Video of the Day: Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United, September 1985
So farewell then, Newcastle United. Sunderland’s comfortable win against an abject Everton at The Stadium of Light last night meant that Sunday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur is broadly irrelevant from a Newcastle perspective, though they may still take a final sliver of schandenfreude this weekend should they manage to snatch a win against a suddenly – but not, if we’re honest with ourselves, completely unexpectedly – exhausted looking Tottenham Hotspur at St James Park. Spurs need a point to guarantee second place (unless Arsenal can run up a six goal win against fellow plummetees Aston Villa, which doesn’t sound anything like out of the question, in which case Spurs will need a win) in the table – not a bad return, considering that there weren’t too many people who confidently predicted that they would finish in the top four at the start of the season.
Our match from the past goes back to a sun-soaked White Hart Lane in September 1985. A television contract deadlock between the broadcasters and the Football League meant that this match wasn’t shown in the UK (matches were still covered by ITV over the first half of the audience to be broadcast abroad, but no televised matches were shown at home until the FA Cup Third Round at the start of the following year), but Spurs’ home match against Newcastle United was significant in that it marked goalkeeper Ray Clemence’s one thousandth senior appearance in all competitions, and this match was preceded by a short ceremony to mark this notable achievement. Once the game got going, however, it didn’t exactly follow the form book. Spurs had lost their previous three matches whilst Newcastle had won their previous three, so there was cause for anxiety amongst the home crowd as the teams kicked off. On this day, however, Spurs cruised to a comfortable win. Commentary at White Hart Lane comes from Peter Brackley.