Tottenham Hotspur Greatest XI v Newcastle United Greatest XI: Who Wins?

Tottenham and Newcastle are both flying high in the Premier League and are experiencing some of the best form they have for a long time. This weekend's clash at White Hart Lane should be a tasty affair, probably not as exciting a clash as their greatest XI's would provide though...
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Tottenham and Newcastle are both flying high in the Premier League and are experiencing some of the best form they have for a long time. This weekend's clash at White Hart Lane should be a tasty affair, probably not as exciting a clash as their greatest XI's would provide though...

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Tottenham and Newcastle are both flying high in the Premier League and are experiencing some of the best form they have for a long time. This weekend's clash at White Hart Lane should be a tasty affair, probably not as exciting a clash as the Greatest Xls of these two fans though...

Tottenham’s Greatest XI – by Sifaeli Tesha

GK – Ray Clemence

The curtain was coming down Ray’s career around the same time I realised that professional football was not like school where goalkeepers were chosen because they were the worst on pitch. When I think of Tony Parks, Erik the Viking, Walker, Robbo, Gomes et al I’ve got clear memories of them throwing one in over their shoulder at some point. All I remember about Clemo was that he had massive hands. 8

RB – Steven Carr

Like a milky Roberto Carlos, Carr saved, made and scored goals. He was Tottenham Hotspur’s best player for a period in the late 90s and was gearing up for the inevitable exodus to Man U until he suffered a knacked knee in 2001. Was never the same player after that and went on to be rubbish for Newcastle, which was nice. 8

CB – Ledley King

For ten years I’ve been trying to instigate a chant to the tune of 10cc’s ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ that goes ‘I don’t like Ledley, oh no, I LOVE HIM’. For some reason it hasn’t caught on but that doesn’t make it any less true. If knee transplants were available at the beginning of the century Deadly Ledley would have 50 England caps and we would’ve lost him to a European giant. In reality having Ledley at the back has convinced Tottenham Hotspur fans you can stick Sol Campbell up your bum, which can’t be easy. 10

CB – Graham Roberts (C)

If I’d made this list on July 1st, 2001 it would be big Sulzeer partnering Deadly. But I didn’t and that’s why Roberts gets the nod. A man made of granite with an iron will, Roberts lead by example during our most successful period of my lifetime. He played like a fan in a Spurs shirt and was a nutcase. What’s not to like? 9

LB – Gareth Bale

Probably not the best left back I’ve seen at the Lane but with the quartet of greats ahead of him in midfield it’s the only way the Welsh wizard would get in the side. Another forward thinking player in this attack minded dream team adopting the rarely used 1-0-10 formation. 8

RW – David Ginola

With Gallic flair and that head of hair David was born to play for Tottenham Hotspur. During the dark days of the late 90s when a decent cup run and good performance against Ars*nal is all most Spurs fans wanted out of a season (and still never got) Ginola was a rare beacon of hope. It was a horrible time, with double agent Graham in the dug out serving up turgid, functional football. Ginola’s flamboyant style off the pitch and PFA player of the year performances on it were our only connection to our ‘Glory Glory’ past. 9

CM – Paul Gascoigne

In April 1991, on a sunny afternoon in Wembley, Gazza made Barry Davis say, “Is Gascoigne going to have a crack? He is you know. Oh I say that is…schoolboys own stuff” as he smashed in the best free kick the old stadium had ever seen past David Seaman. He obviously did loads of other stuff that makes him worthy of a place but the joy I felt after that swing of his right foot is more than enough. 10

CM – Glenn Hoddle

A magician who was more dexterous with his feet than most people are with their hands, Hod Almighty is the reason I support Spurs. Bags of skill, flair to burn and an eye for the spectacular; Glenn was the archetypical ‘Spurs player’. Put simply he’s the most naturally gifted Englishman to play in colour. Despite looking like a lesbian Desperate Dan and coercing Waddle to do Diamond Lights, Hoddle will forever be the ‘King of White Hart Lane’. 10

LW – Chris Waddle

Revered by Marseille fans as much those at Spurs, the Waddler is an absolute hero. The enduring memory of the lad who used to work in a sausage factory in Gateshead is of him always looking tired, marauding down the wing, dropping his shoulder and ghosting past defenders with his magnificent mulleted mane billowing in the breeze. If Aslan improved his touch, put on a Geordie accent and donned a Hummell shirt he still wouldn’t look as majestic as Chris in his pomp. 9

CF – Gary Lineker

There’s a generation who only know Gary as the jug eared crisp thief who ruined the golf. Yeah? Well they can jog on because Lineker was a goal poacher without equal. A great ambassador for us who always did the biz in the big games, Lineker consistently reproduced his England exploits in the lilywhite shirt of Tottenham. 10

CF – Jurgen Klinsmann

This was a tough one between Jurgen and Teddy Sheringham. Both had two stints at the club, played with the first three yards in their head and lit up the Lane. Teddy played more than one and a half seasons for us, but Klinsmann invented the diving celebration, which gets my vote. Part of the first wave of genuine world superstars to join the Premiership as it was then known, Jurgen had me believing that the mid 90s were the beginning of a Spurs renaissance. It wasn’t. The most decorated footballer in my team. Also drove a Beetle. 9

Manager – Osvaldo Ardiles

Keith Burkinshaw, Terry Venables and Harry Redknapp might have something to say about it but with this team packed with attacking talent there’s only one kamikaze manager I’d want to take the reins. I met Ossie once – he was an absolute gent and even got the coffees in – and he said of his time at Spurs “I knew exactly how Tottenham wanted to play and it was the way I wanted to play.” It’s the way I’d want this team to play as well. It looks like me and Ossie share the same dream. 6

Total:106

Newcastle Greatest XI by Chris Donald

GK - Shay Given

Played for the Mackems on loan when he was at Blackburn in the mid-90s, but all that was forgiven when he signed for us. Saved innumerable games for us with his brilliant shot-stopping. Shay would have walked into the England team if he’d been English. Over 350 appearances in 12 years at the club. Arguably the most consistent keeper in the Premiership in his time at United. 8

RB – Bill McCracken

Irishman Bill McCracken’s famous offside trap was so good in 1925 they changed the rules. Captained his club and country, 377 league appearances for Newcastle, winning three league titles and getting us to three FA Cup finals. Tidy defender. Away fans hated him, Geordies loved him. That’s how it should be. 9

LB – Frank Hudspeth

You couldn’t pick McCracken without also picking his defensive partner Frank Hudspeth. A proper Geordie, his first club was Scotswood. He played more games for Newcastle than any other outfield player – 482 appearances in total between 1910 and 1929.  Chipped in with 38 goals as well. 8

SWEEPER – Bobby Moncur

Defensive stalwart in the sixties and seventies, captained the 1969 Fairs Cup winning team (and knocked in a hat trick in the final just for good measure). Captained United and Scotland too. Spent his twilight years at Joker Park working on his pension fund, but nobody’s perfect. A talented all-rounder, Bobby plays golf and does a bit of sailing too. 8

CH – Jonathan Woodgate

I’m taking a chance here, cos he might well be injured. Only managed a handful of games for us, but I’ll tell you what. He never put a foot wrong when he did actually make it onto the pitch. I sat and watched him one game, all the way through, and he never even broke sweat. Positioning, awareness, reading of the game – brilliant.  Just a shame he was such a crock. 7

CM – Joe Harvey (C)

Right-half in his time, I’d pick Joe to play a holding midfield role and to boss the entire game. A great leader both as captain of the fifties FA Cup winning teams and then as manager of the Fairs Cup winning side, he’d run the show. And he’d share his tabs with the other players at half-time. 9

CM – Paul Gascoigne

Mercurial, magic and absolutely mental. At his young, chubby best he was unbelievable. A daft Geordie lad who loved playing football and happened to be better at it than anyone else in the world. He’d need looking after on and off the pitch, but Joe Harvey and Alan Shearer can do that. 10

LM – David Ginola

“David who?” James Brown asked me when we signed him in 1995. “I dunno” I said. But we soon found out. A bit of a ponce if the truth be told, but what a player. His home debut against Middlesborough was simply unbelievable. Bit of a lazy tw*t as well – Bill McCracken won’t get much cover from him – but an affordable luxury with such a solid defence behind him. 6

RM – Alan Shearer

There’s no room for him up front,  but I can’t omit Alan Shearer from the side. So I’ll play him in right midfield. One of the best crossers of a ball I’ve ever seen – witness Les Ferdinand’s goal in the 5-0 thrashing of man United – it was just a shame Shearer couldn’t get on the end of his own crosses. His heart is black and white, you could play him anywhere in the side. 10

CF – Jackie Milburn

I never saw him play but I saw his house  - my Dad used to point it out every time we drove past it. 494 appearances and 239 goals between the war and 1957. Three FA Cup winners medals.  I think Shearer pipped him in the end for his goals tally, but Wor Jackie remains the all-time legend so I’ll give him the number 9 shirt. 10

FW – Peter Beardsley

A girl who used to work for me grew up in the same street as Beardsley. “All he ever did when he was a kid was eat sweets and kick a ball against a wall, for hours on end”, she told me. And it shows. Terrible teeth but a magical touch, Absolute footballing genius, scorer of brilliant goals, and the perfect foil for a big striker. And the fourth born Geordie in my team. 9 (loses a point
for his physical appearance).

Manager – Kevin Keegan
Couldn’t choose him as a player because we didn’t see the best of him in his boots, but as a manager he lifted the club from dire straits to the very verge of the Premiership title, and he brought brilliant players and brilliant football to the Toon. Couldn’t organise a defence to save his life, but with the team I’ve chosen defence won’t be a problem, and neither will attacking. 9

Newcastle Total: 103

Result: Tottenham Hotspur 106 - 103 Newcastle United

A close run thing, with the two Ginola's taking all the plaudits. The frenchman was the source of creativity for both teams, and supplied wonderful crosses for Lineker and Beardsley alike. Unfortunately for the travelling Geordies, Hoddle and Waddle provided that bit extra, edging Spurs over the line.

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