The task: to pick a team based on the past World Cup exploits of Spurs players.
The criteria: Players to be chosen based on their success at a single tournament (eg. Paul Gascoigne – 1990)
Why: The season’s over and there’s nothing else to write about.
Paul Robinson – England – 2006
Consideration was given to Erik Thorstvedt, who kept two clean sheets in three games in 1994 and Pat Jennings, who having found himself without a club in 1986, registered with Tottenham before going to Mexico with Northern Ireland.
The position goes to the much-maligned Paul Robinson, who kept four clean sheets in his five starts in 2006. Fabio Capello will be hoping that whoever he chooses between the sticks in this World Cup, will do equally well.
Alf Ramsey – England – 1950
Not a classic World Cup for Sir Alf, but makes the team thanks to Tottenham’s fine tradition of normally having non-international class full backs. After getting off to a good start by beating Chile, England were eliminated after their famous loss to the USA and a defeat to Spain.
Christian Ziege – Germany – 2002
Our German left back played in every group game, the quarter final and came on as a substitute in the final, as Germany finished runners-up to Brazil.
Maurice Norman – England – 1962
A year after winning the double, Maurice Norman was on the hunt for World Cup glory. Norman played in all four of England’s games, including a 3-1 win over Argentina, before eventually being knocked out of the tournament by Brazil.
Colin Calderwood – Scotland – 1998
If I was a fair man I would give this spot to Sol Campbell, who played superbly in 1998, in a tournament in which he went on a number of mazy dribbles – something that no one has ever seen him do since.
However, I’m anything but a fair man and so instead I’m giving the spot to Colin Calderwood, who appeared twice for Scotland in 1998.
Alan Mullery – England – 1970
I’m copying Sir Alf’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ formation and will field Mullery as our defensive midfielder. Mullery played in all four of England’s games in Mexico 1970 and scored the opening goal against Germany in the quarter final, before we eventually lost 3-2.
Paul Gascoigne – England – 1990
The first name on the team sheet. Arrived at the tournament with his spot in the team far from assured, but left hailed as the best player at Italia 90.
Glenn Hoddle – England – 1986
After two poor opening results for England against Portugal and Morocco, they received a stroke of luck when Bryan Robson got injured. With Ray Wilkins suspended, Bobby Robson had no choice but to put Hoddle at centre stage, at which point England actually started to play some football.
Hoddle had a disappointing international career, but the 1986 World Cup was probably his finest hour. May no England manager ever waste such a brilliant talent again.
Darren Anderton – England – 1998
I could have easily picked Martin Peters from 1970, or Ossie Ardiles in 1982, but I’m giving the final spot to an under-appreciated England player, who nevertheless always turned it on at international level.
Having recovered from injury, Anderton played in all of England’s four games and scored a great goal against Columbia.
Gary Lineker – England – 1990
1986 might have been Gary Lineker’s best World Cup year when he was top scorer with six goals, but as a Spurs player he scored four goals in 1990, as England progressed the the semi-finals.
Lineker’s total of ten World Cup goals has only ever been bettered by six players.
Jurgen Klinsmann – Germany – 1998
One of the players to have scored more World Cup goals than Gary Lineker is Jurgen Klinsmann, who followed up a loan spell at Spurs by scoring three goals at the 1998 World Cup. Reluctantly, I have to accept that this is better than Jimmy Greaves managed in 1962 or 1966.