Tottenham Hotspur is one of the biggest clubs in England. They have often prided themselves on being a working man’s club, playing attractive football without splashing the cash. One thing is certain; they’ve always been an entertaining side to watch, regardless of trophies won. Without further ado, let’s examine Tottenham Hotspur greatest XI of all time –
Here’s the Tottenham Hotspur greatest XI of all time –
Goalkeeper: Pat Jennings
Jennings made such an impact at Watford after moving from Newry Town in 1963 that Bill Nicholson splashed out £27k for a 19-year-old with only 48 league appearances behind him. It proved to be one of the legendary manager’s greatest-ever signings.
The young Irishman’s task was to take over from Scotland’s Bill Brown of the double-winning side of 1960-61. At 6ft 2ins and with an unflappable temperament Spurs had seen sufficient qualities to bring him to White Hart Lane.
Pat Jennings will be remembered as one of the finest goalkeepers to ever grace the game. He spent thirteen years at White Hart Lane, where he played in 472 league games for Spurs, and 591 in all competitions. He won the FA Cup in 1967, the League Cup in 1971 and 1973, and the UEFA Cup in 1972. Jennings also played 119 times for Northern Ireland, including two World Cups.
Left Back: Cyril Knowles
Cyril Knowles is one of the best left-backs to grace White Hart Lane. A winger early in his career, Bill Nicholson forked out £45,000 for his services from Middlesbrough in 1964 and Knowles soon developed the style of the overlapping full-back, using all his natural ability from his days as a winger to great effect.
Knowles would spend 11 years at White Hart Lane, where he was famed for his crossing ability, creating countless opportunities from open play as well as set pieces. He is also remembered for his excellent partnership with Irish right-back Joe Kinnear and his valuable contribution towards the acceptance of the overlapping, attacking full-back in modern football. Knowles won The FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup in his time at Spurs.
Centre Back: Ledley King
King’s career was cut woefully short due to a chronic knee injury that meant he could only play one game a week, but when he did play, he was a beast of a defender and a natural leader at White Hart Lane.
Having come through the Club’s Academy ranks, Ledley made his senior debut as an 18-year-old, coming on as a substitute during a 3-2 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield in May 1999. Over the next few seasons, Ledley earned recognition as one of the best young defenders in the country, also often operating as a defensive midfielder. Despite only having one fully functional knee, the “absolute freak” as christened by Harry Redknapp, gave Spurs fans plenty of moments in a white shirt.
King announced his retirement from all forms of football on 19 July 2012 as a result of the chronic knee injuries that plagued much of his career. He continues to represent Tottenham Hotspur on an ambassadorial level.
Right Back: Steve Perryman
Steve Perryman is a Tottenham Hotspur legend; not just for the amount of silverware he lifted , but also the number of games he played in a career spanning 17 years with the club. Steve Perryman played over 850 matches in all competitions and holds the record for most appearances in the league, FA Cup, League Cup and Europe.
Signing apprentice forms in 1967, Perryman made his league debut in 1969 as a midfielder but he would spend most of his career in the famous white shirt in defence. He quickly became a regular in the team and had a knack of appearing in and around the penalty area to hit powerful shots into the net. His game was to upset the opposition’s midfield and get the ball off them before passing it on to the more experienced Alan Mullery or Martin Peters alongside him. He was named captain in 1975.
With Spurs, he won the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 and the League Cup in 1971 and 1973.
Defensive Midfield: Dave MacKay
Aged 24, MacKay was signed by Tottenham Hotspur for £32,000 in March 1959 from Heart of Midlothian. A Hearts fan since childhood, Mackay had already won the league and cups with the Edinburgh side, and was captain of the team that won the Scottish League title with an incredible +103 goal difference in 1958.
His impact at Spurs was immediate, with manager Bill Nicholson bringing Mackay in alongside the likes of winger Cliff Jones, striker Bobby Smith and captain Danny Blanchflower. Known for his determined attitude, the defining moment of his career came in 1961 when he played a major role in Tottenham’s FA Cup and League Championship ‘double’ success, alongside his partner, Danny Blanchflower.
He made over 300 appearances for Tottenham in total before transferring to Brian Clough’s Derby County in 1968.
Central Midfield: Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle was one of the most naturally gifted English player of his generation. He possessed sublime balance and close control, unrivaled passing and vision and extraordinary shooting ability, both from open play and set pieces.
Hoddle joined the club as a junior when he was 12, and signed for the club as an apprentice on 17 April 1974. Hoddle soon turned pro and lit up the Lane for 12 years with his knack of being able to turn a game with a moment of magic.
He was the fulcrum in the midfield of the great Spurs team of the early 1980s that won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup, although injury ruled him out of the European final. He also appeared in the 1987 FA Cup and 1982 League Cup Finals. The gifted playmaker scored 110 goals in 490 first-team matches in all competitions before leaving for AS Monaco in 1987.
Central Midfield: Danny Blanchflower
Danny Blanchflower once said: “The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It’s nothing of the kind. The game is about glory. It is about doing things in style, with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”
He moved to Tottenham from Aston Villa in 1954 for £30,000 – a huge fee at that time for a 28-year-old. Blanchflower went on to play 382 matches for Spurs, where his vision and subtlety ensured he was twice named English footballer of the year, in 1957/58 and 1960/61.
He captained the north London club to the first league and FA Cup double of the 20th century in 1960/61, and skippered them to further FA Cup success the following season. His place in White Hart Lane folklore was further cemented in 1963 when he became the first captain of an English team to lift a European trophy as Spurs beat Club Atlético de Madrid 5-1 in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in Rotterdam.