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Preview Charlton v Spurs, 08.12.01

Full League Record of Spurs v Charlton:-

Premier             Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home                 2  0  2  0    2 - 2   2
Away                 2  1  0  1    4 - 2   3
Total (Premier)      4  1  2  1    6 - 4   5
Football Lge Div 1     
Home                11  6  1  4   22 -15  15
Away                11  6  4  1   20 -11  18
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
Football Lge Div 2
Home                 6  5  1  0   20 - 5  11
Away                 6  1  0  5    5 - 9   2
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
Total (Premier)      4  1  2  1    6 - 4   5
Total (Division 1)  22 12  5  5   42 -26  33
Total (Division 2)  12  6  1  5   25 -14  13
Grand Total         38 19  8 11   73 -44  51

Charlton's record this season:-

Pos    P   W  D  L    F-A    Pts

15th  15   4  6  5   18-19   18

Charlton    1	2  Everton
A. Villa    1	0  Charlton 
Ipswich     0	1  Charlton 
Charlton    1	1  Fulham
Charlton    0	2  Leeds Utd
Sunderland  2	2  Charlton 
Charlton    2	0  Leicester 
Charlton    0	0  Middlesbrough
Derby       1	1  Charlton 
Charlton    0	2  Liverpool
Arsenal	    2	4  Charlton 
Charlton    4	4  West Ham 
Southampton 1	0  Charlton 
Charlton    1	1  Newcastle 
Chelsea	    0	1  Charlton 

Charlton have won just four games this season and only one of those has been at home, against lowly Leicester. However, they have obtained two of the most remarkable results of any team this season, by beating both Arsenal and Chelsea away. Clearly this is a team not to be messed with, and Spurs will have their work cut out to maintain their own excellent league form. Ex-Wimbledon man Jason Euell is the top scorer with five goals, followed closely by Johansson, on four.

A full house is guaranteed, and Spurs Odyssey will be there to report upon the action. At this stage, it looks like Les Ferdinand will be absent, but maybe Mauricio Taricco will be fit.

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Charlton's best days were those before and just after WW2. They rose from the old Third Division (South) to within a whisker of winning the Championship only a few years after having been bottom of the League. The vision for that climb, of course, came from Jimmy Seed. If you know your Spurs history, you will be aware that Seed was one of Tottenham's great players. Seed joined Sunderland just before WW1 but was gassed whilst serving in the Army and was released by Sunderland, who did not think he was fit to play football. Tottenham spotted him playing for Mid-Rhondda and signed him in February 1920. Like many other players, Seed was injured and could not regain his place in 1927. He was allowed to move to Sheffield Wednesday and played his part in their successful fight to avoid relegation and then go on to win two successive championships whilst Spurs spent most of the next 20 years regretting the day they had released him. After leaving the Owls, he had a brief stint as manager of Clapton Orient before taking over at Charlton, where he was manager from 1933 to 1956. In his time there, Charlton were runners-up in the FA Cup in 1946 and winners the following year, both finals being characterised by the ball bursting during play.

Because Charlton were relegated in May 1957, I only saw them once for many years. We thrashed them 6-2 at Tottenham, the fourth goal being our 100th for the season. They were a very sad side that day. It was obvious it would be a long time before they graced the top flight again.

In fact, they did not return to top flight football until season 1986-87 when Lennie Lawrence was their manager. They survived the fight against relegation for five seasons before dropping down a flight, which cost Lawrence his job. Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt were then appointed joint managers until Gritt's services were dispensed with in the summer of 1995. Curbishley has become one of the game's most thoughtful managers and has twice steered Charlton into the Premier League on a shoestring budget.

Undoubtedly, the turning point for Charlton was their emotional return to The Valley. In 1985, they had abandoned The Valley because it was too expensive and had shared grounds with Crystal Palace and West Ham before returning to a smaller version of The Valley. The ground has been slowly rebuilt in line with their limited budget. They are unlikely to be one of the bigger teams in the pyramid but they are probably one of the friendliest clubs.

I have not been to the Valley, as far as I can recall. I very rarely travelled south of the river as it is a nightmare travelling to games. I cannot recall going anywhere other than to Millwall (once) and Crystal Palace (twice) so I am unable to recall any past encounters in this particular fixture.

Whilst there have been a number of former Spurs players who have also played for Charlton (Mike Flanagan springs to mind), I cannot remember Spurs signing anyone from Charlton offhand. Flanagan and Derek Hales were a very effective strike force for Charlton but the team played so badly in a Cup tie that I believe Flanagan and Hales were sent off for fighting each other even though they were team mates. I believe Hales was subsequently sacked by Charlton.

Probably one of Charlton's best players was Eddie Firmani, a player who came from South Africa but who had Italian ancestry. He played in Italy during the same era as John Charles, who played for Juventus and Roma, whilst Firmani played for Genoa. Another good player for Charlton was one Johnny Summers, who once scored five goals for Charlton in a match that saw Charlton beat Huddersfield Town, 7-6.

Charlton made a surprise start to last season and threatened to qualify for Europe at one point before settling for a mid-table position. Unhappily, they have not been able to recapture last season's form and have been struggling, although they are unlikely to be dragged down to the basement with the strugglers.

Spurs are capable of going to The Valley and pulling off a good victory. Their confidence must be sky-high after the way they came back against Bolton last Monday. The Trotters posed some considerable questions with their 4-5-1 line-up which made life difficult for Spurs when they fell behind but they played well in the second half. Ferdinand is doubtful for tomorrow's match but everybody else is expected to be fit. I expect Spurs to play well and to win 2-1.


Cheers, Brian

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