Tottenham Hotspur Greatest Xl v Aston Villa Greatest Xl: Who Wins?

We asked two fans to pen the greatest ever Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa Xls ahead of tonight's clash at the lane, they ignored us and the research and plumped for the greatest they had seen in the flesh…
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We asked two fans to pen the greatest ever Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa Xls ahead of tonight's clash at the lane, they ignored us and the research and plumped for the greatest they had seen in the flesh…

Tottenham Hotspur Greatest Xl 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

Tottenham Hotspur total: Total: 106

Aston Villa XI by Jamie Brennan

GK: Mark Bosnich - Aussie legend Bosnich was undeniably brilliant before Man Utd, pies and Colombian marching powder ruined him. His penalty saves against Tranmere Rovers, which got Villa into the 1994 League Cup Final, will loom long in the memories of Villains everywhere – but not as long as his videotaped escapades with a bunch of bimbos, Dwight Yorke, a whip and a nice dress.  8

LB: Steve Staunton - Bought from Liverpool in 1991, Staunton was as reliable at the back as he was dangerous getting forward. Many a defence fell foul of his tin opening left-foot (and perhaps many a tin), and his goals included a notable rocket at Old Trafford in the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/3. He also scored directly from corners for both the Republic of Ireland and Villa, the show off.  8

RB: John Gidman - An attacking right-back who was with Villa from 1971-79, before going on to play for Everton, Man Utd and Man City. Gidman was solid in defence, but loved tearing down the wing and sticking the crosses in. A bit like a 1970‘s Glen Johnson, but actually able to defend and with much better hair. 7

CB: Martin Laursen - Won the Champions league and Serie A title while at AC Milan, then joined Villa in 2004. His spell was dogged by knee injuries, but when fit he was a towering colossus at the back (and handsome with it), though he often got forward to score, including two goals in a 4-4 draw against Spurs at White Hart Lane. 9

CB: Paul McGrath - The Black Pearl of Inchicore. Despite being a boozer with dodgy knees who couldn’t train, McGrath was PFA Player of The Year in 1993, and one of the finest defenders ever to grace the game. His legendary performance against Italy in The Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win at USA94 had God watching his back. 10

CM: Gordon ‘Sid’ Cowans - Slight midfielder who could deliver a ball on a sixpence from one pitch to another (if necessary). Won a League and European Cupwinners medal with Villa in the early 80s, but criminally overlooked by England – even with that nose. 9

CM: David Platt - The other English star of Italia 90 (apart from Gazza and his plastic breasts), Platt scored the last-minute volley that beat Belgium to send England through to the quarter finals. A box-to-box midfielder who scored plenty of goals and helped Villa win promotion in 1988, Platty went on to shine for Juventus, Sampdoria and Arsenal, and notched 27 goals in 62 appearances for England. Now coaching at Man City, he looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s reflection in the back of a spoon. Unlucky. 8

LM: Tony Morley - Tricky winger who spent most of the early 1980s setting fire to the flanks of pitches up and down England. Scored the goal of the season in the 1980/81 Championship season against Everton at Goodison. Also rumoured to have pissed in the European Cup. That’s the spirit.  8

RM: Paul Merson - He might have been as one-footed as Heather Mills, but what a right foot. Merson had enjoyed a fine career with Arsenal, but many believe he played his best football with Villa. Often enjoying a playmaker’s role, his passing was sublime and he could hit the target almost as often as he hit the bar and the bookies. 8

CF: Brian Little - Member of Villa’s 1972 FA Youth Cup winning side who went on to become a true Holte End hero. He was all hair, sideburns and prodigious skill, and he scored goals too – 26 of them came in the 1976/77 season, during which his strike partner, a certain Andy Gray, scored 29. Another Villain to be ignored by England and have his career cut short by injury, he did later return as manager, winning the League Cup, which he also won with the club as a player. 9

CF: Dwight Yorke - Discovered by Graham Taylor in his native Trinidad & Tobago, Yorke spent nine years at Villa scoring 73 league goals and helping Villa to lift the League Cup in 1996. Went on to enjoy more success at Old Trafford, where he won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble. No wonder he was always smiling.  8

Manager: Ron Saunders - Old-school, hard-boiled manager, with a penchant for SS-style long leather coats, Saunders won promotion to the top flight in his first season as Villa manager. Two league cups later, he clinched the league title with Villa in 1980/81 – the club’s first in 71 years – after famously telling the Ipswich-obsessed press: “Do you want to bet against us?” 9

Aston Villa total: 101

Tottenham Hotspur total: 106 v Aston Villa Total: 101

Spurs romp home with a huge five point margin that, we're sure, will see the comments section lit up by angry Villains... Here's how we think it went.

Tottenham 6 (Klinsmann 3,17,27, Ginola 44, Lineker 89, Gascoigne, 90+4 ) v  5 Aston Villa (Yorke 5, 19, Merson 47, Little 87, 88)

Clearly, Ossie couldn't help himself and played Bale and Carr as out-an-out wing-backs which led to a frenetic affair. Delayed by 25 minutes by the search for Merson and Gascoigne (found, predictably, drinking cooking sherry in the girls bogs), Jurgen meets a Waddle cross with a diving header and we're off. Within three minutes Yorke has equalised, narrowly avoiding a Roberts horror-tackle before slaloming into the box and slotting under big Ray. With McGrath's knees creaking under the strain (and his legs wobbling from the hip flask he's swigging from) Jurgen has a field day, notching with two typical close range volleys and, when Ginola buries a 30-yarder passed a goose-stepping Bosnich, the game looks to be up.

The second-half starts at a similar pace. Merson, fired-up by some Bolivian that Bosnich has been holding, megs both Gazza and Hoddle before bending one with the outside of his boot in to the top corner and then, nothing.... for 30-odd minutes the game takes on the appearance of a circus. Hoddle starts doing kick-ups in the centre circle, Waddle self-destructs when, after being taken down in the box, he appeals for a pelanty and no-one understands him. Like a mulleted dalek he keeps repeating pelanty over and over again until his head spins off. Then, from nowhere, it's four apiece. Brian Little seizes on a through ball from Merse and dinks it over Clemence. Spurs roar into action, Lineker manages to score of his behind in a goalmouth scramble and Gazza goes close from 50 yards. With every Spurs player bar Clemence in the opposition box, Villa race down field and Little finishes off an intricate passing move started by Morley. With both sets of supporters happy with a draw, Gascoigne mugs McGrath 25 yards out, refuses Hoddle's screams for a pass and lifts a chip over Bosnich.

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