Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

TeleBest: Tottenham dream team

Pat Jennings
Keeper 
1964-77, 590 appearances
Tottenham have been blessed with a couple of keepers of the highest calibre - Jennings and Ray Clemence. The quiet Ulsterman (who got 119 caps for Northern Ireland) gets the nod because the best years of his career were at Spurs, while Clemence was at his peak at Liverpool. Spurs, mind you, misjudged how Jennings was winding down and let him got to Arsenal, who got eight more years out of him.
Pat Jennings
Keeper
1964-77, 590 appearances
Tottenham have been blessed with a couple of keepers of the highest calibre - Jennings and Ray Clemence. The quiet Ulsterman (who got 119 caps for Northern Ireland) gets the nod because the best years of his career were at Spurs, while Clemence was at his peak at Liverpool. Spurs, mind you, misjudged how Jennings was winding down and let him got to Arsenal, who got eight more years out of him.
Steve Perryman
Defender
1969-86, 854 appearances, 39 goals
Not a natural right-back, but deserves his place for his longevity amongst such stellar company, crossing several generations to do so. He played midfield, rightback and centre half, but gets his place at rightback, partly due to lack of competition, and partly because he'd do a very fine job there.
Alf Ramsey
Defender
1949-55, 250 appearances, 24 goals
He turned out to be rather handy as a manager but as a fullback, he changed the way the position was viewed - receiving the ball from the keeper and passing (and moving) in the classy side that won the title in 1951. Took a mean penalty and took a fullback's revenge on wingers in his 'wingless wonders' team of 1966.
Mike England
Defender
1966-75, 397 appearances, 19 goals
Spurs don't do rugged very well, so at the centre of defence (and base of the midfield), there's arguably the three toughest players they had. In ascending order. Welshman England was strong in the air, good on the ground and chipped in with the odd goal too.
Maurice Norman
Defender 1955-67, 411 appearances, 19 goals
Played a simple role to allow the more talented around him to excel, but another who's dominance in the air and willingness to step out of defence marked him out - as well as being one of the first central defenders to become the focus of attention in attacking set pieces.
Dave Mackay
Midfielder
1959-68, 318 appearances, 51 goals
A fine passer and the warrior spirit of any side, he could tackle and pass, although there's plenty in this side that can do that. But he would provide the grit that was evidenced by his recovery from two broken legs and by the famous photo of him threatening Leeds hard man Billy Bremner, grabbing his fellow Scot by the throat and reducing him to a quivering schoolboy.
Danny Blanchflower
Midfielder
1954-64, 382 appearances, 21 goals
A king amongst a midfield of royalty. Probably the best player to play for Spurs, he had a vision of the game and how it should be played which became the Tottenham template: "It is full of beautiful movements, ballet movements, if you like. It was never meant to be played in the air".
Glenn Hoddle
Midfielder
1975-87, 490 appearances, 110 goals
Can you have Blanchflower, Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne in the same team? Possibly, but you'd need more than one ball, so the choice comes down to Gazza or Hod? Both had a mastery of the midfield arts - passing, vision and shooting. Gazza may even have been marginally the better all-round player, but Hoddle nails it for his greater longevity at White Hart Lane and greater propensity to stay on the pitch.
Chris Waddle
Midfielder
1985-89, 173 appearances, 42 goals
The team needs winger to receive the raking passes and Waddle could stand wide on either side of the field and be relied on to torment a fullback with his shambling gait, ridiculous hair and inventive skill in a tight space. When he was sold it was for the third highest fee in the world at that time, and he was rather more appreciated at Marseille who better indulged his creativity. And forgave him for his Diamond Lights duet with Hoddle.
Jimmy Greaves
Striker
1961-70, 379 appearances, 266 goals
The finest goalscorer of his generation - a hat-trick on his debut and he gathered goals at an astonishing pace at Tottenham, at a rate bettered at international level. Forget his grating presence as a pundit, this man was a genius in the 18 yard box.
Gary Lineker
Striker
1989-92, 138 appearances, 80 goals
Two goal-poachers? Two TV pundits? In the same side? There could be a clash, but Greaves could operate with the ball at his feet while Lineker received and despatched the ball in the same split second. It would, at least, be worth a try to see if two of England's best scorers could work together. Lineker's ability to see the right run and make it time and again til the ball arrived would receive ample reward by playing with a strike partner could see the game as clearly as Greaves did.

Tottenham is a club littered with history; from becoming the first side in the 20th century to complete the League and FA Cup double, which they did in 1961, to becoming the first English side to lift a major European trophy when they won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963.

They didn't do that with mediocre players, making the Tottenham Dream Team a particularly hard selection. But do you agree with our choices? Who would be in your Dream Team?



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