Playing the Tottenham way

Tottenham's way of playing may not historically yield success, but Tim Broadfoot argues that it entertains

Tottenham may not win many trophies (around one a decade) but they more than make up for it with their famous playing methods.

Under flamboyant surrealist Osvaldo Ardiles Spurs attacked with abandon, and completely forgot to defend. Owner Alan Sugar quickly grew tired of seeing goals fly in at both ends and so appointed a renowned defensive strategist, and antique expert, Gerry Francis. “Fitness and hard work,” said Gerry, as Tottenham soared up to the middle of the Premier League.

Drained by the excitement of it all, Gerry has stepped down in the hope of bagging another prestigious job, at QPR, or possibly Carlisle. Taking over coaching duties is his Swiss protégé Christian Gross.

“My philosophy is summed up by the opening lines of the Swiss national anthem,” rasps Christian: “We are sober, we are strong, we have no interest in golf!” Now the fans can expect bumper helpings of their favourite 0-0 draws, with the added bonus of having a sophisticated European to explain all the technical aspects of the style at press conferences.

A fantastic new era is dawning at White Hart Lane, one which looks as though it will be remarkably similar to the previous era – except for a bit less hair at the back of the manager’s neck and nicer chocolate gift sets at Christmas.

From WSC 131 January 1998. What was happening this month