Our next fixture in the Premier League takes us to North-East London to play Tottenham Hotspur. Our first game at White Hart Lane was witnessed by 19,000 people as an FA Cup 2nd round tie ended 1-1 in 1905, the most recent meeting of the two sides came last February when a spirited United was beaten quite simply by the brilliance of Gareth Bale as he scored two either side of Yoann Gouffran’s first goal in Black & White.
That game back in February was certainly an improvement upon our display the year previously when Spurs, seemingly inspired by the expected call from the FA for then manager Harry Redknapp thumped a Toon side which had been in relatively good form by 5 goals to nil with former Magpies striker Louis Saha bagging a brace. Our last win at White Hart Lane came in 2008 during Kevin Keegan’s brief second spell as manager in perhaps our best performance during that period, a magnificent 4-1 victory which had us all believing the 90s were back for a brief moment with a mouth-watering front three of Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen playing just behind, which was strangely never utilised again after Keegan departed.
A month after beating their local rivals Arsenal at Highbury and finally ending that wretched “London hoodoo” which was well and truly milked by the media, we travelled to Tottenham in our next game in the capital and won 3-1, coming from behind with second half goals from Clarence Acuna, Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, at this point I shall refrain from making any clichés regarding London Buses….we were victorious in September 1996 when Les Ferdinand was at the double and also in December 1993 when Peter Beardsley also scored two with the second in particular a wonderful solo effort in which Pedro’s feet simply bamboozled the Spurs defence, both games ended 2-1.
We lost an FA Cup 5th round match at White Hart Lane to a Clive Allen penalty back in 1987, although most Newcastle fans present that day will remember it for different reasons as approximately 12,000 Newcastle fans were packed into an area which was lucky if the capacity was even half that number and many have said a Hillsborough type of tragedy was luckily avoided that day (footage can be seen herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i42jCN6duHY#t=122).
In 1985 we were given a 5-1 hammering by a great Spurs side containing the likes of Hoddle, Waddle and Ardiles, Jamaican winger John Cheodozie scoring two on that occasion. Finally, older fans may remember a good 3-0 victory over a strong Spurs team with Pat Jennings in goal back in 1976, the scorers that day were Micky Burns and Malcolm Macdonald (2).