Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tottenham Hotspurs Greatest All-Time Team

UEFA Cup 1972

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, making them the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League in 1888. Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners' Cup.  They won the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1984, Spurs again won the UEFA Cup. In the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup.  They had won a major trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

Team
GK: Ray Clemence (England)
Ray Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and a UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper.  For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton.  He was Shilton's backup at the World Cup Finals in 1982. He made 61 appearances for England. 
Ray Clemence
GK: Pat Jennings (N.Ireland)
Considered among the greatest goalkeeper of all-time.  The prime of his career was spent with both Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal.  In 1973 the Football Writers' Association named him as its footballer of the year. Three years later he won PFA's version of the award – he was the first goalkeeper to receive this accolade, and to this date remains only one of two, along with Peter Shilton. He earned 119 caps for Northern Ireland and went to two WC Finals. 

GK: Ted Ditchburn (England)
He made his senior debut for the Spurs in a wartime league match against Chelsea on 25 May 1940. At this time he represented both the RAF and the Combined Services and guested at Aberdeen. At the end of the war, he returned to Tottenham. He went on to play in an unbroken run of 247 matches between April 1948 and March 1954.  Tottenham won promotion as Division Two champions in 1949–50 and the First division league title the following year. Capped 6 times and went to the WC Finals in 1950.

RB: Alf Ramsey (England) 
Ramsey started his career with Southampton in 1943.  He moved to Tottenham Hotspurs in 1949, he played in the famous "push-and-run" style.  He helped the club to grain promotion to the First Divison in the 1949-50 season, and then, won the First Division League title in Tottenham's first season up.  Ramsey was a member of the ill-fated World Cup team in 1950.  He would captain England after that World Cup Finals.

CB/RB/CM: Steve Perryman (England)
Perryman is best remembered for his successes with Tottenham Hotspur during the 1970s and early 1980s. Perryman was voted Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year in 1982 and made a club record 854 first team appearances for Tottenham.  He was only capped once by England in 1982.

CB: Gary Mabbutt (England)
Gary Mabbutt became one of the best known defenders in English football in the 1980s, playing initially for Bristol Rovers before joining the first division club Tottenham Hotspur, where he became captain and won 16 caps for England, scoring against Yugoslavia in 1986.  With Spurs, he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and the FA Cup in 1991 (as captain). 
Gary Mabbutt
CB: Ledley King (England)
Ledley King spent his entire career with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was among the best defender in the Premiership during his prime, but his international career was limited by a golden generation of great English centre backs.  He only had 21 caps due to fierce competition in his position. He went to the 2004 European Championship and 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, but missed the World Cup Finals 2006 due to an injury.
Ledley King
CB: Sol Campbell (England)
Sol Campbell was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season.  He spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy.  He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006, and three other European Championship in that period.

CB Mike England (Wales)
Mike England helped Tottenham Hotspurs to win the UEFA Cup in 1972 and reached the Final again two years later.  He also played for Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff.  England played in the North American Soccer League with the Seattle Sounders from 1975 to 1979.  He was capped 44 times for Wales and was also the youngest Welsh captain at one point.

LB: Cyril Knowles (England)
Knowles would spend 11 years at White Hart Lane. He scored 17 goals in 507 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, winning the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup in 1971 and 1973 and a UEFA Cup winners medal in 1972. In 1975, with Spurs needing victory to avoid relegation against Leeds United the reigning First Division champions and 1975 European Cup finalists, Knowles scored twice in a 4–2 victory.  Capped 4 times for England.

CM/DM/LB: Dave MacKay (Scotland)
Known for his toughness and passing abilities. He won the Double with Tottenham Hotspurs in 1961 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.  He was selected as one of the Football Heros stamp series to celebrate the 150 years of English FA. He also represented Scotland 22 times, and was selected for their 1958 FIFA World Cup squad. Mackay tied with Tony Book of Manchester City for the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award in 1969.
Dave McKay
CM/RB: Ron Burgess
Burgess was a miner before becoming a footballer. He spent majority of his career with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was the captain of Tottenham Hotspurs' League champion team in 1951. Burgess joined Swansea Town in 1954 as a player and played until 1956, taking over as manager of Swansea Town from 1955 to 1958. For Wales, he played 32 times and was the captain.

CM:  Osvaldo Ardiles
Osvaldo Ardiles was the central midfielder when Argentina won the World Cup in 1978.  From 1975 to 1982, he earned 52 caps. He also went to the WC Finals in 1982. He was also one of the first foreigners to play in England.  He was a top player with Tottenham Hotspurs. He won the FA Cup in 1981.  His career in England was cut short because of the Falklands War.
Osvaldo Ardiles
CM/AM:  Danny Blanchflower (Northern Ireland)
Danny Blanchflower is considered one of Northern Ireland's greatest footballers.  He won the Double in 1961 with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He won the FA Cup the following year, and then, a Cup Winners' Cup in 1963.  He was the PWA Player of the Year in 1958 and 1961. He also played for Aston Villa and Barnsley before joining Hotspurs. He went to the World Cup in 1958, where Northern Ireland reached the quarterfinal.
Danny Blanchflower
LW: Cliff Jones (Wales)
Jones was the best left winger in the world during the eraly 1960's. He won the Double with Tottenham in 1961-1962.  He also won the 1963 Cup Winners' Cup. He also played for Swansea and Fulham.  He played 59 times in all for Wales, scoring 16 goals. He went to play at the 1958 WC Finals in Sweden. He also was the hero of Wales' 1955 victory over England.

RW/LW:  Gareth Bale (Wales)
Bale began his professional career at Southampton. Bale moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. In 2011 and 2013, he was named PFA Players' Player of the Year.  His transfer to Real Madrid in 2013 was believed to be the most expensive in history.  He won two Champions League title with Real Madrid.  He scored the winning goal in the 2014 version. In 2016, he led Wales to reach the semifinal of Euro 2016.
Gareth Bale
AM/CM: John White (Scotland)
John White was a legend with Tottenham Hotspurs. He won the "double" of League championship and FA Cup in 1961 - the first club in the 20th century to do so.  He won the FA Cup again in 1962 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963, the first ever European trophy for an English club.  He died at the age of 27 in 1964.  He played 22 times for Scotland.

AM: Paul Gascoigne (England)
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries.  He played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio.   In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers, but he left in 1998 and went to play for many clubs all over the world.  For England, he earned 57 times.  He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final.

AM: Glenn Hoddle (England)
Glenn Hoddle often considered one of the most talented players of his generation, but not always appreciated by his fans.  He played mainly with Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and two FA Cups.  He also played for AS Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea. Huddle played 53 times for England. He went to the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals, helping England to reach the quarter-finals in the latter tournament.
Glenn Hoddle
FW/SS: Teddy Sherringham (England)
Terry Sherringham was a star player with Tottenham Hotspurs from 1992 and 1997.  In 1997, he made a big move to Manchester United as a replacement for Eric Cantona.  He won the Champions' league in 1999 with Manchester United.  He was capped 51 times for England.  He played at the Euro 1996, the WC 1998 and the Euro 2000.

ST: Harry Kane (England)
At the time of writing, Kane has played his entire career with Tottenham Hotspurs, except a few seasons on loan.  Kane made his first-team debut for Tottenham in 2011.  He finished top scorer of both the 2015–16 and the 2016–17 Premier League seasons, and aided Tottenham in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on both occasions.  For England, he has earned over 30 caps. He captained England at the 2018 World Ciup Finals, he won the Golden Booth award.
Harry Kane
ST: Bobby Smith (England)
Bobby Smith was the second all-time leading scorer for Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was an integral part of Bill Nicholson's famous double winning Tottenham team of 1960/1961 (scoring in the final of the FA Cup), which went on to retain the FA Cup in 1962 (scoring in the Final again) and win the 1963 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.  He also played for Chelsea and Brighton. He capped 15 times, scoring 13 goals.
Bobby Smith
ST: Gary Lineker (England)
Gary Lineker was one of England's best goal poachers.  He scored 48 goals for England(second overall) and won the Golden Boot with 6 goals at 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He was PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1985–86 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985–86 and 1991–92.  In England, he played with Leicester Town, Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs.

ST: Vivian Woodward (England)
He enjoyed the peak of his career from the turn of the 20th century to the outbreak of the First World War. He played for Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.  He captained Great Britain to gold medals at the 1908 Olympics in London and in Stockholm in 1912. Woodward's tally of 29 goals in 23 matches for England remained a record from 1911 to 1958.  He served in the British Army during the First World War, and as a result missed out on Chelsea's run to their first-ever FA Cup final in 1915. Woodward's injuries during the war caused his retirement from football.

ST/SS: Jimmy Greaves (England)
Jimmy Greaves was the top scorer in the English league for 4 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the UEFA Cup in 1963. He started with Chelsea, but alo played with AC Milan and spent 9 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966.  However, he lost his starting position after suffering an injury against France.  Sir Ramsey used Geoff Hurst in the remaining matches in the World Cup Finals.
Jimmy Greaves
Honorable Mention
Bill Brown, Ricky Villa, Clive Allen, Chris Waddle, Maurice Norman, Graham Roberts, Bill Nicholson, Len Duquemin, Steve Archibald, David Ginola, Darren Anderton Mel Hopkins, Chris Hughton, Peter Baker, Ron HenryMartin Peters, Alan Mullery, Jermaine Defoe, Jurgen Klinsmann, Phil Beal, Maurice Norman, Martin Chivers.

Squad Explanation
-- Tottenham Hotspurs has many great strikers. Jimmy Greaves and Vivian Woodward were the only certain strikers on the team.  
-- I considered Harry Kane, Len Duquemin, Alan Gilzean, Martin Chivers, Bobby Smith, Jurgen Klinsmann and Gary Lineker for the remaining spots.  
-- Bobby Smith was probably rated higher than Gilzean and Chivers.  He also had the stats and the medals to back up his credentials with him. 
-- Then, I have choose one between Lineker and Klinsmann.  Both of them have more international recognition than the other players mentioned.  Klinsmann was a fan favorite and a FWA Player of the Year.  The fans also won't forget how he scored 4 goals and saved Tottenham from relegation in 1998. However, Lineker scored 80 goals in just three seasons and won a FA Cup. He was an English player and an all-timer.  He also had a longer career with Hotsputrs than Klinsmann. So I went with Lineker. 
-- Harry Kane was a new addition to the team.  At the time of writing, he has scored over a 100 goals for them.  He was the top scorer at the Premier League twice.  He has already played 8 seasons for them.  His career there is longer than Gary Lineker, Teddy Sherringham, Paul Gascoigne, etc.  At this given point in time, Kane is considered the best footballer from the United Kingdom and among the best in the world. So he deserved to be on this team. I dropped Len Duquemin, Alan Gilzean and Martin Chivers because of Kane. Unlike Kane, they were never considered to be the best in the world.  Garth Bale also got selected for being one of the best in the world while playing with Hotspurs.
-- Jermaine Defoe and Clive Allen did not make the team. Defoe spent many seasons with the club, but went trophy-less and only scored around 70 goals.  The others produced better results.  Allen was a one season wonder.  
-- Bill Nicholson got onto honourable mention, but not on the team. I rated him more as a manager.
-- John White helped to win the Double. I also do not have the heart to drop White. Ginola, Peters and Mullery really deserved the spot too.
-- David Ginola won't get into squad with Hoddle,White, Gazza, Blanchflower and Ardiles ahead of him. The same applied to Martin Peters and Alan Mullery.
-- I only took two fullbacks because Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay can be converted into backup fullbacks. Alf Ramsey got the rightback spot over Peter Barker. I tried not to factor Ramsey's career as the football manager into his selection.
-- For centerbacks, I went with Sol Campbell, Gary Mabbutt, Ledley King and Mike England.  Perryman and Dace MacKay also can play there.  I do not have space for Maurice Norman. 
-- Sol Campbell's controversial move to Arsenal was overlooked because I also selected Pat Jennings who made the same move.  I did not select Luis Figo for Barcelona, but Ashley Cole made my all-time team for both Chelsea and Arsenal.


Formation
-- Jennings could start ahead of Clemence.






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