Tottenham On This Day
29th December, 1984
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Sunderland 0
Scorers: Hoddle, Crooks
Totttenham had moved to the top of the 1st Division after the previous week’s win at Norwich City. The team was undefeated in eight games, with five victories, although West Ham had held them to draw at White Hart Lane on Boxing Day.
This was the first season after the departure of Keith Burkinshaw. Peter Shreeves (Shreeve) had taken over as manager and the team had responded well to his work with them. Tottenham were playing attractive, winning football with Glenn Hoddle as their inspiration along with captain, Steve Perryman.
Sunderland who were battling against relegation put up a spirited defence but Spurs proved too good for them and won with goals from Glenn Hoddle and Garth Crooks to go into the new year as leaders of the 1st Division, ahead of Everton on goal difference.
Hoddle had returned to the team after a three match absence through injury and set about making his mark early on. From his fifth minute free-kick Mark Falco’s header hit the post and then the striker had a goal disallowed for off-side from the resulting corner.
Hoddle put Spurs ahead after 25 minutes from a free-kick, floating the kick into the left hand corner of the goal. Five minutes later he created another chance for Garth Crooks but the shot across goal went wide. Falco then hit the bar but for all their dominance Spurs were only one goal up at half-time. After the interval Spurs continued to press but it wasn’t until the final whistle that Crooks added the second to secure the points.
Team: Clemence; Stevens, Mabbutt; Roberts, Miller, Perryman; Chiedozie, Falco, Galvin (Hughton), Hoddle, Crooks
The Magic of Glenn Hoddle
The following day’s papers waxed lyrical about Hoddle’s performance.
“Glenn Hoddle’s genius glistened through the gloom, sinking Sunderland and keeping Spurs top of the New Year soccer pops.’
‘Glenn Hoddle bounced back… to pulverise Sunderland. His sheer class had Sunderland chasing shadows for most of the afternoon. Spurs confirmed …..they are good enough to win the championship.’
‘Glenn Hoddle played Sunderland off the park with a marvellous display. There’s no disguising the magic that flows from his astonishing footwork.’
P 22 W 13 D 4 L 5 For 45 Ag 22 Pts 43 (G/D + 23) 1st
Spurs unbeaten run would continue until early March, including their New Year’s Day win at Highbury, but they were eventually to finish third – fixture congestion and injuries proving major problems later in the season. This match was watched by a crowd of only 26,930.