In one of the least surprising news stories of the day, Gennaro Gattuso has been charged by UEFA with ‘Gross Unsporting Behaviour’ after his clash with Joe Jordan on Tuesday.
After the game, a rash of Joe Jordan stories have cropped up, telling us why Gattuso had picked on the wrong man. Few, if any, mention a little incident involving Joe and the then Spurs goalkeeper Milija Aleksic.
After Barry Daines had largely failed to step into Pat Jennings’ boots, and let’s face it who could? Spurs signed Aleksic from Luton in 1979 and for a while he alternated with Daines and Mark Kendall for the number one jersey.
In an FA Cup tie against Man Utd, Aleksic and Jordan were involved in repeated tussles at corners, but what happened next is subject to conjecture. From what I recall of the TV footage, we were just shown a shot of Aleksic lying in a heap with Jordan jogging away from the scene – you could almost imagine him whistling innocently.
Aleksic’s jaw was dislocated and his sporting heroes profile says he was injured in an accidental collision. Of course, I would never suggest this wasn’t the case, particularly in the event of ever meeting Joe!
Milija recovered and for a while made the number one jersey his own. The pinnacle of his Spurs career came when he won an FA Cup medal in 1981 before losing his place permanently to Ray Clemence the following season.
For a time, Joe Jordan was a hated figure at the Lane but football can be a forgiving game and on Tuesday you’d rather have had big Joe in your corner than the ‘little dog’ Gattuso.