It is fifty years this week since Tottenham played their first game in this competition on a cold wet 14th September 1966 at Upton Park where the home team won by the only goal after Alan Gilzean was sent off. Having been booked for disputing a throw in he was then dismissed (we think) for suggesting that there was a handball which the referee missed. The ref wouldn’t give a reason after the game.
To mark that anniversary a quick overview of our relationship with the competition.
The competition had been launched in 1960/61, the Double season, but Spurs like a number of top clubs declined to enter. It was only in 66/67 when a European Place was on offer and the final changed from two legs to a game at Wembley that Tottenham and others took part.
After that first season Tottenham failed to enter the following season as we were competing in the European Cup Winners Cup, but returned the next year to register our first win in the competition when we won at Villa Park 4-1. Martin Chivers getting a hat trick after Cliff Jones scored our first goal in the competition. Tottenham have won the trophy four times, only two teams have won it more. Our victories being in 1971 followed by 73, 99 and 08 (1).
Spurs were the first team to qualify for Europe by winning the League Cup. Only First Division teams could qualify so QPR and West Bromwich missed out, whilst Leeds had already qualified by their league position.
Our highest score in this cup came in a 7-2 win in December 1975 over Doncaster Rovers. Tottenham’s biggest win is by six, twice (Bolton and Oldham). We have also hit six on two other occasions.
The clubs top scorers in the competition are Martin Chivers with 23 goals (33 games), Jermain Defoe 14 (21 games) with Clive Allen and Teddy Sheringham both on 13. The current player with the best tally is Harry Kane with four.
Tottenham also hold the record for the highest goal scorer in a single season, in 1986/7 Clive Allen scored 12 times.
Left -1971 - Chivers, Nicholson and Mullery.
Chivers and John Duncan have both scored two hat tricks in the League Cup with Spurs scoring twelve in total. One of these in 1990 was a four goal haul from Paul Gascoigne. The latest was Peter Crouch in 2009 against Preston in a 5-1 win.
The competition these days has to be settled after one game, however when the competition permitted replays we have gone to a third game on three occasions. With the competition changing format over the years, the Second Round was a two legged tie from 1978-2000.
Right - Allen Nielsen scorer of a late winner with the man of the match award and the trophy in 1999.
We have been involved in five penalty shootouts, only winning one of them. One of these coming in one of the four times we have been runners up.
In 2002 when we played the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff the roof was closed and it was the first major game played indoors in the UK.
Of the sixty six different teams we have played in the competition the team we have met most in the competition is our near neighbours Arsenal.
In 1981 the competition was the first major trophy to be sponsored becoming the Milk Cup. Since then it has also been known as the, Littlewoods Challenge, Rumblelows, Coca-Cola, Worthington and Carling Cup’s, before becoming the present day Capital One Cup. Incidentally Tottenham’s victories have come in the League Cup twice, the Worthington Cup in its first year and the Carling Cup once.
To the start of the current season (2016/17) Spurs have played (2) - 204 games in the competition. We have won 122, drawn 32 and lost 50. In the process we have scored 399 times and conceded 212. As this is the last season in the current WHL we have played 101 at home, winning 69 scoring 228-97.
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Notes - 1 - Our four trophy winning seasons are @ http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-league-cup-1971
2 - Regular readers will not be surprised to know that several sites give slightly differing numbers. I’ve identified several of the ‘difficulties’ but without sitting here with my calculator for ages these are the (I hope) most accurate figures. We looked at why the figures seem to differ in the recent ‘Talking Tottenham – "Is Stat right.’
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