The sixth tournament in 1980 would be played in Italy after six countries had bid for the competition, including England. There would also be an increase from four to eight teams taking part in the finals. With Italy being the first host country to receive automatic qualifying that left just seven places to be contested. There was little Tottenham interest for Spurs fans as England failed to feature an England player throughout their group games although nations did. There was a future Director of Football at Tottenham involved.
The Welsh had Terry Yorath (below) but not until the last game in qualifying. A 0-1 defeat in Turkey which left them 3rd out of four in the group. There were players in both of the Irish sides in Group One. Which started with the Republic of Ireland drawing in Denmark with Jimmy Holmes featuring. He would play in six of their eight games. Chris Houghton would play in the last of the games in the group.
Northern Ireland had Gerry Armstrong play in all eight of their games. Scoring three times. He scored one in both games with Bulgaria, both ending 2-0. His third goal would come in their last game and was the only one in the home match with the Republic. This left England and the Republic with one game to play which the Irish needed to win to take second place from the North, England having already won the group. This game ended with a win for England at home.
For England under Ron Greenwood their road to Italy started away to Denmark which they triumphed 4-3.
Whilst England had no Spurs players in the side, apart from Ray Clemence then with Liverpool Denmark featured Frank Arnesen (top) who scored and would later become our Director of Football.
When they met again nearly a year to the day Arnesen again played for his country.
Next up was the away match with the Republic and again the only interest was in Jimmy Holmes for the home team. The England games V Northern Ireland also saw ex- Spur Pat Jennings captain the team on both occasions and in the first game alongside another former player Chris McGrath. The Irish manager was one Danny Blanchflower. As the home countries had used the Home Internationals as a qualifying group earlier in the tournaments history, this time they played that competition alongside the European games.
The finals saw the Dutch include Johnny Metgod in their squad but he did not play and England had Glenn Hoddle. England’s group at the finals started with a draw with Belgium then a defeat to Italy. Hoddle was included in the last game a 2-1 win over Spain but this still left them in third place and out of the competition.
Right - Gerry Armstrong
West Germany would beat Belgium in the final 2-1. Meanwhile back in N17 Spurs only managed to finish 14th in the league.
The 1984 tournament was held in France and had the same format as the previous one except for their would be no 3rd place playoff.
Scotland included Steve Archibald in their group games. He played in the 2-0 home win over East Germany and then was a substitute in the next game when they lost in Switzerland, restored for the defeat away to Belgium. Steve then was not included for two games and returned for last game another defeat away to East Germany as his side finished bottom of the group. Scotland included future Spur Richard Gough. The Belgium’s included one Nico Classen then at Anderlecht in their squad which topped the group and he played in two games, one from the bench, including the game when they drew in Scotland.
left - Chris Houghton.
The group including Wales featured Norway and Erik Thorstvedt (just one game) who would join Tottenham later. Wales included Paul Price who played in all of their six games. Wales went very close to qualifying with only late goals in other games denying them progress to the finals.
Northern Ireland also finished second in their group, in their case they lost out on goal difference to West Germany. The Irish did not use any Spurs players but did have former players, Pat Jennings, Noel Brotherson and Gerry Armstrong in their line ups.
The Republic were third in their group behind Spain. Chris Houghton played seven of the eight games and Tony Galvin played twice. Johnny Metgod (below) was again in the Holland team. Which finished level on points and goal difference with Spain but lost out on goals scored.
England were top seeded in their group but finished behind Denmark. They started with a draw in Denmark and a win in Greece, Mabbutt winning his second cap. A 9-0 win at home to Luxemburg was next, Clemence and Mabbutt started with Hoddle from the bench who scored the eighth goal.
Then they dropped a point at home to Greece. Mabbutt played in that and the home win over Hungary that followed. There were no Spurs players on duty when they lost at home to Denmark. Hoddle (another goal) and Mabbutt returned for the win in Hungary.
Despite a 4-0 win in the last game in the last game, Clemence winning his last cap alongside Hoddle as England failed to qualify for the finals.
In the finals Belgium finished third in their group with a 21 year old Classen. He played in the win over Yugoslavia and the 0-5 loss to France before being taken off in the game V Denmark. The final was won by the home team France as they beat Spain 2-0 in the final. Their star player was Michel Platini. Meanwhile backing N17 Spurs had finished the season in 8th place.
In part five - we reach the finals of 1988 & 1992.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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