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Tottenham eager for European glory

Published: Wednesday 8 September 2010, 16.16CET
New faces: Tottenham Hotspur FC want to make up for lost time after their fourth-place Premier League finish ensured a first European Champion Clubs' Cup appearance since 1961/62.
by Mark Pettit
from London
Tottenham eager for European glory
Peter Crouch (centre) is congratulated after the goal against Manchester City that confirmed Tottenham's UEFA Champions League qualification ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Wednesday 8 September 2010, 16.16CET

Tottenham eager for European glory

New faces: Tottenham Hotspur FC want to make up for lost time after their fourth-place Premier League finish ensured a first European Champion Clubs' Cup appearance since 1961/62.

After missing out on a UEFA Champions League berth on the final day of the 2005/06 season, Tottenham Hotspur FC will be eager to make an impact in their long-awaited group-stage debut. UEFA.com casts its eye over the north London club.

Who are they?
Formed:
1882
Nickname: Spurs
League titles: 2
FA Cups:
8
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1
UEFA Cup: 2

The only non-league side to lift the FA Cup, in 1901, Tottenham Hotspur have a reputation as cup specialists. Their greatest season came in 1960/61 when they became the first English team of the 20th century to claim the league and cup double, although the domestic championship has eluded them since. Legendary manager Bill Nicholson followed up that success by leading the White Hart Lane outfit to two more FA Cups, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1963 and the UEFA Cup in 1972. Further FA Cup glory followed in 1981 and 1982, and the UEFA Cup in 1984, but Tottenham's fortunes fluctuated until Harry Redknapp took over in October 2008 with the squad bottom of the Premier League. The new boss secured safety before guiding Spurs to Europe's premier club competition for the first time in 49 years the next season. Their UEFA Champions League quest looked in danger when they trailed 3-0 inside 28 minutes at BSC Young Boys in the play-off first leg but they pulled two goals back before a 4-0 second-leg victory.

One to watch
Gareth Bale, 21, left-back/left midfield
Bale broke into the Southampton FC team aged 16 and within months became Wales's youngest ever player and goalscorer. The following summer he moved to Tottenham for a reported initial fee of €7.5m. An impressive start was curtailed by injury and it was not until the latter stages of last term that he cemented a regular place, proving equally adept in midfield as in his previous full-back role. Decisive goals against Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC were critical to Spurs' top-four finish and his industrious displays, coupled with sumptuous left-foot delivery, have made him a crowd favourite.

Memorable match
Manchester City FC 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur FC, Premier League, 5 May 2010
Tottenham began the penultimate match of last season one point above their opponents in the race for England's final UEFA Champions League qualifying berth. Redknapp's side gave a dominant performance against their big-spending rivals, earning victory and a spot at European club football's top table thanks to Peter Crouch's late header.

Greatest player
Danny Blanchflower
"Football is about glory. It is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom." Blanchflower's famous quote is part of Tottenham folklore and epitomises the club's philosophy. Captain in the double-winning season and during their first European triumph, the Northern Ireland midfielder played more than 300 matches in a decade at White Hart Lane and is one of the select few to be named Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year twice.

Did you know?
The origin of their name is something of a mystery. Most suggest it is a reference to 14th-century nobleman Sir Henry Percy, the Harry Hotspur of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part I. Equally unusually, both their league titles and five of their eight FA Cups wins have come in years ending in one.

Last updated: 08/09/10 21.30CET

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