Friday, 20 May 2016

Top 4 on Friday - embarrassing blunders

Tottenham's implosion at Newcastle may have cost second place in the Premier League but it did confirm that we are still champions when it comes to embarrassing gaffes.

In this week's irrelevant rundown of ridiculous Spurs trivia, here's some of our most glorious cock-ups and blunders of recent years.

4. Manchester City collapse, February 2004
This could really be any of a number of nightmare capitulations. Everyone talks about the Manchester United 5-3, but that was at least against the champions of England - this one was pre-money Man City and seems to get forgotten.

That does not make it any less horrific.

After a 1-1 draw in Manchester, we were 3-0 up at the break - compounded by the fact City had Joey Barton sent off as the half-time whistle went.

Yet somehow we let Kevin Keegan's side back into it and Shaun Wright-Phillips pulled them level with ten minutes left. Then, just as we were hanging our heads and settling for extra-time, Jon Macken nicked the goal to leave us red-faced.

3. Glenn Hoddle's Rivaldo letter, August 2002
Brazilian Rivaldo had a barnstorming World Cup in 2002 but his Barcelona deal was up and Spurs launched an audacious bid for the playmaker.

Needless to say he was not wooed by our mid-table mediocrity of the time. But rather than just let it go as a busted flush, then-boss Glenn Hoddle had to make it clear that at least we were trying to sign this type of player. 

The former England boss said: "We came so close to getting Rivaldo and I thought it was a touch of class for him to send us a terrific letter explaining his decision."

Needless to say, nobody cared. In fact, everybody laughed. We didn't have Rivaldo, AC Milan did. That's all that mattered.

2. Christian Gross' dream ticket, November 1997
The Swiss boss arrived with a big reputation having won titles with Grasshopper Zurich. He lasted nine months. Although it was all undone within days.  

Firstly, he arrived into Heathrow late and at his opening press conference held up a Tube travel card proclaiming it as his  "ticket to the dreams."

It was more like a free pass to Nightmare Alley as his No 2 Fritz Schmid was denied a work permit and we went on to narrowly escape relegation by four points.

1. Lasagne-gate, May 2006
Martin Jol's side were fighting for a first Champions League appearance and needed a win at West Ham to finish fourth ahead of Arsenal.

Come the morning of the game, we all woke up to the news that 10 Spurs players had been struck down by a mystery illness. 

The lasagne at the team hotel was blamed and fingers pointed in all directions, West Ham fans, Arsenal fans, back room staff, rival club sabotage etc.

Of course everyone has their own "inside information" on the whole ridiculous affair but the only thing that you can be sure of is it would not have happened at any of the other clubs fighting for the top four!

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