Tottenham Hotspur is a club renowned for the ‘firsts’ throughout their long history. The first team to win the ‘Double’ in the 20th century, the first British to win a European trophy and many more. Here we have ten ‘firsts’ from the past 2012-13 season.
72 points is the highest total Tottenham have ever achieved in the Premier League, two more than in 2010 when they finished fourth and reached the Champions League and three points more than they achieved to finish 4th last year. Tottenham are the first team to fail to qualify for the Champions League with over 70 points. When Liverpool won the trophy in 2005 they had qualified the previous season in 4th place with 60 points.
Gareth Bale scored 21 goals in the Premier League. He is the first Tottenham player to score over 20 goals in the League since Teddy Sheringham scored a similar number in 1992-92, his first season with Tottenham. He had also scored a goal for Nottingham Forest prior to joining Spurs.
12 Games Undefeated
Tottenham created a new record for them in the Premier League – the first time they have gone 12 consecutive matches undefeated. The run started in mid-December with a 1 – 0 home win over Swansea City when Jan Vertonghen scored his first Premier League goal. The final match in the sequence was the 2 – 1 win over arsenal at White Hart Lane with goals courtesy of Bale and Lennon. The run included 8 wins and 4 draws and had started after a defeat in Liverpool by Everton and came to an end with another defeat in Liverpool. On two previous occasions Spurs have managed 11 successive games undefeated.
Spurs’ First GoalTottenham’s first goal of the season was scored by Jermain Defoe. In the opening game at Newcastle he equalised after 76 minutes but Spurs lost to a penalty conceded 4 minutes later. It was the first of 15 goals for Defoe. He has scored 133 goals for Spurs which takes him to =7th place in Tottenham’s all-time goal scoring list, level with Alan Gilzean.
Andre Villas-Boas’ First Win
Spurs lost at Newcastle in AVB’s first match as manager. The first win came a month later at Reading. A 3 – 1 win with goals from Defoe (2) and Bale’s first of the season.
First Game for Tottenham
Seven players made their debut for Tottenham during the 2012-13 season.
Gylfi Sigurdsson v Newcastle (a) Lost 1 – 2
Jan Vertonghen v WBA (h) Draw 1 – 1
Emmanuel Adebayor* v WBA (h) Draw 1 – 1 [Having signed a permanent contract - 2nd Debut]
Mousa Dembele* v Norwich (h) Draw 1 – 1 [Scoring debut]
Clint Dempsey* v Reading (a) Won 3 – 1
Hugo Lloris v Lazio (h) EL Draw 0 – 0
Lewis Holtby* v Norwich City (a) Draw 1 – 1
* debut as substitute
First Premier League Game for Spurs
Harry Kane* v Newcastle (a) Lost 1 – 2
Andros Townsend* v Reading (a) Won 3 – 1
Steven Caulker* v QPR (h) Won 2 – 1
Hugo Lloris v Aston Villa (h) Won 2 – 1
Tom Carroll* v Wigan Athletic (h) Lost 0 – 1
* debut as substitute
First Tottenham Goal!!
Jan Vertonghen v Carlisle United (a) LC Won 3 – 1
Gylfi Sigurdsson v Carlisle United (a) LC Won 3 – 1
Clint Dempsey v Manchester United (a) Won 3 – 2
- Dempsey was unfortunate to see a diving header disallowed in the opening Europa League game against Lazio at White Hart Lane. His first Spurs goal was the winner at Old Trafford when he was on hand to place the ball in the net after Bale’s shot had been parried by the goalkeeper – a memorable occasion.
Steven Caulker v Aston Villa (h) Won 2- 1
- Caulker was credited with the opening goal against Villa but knew little about it as a shot from Defoe deflected off him and into the net. He had seen a goal disallowed against Lazio but went on to score against Manchester City the following month and proved a danger from set-pieces.
William Gallas v Chelsea (h) Lost 2 – 4
- Gallas scored his first Spurs goal after three seasons at the club against one of his former teams. It put Spurs level early in the second half and although Spurs took the lead, the visitors recovered to take the three points.
Michael Dawson’s First PL start of Season
November, 2012 v West Ham United Won 3 – 1Michael Dawson was appointed club captain by Villas-Boas in pre-season but it then looked as if he would be leaving White Hart Lane during the summer transfers. Dawson, however, had other ideas and was determined to prove AVB wrong. He battled back, playing in Cup and Europa League games without complaint until his opportunity came. That was at half-time at the Emirates with Spurs down to ten men and losing 1 – 3. He helped to steady the ship in defeat and captained the side in the next League game against West Ham. He had quietly made his point and the manager readily accepted him into the team where he was a stalwart in the defence for the remainder of the season – leading by example and totally committed in every game.
First Trip to Slovenia
The Europa League group draw required Spurs to play Maribor. It was the first time that Spurs had faced opposition from Slovenia. The match ended in a 1 – 1 draw with Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring a second half equaliser.
Jermain Defoe’s 1st Goal of 2013
Defoe scored 15 goals for Tottenham during the season but his first in 2013 was against Manchester City at White Hart Lane in late April. He hadn’t scored for Spurs since the opening goal in the 4 – 0 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
First Time Since……
- The defeat in the 4th Round of the FA Cup by Championship side Leeds United at Elland Road was the first time that Spurs have lost in the FA Cup to a team from a lower Division since losing to Leicester City in the 3rd Round in January, 2006.
- Spurs reached the Quarter-finals of a European competition for the first time since 2007 when they had lost to Juande Ramos’ Sevilla team in the UEFA Cup. The 2012-13 European adventure ended in disappointment in Basel with another penalty shoot-out defeat.
With new signings expected for next season there will be more firsts in 2013-14 and perhaps it might include some silverware – the first FA Cup since 1991, the first European trophy since 1984, the first League Cup win since 2008 or perhaps even the first League title since 1961. Keep dreaming!