Smart
Thu 6 December 2007

A little bit of History repeating

Tonight, Brussels, 7.45pm - Anderlecht v Spurs in the UEFA Cup. But allow me to briefly transport you back 23 years. Flared trousers at the ready...

[Cue wavy monitor effect for 'Time Travel' back to 1984]

After the 1-1 result from the first leg in Belgium over 46,000 supporters packed White Hart Lane for the second leg on a wet Wednesday night in May. May 23rd to be exact. Captain Graham Roberts scores for Spurs but the scoreline mimics the first leg and ends 1-1. Penalties. And we all know what happened there.

Personally I can remember sitting through the tense two-legged final. Glenn Hoddle constantly chipping the ball over the out-rushing Anderlecht defence - it was just a shame none of the forwards worked out how to stay on side.

Staying up for what seemed like an eternity during the extra-time. My Dad unable to watch the penalties as the tension got to him - at one stage he even turned the TV channel over, but was 'persuaded' to put the match back on.

Inexperienced Spurs keeper Tony Parks saves an Anderlecht penalty, Danny Thomas misses the potential winning penalty for Spurs. Then Tony Parks makes a name for himself, diving full stretch to his right to save the final Anderlecht penalty.

Spurs win the UEFA Cup and something goes wrong with the TV set as the picture starts to shake up and down whilst Tony Parks celebrates with a Rocky Balboa salute.

And my Dad goes to bed with a headache.

[Cue wavy monitor effect for 'Time Travel' back to 2007]

Tonight's game has no such prestige attached to it, but memories of '84 are bound to be plentiful. So what can we expect? Anderlecht's long ball game should suit a rocky Spurs back line, but after the two meetings of the '84 final ending up 1-1 it would be fitting to see the same scoreline tonight.

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