What Really Happened – Saturday 31 January 1970




Tottenham   0  Southampton  1 – Hugh McIlvaney  (Observer 1 Feb 1970 p. 24 )

After the predictable carnage of that team meeting in midweek, we had the predictable frenzy of young men promoted for spirit rather than class and the limited disappointment of defeat.

Mr. Nicholson, a dedicated if dangerously tense manager, had assured us that his recruits would fling in their lot for Spurs. The question that has to be answered was: how much was their lot? On this showing, which cannot be regarded as conclusive, it amounted to a fierce energy  that was already failing before the end of the first half and was no more than an unconvincing memory long before the finish.

If there was a lack of commitment in four of the five men who were missing after the Cup defeat at Crystal Palace, there was the expected absence of inspiration in those who too their places.


Chelsea  3  Sunderland  1  – Tony Pawson (Observer 1 Feb 1970 p. 24 )

Sunderland were left to reflect on the sad truth that when you are down, luck never runs for you. They were in dire need of a good start against Chelsea and their early football was enterprising enough to deserve it.

Osgood rampant needs two men to control him, yet Sunderland game him the freedom of the field.


Newcastle  0  Crystal Palace  0 (Observer 1 Feb 1970 p. 24 )

Crystal Palace’s style of play belongs to the old ‘get stuck in’ school, which has its limitations but it was good enough to knock Spurs out of the  FA Cup… and yesterday it earned them a valuable, if unexpected, point in their relegation fight.

Newcastle United, who have acquitted themselves well in fairly distinguished company in recent weeks, found themselves frustrated by a side who made up for any deficiency on the finer arts of the game by running, covering and tackling as though their lives depended on it.


Coventry  2  Arsenal  0   – Bob Houston  (Observer 1 Feb 1970 p. 24 )

Coventry City, enjoying what for them is a boom period with six wins in their last seven League games, emphasised that Tottenham are not the only London side with problems.

While Arsenal may be a long way from acquiring the draconian measures inflicted at Tottenham, by the end they were well beaten by a Coventry side who have an abundance of aggression and a fair sprinkling of skill





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