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Tottenham Hotspur Ultimate All-time XI

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Founded in 1882 by a group of cricketers from around the Tottenham area as Hotspurs FC, Tottenham are one of the most widely supported teams in Britain. Over the years they've been blessed with some incredible football players, and given the talents of this Ultimate XI, it's surprising that Spurs have only won the league title twice, and not for 54 years.

Tottenham are the fourth most successful team in London by honours won, although their supporters would argue they've been there or thereabouts throughout their history and deserve merit for their consistency. Being a competitive London side, it's perhaps unsurprising that they've built up numerous rivalries over the years, the fiercest being against Chelsea, West Ham and especially against Arsenal.

Tottenham have often prided themselves on being a working man's club, playing attractive football without splashing the cash. Indeed, until the Villas-Boas years, this could probably be considered valid. One thing is certain; they've always been an entertaining side to watch, regardless of trophies won. Without further ado, let's examine Tottenham Hotspur's greatest ever team:

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Manager: Bill Nicholson

Bill Nicholson is a true example of a Spurs legend. Having spent his entire 17-year playing career with Tottenham, he then spent 16 years managing them. In this spell, possibly Tottenham's most successful in their history, Nicholson won a League title, three FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup and a European Cup Winner's Cup.

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Pat Jennings

Jennings is generally regarded as one of English football's greatest ever goalkeepers and is a shoo-in for the title of Tottenham's greatest goalkeeper. He had an outstanding career with Spurs, and his transfer to Arsenal in X was perhaps one of the most controversial moves in English football history.

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Left Back: Cyril Knowles

Knowles is one of the oldest examples in English Football History of a wingback; it was him who helped to introduce the concept of full backs overlapping and delivering crosses into the penalty area. Knowles, also a set-piece specialist, spent 16 years at Tottenham, and was greatly mourned after his death from cancer in 1997, aged only 47.

Centre Back: Gary Mabbutt

The Englishman is widely remembered as the captain who raised the 1991 FA Cup for Tottenham, and in his 16 year Spurs career the stocky defender was a stalwart for Spurs, and was inspirational in his 11 year captaincy.

Centre Back: Ledley King

It's perhaps one of the Premier League's greatest tragedies that Ledley King never lived up to his full potential; he spent his entire career at Tottenham, retiring in 2012, and was widely considered one of the finest defenders in the Premier League.

However, his career was hampered and ultimately cut short by a chronic knee injury which meant he never had an extended spell in the team. However, King is still a highly respected figure for Tottenham and holds the record for the fastest goal in Premier League history after just 9.9 seconds.

Right Back: Steve Perryman

A true Tottenham legend. Perryman is Tottenham's highest appearance maker with an unbelievable 655 appearances. A versatile player, Perryman could defend centrally, as a full back or even play in midfield, and was voted Football Writers' Player of the Year in 1982.

Defensive Midfield: Dave MacKay

The recently deceased Scotsman is a revered figure at White Hart Lane, and rightly so. A tough, determined midfielder, strong in the tackle, MacKay was also a very technically gifted player and could pass the ball excellently. He fitted the mould now inhabited by Nemanja Matić and Claude Makelélé.

Central Midfield: Glenn Hoddle

Described by Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger as "the most skillful player I've ever worked with" and "years ahead of his time", Glenn Hoddle was, in essence, a perfect midfield player. He possessed a limitless passing ability, balance and skill on the ball and could score goals of all types. Streets ahead of most of the rest of the footballing world, Hoddle was, at his best, a absolute delight to watch.

Central Midfield: Danny Blanchflower

An inspirational captain, a gifted footballer and a kind human being. Danny Blanchflower is generally accepted as the greatest Tottenham player ever. A technical central midfielder who led the entire team by example, he captained Tottenham to their famous 1961 double.

Left Wing: Paul Gascoigne

Probably the greatest player England has ever produced. An absolute genius and all-round attacking midfielder, Gascoigne spent 4 star-studded seasons at Tottenham. There was very little this creative Geordie couldn't do; dribble past entire defences, execute inch-perfect through balls and, of course, score magnificent goals. This compilation perhaps does him a small amount of justice.

Striker: Jimmy Greaves

Dubbed "the Prince of goalscorers", Greavesy is one of the most talented strikers in the history of English Football, and a true legend for club and country. In his time at Tottenham, he averaged 24 goals per season, with an amazing 69% record of 220 goals in 321 appearances. This scoring pedigree made him Tottenham's all time top scorer. What was amazing about Greaves was that he seemed to barely miss any chances he received; give him any space within the penalty area, and Greaves would almost always hit the target and most of the time he would score.

Right Wing: Gareth Bale

Rounding off the team, ahead of David Ginola, Luka Modrić and Ossie Ardiles is the Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale. In six years at Tottenham, Bale won two PFA Player of the Year awards, one Writer's Player of the Year award one PFA and three Tottenham Hotspur Young Player of the Year awards. He also entered the PFA Team of the Year three times and the UEFA Team of the Year twice. What makes this even more incredible is that when Bale left Spurs for Real Madrid, for a record £86m, he was only 24.

Signed as a left back in 2007, Bale was tipped as one of the brightest prospects in world football. Gradually he advanced, settling in the right wing position. By 2012/13 Bale was easily the best player in the Premier League, and carried Tottenham almost single handedly to 5th position.

Long range thunderbolts, curling free kicks and stunning solo efforts; Bale scored them all, as well as created countless other goals for teammates. His finest moment in a Spurs shirt was his stunning second half hat trick against Inter Milan in a 4-3 defeat. An incredible footballer.

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Topics:
Ledley King
Football
Dave Mackay
Danny Blanchflower
Tottenham Hotspur
Pat Jennings
Paul Gascoigne
Glenn Hoddle
Jimmy Greaves
Gareth Bale

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