"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published May, 2018, but first written in 1998 by the webmaster
FA PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 10TH MAY, 1998
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(1) - SOUTHAMPTON 1(1)
Le Tissier 21
Referee P. Jones
Spurs:- Walker; Carr, Calderwood ( sub Mabbutt 81 ), Campbell, Nielsen; Fox,
Anderton, Berti ( sub Saib 58 ), Ginola; Ferdinand, Klinsmann
Subs not used:- Grodas; Scales, Armstrong
Southampton:- Jones; Dodd ( sub Warner ), Lundekvam, Dryden, Benali; Le
Tissier, Beresford ( sub Richardson 79 ), Oakley, Palmer; Hirst ( sub Basham
81 ), Ostenstad
Subs not used:- Moss (GK); Gibbens
The party atmosphere prevailed at The Lane this afternoon. The stadium
was sun-drenched, and the full house was in shirt sleeve order, where the
colour white dominated. It was a pleasure travelling to the ground hearing
the preview headlines, and NOT hearing Spurs amongst the stories regarding
what might happen. We were able to relax, and the crowd was determined to
make the most of this end of season occasion.
Before the game, Gary Mabbutt, and David Howells were each presented with
a silver salver by Alan Sugar, and of course given tremendous ovations by
the crowd. Better was to follow. JK too got a special welcome for his "White
Hart Lane farewell"
And so to the game, which, it has to be said was very much a secondary
attraction today. Spurs had the early pressure. Once again, Les and JK
worked well in tandem, and Fox had a particularly good first half. I felt
Fox fell into his old dawdling ways in the second half, but he played some
clever football in the first, feeling confident enough to put in a few
tricks, AND pass inside along the "channels". Surely Gross has got this man
playing his best football for the club.
To be honest, over the course of the game, Spurs had so many chances, it
is difficult to recall details of specific attempts. Ginola alone probably
had 15 - 20 shots on goal, none of which were on target. Occasionally JK
could be seen turning away in some disgust, and no doubt felt that Daveed
could sometimes have given others a go. It has to be said though that Ginola
did have a good game, and he too played some tricks down the left flank.
I recall the best chance before the goals fell to Berti who headed just
wide from a curving cross from Fox. Klinsmann and Sir Les, had heading
opportunities during this spell.
Southampton did look dangerous on the break though, and Ostenstad, and
Hirst had their own chances to score. Ostenstad particularly forced a good
save from Walker, after Carr had underhit a back pass to let him in on goal.
Le Tissier it was who spoilt the party by taking the lead in the 21st
minute. Calderwood, I think was adjudged to have blocked an attacker on the
edge of the box, and a free kick was awarded. Le Tissier took an age to take
the kick, protesting at the lack of 10 yards. When he finally took it, I
think he did an "Aldridge", and delayed taking the kick until the wall had
moved, leaving gaps. Le Tissier cleverly slid the ball along the ground
through the wall, leaving Walker stranded.
It didn't take long for Spurs to equalise, and Jurgen scored one of his
most memorable goals as a parting gift. Walker's clearance was an excellent
pass to Ferdinand, who headed the ball down for Jurgen lurking in space on
the edge of the Southampton area. As quick as a flash, the ball was on the
end of his right foot, and powered over the goalie into the net. It was a
different angle, but in some ways reminiscent of the wonder goal he scored
at home against Sheffield Wednesday in his first season. WHAT A GOAL THIS
WAS!!! I do believe that makes Jurgen level top scorer with Ginola for the
In the first half, Southampton played some physical stuff, and Palmer got
booked for a foul, and some "afters" with Berti.
It seemed to me that both teams relaxed somewhat in the second half, and
were always going to be happy with a point. Spurs were in the ascendency,
and could have had a hatful of goals. Particularly memorable was a glancing
header by Berti from a corner, that was very nearly converted by Solman.
Not long after the start of the second half, the crowd was baying for Gary
Mabbutt to make an entrance, but Saib was the first substitute to make an
appearance. He came on for Berti, who got a roaring reception; said a
personal farewell to Klinsmann as he went off, and a handshake from Leslie.
I for one, hope that Berti stays for another season. He has had a great
influence on the effectiveness of our midfield play, and displays great
Saib played well, making some clever passes, and working across the
midfield. He had one or two really good runs, and set up Fox, who should
have fired home, but unfortunately screwed wide. Saib himself had a number
If Sky had covered this game, I bet we would have had about 30 shots on
goal, but maybe only five on target!
And so to Gary Mabbutt's entrance onto the playing arena. He took
Calderwood's place with 10 minutes to go, and was cheered for every touch.
Not that he had much to do at this stage of the game, only one team was
possibly going to win. As he came on Sol handed him his captain's armband,
which was a wonderful gesture. Mind you, Gary was still the club captain.
To give the Southampton fans their due, most of them stayed and gave Gary
Mabbutt, and I suspect JK, a terrific reception as the team commenced their
lap of honour. Gary Mabbutt, David Howells, JK, Ginola, and Sol Campbell got
particularly noteworthy applause. The atmosphere was marvellous, and the
only sad note that I have is that when Christian Gross took the centre
circle for his own thanks, he got a mixed reception. This is the man who
navigated our survival for goodness sake!!
As a result of this point, we have gone above Sheffield Wednesday, and
finished 14th. I would be interested to hear when we were last in that
position, this season. (Declan Mulcahy responded:- Coincidentally it was on October 25, 1997 after the same round of games as was played on this occasion i.e. we had just lost 3-2 to Southampton at the Dell.)
And finally, one novel chant heard around the ground was "Oh Teddy Teddy!
Went to Man United and you won F--- all"!!!!
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