Tottenham On This Day: Who Was At Fault For Spurs Early European Exit?

On this day, 4th November 1999, Tottenham conceded two late goals to bring a disappointing end to their European adventure to a premature end. Who was to blame for the demise – manager George Graham or full back Steven Carr?

roterteufelNot So Happy European Memories

4th November, 1999

FC Kaiserlautern 2 Spurs 0 UEFA Cup 2nd Round (2nd Leg)

Spurs’ adventure into Europe in 1999 as League cup ended in great disappointment. Having won the first leg thanks to a Steffen Iversen penalty following a foul on David Ginola, manager George Graham decided to omit Ginola from the team. This gave the Germans a psychological advantage and they immediately changed their team, having submitted it to the referee, omitting the player designated to mark the Frenchman.

When the game reached the ninetieth minute scoreless, Graham’s decision appeared to have worked for Spurs who looked set for the next round. Then the Germans scored in injury time to bring the aggregate score to 1-1 and immediately they got a second when Stephen Carr put through his own goal in the dieing seconds.

There was great disappointment at the nature of the defeat and much criticism for Graham’s defensive approach and his decision to omit Ginola from the starting line-up.

Spurs’ appeal over Kaiserlautern changing their starting line up once they realised that Ginola was not playing was unsuccessful.

Graham’s days at White Hart Lane were numbered – the dissatisfaction with him was growing rapidly and Spurs fans simply could not accept someone with such strong links with Arsenal, former player and manager, as manager at Tottenham.

Tags: FC Kaiselautern George Graham Soccer Stephen Carr Tottenham Hotspur

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