The photographs in this article represent sights and scenes inside White Hart Lane which Tottenham supporters see on a typical match day. For many they will present a familiar picture of what happens before, during and after a match but for others who arrive just before kick-off and for those who don’t get to games, they will bring a new insight into a match at Tottenham.
The photographs have been taken by Jav over the opening months of the season, to whom I am extremely grateful for giving me permission to use them on HotspurHQ.Welcome to White Hart Lane Pre-match entertainment on the big screen starts 45 minutes before kick-off and includes details of the teams, interviews, the goals from previous matches against the day’s opponents and the goals from Spurs’ last match at White Hart Lane. The two teams and substitutes are announced for the first time.
The first players to arrive on the pitch before the match are the two goalkeepers, Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel along with goalkeeping coach, Tony Parks who puts them through their paces. After their gentle warm-up they then go into activities to sharpen up their movements in catching, diving and recovering to left and right. They deal with a series of crosses from different angles and practise kicking out of hand and from the ground in response to a back pass. For recent games, a third goalkeeper has been used as well. The young keeper goes in goal when the other players have shooting practice.The remainder of the team follow along with Steffen Freund and other members of the coaching staff to complete their warm-up. All of the players go through a warm-up process but then the ten players in the starting line-up work together on passing and movement while the substitutes play ‘keep-ball’.
The players go through a series of individual loosening activities, twists and turns, jogging, running, sprints, one touch passing games for a period of 25 – 30 minutes.
The Tottenham players use the goal at the Paxton Road end while the visitors use the end where their supporters are congregated in the corner of the Park Lane stand which adjoins the West Stand.
Players Go Through Their Paces
Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele, Sandro, Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey go through their pre-match ritual.On The Ball
Sandro on the ball, gives it his all, even in warm-up.The Teams are Announced
The visitor’s starting eleven is shown on the big screen again, just before kick-off, in this case the Liverpool starting eleven. The Spurs players are introduced with individual photographs – but we don’t shout out the surname!Here Come the Teams
The two teams arrive together with the 11 Tottenham mascots with the customary handshakes before kick-off. Sometimes the mascots are so small and then others can be as tall as the player they are walking out with. One match I attended, the best part of a poor game was watching the smallest mascot kicking the ball around with Dawson in the pre-match preliminaries.Team Photograph with Chirpy Time for Kick-off – not quite!
It’s time for the essential pre-match team “huddle” and motivational talk from the captain, Michael Dawson, who must have found it inspiring as he scored Tottenham’s equalising goal against Reading, his first at White Hart Lane since January, 2008.
The half-time scoreboard makes good reading against West Ham. Jermain Defoe had just put Spurs ahead and then during the interval Paul Coyte introduces some Spurs “Legends’ to the White Hart Lane crowd.
Half-time GuestsLedley King, having announced his retirement during the summer, was the guest at the opening home game of the season against West Bromwich Albion. He received a tremendous reception from the fans when he stepped onto the pitch in acknowledgement of his loyal service to Tottenham.
David Ginola was the interviewee at the Chelsea game. He was the undoubted ‘star’ of a mediocre Tottenham team in the late 1990s. He brought skill and magic to the left wing with his mazy runs and outstanding goals. He was in the team which won the Worthington Cup in 1999 and won the PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year awards that season.
The West Ham match saw the unexpected return of Alan Gilzean to White Hart Lane for the first time in many years. Gilzean spent ten years with Spurs from 1964 to 1974 having signed from Dundee. He developed a great goal scoring relationship with Jimmy Greaves as the “G-Men’ and then with Martin Chivers and Martin Peters in the early 1970s as Spurs won 2 League Cups and the UEFA Cup.Pat Jennings was interviewed at half-time during the Stoke City game. He is one of the Tottenham match day hosts in the Pat Jennings Lounge. Having joined Spurs in 1964 from Watford, Jennings went on become arguably the best ever Tottenham goalkeeper. He won the FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup before Keith Burkinshaw made a horrendous mistake by releasing Jennings in 1977 when Spurs were relegated. The mistake was compounded when Jennings signed for Arsenal where he had many years of continued success. Graham Roberts was at the match against Swansea City. He was an important member of the Tottenham success in the early 1980s. He came to Spurs from non-League football but worked his way into the team and won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 and in the absence of Steve Perryman captained Spurs in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht at White Hart Lane in 1984. He led by example that night, as he always did, scoring the equalising goal and taking the first penalty in the shoot-out as Spurs went on to lift the trophy.
The second half drew to a pleasing conclusion as Clint Dempsey scored the third against Reading to secure the 3 – 1 win.That’s IT: Full-Time. The Tottenham Cockerel stands proud overlooking White Hart Lane.
***My grateful thanks to Jav [The_DoC_66] who took all of these photographs through the season.***