|Having been a fan of Spurs
from the tender age of 11, after witnessing the miracle that was Ricky's
winning goal at Wembley, it had always been a dream of mine t see them
play. Living in Dunfermline and following the Pars (that's
Dunfermline Athletic for the heathens among you) every week, this is a
bit of a disadvantage in this respect. So, when I heard that
hearts had arranged a friendly against London's Pride, the pulse rate
rose discernibly. Would my image of Tottenham as a classy,
entertaining side be confirmed or destroyed ?
Persuading a couple of mates to join me
was easy after Gazza's brilliant display in Italy and as we walked up
the Gorgie Road, we found ourselves in the middle of a group of loyal
Lilywhites. They were in good voice (especially under the bridges) with
their Anti-Arsenal songs particularly pleasing to the ear.
The presence of Gazza, Lineker and
Hearts' big summer signing Derek Ferguson was the reason for an
impressive crowd of just under 20,000. With both teams fielding
their strongest sides, it was obvious from the start that the game was
going to be serious and competitive, as Nayim found out when he was
clattered in the opening minutes.
Almost inevitably, Gazza produced the
first incident worth discussing. He was booked, very harshly in my
opinion, for dissent (i.e. for smiling and laughing) and although the
referee - George Smith - is renowned for being pedantic, it looks as
though the (less) fat boy will be in for similar treatment from all refs
this season as his profile is higher than a bid from Juventus !!
Hearts were impressive in the first half
with their World Cup pair of central defenders. McPherson and Levin (buy
him Tel), looking very assured. Nonetheless, after the Jam Tarts
had taken the lead with a superb goal from Foster, Spurs were unlucky
not to equalise with Stewart and Gazza squandering good chances.
Mabbutt was absolutely superb and covering for the decidedly dodgy
defensive pairing of Sedgley and Howells, he needed to be. Half
time 0-1 down, but there was enough good signs to merit optimism for the
The Spurs restarted the match, in a much
more positive mood, with Gascoigne taking complete control of the
midfield. Although Ferguson was playing quite well, he was not in
the same class as the Geordie. The speed of Spurs' attacks from
defence, particularly stemming from Gudni, was impressive and Hearts'
goalie, Henry Smith, had to make some great saves from Lineker and
Stewart. The long-awaited goal arrived when Howells, who
definitely looked more comfortable in more forward positions (ooh, err
!!), nodded in a Gazza free-kick.
As happens in most friendlies, the last
ten minutes were a bit of a non-event, with numerous substitutions from
both sides. The match finished 1-1 and although the result was a
bit disappointing, the overall performance was not.
Were Spurs potential League winners
? With a solid defender (come back Gough), then I don't see why
not. After all, this season does end in a "one" and we
have the best player in Britain (maybe the world ?) in Gazza. He
was the star of the show at Tynecastle and the fact that he left the
field to a standing ovation from the same fans who were taking the
mickey out of him all night shows he let no-one down.
So, was the image confirmed or destroyed
? Confirmed beyond all doubt !! Now, where are those train
timetables to Kings Cross ... ??
A Scottish Spur