Christian Gross, an unknown Swiss manager who had been appointed to replace Gerry Francis had his first match as Tottenham manager on this day in 1997. He started with a comfortable win at Goodison Park. It was looking good.
No-one had heard of Gross when he was appointed. He had managed in Switzerland for four years at Grasshopper Zurich. In his time in charge Grasshopper won two Swiss championships and the Swiss Cup and his success meant that he was a very highly-rated coach in his native Switzerland, but he was still little-known outside central Europe and it was a major shock when in was appointed at White Hart Lane. He is remembered for the London Underground ticket he waved at his first press conference and for the struggle the team had to avoid relegation that season. Gross was under immediate pressure from the media, fans and players who struggled to adapt to his methods.
Against Everton, his compatriot, Ramon Vega, scored the first goal and David Ginola got the second to ensure that Spurs took the three points.The star of the show was goalkeeper, Espen Baardsen, who made a number of important saves to keep Spurs in the game as Everton toiled to get some reward for their efforts.
If his managerial career at Tottenham started brightly for Gross reality set in quickly in the next game at home to Chelsea when Spurs were totally outclassed.
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Have Your Say!
**** Were you at Everton that day? What were your initial thoughts about Christian Gross? ****