May 7th is not a day that has brought much joy for Tottenham. On that day they have..."/> May 7th is not a day that has brought much joy for Tottenham. On that day they have..."/>

Not A Good Day For Tottenham – 7th May


May 7th is not a day that has brought much joy for Tottenham. On that day they have suffered relegation and avoided defeat on only four occasions.

WARNING – Not for Spurs supporters of a nervous or anxious disposition

On This Day

7th May, 1977

Manchester City 5  Tottenham Hotspur 0 (1st Division)

[Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]The darkest day that I can remember in Spurs history. Spurs have suffered heavier defeats but this one meant that they had lost their place in the 1st Division for the first time in 27 years. For so much of that time Spurs had seemed above such difficulties, winning trophies and being comfortably placed in the League.

This season brought about the reality of their position and threatened with the drop throughout the season, the team had rallied in the final few games but it wasn’t enough and the defeat against Manchester City brought about the ultimate penalty of relegation.

Players who had previously experienced success and young developing players had failed to retain the club’s position in the top flight but most remained to fight another day and the Board of Directors retained their faith in manager, Keith Burkinshaw.

Steve Perryman, captain of the side, reflecting on relegation in his book, A Man for All Seasons, wrote,

"“After the years of mediocrity and worse, in a way relegation came almost as a relief. The blow had fallen, but t wasn’t any worse than the tension of the constant battle against it, with no pleasure in the football.”"

It was Burkinshaw’s first season as manager having been appointed in the summer following the resignation of Terry Neill who went on to manage Arsenal, his former club.

Burkinshaw had been Neill’s assistant while the former Arsenal defender and captain, had been the unexpected and controversial appointment following the resignation of Bill Nicholson in 1974. Perryman admits that there had been mistakes in Burkinshaw’s first season as manager writing,

"“We never had a settled side, a failing of Keith’s…….although he was unlucky with injuries. We didn’t have the organisation we’d had under Terry the previous year, to cover up the decline which had been setting in for several years.”"

7th May – Not a Glorious Day

Spurs have won a competitive match on this date on two occasions. The first was in 1949 when they won 5-0 at Plymouth in the 2nd Division. (Len Duquemin, Les Bennett (3), Les Medley). The most recent was in 2007, a 2 – 0 win at Charlton Athletic. (Berbatov, Defoe)

The only other times they avoided defeat was a 2-2 draw at home to Middlesbrough in 1921 in 1st Division. (Banks, Cantrell) and a 1 – 1 draw at home to Blackpool in 2010. (Defoe)

All other games have ended in loss, including some big defeats.

1927  Arsenal (h)  Lost 0-4

1932  Preston (a)  Lost 0-2

1938  Sheffield Wednesday (h) Lost 1 – 2  Sargent

1966  WBA (a)  Lost 1 – 2  Greaves

1977  Manchester City (a)  Lost 0 – 5  Relegation confirmed for the first time in 27 years. Immediately after the game the directors announced that Keith Burkinshaw would remain as manager – at least something good has come out of this day.

1983  Birmingham City (a)  Lost 0 – 2

1984  Southampton (a)  Lost 0 – 5   A weakened team because of the UEFA Cup final (1st Leg) two days later. Spurs were fined for putting out an understrength side.

1994  QPR (h) Lost 1 – 2  Sheringham (p)

2005  Middlesbrough (a)  Lost 0 – 1  Defeat against the experienced Middlesbrough side cost Martin Jol’s young team any chance of playing UEFA Cup football for this season.

2006  West Ham United (a)  Lost 1 – 2  Defoe  ‘Lasagnagate’ – Tottenham played the crucial final match of the season with players absent through illness while others were clearly unwell during the game. The authorities refused to reschedule the match and the defeat meant the Spurs missed out on their first experience of Champions League football by finishing the season in 5th place, two points behind Arsenal.

I did warn you – I think Spurs are overdue a result on this day.

#knowyourtottenhamhistory  6th May, 1961  Spurs Complete the Double with FA Cup Win