By 90Min
October 31, 2019

Before all of the Tottenham fans born before 1994 click on this article and start fuming because modern Spurs are still a lot better than that version of Spurs, this is precisely the point - the club is a completely different beast now. In spite of the lack of silverware in recent times, Tottenham have been one of the best-performing clubs in England and Europe.

That hasn't stopped them from playing like absolute dirt at times, however.

Whether it be under Harry Redknapp, the false promise of Andre Vilas-Boas, through the wilderness with Tim Sherwood or even now under Mauricio Pochettino, there have been some horrible, horrible teams selected to take to the pitch and represent Tottenham Hotspur.

As a marker, only lineups after Spurs qualified for the Champions League for the first time will be considered. Buckle up fellas, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.


vs Arsenal (September 2010)

Michael Regan/GettyImages

Tottenham: Stipe Pletikosa; Kyle Naughton, Steven Caulker, Sebastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto; David Bentley, Wilson Palacios, Jake Livermore, Sandro, Giovani dos Santos; Roman Pavlyuchenko

Subs: Aaron Lennon, Robbie Keane, Niko Kranjcar

By all means, there are some good players on this team sheet - they just weren't good when Arsenal made the short journey to White Hart Lane back in 2010. 

Redknapp's apathy for the League Cup matches that of his successors, and it showed by fielding an XI full of players either not ready for top-level action (in the case of Kyle Naughton, players who would never be ready), or players past the point of no return in professional sport (yes, that's you David Bentley).

Despite holding a similarly weakened Arsenal to a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, the Gunners ran out 4-1 winners in extra time.


vs PAOK (September 2011)

Vladimir Rys/GettyImages

Tottenham: Carlo Cudicini; Kyle Walker, Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong, Andros Townsend; Iago Falque, Tom Carroll, Jake Livermore, Giovani dos Santos; Harry Kane, Roman Pavlyuchenko

Subs: Ryan Fredericks, Dean Parrett

For someone who featured in Tottenham's quote unquote legends match to open their new stadium, Sebastien Bassong has featured twice on this list already.

Much like the League Cup, Redknapp cared not for the Europa League, essentially tanking the whole thing in his sole year in it with Spurs - he purposely left Rafael van der Vaart out of the 25-man squad.

Away to Greek side PAOK, Spurs gave run-outs to the likes of Tom Carroll (the original Harry Winks) and started Andros Townsend as a left-back.

Seriously.

Harry Kane may have started but he was way too early in his development to make a difference, and it's no surprise this game ended goalless.


vs Chelsea (March 2014)

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris; Kyle Naughton, Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen; Sandro, Nabil Bentaleb; Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson; Emmanuel Adebayor

Subs: Paulinho, Ezekiel Fryers

And so we come to the first of three games in a short stretch. What a truly horrifying year 2014 was for Tottenham.

After spending over £100m on new players following the sale of Gareth Bale, the best team Tim Sherwood could select away to Chelsea was this Frankenstein monstrosity. Where was the width? Why were Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon taking it in turns to play as the No. 10? Why is Kyle Naughton still here?

Somehow, Spurs got into half-time at 0-0, but Chelsea, chasing the title, blew them away after the break, forcing their visitors into silly errors and even getting Younes Kaboul sent off.

Sherwood would come out in his press conference and tell everyone at the club to forget "about 4th". He was right, for once.


vs Benfica (March 2014)

Michael Steele/GettyImages

Tottenham: Brad Friedel; Kyle Naughton, Sandro, Ezekiel Fryers, Danny Rose; Aaron Lennon, Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Andros Townsend; Gylfi Sigurdsson; Roberto Soldado

Subs: Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen

3-1 down on aggregate in this Europa League round of 16 tie, good ol' Tactics Tim tried his best to throw this game, naming two centre backs who weren't centre backs, a Kyle Naughton, granddad Brad and Nacer Chadli as a defensive midfielder.

What Sherwood probably didn't expect was Spurs to mount a late comeback, with the roaming Chadli scoring twice as this improbable, immoral, illegal Tottenham side fought back to 4-3 on aggregate, before a last-minute penalty buried the tie.

Still, the lineup has some uses. It fits nicely on this list, for example.


vs West Brom (April 2014)

Chris Brunskill/GettyImages

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris; Kyle Naughton, Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches, Danny Rose; Aaron Lennon, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen; Harry Kane, Emmanuel Adebayor

Subs: Ezekiel Fryers, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend

KYLE NAUGHTON. GO AWAY.

Would it surprise you if I said this team went 3-0 down away at West Brom? Probably not. The surprising factor here isn't that this is a real Tottenham team that played an actual Premier League match - it's that they fought back to draw 3-3.

Obviously, the good players here are the ones who dragged them out of trouble. An own goal got Spurs up and running, before Kane - now starting to show he could play at this level - got another one back with an instinctive finish, before Christian Eriksen levelled it in the 94th minute.

Dim Sherwood, thanks for the humorous lineups, but please never manage in this sport again. 


For more from Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

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