Farewell to the Lane – Thanks for the Memories

February 8, 2018

It seems decidely odd that the upcoming North London Derby will take place in north west London. Perhaps it’s time to reminisce once more about the former home of our irksome neighbours. White Hart Lane could be compared to lovers’ lanes all over the country; a place full of seedy characters giving off that slightly nauseating whiff of desperation, but also a place where excitement-filled, enjoyable times have been spent basking in numerous victorious climaxes.

Who could forget 7th May 1927? Level on points with the spuds going into the final game of the season and who should be our last opponents but only the miscreants themselves and at the Lane, too. No need to worry as the boys in red and white ran out comfortable 4-0 winners for a very special last day of the season St Totteringham’s day.

The next glorious day out down Tottenham High Road came on 6th March 1935 in the fourth of our 1930s title winning seasons. Spurs decided that to curb Arsenal’s free-scoring forward line, they needed to set an offside-trap. It failed, they lost 6-0 with goals from Kirchen (2), Drake (2), Dougall and Bastin from the penalty spot. The only photo of that game emerging from a quick search is this of Frank Moss gathering the ball from a rare Tottenham attack (perhaps the photographer was a spud as he must have been stationed at the wrong end of the stadium!)

On 20th September 1952, Tottenham’s 11th largest home attendance at White Hart Lane, 69,247, saw them lose 3-1 to Arsenal with goals from Goring, Logie and Milton.  This was followed a year later on 10th October by another home 4-1 thrashing in front of their 8th biggest crowd at the Lane. 69,821 spectators witnessed another 2 goals from Jimmy Logie this time around. 1957 and 1959 saw comprehensive Arsenal wins of 3-1 and 4-1 respectively in N17 before Spurs briefly took the upper hand with their last League title in 1961. But this wasn’t to be the last time the top flight was ever clinched on White Hart Lane soil, oh no.

Next on the list of glorious moments at the home of South Middlesex’s finest came on the 3rd May 1971 with Arsenal clinching the League title in front of a White Hart Lane crowd swarming with Gunners. Ray Kennedy’s late goal gave Arsenal the points to overhaul Leeds at the top and witness the Lane turn into a sea of bright red.

My personal highlight of trips to the Lane came on December 23rd 1978 with our 5-0 Christmas demolition of ‘Silent Spurs’. Stood with my old man and 2 brothers on the away terrace, that date has become etched in my memory. I was wearing a lightweight rain jacket with a front pocket which contained a Mars bar. Remembering about its existence only after all the jubilant celebrations had died down, that chocolate bar cannot have been more than a quarter inch thick when it finally emerged.

“Oh, Brady won it beautifully. Look at That – Oh, Look at That! What a Goal by Brady!”

The roll of honour continues with an epic League Cup semi-final in 1987. The first leg at Highbury finished 1-0 to Spurs, with a goal from a prolific Clive Allen. Allen also scored in the first half of the second leg at the Lane. Reportedly, at half-time the Spurs stadium announcer made announcements about how the Neanderthal hordes could book tickets for the Final. They turned out to be rather premature as goals from Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn meant that the semi ended unresolved.

The referee, Alan Gunn, tossed a coin to decide where a replay would take place and after his first attempt stuck upright in the mud, the second toss landed in Spurs’ favour. The 4th March 1987 was to see one of our greatest ever comebacks at the Lane. Clive Allen scored for the third time in the tie in the 62nd minute and Spurs looked to have finally gotten the upper hand. However the best was yet to come as the 82nd  minute saw an unlikely equaliser from Ian Allinson before the Park Lane erupted with Rocky’s 90th minute winner – the first time Arsenal had been in front over the 3 games!

Notable victories in the 90s were hard to come by until a majestic 3-1 win at the Lane on the 5th May 1999 capped off with a stunning goal from Nwankwo Kanu, sporting the sharpest haircut I’ve ever seen.

Next up a disappointing draw on 25th April 2004, with Mad Jens falling for Robbie Keane’s foul tactics of treading on the toes of the German’s size thirteens. The incensed goalkeeper’s reaction enabled the aforementioned Irishman to convert a last minute penalty equaliser. The resulting Spurs DVD failed to mention that Arsenal had only needed a draw to clinch the top flight title at their own stadium – and for the second time, no less.

Argentine defender Mauricio Taricco – who prior to the equaliser had suffered a torrid afternoon chasing the Arsenal forward line – somehow managed to pull his hamstring during his team’s misguided celebrations of their equaliser.

A clearly incensed Henry – despite being warned by the authorities beforehand – at the final whistle gathered his troops together and took them to the now celebrating corner where the Arsenal fans were congregated.

As he said afterwards in a thinly veiled nod at Taricco’s behaviour:” When you see behaviour like that it is impossible for us not to celebrate in response.”

Recent years haven’t seen us win any more titles at the Lane but have seen some banging goals from departees Fabregas and Adebayor in particular but the best has to be this beauty from Arsenal favourite Tomas Rosicky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf9XyZq25Kw

Thanks for joining me on this journey down the Lane. I hope you all have some fond memories of the Tottenham High Road public convenience, too. 🙂

chas

 

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One Cockerel does not a summer make

April 30, 2017

So here we go folks, the final North London Derby at WHL. This occasion really should have called for the daddy of pre-matches, but unfortunately there are some trees that need a hug…..so you are stuck with me.

I need to say in advance that I have a superstition about being too condescending ahead of these games so if you are expecting lots of belittlement and ridicule then disappointment will be the order of the day. Having said that the rest of you can fill yer boots.

I strangely feel a degree of sadness that this is the last outing at their place, as WHL holds some fond memories for us. I am normally very nervous about these games. On reflection I think this is because we have pretty much been the favourites in games against them since some fellow called Newton had an apple fall on his head. As such I think the expectancy to win adds more angst to the occasion. This time however I have them down as favourites. Spurs are the form team this season while we have struggled.

Stating this actually doesn’t cause me any issues because this aberration can be redressed in readiness for next season. A shift in the balance of power?……pffft (he expectorates on the floor in distaste). As Lord Wenger intimated the other day, one cockerel does not a summer make. If anything Spurs form versus ours this season may be the main proverbial kick up the derriere that we needed. If it turns out to be the catalyst for action that sees us awaken from our slumber and head into next season a different animal, then I will doff my cap to those white lillies and say thank-you. I may even resort to a chicken on a beach ball as my screen saver……ok maybe not….still a few white wine spritzers clouding my judgement this morning.

I am reconciled with the fact it is now near impossible for us to celebrate St. Tott’s day this year. If you gave me a choice between winning the F.A cup and finishing below them or finishing above them with no silverware then I would take the former all day. This is a real possibility for us so it could be that in a few weeks time we are actually celebrating a more successful season than them. How galling would that be for them?

Onto team matters. I am not sure if a mere stand in for the pre-match is allowed to mutter these sacred words, but here goes………..

my team (ooh it does make one feel powerful) :

 

Cech

Holding Koscielny Gabriel

Ox Coquelin Ramsey Monreal

Ozil Sanchez

Welbeck

Why change the formation that has revived our fortunes recently. I would also like to stick largely with the same players with a couple of proviso’s. I think the pace of Welbeck with Ozil and Sanchez flitting about behind him would suit this game more. Giroud and Walcott are useful impact subs. I think we need the defensive graft of Coquelin in a disciplined role front of the defence. They are dangerous in that area and a big game from him could be a deciding factor. If he is able to largely stifle them in this area and free up the rest of our team in attack then I will be very hopeful. Xhaka has played well recently but is more reckless and we can’t afford to be down to 10 men in this game. Other than that it is as you were.

As I said, based on form and them being at home they are the favourites…….but I have a feeling in me bones. Being favourites carries that extra psychological burden. Also our new system will be far less easy for them to predict than when we were labouring with the 4-3-3 system. Even we don’t yet fully know what Arsenal will turn up in this system, so it should create some doubt and uncertainty in their minds.

All this should mean that for once, us rather than them, can approach the game with less to lose and can literally just go out and play without burden. There is one final consideration. This is a historic day for them. There must be a few nerves in their camp that the final NLD at old WHL could go down as an Arsenal win. WHL holds some fond memories for the Arsenal. Who can forget the 3rd May 1971 or the 25th April 2004? Let the record books show that Sunday 30th April 2017 saw Spurs title bid crash down around them as the good guys in red and white registered a historic final win at WHL.

COYRRG’S

Written by GoonerB

 


Sweet FA yesterday, Totnum today.

September 23, 2015

Please note: Should any Spurs fans read the following post, it is tongue in cheek and perhaps you should question what you expect from an Arsenal fan site (but my guess is that reading is an unattained skill and you are only looking at the pictures) 🙂

It may be the Micky Mouse Cup and it may be another distraction in a very busy schedule but this is a derby and not just any derby – this is about pride.

And we have been the Pride of North London for decades. Long may it continue.

Now I dislike Chelsea, and find Man Utd a sickening bunch of Northern effluent but I really, really abhor the N17 meat-puppets. Some of my best friends support these marsh-dwellers which raises serious questions about their sanity (though almost to a man/woman they are bed-wetters and onanists).

images-2

A Lillywhite

In the past few seasons I have been a little circumspect in expressing my dislike of the WHL neanderthals because the last time I did so we lost, but tonight I really do not care, in fact it may be a blessing if we lose because this cup is meaningless; if you do not believe me, tell me who won it just 5 months ago (without the help of google!)

Let me tell you and save you some time – Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0. Did it mean anything? Are Chelsea talked about as double winners? No, they are not. Were Spurs damaged by losing? Who cares 🙂

Any NLD is important from a fans point of view but my guess is that Mr Wenger will prioritise the Leicester game at the weekend. So …. who is going to play against the mongrels? Mr.Wenger has said he will be using senior members of the squad who have not had game time which means:-

Ospina

Debuchy    Chambers    Mertesacker      Gibbs

Ox    Ramsey     Arteta    Ozil

Campbell     Giroud

A shame we cannot use the injured Jeff – he looks a fine prospect. Same with Gnabry/Sanogo/Akpom/Maitland-Niles/Zelalem etc but hopefully they will get more playing time out on loan.

Normally, I write about the opposition and their manager but we are playing the WHL putrescence twice later in the season and to write about this bunch of cowboys three times is beyond my powers. Suffice it to say, the Spurs team is full of toilers, cloggers, miscreants and soon-to-be defendants at the Bailey, added to a couple of sexual deviants and a defrocked priest.

Instead of studying the form let’s look at past League/Milk/Littlewoods/Carling/Capital Cup games at Shite Hart Lane:-

Rocky in ’87 (what a night!!)

Samir Nasri’s penalty double in 2010

The Beast Baptiste’s double in 2007

Champagne Charlie scoring and Tony Woodcock finishing the tie in 1983

And Spurs highlight   errmmmm ……  they got a draw in 2007 🙂

images-1

Tottenham High Street

If this game was at The Emirates we would easily win but unfortunately watching the muppets and marsh dwellers celebrating a Spurs victory before limping their way home to their hovels, caves and tunnels is  something we have had to witness too often in the past few seasons. I expect a repeat tonight but our boys will be up for the fight and an Arsenal victory is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. As we saw yesterday, sometimes the forces of good overcome those of evil and it is with this in mind that I am …..

50% confident

COYRRG


Into the House of Darkness – WHL – written by BigRaddy

September 21, 2010

Let us start here. There is light and there is darkness, there is good and there is evil, there is N5 and then there is N17. N5 is blessed with parks, glorious architecture, fine restaurants, great bars and the finest football stadium in Britain; whereas N17 is a total toilet, the parks littered with dogshit,  litter and hoodlums, the architecture can only be described as urban wasteland, the restaurants vary from appalling to mediocre, the bars imbue such depression that suicide is an attractive alternative, and the football ground (it cannot be called a stadium) is a complete joke.

If you win the Lottery you may well choose to live in Highbury, if you have descended into a life of crack and crime, you probably live in Tottenham.

(N:B: The above is written in jest, but there is a little truth in there…..)

And the football teams reflect their surroundings. Arsenal have an urbane, intelligent manager, Spurs a semi-literate “wheeler-dealer” (Sky tm), Arsenal have a team who play with brio and flair, Spurs have Huddlestone and Crouch, Arsenal have a warehouse full of silverware, Spurs won the league in Black and White.

And so we come to the Carling Cup. When we drew the mugs from N17, I despaired because the Carling Cup is a meaningless trophy for us but any game against the forces of evil is big, and the potential of losing to them hurts, plus we know how Mr Wenger views the CC with his attitude towards playing only the youth and fringe players. The last time we played in the CC at the Lane, we left humiliated (though the 5-1 scoreline hardly reflected the game).

However this time could be different because somehow Spurs have found their way to the top table and have to prioritise just as we do. In other words we will find out by Harry’s team selection whether Spurs really are a Top 4 side or just pretenders who know they will get bounced out of the CL and finish outside the Top 4. Will Redknapp play any of his first team with West Ham away and Twente at home inside a week?

If not we could be in for a treat because we have such strength in our reserve and youth teams. Unfortunately the injuries to so many of our first team precludes AW from playing some of the second string (JW, Vela Kos/Squil,Denilson, Ramsey etc), but we are sure to see Gibbs and Djourou. Perhaps an outing for JET who is set to cause havoc.

The Young Men in the White Hats……

My team is made up from a process of elimination, with the plethora of injuries in the forward positions we will have to pack the midfield, plus many of our best youngsters are out on loan.

To me the games rests upon the team Harry plays, has he the courage to play a reserve team in front of an expectant full house at WHL? He knows that the record breaking win (as in they broke our undefeated record) set Tottenham up for their late run to the CL, and also how important a win is to his knuckle dragging acolytes –  Harry is nothing if not pragmatic. I expect Spurs will line up with some big players, Keane, Jenas, Palacios, Hudson, Krankjar, Dos Santos, Corluka and who knows maybe our mates David Bentley and William Gallas – all Full Internationals. They will not want to be beaten by kids

The final word must go to Bobby Smith who died on Saturday. I was raised in a Tottenham loving home, my father was Spurs and took me many times to WHL to watch the Double team of 60/61. In a side of hugely divergent talent from the silky skills of Blanchflower to the destructive aggression of Mackay one man stood out for me, his name was Bobby Smith. A proper centre forward , hard as nails, great in the air, a tremendous shot and no mean skill on the ground, a natural goalscorer.  Bobby Smith was my first hero , at this very moment I expect he will be scoring hatricks  on the Elysian Fields. Gone but not forgotten.

Can we win? Of course. Will we win? Unlikely

COYRRG