Spurs have produced some legendary players in their illustrious history.
While other players may not be in the ‘hall of Fame’ category they have produced moments of individual brilliance that live long in the memories of Spurs fans.
This article explores some of my favourite individual performances that have become etched in Spurs folklore.
With two London derbies against West Ham coming up what better place to start than Canadian Paul Stalteri. Stalteri was a utility player – the Eric Dier of his era. It was the 2006/2007 season and Spurs were trailing 3-2 in front of raucous Upton Park crowd. The lively Adel Taarabt was tripped and Berbatov dispatched a 20 yard free kick to make it 3-3. Then in the dying embers of the match Paul Stalteri pounced on a parried Defoe shot to seal a 4-3 victory.
It’s no surprise that London derbies feature heavily in this article, and next up is someone who had the destinction of representing both Spurs and Arsenal. When David Bentley arrived at Spurs from Blackburn Rovers in the July of 2008 for £15 million he came with a reputation of being the best crossers of balls in the country, perhaps bar David Beckham. Bentley never lived up to the promise but will be remembered for scoring a spectacular volley (the opening goal) in the 4-4 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates in 2008. Incidentley this was Harry Redknapps first game in charge.
Keeping with the theme of North London derbies, next up is Younes Kaboul. Kaboul was a powerful centre back who enjoyed two spells with Spurs. Never quite winning the Spurs fans over he was even cruelly dubbed ‘useless’ Kaboul amongst some of his more unforgiving critics. Well in the derby at the Emirates in the November of 2010 he was anything but as he powered in a header to secure a 3-2 victory. Their first at Arsenal since May 1993.
That takes us onto a South African international who (along with Danny Rose) produced in my opinion one of the best goals scored by a Spurs debutant. Mbulelo Mabizela joined Spurs after impressing while playing against them for the Orlando Pirates. Mabizela, a substitute v Leicester City in October 2003 entered the field of play to a back drop of jeers from the home fans enquiring (Not very politely) who he was. Well they were soon to find out (for his 5 minutes of fame at least) as he rifled home a late winner to give Spurs a 2-1 victory.
The celebration was also one of the most passionate seen in a Spurs shirt!
Mabizela only went on to make 7 appearances for Spurs but had guaranteed his own little piece of Spurs history.
Finally, mention of Ronny Rosenthal to any non-spurs supporting football fan and his miss for Liverpool v Aston Villa is the first thing that comes to mind. For Spurs fans the memories are far sweeter.
It was the 1994/1995 season when Spurs faced Southampton at the Dell in an FA Cup replay. Spurs trailed 2-0 At halftime when an inspired Rosenthal scored a hattrick (passed former teammate Bruce Grobbelaar) to help Spurs to a 6-2 victory. Rosenthal scored a total of 11 goals in 100 spurs appearances.
So the stage is set for the next hero to emerge from the pack and walk tall. What price a late winner at the London Stadium on Saturday? Moussa Sissoko anyone?
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