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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 10 hours ago
Read
Nov 22, 2009

Spurs roll back the years to the "Glory Game"

Harry Redknapp told me not so long ago that he wanted to be such a huge success at Spurs that he would become the next England manager.

• Tottenham 9-1 Wigan: Spurs on Cloud Nine
• Premier League's biggest wins
• Kevin Palmer on Defoe

Well, he's a long way from turning back the clock to the glory, glory days of the 60s, but this kind of result is sure to raise expectations about a real revival down at the Lane.

When Fabio Capello quits the England post, there will be the usual clamour for an Englishman to take control again, and Redknapp would love to be in the frame, but makes the point that all Spurs fans won't object because to be considered for such a post he would have to have made a huge impact in North London.

Spurs are back in fourth place and if Redknapp can take the club into the coveted land of the Champions League then he will have made a massive start in turning round the fortunes of a club that once was synonymous with playing the game in the right way, the Danny Blanchflower philosophy of the "glory game". The quirky Irishman captained Spurs in the 60s with such dignity and the way his team played was more important than winning. The reverse is true in the modern game.

For a long time it didn't even matter to the Spurs faithful that Arsenal began to win more trophies, as "their" club played watchable football, while George Graham's team churned out the championships and cups. Then came Arsene Wenger to steal Spurs' bragging rights of the game played in the right spirit.

But a 9-1 win? Alright, it was against Wigan and not Manchester United - not much chance of that happening - but it returns to Spurs supporters the belief that it's worth watching their team again. Spurs are at Old Trafford on December 1, and how they would like just one goal, if it was the winning one.

There is no doubt that Redknapp enjoys putting out watchable teams as he did for so long at West Ham. He won the FA Cup with Portsmouth, a feat in itself, and suddenly there is a spring in the step of Spurs fans.

For someone who has just published a book entitled Down Memory Lane - 50 Years Supporting Spurs" there is no guessing where my allegiances lie. Yet, I must confess, I love watching Wenger's Arsenal and have done for years.

In a season of an abundance of goals, it shouldn't be a surprise that someone has hit nine but few would have thought it would be Spurs. It's been another weekend packed full of goals, a 3-3 between Hull and West Ham, and four goals shared by Liverpool and Manchester City, which did neither side much good. Chelsea bagged four against Wolves, and with Didier Drogba playing might have got a couple more.

But the most spectacular result by far, and for some time, must be this one. You would have thought the days of nine goals was long gone. Aren't we glad that they could be back, with so many teams placing the emphasis on going for goals - instead of parking the bus?

And talking of England as I did at the start, Michael Owen is starting to get back into the groove at Old Trafford, but Jermain Defoe isn't going to be shifted from his position as No.1 strike option to come off the bench for Capello in the World Cup.

Defoe equalled a Premier League record with his five goals, while Spurs equalled Manchester United's Premier League goalscoring record of nine.

It lifted Spurs to a +14 goal difference but Arsenal have +21 and Chelsea +25, which indicates the level of goals the top clubs are raking in. Not a lot of people will know that Defoe warmed up for this game, by "managing" a team of his friends to the David Beckham Academy on Wednesday evening and his boys won the penalty competition run by legends Peter Bonetti and Alex Stepney

But there is no stopping 'Arry at the moment, he cannot recall many scores of nine in his 1100 games in the top flight.

The bookies were just as shocked, and, unsurprisingly, no-one placed a bet on 9-1. Had they done so, the bookies would have put 760-1, and would have asked for the man in white coats. It's 1000-1 for Spurs to score nine at Villa Park, but those odds might just drop a bit if a few punters lump on.

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