With England qualifying for the World Cup finals this summer we look back at the Spurs contribution and some earlier qualifying competitions. The campaign for 2018 started in September 2016 with a 1-0 win away to Slovakia. Tottenham had four men on the field, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, and Harry Kane, these were joined by Dele Alli in the 64th minute.
The next match at home to Malta saw just Walker and Alli start with Danny Rose joining from the bench after 20 minutes, Alli scoring his second goal for the country.
Away to Slovenia and those three were joined by Dier in a goalless draw and ex-Spur Townsend comes off the bench. Scotland came to Wembley in the next game with Walker Rose and Dier playing in a 3-0 win. Home to Lithuania and ex-Spur Defoe scores in a 2-0 win involving Walker, Dier and Alli.
It was Captain Kane for the game away to Scotland and he scored a very late equalizer alongside Alli, Walker and Dier. This was followed by the trip to Malta and a 4-0 win. Kane relieved of the captaincy scores twice. Walker and Alli also play. It was Eric Dier’s turn to score in the 2-1 win over Slovakia in which Kane and Alli also appeared. Kane picked up the armband again and scores the only goal against Slovenia alongside Dier. The group comes to an end with another Kane goal, this time from the penalty spot away to Lithuania. Kieran Tripper and Harry Winks (on debut) appear. England won the group by eight points.
It was a much different picture in the qualifying stages in the seventies, possibly reflecting the state of the club at the time.
The 1978 competition reveals also no Spurs connections. Gerry Francis our future manager captained the side in the first game and his last cap.
Otherwise it was only a pre-Spurs Ray Clemence on show. England and Italy finished the group level on points but failed to qualify on goal difference.
The 1982 competition brings only slightly more cheer as it was left to the 7th game for Glenn Hoddle to start (and last just 65 minutes) in a game they lost to Norway 1-2 away. England at least progressed with Hungary to the Finals.
For 1986 an unlikely flag bearer, Gary Stevens (above ) came off the bench at half time as England beat Finland 5-0 to win his first cap. Gary again came on in the second game this time on the hour as England rattled up an 8-0 win in Turkey. He then started the third game away to Northern Ireland who included Pat Jennings and Gerry Armstrong. The next games saw involvement from future Lilywhites, Waddle, Lineker and Fenwick.
By the time we played Rumania at home Waddle (left) had joined Spurs and lined up next to Hoddle who scored in a 1-1 draw.
Both players kept their place for the 5-0 win at home to Turkey, Waddle opening the scoring and Everton’s Lineker hitting a hat trick.
The group finished with both our players at Wembley and a draw, which was enough to win the group, with Northern Ireland second (Jennings and Armstrong again both involved).
There was some improvement for 1990 with Chris Waddle playing all six games, but by the time of the fifth game he had moved to Marseille and Gary Lineker had joined Spurs. They both started the Sweden away match (and Gascoigne from the substitutes). for Sweden away. Lineker playe din the last game away to Poland and a 0-0 draw saw them into the finals.
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The period 1994 to 2014 is covered in Fifa Files 6 - published tomorrow.
The period 1950 to 1974 was previously reviewed in Flying down to Rio.
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Thanks For The Memories
Our Tommy Carroll
The AVB Files: Part1
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Connection - Argentina
Creating a Reputation
Flying Down To Rio