From Ian McCulloch
Fulham Spurred On To Revenge
Tottenham's recent nightmare run continued on Monday night when they went down 1-0 at home to Charlton. This was something of an improvement on their recent form, the North London side having lost their three previous games 4-0.
Spurs' season perfectly represents the vagaries of modern Premiership football. When Fulham lost 4-0 at White Hart Lane in December, Tottenham were in the middle of a spell when everything they touched turned to gold. Goals flew in with every attack, and with a European spot on the league horizon, they moved comfortably through to the Worthington Cup Final and the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup.
Now they can't buy a goal, they lost the Worthington to Blackburn and were dumped out of the Cup by Chelsea who gave them two 4-0 thrashings in the space of four days. Their inspirational players have lost form, and the Spurs' faithful are screaming for change.
As they slip down the table, relegation is not a worry, but Spurs' hopes for European competition next season are looking sadly forlorn.
Glen Hoddle's purchase of Teddy Sheringham from Manchester United looked to be a masterstroke as the England international, playing some of the best football of his career, orchestrated all the good things happening on the pitch and forced himself back into Sven Goran Eriksson's reckoning.
The burdens of a long English season have taken their toll however, and Sheringham, along with the others in Hoddle's "old guard", is looking a shadow of his former self.
Injuries have had a big impact on Spur's season and Hoddle has had to cope without several of his key players at crucial times. Republic of Ireland full back Steven Carr has not featured this term and neither has striker Chris Armstrong. Gary Doherty has been out since September with a broken leg, and Stephen Clemence hasn't appeared since August. Steffen Iverson has struggled to overcome injury all season.
On a more positive note, despite suffering from a hamstring injury recently, Darren "Sicknote" Anderton has had a relatively trouble-free season. Spurs have not kept a clean sheet in the League since January 1st, a statistic that sums up their frustrations in trying to put out a settled team.
Hoddle's problems continue to mount and reports coming out of White Hart Lane claim that Spurs are down to sixteen fit players for Sunday's visit to Fulham.
Sheringham is struggling with a groin strain and is only rated at 50-50. Defender Dean Richards is doubtful with a hamstring injury and striker Les Ferdinand came off at half time in the game against Charlton with an Achilles tendon problem.
Ben Thatcher is still suffering from a leg injury, and Mauricio Taricco was kept on the bench on Monday, Glen Hoddle presumably wanting to save the referee from having to send him there himself.
From The Past
Fulham 1 - Tottenham 1 12th December 1959
It was Fulham's first season back in top-flight football and they were flying. Some outstanding performances and high-scoring wins had moved the Whites into fifth position in the First Division and the visit of second placed Tottenham attracted a crowd of over 36,000 to the Cottage.
In what sounds a remarkably familiar scenario, Fulham totally dominated the game, missed a number of good chances and were denied a clear-cut penalty right at the death when a Tottenham defender punched a goal-bound shot to safety.
Johnny Haynes had a magnificent game, controlling everything, and was ably assisted by Jimmy Hill who scored his side's only goal. Spurs went home grateful and relieved not to have lost.
A win that day would have put Fulham top of the table. They went on to finish in tenth place - still their best ever finish to a season. The Spurs team went on to win the League and Cup double the following year.
He Wore Both Colours
Striker Steve Archibald began his career at Clyde before moving on to Aberdeen and then Tottenham in 1980. Top-scoring for Spurs in three of his seasons with them he also topped the First Division scoring charts in 1980/81 with 20 goals. After winning the UEFA Cup with Spurs, he moved on to Barcelona, Hibernian, Espanyol, St Mirren, Reading and Ayr.
He joined Fulham in September 1992, as manager Don Mackay desperately tried to solve his chronic striking crisis, but played only two games before retiring. Archibald played 27 times for Scotland, scoring four times, and later moved on to manage East Fife.
In 2000 Archibald took over Airdrieonians who had gone into liquidation with debts of £2million. Filling the team with foreign players, Airdrie took that year's Bells League Challenge Cup.
Archibald was thrown out the following year after failing to pay the administrators the money owed in the takeover.
Not Many People Know That
Tottenham conceded more penalties than any other Club in the Premiership last season - seven.