Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe - will they return? [Photo: Jav The_Doc_66]

Best Tottenham Strikers You’ve Seen Play – Team Selection


The final Team Selection is looking for the best two strikers you’ve seen playing for Tottenham. The choice is from the 1950s through to the present day and the general rule is that all will have made over 100 appearances for Spurs but there is always an exception to that rule.

Tottenham have had many great goalscorers and often they have worked worked in pairs. Bobby Smith and Les Allen in the Double’ team, Smith with Jimmy Greaves and then Greaves with Alan Gilzean. Gilzean then partnered Martin Chivers in the early ’70s before Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks helped return success to White Hart Lane at the start of the ’80s. Teddy Sheringham and Jurgen Klinsmann had a tremendous season together in he mid-90s but there’s also a place for individuals like Clive Allen, Gary Lineker and Dimitar Berbatov.

Strikers

Len Duquemin was ‘The Duke’ in the Tottenham ‘Push and Run’ team. He became a regular for Spurs in 1947 and played his final game in 1957. The centre forward in that successful team which won successive League titles, he wasn’t a prolific goalscorer but was consistent and contributed to the success with hard work and running off the ball to create opportunities and space for others. He scored 134 goals in League and Cup and is 6th on Spurs all-time record.

Bobby Smith was signed from Chelsea in the mid-1950s and was a strong, typical old-fashioned centre forward. He equalled Spurs’ record for League goals in a season, 36 in 1957-58, and was a pivotal member of the Double winning team, alongside Les Allen. He continued to be part of the early ’60s success, playing with Jimmy Greaves. He scored 208 goals before his unexpected transfer to Brighton in 1964 and is second on Spurs all-time goalscoring record.

Jimmy Greaves is Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer with 266 goals. A naturally gifted scorer who joined from AC Milan in 1961 and was Tottenham’s leading goalscorer for every season until joining West Ham in 1970. He set a new record with 37 League goals scored in his first full season, 1962-63.

Alan Gilzean established an exciting goalscoring partnership with Jimmy Greaves when he was first signed from Dundee. Spurs won the 1967 FA Cup and then when Martin Chivers came into the team, Gilzean used his sublime heading skills to develop a new strike partnership. Along with Martin Peters they enjoyed great success in the early 1970s as Spurs won three trophies. He is =7th, with Jermain Defoe, on Spurs record.

Martin Chivers signed from Southampton in 1967 for £125,000 but with injury took time to establish himself at White Hart Lane. He came good in the early 1970s and scored the two goals in the 1971 League Cup Final as Spurs defeated Aston Villa. He also scored twice in the UEFA Cup Final (1st leg) when Spurs beat Wolves. A very powerful striker, his total of 174 goals makes him 4th on Spurs all-time list.

Steve Archibald was the missing link in the team in the 1980s. The team which won promotion had struggled to score goals but Archibald and Crooks in tandem provided the goals which brought success in the early 1980s. In four seasons before moving to Barcelona he scored 78 goals and simply focused on scoring goals.

Garth Crooks signed from Stoke in the summer of 1980 and immediately struck up a successful partnership with Archibald. He scored twice in the 1981 semi-final replay and also in the Final replay, but his goals are often over-looked due to Ricky Villa’s outstanding goals in both matches. In five seasons he scored 75 goals.

Clive Allen [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Clive Allen, the son of Les, will always be remembered at Tottenham for his successful goalscoring season of 1986-87. He scored a total of 49 goals, a new club record, as Spurs lone striker. He scored in the Final of the FA Cup but like in the other competitions that season, Spurs failed to win any silverware. He was the double Player of the Year winner as a mark of his tremendous season. In total he scored 84 goals for Spurs.

Gary Lineker joined Spurs in 1989 and scored 80 goals in 138 matches. He brought his goalscoring ability to Spurs at the end of his career and didn’t disappoint. He was in the 1991 FA Cup winning team and continued to play regularly for England.

Teddy Sheringham provided the goals for Spurs at a difficult period for the club. His greatest season was alongside Jurgen Klinsmann when they developed a great partnership. Unfortunately, the German’s departure after just one season left Spurs struggling and without Sheringham’s goals, it would have been much worse. Returning after his time at United, Sheringham showed he still had that touch but age was catching up with him.

Former Spurs player and USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Jurgen Klinsmann made a tremendous impact in his one full season at White Hart Lane. With Sheringham it looked as if Spurs were destined to lift the FA Cup but came up short in the semi-final. A World Cup winner, Klinsmann brought all his experience to Spurs but without European football he moved on. His return a few years later was less successful but it did have its moments, including four goals against Wimbledon.

Robbie Keane scored 122 goals for Tottenham in his two periods at White Hart Lane. Signed from Leeds United in 2002 he scored regularly for Spurs over the next six seasons. Spurs won the Carling Cup in 2008 but his sudden departure to Liverpool that summer was not well received. He returned six months later but never re-established himself at White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe signed from West Ham and now has scored 135 goals in his time at White Hart Lane. A player who tends to have periods of great form when he scores regularly but then has spells when he simply can’t find the net. Last season was the perfect example where he started the season well but scored only once from January. He has shown loyalty to Spurs and frequently contributes goals as a late substitute.

Dimitar Berbatov brought craft to the Tottenham goalscorers when he signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006. Berbatov had an awareness of all that was going on around him and could create goals as well as score himself. He was a tremendous presence in the Spurs front line and was such an important player, that his sudden decision to go to Manchester United, left a great void in the team.

My Choice

My first choice has to be Jimmy Greaves – Tottenham have never had a better or more natural goalscorer. The second choice is more difficult as there are so many to choose from. Although they didn’t really form a great partnership in their time together at White Hart Lane due to his early injuries, I would select Martin Chivers for the power, strength, goals and form he brought to the success of the early 1970s.

Your Choice?

From the strikers listed, please select the best two who you have seen playing for Spurs. If there is anyone you think should have been on the list, please add his name in the comments at the end of the page and also let me know your views on Tottenham’s strikers over the years.

Vote on HotspurHQ’s Team Selection Poll: (Select 2)

 

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