behind the goal where you could see Venables realising what he’d done in the background and throwing his hands up in the air as the ball hits the back of the net.

It wouldn’t be the last time we would take advantage of United’s hospitality as their free-fall gathered pace, buying Paul Robinson the season they were relegated for a reasonable £2.7m, Aaron Lennon for £1.08m the following season and taking a punt on an unknown Danny Rose for £900k in the summer of 2007, by which time Leeds were owned by Ken Bates and about to play third tier football for the first time in their history.

To ram home the ramifications of ‘doing a Leeds’, they kicked off the second-leg of the Champions League Semi Final away to Valencia on 8th May 2001 with the score from the first leg at 0-0 and kicked off the 2007/08 season away to Tranmere Rovers on 11th August 2007.

After the Venables assisted 2-0 home victory, we drew 2-2 at Elland Road the following April – Venables had been sacked the previous month and hasn’t managed since, though he was involved in Steve McClaren’s disastrous England stint – and then helped ourselves to all six points through the 03/04 season, which was the season they went down.

We have played them three times since, however, drawing them in the Fourth Round of the 2009/10 FA Cup while they were still down in League One. They had already put Manchester United out at Old Trafford in the Third Round, so there really should have been no taking progress for granted. Even so:

But, phew, it turned out okay in the end:

In a season where Redknapp’s Spurs had an abundance of talent and finally grabbed 4th to earn Champions League qualification, it still sticks in my throat that we needed replays in the FA Cup to get past Leeds and Bolton and Fulham before going out tamely in a Wembley semi-final to an Avram Grant managed Portsmouth.

Not that his eventual successor Villas-Boas fared any better, managing us to a 2-1 fourth round FA Cup exit at Elland Road in 2012/13, which is the last time our paths have crossed before today.

This time around, they’re having the crazy sort of season we used to be infamous for, narrowly losing a seven goal thriller to Liverpool on the opening day, then beating Fulham 4-3, holding Manchester City to a draw and going to high-flying Aston Villa and doing them 3-0 yet following that up with back-to-back 4-1 defeats, the first at home to Leicester and the second away to Crystal Palace.

Since then they’ve narrowly beaten Everton and Burnley, put five past Newcastle and West Brom and gone down 2-6 to arch rivals Manchester United. West Ham and Chelsea have beaten them too.

Their only goalless game was against Arsenal, and any time I’ve seen them they’ve tended to look three passes away from conceding or scoring, so if we get it right we could be in for the sort of field-day we enjoyed against Southampton and Manchester United, and if we get it wrong we could be in for the sort of humiliation we last witnessed away to Sheffield United.

My feeling is we’re more likely to get this one right than wrong. As depressing as it is to align our favored style with other low possession teams, Palace only needed 35% possession and Leicester 32% to rack up four apiece against them, and United only had 41% possession in that 6-2 Old Trafford thumping, so maybe there’s a reason why Mourinho’s head-to-head against Bielsa reads played four, won four, 15 for and two against. The way Pochettino’s mentor sets his teams up to actually try and play football is the managerial equivalent of a Jose Mourinho dream.

We also have the advantage of not having played since last Sunday, whereas this will be Leeds’ third game in the same amount of days. Given that Bielsa often comes in for the same sort of criticism Pochettino used to in terms of burning his players out and demanding too much, there’s a good chance our mid-week rest could work in our favour more against Leeds than any other Premier League team.

Either way, I’m really looking forwards to this one. I was too young to remember the infamous seventies Leeds teams so have never had the hatred for them many football fans have, and during the periods I’ve seen most of my live football – the eighties and the last ten years – they’ve been in the lower divisions so I’ve no personal experience of standing in the pouring rain watching them rip us apart, or running down Tottenham High Road with bricks smuggled down from Yorkshire being lobbed at my head. Hindsight and nostalgia have given me a bit of a soft-spot for the Howard Wilkinson team which won the last First Division, Gordon Strachan being one of my favourite non-Spurs players of all time, Gary Speed and Gary McAllister hardly being tough on the eye, plus the fact they’d only been promoted a couple of seasons before, weren’t put together through massively excessive spending, pipped Manchester United to the title and then nearly got relegated the following season. If Tottenham aren’t going to be champions in a particular season, what’s not to like about any of that?

Their own Amazon Prime documentary – Take Us Home: Leeds United – has also endeared them to me. The first season focuses on the season before last, where they looked favourites to win automatic promotion but ended up in the playoffs and lost to Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the semis after being two goals to the good at one stage of the first half. I remember watching that game on TV and it was such a Tottenham-like performance I couldn’t help but feel empathy for them. The fact Bielsa stuck with them, sold £27m worth of players to comply with FFP, yet still found a way to overcome that play-off heartbreak and guide them back to the Premier League for the first time in sixteen seasons all while playing attractive, attacking football just seems so impressive to me.

I obviously want them to get stuffed today, though, with lots of lovely space for Ndombele, Kane and Son to cavort in during the 7.2 minutes of possession we enjoy, four nil up within ten minutes having had two shots on target then shutting up shop for the rest of the game, Mourinho lording it over Bielsa in the after-match press-conference, joyfully stating that the 1.3% possession we had through the second-half is truly the way football by adults is meant to be played.

Come on you Spurs!

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DAVID
DAVID
1 year ago

Theres a very sad interview with Greavsies wife on the Mail online, her comment that an MBE was too little and about 20 years too late just about summed up my thoughts when I heard about the award.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

ThEze nuvver one we missed out on.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anti-Growth Coalition..
SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Eze channeling Sonny. 60 yard run through the SU defenders and a nice finish.

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

Lovely goal from Eze.

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
1 year ago

Wish we had got him.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

This looks very weird, but good luck to Poch at PSG.

poch.jpg
Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

You choose wisely young Jedi

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago

I would love it for them to win the UCL this season 👍

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sexy Beast

I do not conker.

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

I conker wit yer not conkerin. Not due to Poch though.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Eye.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago
Reply to  Sexy Beast

I shall rephrase it ‘I would love it if Pooch won the UCL this season’ 👍

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sexy Beast

I am still unable to conker.

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago

How is his French?

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Several articles say Poch can speak French.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

comme ci, comme ça

Chauveljn
1 year ago

He was captain of PSG, should think he knows sufficient expletives to get by.

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
1 year ago

Only good wishes for the guy.

Northern Spur
Northern Spur
1 year ago

Is Hojberg suspended for Tuesday? He got booked today, right?

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago
Reply to  Northern Spur

I think that was his 4th.

Northern Spur
Northern Spur
1 year ago

I hope so, SSG. A booking on Tuesday gives him a rest day vs Marine.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago
Reply to  Northern Spur

Premier League webpage has him on 3 yellows, but it might not have updated yet.

MiT
MiT
1 year ago

Enjoyed the blog !

Also enjoyed a Ricky Wilson live performance. That fella gets with it.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Certainly good to be back to winning ways. Decent effort and performance, aided by Leeds doing exactly what Jose wanted. Onward.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

It is done, my sink is empty!

DAVID
DAVID
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

Trophyless!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  DAVID

It’s the taking part that counts…

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Jose Mourinho has won all 5 meetings against Marcelo Bielsa by an aggregate score of 18-2:

2011-12
R. Madrid 4-1 Ath. Bilbao
Ath. Bilbao 0-3 R. Madrid

2012-13
R. Madrid 5-1 Ath. Bilbao
Ath. Bilbao 0-3 R. Madrid

Today
Tottenham 3-0 Leeds

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

I think he might have worked Marcelo out…

MiT
MiT
1 year ago

That is the way to get it done. 3 points AND the clean sheet.

Well done, you Spurs !

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Why was anyone surprised by what happened in December?

Mourinho won Manager of the Month for November. It was inevitable.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Is Aurier injured, or will it be Tanganga against Brentford?

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

I think he’s on the naughty step.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Japhet time!

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Facing the wall.

1609598201467.jpg
61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

I’d wait until at least half eight.

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

FURRED!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Losing DOH’erty foray game isn’t so bad.

DAVID
DAVID
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

No, bit disappointing so far, maybe formation doesn’t suit him.

DAVID
DAVID
1 year ago

3 points and a clean sheet, nice!
League table looks better now, ManC will be up there if they win their games in hand.

TCY
TCY
1 year ago

Fancied Vinny in his few minutes. A likely lad. On loan or purchased?

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  TCY

Loan atm.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Satisfactory. Leeds tried to blow us off the pitch in the opening fifteen minutes, but for once we fought back and eased into the match.

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago

We’re going to pull this off with only ten men.

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
1 year ago

Goodwin.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

DOH’erty..

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago

Doherty, pfft, dumb ass

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Pfft!

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

That’s a bit soft.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Positively mushy

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

A striker with a 45 shirt. Deary me.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

4 plus 5 = 9

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Vini gets some garbage time minutes

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Quite pleased Harry doesn’t finish the final dog end minutes. You never know.

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

Come on Vini!

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago

Hojbjerg is a warrior. 👍

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

I wonder what JM was just writing, D.E.F.E.N.D!

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Nah. He was writing Bielsa a note. It said:

W5, F18 A2

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Top bloeuging by the way Was.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

In regards to the Leeds of the 60s/70s, the players were bigger thugs than the fans. That was the problem.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

They were shits. Even the talented players. Normally you have hard men who provide muscle rather than skill (the Vinny Jones type) but the whole team were thuggish.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Yes, one solitary booking when Ian Hutchinson resorted to using a poleaxe.

David Ellery said he’d have given six reds and twenty yellows.

mystic arnold
mystic arnold
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

What most managers write during the game, a shopping list of things to get on the way home after the game..

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

It’s about this stage the Spammers scored their first.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Preferred when we attacked.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Kane never rests!

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

He had Wednesday night off!

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Give Vinny a chance!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Give Kane a rest!

TCY
TCY
1 year ago

Moura next. Rest Harry. Why not?

TCY
TCY
1 year ago

Here’s Sissy!

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Sissy coming on

Chauveljn
1 year ago

I don’t think Sissoko will score. There, I’ve said it.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

I’d like to see Dele and Vinny on soon. Go fer it!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

WTF! 70 mins gone and Ndom is still there.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

No subs at all!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

Sensible, not good to play on a full stomach.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
1 year ago

Why not, Harry?

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

If we don’t score at least 4 today, I’ll regard this as a poor performance.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago

Dallas Cowboy?

Chauveljn
1 year ago

You can see how they conceded six to United. We could have scored five quite easily.

TCY
TCY
1 year ago

Bergs is not a clinical finisher.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  TCY

Which becomes more obvious with each game.

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago
Reply to  TCY

His best contribution is tracking back.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

I certainly don’t feel confident when the chances fall to him.

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

And if it falls to Sissoko the ball probably leaves the stadium.

Sexy Beast
Sexy Beast
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

One day before his Spurs career is over Sissy will bury one of them chances 🥳

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Sweet volley for the fifth I think.

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

Scored the winner in the previous home game against Bournemouth too.

Last edited 1 year ago by 61 Spurs Nut
SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
1 year ago

Credit to Leeds for keeping trying.

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Hmm dunno, was thinking we’d be 5-3 down by then.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

I think this may (hope) be a scoreline we can defend. 🤪

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

Lads, it’s…

HjD 😷🇺🇸
HjD 😷🇺🇸
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

We’ve only 30 minutes to pull this off.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago

Another couple and eye’ll be a lot more confident…

61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago

Leeds could really do with someone less wafer thin between the sticks.

Chauveljn
1 year ago

Shame Son didn’t shoot.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

Think he was trying to set up Bergwijn.

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  wasdanspurs

Son of a bi***!!

Chauveljn
1 year ago
Reply to  Funkenschlag!

Yes, unselfishly. But would Bergwijn have put it away? 😮

Funkenschlag!
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

..

Last edited 1 year ago by Anti-Growth Coalition..
61 Spurs Njut 🌰
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chauveljn

The latest evidence would suggest not.

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