In the final part of our look back at Tottenham’s connections with the European Championships and the previous competitions we find there was limited Tottenham interest in the 13th Championships which was held in Austria and Switzerland. They had beaten six other applicants to play host, including a joint Scotland / Republic of Ireland bid. The qualifying teams were divided into seven groups of up to eight teams each, a far cry from the qualifying competitions in the early tournaments. The top two in each qualified and there would be no play-offs.
Wales finished 5th in their group, Garth Bale who joined Spurs during the qualifying campaign, scored twice in eight games, Chris Gunter, who signed for us just after the group games were completed appeared twice and ex–Spur Simon Davies managed one goal in 12 games.
In the same group the Republic of Ireland finished third. Tottenham’s Robbie Keane played eleven games in the group stage as the Republic of Ireland finished third. He hit a hat trick in the 5-0 win at home to San Marino. He scored one more goal in a 2-2 draw away to Wales. Ex-Spur’s players Steve Carr played one game and Andy Reid six, with one goal.
The French included William Galas and Louis Saha in the qualifying rounds in Group B alongside Scotland where Alan Hutton played four times as they failed to qualify. The group was won by the Czech Republic with Germany also qualifying.
Teemu Taino represented Finland in seven of their fourteen group games. He scored the winner in a 2-1 home win over Kazakhstan as they finished fourth. In the same group Mousa Dembele who was then with Willem II in Holland scored his first international goal in the home game V Azerbaijan a 3-1 win.
He then scored twice in the game with Serbia. Opening the scoring and his second was in the 88th minute to win the game 3-2. Following that up with another in the win over Armenia to finish his country’s top scorer in qualifying as they finished fifth.
Left - Gareth Bale
Emil Hallfredsson played for Iceland in five of their games in group F as they also failed to qualify in sixth place. This group featured Northern Ireland who had no Tottenham connections.
Dimitar Beratov appeared in eleven of Bulgaria’s games as finished third. With six goals he was joint top scorer in his group, although some sources differ on the scorers in a few games. Dimitar’s haul came with two away to Balarus, two at home to Luxemburg, one each in Albania and at home to Rumania. In that group a future Spur, Rafa Van der Vaart scored once in six games.
England were drawn in Group E, starting with a 5-0 win over Andorra. Peter Crouch (Liverpool) and Jermain Defoe both scoring twice. Paul Robinson was in goal and Aaron Lennon came on after an hour.
The same players were on duty in the next game a 1-0 win in Macedonia. The return featured Robinson and Ledley King with Defoe off the bench as England drew 0-0 at home.
Right - Peter Crouch
Top Ledley King and Jermain Defoe.
Worse followed as Robinson was joined by Defoe off the bench when they lost in Croatia. This included an own goal when Neville passed back to Robinson who missed the ball. That night Croatia had Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar and Stipe Pletikosa in their side. A draw in Israel with Robinson and Lennon starting and Defoe again off the bench came next.
The same three appeared in the home game with Andorra. For the game away to Estonia, a win, Robinson and King started and Jenas joined them in the last few minutes. The home game saw just Paul Robinson play but Blackburn’s David Bentley came on in the last ten minutes.
Next up they played Russia at home again Robinson was the sole Spur. Roman Pavlyuchenko came off the Russian bench. Robinson appeared in the win at home to Estonia.
Next was a defeat in Moscow, Pavlyuchenko (left) scoring both Russia goals, (his only ones in the competition), one a penalty against Robinson in his last international.
The last group game and Tottenham’s Defoe and Darren Bent both came off the bench as they lost 2-3 at home to Croatia. Niko Kranjcar opening the scoring and his three future Tottenham teammates were all playing. That defeat meant England failed to qualify and were the only seeded team not to do so. England finishing third, equal with Israel, but with a better head to head record. The England manager Steve McClaren was sacked the next day.
The finals saw the four future Spurs players represent Croatia, Helder Postiga in the Portugal’s squad, The French included William Gallas, Holland, Rafael Van der Vaart, Pavlyuchenko was with Russia, but none of them were with Spurs at the time.
Greece lost all of their group games and set a record for the worse performance for the defending champions. Spain beat Germany in the final and set a record by winning all their qualifying games and those in the finals.
Meanwhile in N17, Juande Ramos was preparing for his first full season in charge after finishing 11th the season before but having won the League Cup.
In 2012 the 14th and to date last Euros were held in Poland and the Ukraine. Apart from the two host nations another 51 entered into what would be the last competition will sixteen teams in the finals. Once again the qualifying process changed with the winners of the nine groups and the best runner up going through and the other runners up going into a playoff round.
Left - Robbie Keane
In qualifying the French topped their group with Hugo Lloris an ever present and Younes Kaboul made two appearances, Louis Saha played in one game. The Dutch also topped their group with Michel Vorm playing in four of the games. Van der Vaart scored once in eight games.
Group A saw Belgium fail to qualify finishing third with, Jan Vertonghen appearing in nine games, Mousa Dembele and Toby Alderweireld 6 games each and Naser Chadli three of the ten group games. Jan and Naser both scored one goal and they came in the same game the home win over Azerbaijan.
The Republic of Ireland went into the play offs from Group B and Robbie Keane captaining the country played in eleven of their games, scoring five times. The Irish then eased past Estonia to reach the finals with Keane scoring twice more.
Croatia reached the finals via the playoffs. Stipe Pletikosa, Vedran Corluka, Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar (left) all being in their squad through qualifying. Niko scored four times, twice away to Israel and two at home to Malta. Modric scored V Israel and in the playoffs they won in Turkey with Corluka scoring before drawing at home.
Denmark in group H topped their section with Christian Ericksen playing in eight games and scoring away to Iceland. In the same group Norway’s former Spur Steffan Iversen played twice as they missed the play offs on goal difference. The group also contained Gylfi Siguardsson for Iceland who scored once in five games, the winner at home to Cyprus.
Group I contained Scotland with Alan Hutton playing four times as they failed to progress in a group won by Spain. England and Wales were drawn together in Group G. The Welsh would include Chris Gunter in seven games. Gareth Bale scored three times in his seven appearances. He scores in both games V Switzerland and the winner away to Bulgaria as they finish 4th from five.
England and Spurs started well with Jermain Defoe scoring a hat trick at home to Bulgaria with Michael Dawson in the team. Defoe played away to Switzerland but its Darren Bent (Sunderland) who scores. The next game is a 0-0 at home to Montenegro and it’s the first time England fail to score at the new Wembley, Peter Crouch plays. England win in Wales Scott Parker (West Ham) and Bent (now Villa) are alongside Dawson winning his last cap. There is no Spurs player involved in the last four group games as they top the group
In the finals Denmark start with a 1-0 win over Holland with Van der Vaart a substitute for the Dutch and Christian Eriksen plays all three games.
Portugal include Helder Postiga, who plays in all three games and scores as they beat Denmark 3-2 in the second game. Van der Vaart again comes off the bench as Holland lose to Germany. He captains the team and scores as they lose to Portugal and Postiga in the last game.
right - Luka Modric
The Irish finish bottom of the group with Croatia just above them. Keane and the three Croatians play in all the games with the exception of Kranjcar missing one game.
There are two Tottenham men in the England squad, Scott Parker starts and Defoe comes off the bench for his only appearance in the group, as they draw 1-1 with France. Hugo Lloris captains the side but Kaboul is admitted from the finals. Parker plays in both other games the second game as they beat Sweden and Ukraine. The Ukraine have a goal not given as the ball is cleared off the line but TV shows it should have been given.
The knock out stages sees Portugal (Postiga last game) beat the Czech Republic to meet Spain who defeat France in the quarters. While England and Italy draw 0-0. Parker is withdrawn in the 94th minute. Italy win the shootout despite missing their second kick when Ashley Young hits the bar and Ashley Cole has his shot saved. The Final sees Spain beat Italy 4-0.
Meanwhile back in N17 Harry Redknapp’s side has finished fourth but miss out on the Champions League as well as the semi-final of the FA Cup. In Europe we exit the Europa League at the Group s stage.
Hope you have enjoyed the series. I know there are some future / ex spur players not mentioned but I think I’ve included the main ones. The actual records do contradict each other in places but if you know of any other Euro-connections that you feel deserve including please contact us.
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