Former Spurs man from 2005 gives unique insight into that infamous lasagne-gate

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur first qualified for the Champions League under Harry Redknapp, with that iconic Peter Crouch header against Man City dealing their fourth-place finish.

However, Spurs could have actually qualified for the competition years earlier under Martin Jol in the 2005/06 season, if not for an incident that has gone down in Premier League history.

Spurs had occupied fourth in the league since December and looked set to finish above the Gunners to qualify for their first-ever Champions League.

All Tottenham had to do was match Arsenal’s score on the final day of the season, with the Gunners eventually winning 4-2 against Wigan.

However, with the Spurs squad eating out before the big game, a number of first-team stars were struck with a nasty flu, thus nicknamed lasagne-gate.

Andy Reid, who was signed in 2005 and came on against West Ham for the ill Michael Carrick, has opened up on the incident nearly 15 years later.

He said (The Broken Metatarsal Podcast): “There was maybe five lads that got ill. Michael Dawson and Michael Carrick, they played and you could just tell by the colour of their faces they were really ill.

“If it was a coincidence then it was a hell of a coincidence. I know at the time it was taken very very seriously. You don’t want to make excuses but because of that game we didn’t qualify for the Champions League. There was a hell of a lot riding on it financially, for the club, for the players, and also the prestige of playing in the Champions League.

“We missed our opportunity and we just weren’t able to compete that day. We had to play with only six fully fit players. It was very very strange and it was very very disappointing after the season that we’d had.

“We’d had a really really good season, played some great football. When I think back on that season, the player that jumps out at me that really stood out and was fantastic for us was Michael Carrick. He was phenomenal; passing, right foot, left foot, dictating the speed of the play, breaking up play. He was really top-notch that season.

“I remember the lads being really really poorly; people throwing up and really grey faces. I remember looking at Michael Dawson, he’s pale and pasty at the best of times, you could almost see through him!

“I suppose you can go into a restaurant at any time and get some food that’s not quite right, that’s probably happened to everybody at some point. It was a bit of a coincidence.”

Asked what he ate that infamous night, Reid replied: “I didn’t have the lasagna!”

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