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.

Goalkeeper

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.

Right Back

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.

Left Back

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.

Centre Back

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.

Centre Back

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.

Midfield

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.

Midfield

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.

Midfield

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.

Midfield

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.

Striker

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.

Striker

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.

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16 COMMENTS

    • Only went to one World Cup in 82, but Peter Shilton was picked in every game instead of him. Clemence retired from international football after that.

  1. hahahaha robinson over jennings, ur having a laugh, also you could have done better than anderton, com on dude thats rediculas, i wudnt choose half of them players!!!!

  2. How on earth can you omit Danny Blanchflower? He was pivitol to Northern Ireland reaching the quarter finals in Sweden in 1958, having already beaten Italy. Danny would have to be the first name on the team sheet, and captain too.

  3. Ardiles won the Cup…and he was omitted to make way for Darren Anderton..and the point of this article is…????

      • Ardiles played five times for Argentina in the 1982 World Cup finals and scored once. It wasn’t a great Cup for them though as they got beat by Belgium, Brazil and Italy. Ardiles by all accounts played well, but I can see why you picked Anderton. Blanchflower mind you was a revelation in 58 and the Irish were deemed to have been second only to Brazil for style and entertaining the crowds. I’d find a place for him.

  4. Pat Jennings – regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Paul Robinson – very good player but not one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

    Colin Calderwood, Darren Anderton, Christian Zeige (whom I saw live in the 2002 World Cup Final in Yokohama)? You’re having a laugh.

    What about Dave Mackay, Martin Peters, Jimmy Greaves, Cliff Jones. We’re talking about four of the greatest Tottenham players of all time – Dave Mackay was probably the greatest. Why is he not included?

    Why am I even bothering to submit a response to this ridiculous article. It’s pathetic. Why not put in Terry Naylor, Colin Lee and Terry Gibson?

    • The idea was to pick a team based on Spurs players who had represented their team at the World Cup, based on how successful they were in a particular tournament.

      Yes, Jennings was a much better keeper than Robinson, but he only played in one World Cup as a Spurs player in 86, in which Northern Ireland went out in the group stages without winning a game, while Robinson kept four clean sheets.

      Dave Mackay – Played in 1958 when still a Hearts player.
      Peters – Won World Cup as a West Ham player. Could have picked him in 1970, but didn’t.
      Jimmy Greaves – Scored only one World Cup goal from his appearances in 62 and 66.
      Cliff Jones – Was a Swansea player in 1958. Granted, could have considered Hopkins and Medwin, which was remiss of me.

      You sound like you’ve watched Spurs for a long time, so you’ve probably noticed that our left backs have been historically useless. Which is why Ziege makes the team. The only other left backs we’ve had at a World Cup were Lee Young-Pyo and Medwin, who I admit I perhaps could have picked but he slipped my notice.

      I explain Calderwood. He is not Sol Campbell.

      Anderton did actually have a really good World Cup in 1998.

      Likewise

      • I’ve often seen it reported that Cliff Jones was a Swansea player in 1958 World Cup, but I don’t think that’s the case. He played his first game for Spurs against Arsenal on February 22, 1958! The World Cup took place in June 1958. I’ll ask Cliff when I next speak to him.

  5. Yes, and of course, Danny Blanchflower.

    I still can’t get over Paul Robinson instead of Pat Jennings. That’s sacrilege.

    Maybe next you’ll propose Jason Cundy, Ramon Vega and that 3 foot 2 inch Portuguese fella whose name I forget but might have been Dominguez whom Christian Underground Ticket Gross bought who was no better than my dead Auntie Hilda. I don’t know if he ever played in a World Cup but why not? Colin Calderwood?

  6. Chris Waddle from 1990… class… except the odd penalty…

    Iverson, Leonhardson, Did Kassey Keller do a word cup whilst with us? Not sure

    Robbie Keane had a spectacular time in South Korea but again i think this was before he joined us.

  7. Nice article. Certainly got people talking. My team would be (going on performances in the tournament as Spurs players)

    1. Erik Thorsetvedt (Norway 1994)
    2. Alf Ramsey (England 1950)
    3. Mel Hopkins (Wales 1958)
    4. Maurice Norman (England 1962)
    5. Sol Campbell (England 1998)
    6. Danny Blanchflower (N Ireland 1958)
    7. Paul Gascoigne (England 1990)
    8. Alan Mullery (England 1970)
    9. Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany 1998)
    10. Gary Lineker (England 1990)
    11. Cliff Jones (Wales 1958) (TO BE CONFIRMED)

    I’ve chosen Mullery ahead of Hoddle to add some steel to the middle.

    Rest of the Squad 23-man squad.
    12. Martin Peters (England 1970)
    13. Darren Anderton (England 1998)
    14. Glenn Hoddle (England 1986)
    15. Paul Robinson (England 2006)
    16. Ossie Ardiles (Argentina 1982)
    17. Christan Ziege (Germany 2002)
    18. Terry Medwin (Wales 1958)
    19. Jimmy Greaves (England 1962)
    20. Eddie Baily (England 1950)
    21. Aaron Lennon (England 2006)
    22. Steve Archibald (Scotland 1982)
    23. Pat Jennings (N Ireland 1986)

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