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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 08:43 GMT
Were you there?
Tottenham's Ossie Ardiles and David Rocastle of Arsenal

By Charlie Henderson

Arsenal and Tottenham go into Wednesday's second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final on a knife edge after a 2-2 draw in the first game at White Hart Lane.

Did you really expect anything else between these great rivals?

They have played five previous semi-finals, with the Gunners winning four, including the last two meetings in the FA Cup in 2001 and 1993.

First leg: (8 February 1987)
Arsenal 0-1 Tottenham
Goalscorer: Clive Allen
Second leg: (1 March 1987)
Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal
Goalscorers: Clive Allen, Viv Anderson & Niall Quinn
Replay: (4 March 1987)
Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal
Goalscorers: Clive Allen, Ian Allinson & David Rocastle

But the most keenly-contested cup meeting between these clubs came in the League Cup, then sponsored by Littlewoods, 20 years ago.

Then, as now, Arsenal came back from two goals down to give themselves hope. But there the similarity ends.

That comeback came in the second-half of the second leg at Spurs as opposed to the first leg and Arsenal found inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources.

"Tottenham's PA announcer did two things at half-time," Arsenal's Perry Groves told BBC Sport. "He set out the ticket arrangements for the final and they played the 'Ossie's on his way to Wembley' song.

"I was in the stands because I was injured and while I thought the song was quite funny it wound me up. God knows how the players felt when they heard.

"Someone went into the dressing room to tell them and you don't need to give anyone more of an incentive than that - it would have added an extra yard to their efforts.

"At the time I thought it could come back to slap them in the face... and it did."

Lewis Wiltshire

Goals from Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn set up a replay - different era remember, no away goals ruling and no penalty shoot-outs in those days in a competition that each and every club took seriously with first-choice teams.

What proved to be the decider was played at White Hart Lane three days later, and for the third match running Spurs striker Clive Allen opened the scoring.

But despite going into the final seven minutes still trailing, yet again Arsenal came from behind to win.

Substitute Ian Allinson pulled the visitors level before an injury-time winner from David Rocastle sent Arsenal through.

BBC Sport finds out what has happened to the players involved in those three titanic, tremendous encounters.


Manager - David Pleat
Now working as a pundit as well as being a consultant for Nottingham Forest, Pleat recently described this result as a "stab in the heart". Not one to hold grudges, he gave opposing manager George Graham a lift home following tea and sandwiches in his office after the decider.

Ray Clemence Coached at Tottenham after retiring in 1988 and briefly managed Barnet. England's keeping coach since 1996 and also involved in the FA's youth development programme, he had treatment for prostate cancer in 2005.

Danny Thomas The diminuitive full-back was forced to retire from football at the age of 26 in 1988 after a "horror tackle" by QPR's Gavin Maguire. A testimonial helped fund his retraining as a physiotherapist, which he still practices.

Mitchell Thomas The left-back followed Pleat to White Hart Lane from Luton, where he returned in 1994 after four years at Spurs and three at West Ham. Saw out his career at Burnley until 2002 and now a football agent.

Richard Gough The Scot only spent a year in London before moving to Rangers for 1m where he helped the club to nine consecutive titles. Also played for Everton, had a spell as Livingston boss and is now living and working in the USA.

Gary Mabbutt Has the honour of a White Hart Lane lounge named after him, Mabbutt made almost 600 appearances for Spurs in 16 years. Now a sports ambassador working for the FA and helped South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid.

Ossie Ardiles The Argentine was in the autumn of his career but has stayed in the game as manager of a remarkable 12 clubs since 1989, including Swindon, Spurs, Newcastle and, most recently, Beitar Jerusalem, who sacked him last year.

Paul Allen After eight years at Tottenham he turned out for Southampton, Luton, Stoke, Swindon, Bristol City and Millwall and now carries out commercial work for the PFA. Was an official guest at the first leg of this semi-final.

Glenn Hoddle This was his last season before joining Arsene Wenger's Monaco. Returned to England as player-manager at Swindon in 1991 and has also taken the helm of Chelsea, England, Southampton, Spurs and Wolves. Now unemployed.

Chris Waddle 1987 was the year of Waddle's 'Diamond Lights' duet with Hoddle. The former sausage factory worker played in the 1991 European Cup final with Marseille and both cup finals with Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. Now a BBC pundit.

Gary Stevens Having come on in the first two games, the former Brighton star started instead of Hoddle in the third. He finished his career at Portsmouth before going on to work as a pundit and is also a director of football at Tunbridge Wells.

Clive Allen Played for seven London clubs, including Arsenal, but enjoyed his greatest success at Spurs and scored a remarkable 49 goals in 1986/87. Also played in NFL Europe and is now back on the Spurs staff as reserve team coach.

Nico Claesen The Belgian spent two seasons with Spurs before returning to his homeland with Antwerp in a 550,000 deal. He later played for VfB Stuttgart in Germany and is now on the staff at Patro Eisden Maasmechelen back in Belgium.

Tony Galvin The Irishman with a Russian degree, who came on for Claesen in each game, was sold in the summer to Sheffield Wednesday. Worked with Ardiles at Swindon and Newcastle and now combines teaching and being Ruislip boss.


Manager - George Graham
'Gorgeous George', a former Gunners midfielder, was in his first season as manager of the club and the League Cup was the first of six trophies he won at Highbury before he was sacked in disgrace over a bung scandal in 1995. Later managed Leeds and Tottenham and now a TV pundit.

John Lukic This was his first stint at Arsenal and he was in goal when they won the league in 1989. Also won the title at Leeds in 1992 before returning to understudy at Highbury. Now a keeping coach, most recently at Barnsley.

Viv Anderson At the end of the season he became Alex Ferguson's first signing at Manchester United. Later played for Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough, where he became assistant to Bryan Robson and works at the PFA.

Gus Caesar The former England-U21 international never lived up to the promise of his youth. His first-leg outing was one of just 50 Arsenal games. Slipped down the league ladder and ended up playing in Hong Kong where he still lives.

Kenny Sansom England's most capped full-back, after eight years at the club he fell out with Graham and later played for Newcastle, QPR, Coventry, Everton, Brentford and Watford and is now a pundit and does hospitality work for Arsenal.

David O'Leary The Irishman holds the club record of 558 for appearances. Moved to Leeds in 1993 where he later worked as Graham's assistant before taking over in 1998. Has since managed Aston Villa but is now out of work.

Tony Adams Mr Arsenal. A one-club man who played more than 500 times and in 14 years won 13 trophies before retiring in 2002. After cutting his teeth in management at Wycombe he is now assistant boss at Portsmouth.

Michael Thomas Made his debut in the first leg and took his place in Arsenal legend when his last-minute goal won the title at Liverpool in 1989. Later went on to serve the Reds and has since set up a security firm on Merseyside.

Steve Williams The former Southampton player spent three-and-a-half years at Highbury before, like a lot of players, falling out with Graham. Moved to Luton and then Exeter, where he still lives having run a building company.

David Rocastle An Arsenal legend still held in the highest esteem. Was surprisingly sold to Leeds in 1992 and later played for Manchester City and Chelsea. Rocky died in March 2001 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma aged 33.

Paul Davis A loyal servant from 1977 to 1995, his career was overshadowed by a punch on Glenn Cockerill that landed a nine-match ban. After a doomed spell as Paul Gascoigne's assistant at Kettering he is now a PFA coaching examiner.

Niall Quinn The Irishman is still involved in football as chairman of Sunderland, where he finished his playing career in 2002. He worked his way to Wearside from Highbury via Manchester City after finding his chances limited.

Charlie Nicholas 'Champagne Charlie' was out of the club within a year. He never lived up to the billing of his 800,000 move from Celtic in 1983 and joined Aberdeen, with later spells at the Bhoys (again) and Clyde. Now a TV pundit.

Martin Hayes He was the club's top scorer in what proved to be his best season. He joined Celtic in 1991 and subsequently tumbled down the league ladder. Has been boss of Bishop's Stortford since 1999 and also works in a car dealership.

Perry Groves The Ginger Genius, who designs playgrounds for a living, has hit the headlines recently as his autobiography is outselling Ashley Cole's. He moved to Southampton in 1992 but injury soon forced him to retire aged 29.

Graham Rix Came on in the first game, he has led a peripatetic lifestyle since leaving Arsenal in 1988 with spells at Brentford, Caen, Le Havre and Dundee as a player and Chelsea, Portsmouth, Oxford and Hearts as a coach or boss.

Ian Allinson Scoring in the deciding game was the highlight of the moustachioed maestro's career. Later played for Stoke before returning to first club Colchester and now works at United Counties Premier side Stotfold and for a brewery.


Tottenham may not have won local bragging rights in 1986/87, but they did finish above Arsenal in the table - a feat they have only repeated three times since.

Spurs also reached the FA Cup final at Wembley where they lost 3-2 to Coventry after an own goal from Gary Mabbutt.

Victory in the semi-final also sent the Gunners to the old Twin Towers where they destroyed the myth that when Ian Rush scored Liverpool won.

Charlie Nicholas scored a brace and the red half of north London had their hands on the first piece of silveware in the Geroge Graham era after a 2-1 victory over the Merseysiders - the dominant team of the eighties.

"At that time Arsenal hadn't won anything for quite some time so obviously any sort of trophy and winning that set us on the right track to winning more trophies," Graham told BBC Sport.

And Perry Groves believes you can trace the club's subsequent success to their victory over Spurs in the semi-final.

"The fantastic dynasty they now have at the Emirates is the big palace that has been built, but that semi-final was the foundations that gave the club something to build on," reasoned Groves.

"The club went on from there with George setting the foundations of being hard to beat.

"That was the start of it, and then in the final it was a case of winning something to give the team the belief they belonged at the top."

Arsenal v Tottenham
30 Jan 07 |  League Cup
Arsenal will attack Spurs - Toure
30 Jan 07 |  League Cup
Wenger to stick with young stars
25 Jan 07 |  League Cup
Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal
24 Jan 07 |  League Cup


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