Tottenham fans are licking their wounds a bit lately. ‘Where’s it all gone wrong? Why hasn’t Jose sorted out the defence? When is ‘Arry back?’
It’s a mark of how far the club has come over the past few decades that they’re seen as being in a crisis when they’re still in with a shout of Champions League qualification, have got one of the best tacticians in the world at the helm and are awaiting the return of arguably the best striker in Europe.
There was a time when Grzegorz Rasiak was plan B, so it’s worth remembering that times aren’t so bad.
That being said, their grievances aren’t completely unjustified. The Tottenham faithful have been spoilt over the years, with some of the greatest players in the world calling Tottenham their home at one time or another.
We’ve compiled a list of the greatest ever Tottenham players to wear the squad numbers one to eleven. To be honest, we could have done numbers one to 26 (for obvious reasons), but we don’t want to keep you here all day.
1. Pat Jennings
A colossus of a goalkeeper. Jennings represented Spurs between 1964 and 1977, making a whopping 591 appearances in all competitions.
His spell was littered with silverware, including an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup, before doing the unthinkable and moving to north London rivals Arsenal.
The move isn’t enough to warrant banishment from our list – Jennings is without a doubt Tottenham’s greatest ever number one.
2. Kyle Walker
Another player who jumped ship to a rival side, there’s a bit of a theme developing here.
Signed from Sheffield United in 2009, Walker enjoyed eight fantastic seasons at Spurs (no silverware though).
Walker’s quest for success eventually saw him leave for Manchester City in 2017 in a deal worth up to £50m.
Nonetheless, his time at Spurs won’t be forgotten, making 229 appearances for the Lilywhites.
3. Gareth Bale
Many people think of Gareth Bale
For four years prior to that, he was Spurs’ number three, having started life as a left-back. If you ask Brazilian defender Maicon what number Bale wore he would tell you ‘number three’, having spent 90 minutes staring at it that night in San Siro as the Welshman ran past him over and over again.
4. Danny Blanchflower
One of Spurs’ greatest ever players.
Blanchflower represented Tottenham between 1954 and 1964 and captained their historic double-winning team of 1961.
The deep-lying midfielder made 337 league appearances in his time at Spurs, scoring 15 goals. To this day the league triumph of 1961 remains Spurs’ last league title.
5. Sol Campbell
Synonymous with the number 23 jersey, Campbell did in fact wear the number five shirt for two seasons at Tottenham.
One of England’s greatest ever centre-backs (he’ll probably tell you he was the greatest ever), Campbell captained the side to League Cup glory in 1999, going on to make 255 appearances.
Another who committed the unthinkable and swapped White Hart Lane for Highbury. He may never be forgiven by Spurs fans, but his time at the club prior to the move was undoubtedly brilliant.
6. Dave Mackay
Another of Spurs’ 1961 double-winning heroes. Mackay spent nine years at White Hart Lane and was a major part of the club’s most fruitful period.
In 1968, Mackay left for Derby County having notched a league title, three FA Cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and two FA Charity Shields.
With 258 league appearances for the club, legendary manager Brian Clough once described Mackay as Tottenham’s greatest ever player.
7. Ossie Ardiles
A hero among Spurs fans. Ardiles arrived at White Hart Lane in 1978 alongside fellow Argentine Ricky Villa. The pair would prove instrumental as Spurs recorded back-to-back FA Cup triumphs in 1981 and 1982 and was perhaps even more instrumental in the Chas and Dave ‘hit’ ‘Ossie’s Dream’.
Ardiles would return to White Hart Lane as manager in 1993, overseeing the shock acquisition of Germany international Jürgen Klinsmann. Ossie’s dream was short-lived however, as then Tottenham owner Alan Sugar sacked him a little over a year into the job.
8. Jimmy Greaves
You’ve got to be good to keep Gazza out of the team, and Jimmy Greaves was very good. A Tottenham Hotspur legend.
Greaves is recognised by most as the club’s greatest ever player. An astonishing 266 goals in 381 games, the marksman was Spurs’ number one goal-getter throughout their most successful period, although the league title eluded him.
His impressive goal tally includes a club-record 15 hat-tricks. His club form saw him earn regular international recognition, going on to make 57 appearances for England, scoring an incredible 44 goals.
He was part of the 1966 World Cup winning side but lost his place in the starting XI to Geoff Hurst after an injury in the group stages.
9. Martin Chivers
Signed from Southampton in 1968, Chivers would go on to make 367 appearances for The Lilywhites, scoring 174 goals.
His time at the club included two League Cups and a UEFA Cup, before making a curious move to Swiss side Servette. Chivers didn’t receive the international recognition he perhaps deserved, with his England career lasting just two years, a time in which he made 24 appearances, scoring 13 goals.
10. Glenn Hoddle
Sorry Harry. Perhaps when you’ve finished your Spurs career and broken every record going – but for now, Tottenham’s greatest ever number ten is Glenn Hoddle.
An absolute magician of a footballer, only four players have gone on to make more appearances in a Spurs shirt. His time at White Hart Lane came to an end in 1987 when he moved to Monaco, but not before he’d notched 110 goals for Spurs.
Like Ardiles before him he would return for a spell in charge of the club. He faired a little better than Ossie, but not much. He was sacked in 2003 after two years at the club.
11. Cliff Jones
Spurs are pretty good at discovering Welsh wizards wearing the number 11 shirt.
Jones’ Tottenham career spanned from 1958-1968 having been signed from Swansea. He too was a huge part of the double-winning side of 1961, eventually leaving the club for fellow London-based club Fulham.
His record of 159 goals in 378 games means he remains one of the club’s record goal scorers. Not bad for a winger.