Tottenham Transfer Coup! (2) 29th July, 1994


On this day, 29th July, 1994, Tottenham achieved another transfer coup which shocked the football world. It was a coup to match the signing of Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa from Argentina in 1978, as Chairman, Alan Sugar completed the signing of German World Cup star, Jurgen Klinsmann.

The summer of 1994 was a bad time for Tottenham and the supporters. Sugar was determined to lift morale at the club following the unjust Football Association punishment  for misconduct. Earlier in the month, he had successfully appealed against the original 12 point deduction, FA Cup ban and the £600,000 fine imposed by the F.A. as the Appeal panel halved the points deduction to six but increased the fine to £1,500,000 as well as maintaining the Cup ban. Sugar was far from satisfied and immediately announced that Spurs would again appeal. He felt most aggrieved that the misconduct charges had been under a previous regime at the club and also that he had tried to co-operate with the F.A. over the investigation.

With the club facing such difficulties players were reluctant to sign for Spurs but the signing of Jurgen Klinsmann had the desired effect. It brought Spurs to the forefront of the football and news media and there was fantastic demand for tickets for Spurs games, home and away. Klinsmann joined from AS Monaco for a fee of £2 million and completed negotiations with Alan Sugar on the Chairman’s yacht moored off the south of France.

Klinsmann joined Darren Anderton, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Barmby and Ilie Dumitrescu to form manager, Ossie Ardiles’ famous five attacking formation. However, while the team were exciting going forward it lacked co-ordination in defence and Ardiles was sacked the following October. It was the arrival of Gerry Francis in November which brought some structure to the team and Klinsmann was seen at his best in what proved to be an exciting season.

Tottenham Debut

What a debut for Jurgen Klinsmann! Ille Dumitrescu also made his debut and just like sixteen years previously, the demand to see Spurs was incredible. Ardiles selected a team with five attacking players suggesting excitement and no-one was disappointed. Spurs defeated Sheffield Wednesday 4 – 3 at Hillsborough. Spurs went two ahead in the first half through Sheringham and Anderton. Early in the second half Wednesday equalised before Spurs went ahead again with goals from Barmby and Klinsmann. Every Spurs fan had been waiting for Klinsmann to score and he celebrated in style with a beautiful ‘dive’, noting the comments that had been made about him being a ‘diver’ in trying to win penalties.

Wednesday scored again and before the end and Klinsmann was carried off the pitch on a stretcher suffering from a facial injury.

Klinsmann’s Home Debut

The atmosphere was electric as 24,553 spectators packed into White Hart Lane for Klinsmann’s home debut. The reduced capacity was due to the ground redevelopment and Spurs could have filled the stadium three times over such was the demand for tickets.

Jurgen, as in his debut didn’t fail to deliver. The crowd had come to see him and within twenty two minutes he had put Spurs ahead with a spectacular volley. Thirteen minutes later he had added a second. On half time Spurs won a penalty and everyone in the ground was willing Klinsmann to take it. Everyone, except Teddy Sheringham who elected to take it and ballooned it over the bar. In the second half Everton scored and Spurs had to hang on to the end to achieve the win their play deserved.

Klinsmann showed what he was capable of in his first two games but the difficulty of achieving a balance between defence and attack was the problem for Ardiles.

There were many memorable performances during that season both from the player as an individual and the team. Klinsmann made 41 League appearances and scored 20 goals. He also played in nine Cup matches, recording nine goals. Unfortunately, Klinsmann’s stay at White Hart Lane was for only one season. With Spurs unable to offer European football, he decided to return to Germany with Bayern Munich.

Klinsmann did return on loan for the second half of 1997-98 season as Spurs under Christian Gross battled against relegation. This second period was not as successful although he is remembered for his four goals against Wimbledon in the penultimate match of the season which finally guaranteed their Premier League safety.

Klinsmann time at Tottenham may have been short lived but it was memorable. What is your greatest memory of Jurgen Klinsmann in a Tottenham shirt?