Thursday, March 22, 2012

English Leagues the 70s: Ipswich Town Orient FA Cup 1978 1979

27 january 1979
Portman Road,

 It all happened so suddenly, so dramatically, so unexpectedly. In late June, Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa were helping Argentina win the World Cup. By mid-July — by way of a cloak-and-dagger Transatlantic dash by enterprising young manager Keith ("007") Burkenshaw; plus around three-quarters of a million quid — we heard the dynamic duo would soon be gracing the English First Division in Tottenham shirts. That was the first big sensation of the season so far — and, ironically. Spurs were to figure largely in the second, too. And that was in some of the weird and wonderful early scorelines. Especially so in the League Cup in which, by the first week in September,  Spurs had become the eighth embarrassed First Division side to be unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by teams from the lower orders. 

It was team-to-watch Third Division Swansea — old Uncle Tommy Smith and all — who clobbered Spurs at home ... just four days after they'd been thumped 7-0 at Anfleld. Liverpool — even though they themselves experienced a shock hiccup by being K.O'd from the League Cup by Second Division Sheffield United — started their own season in devastating form. Not that fact in itself can be included In any catalogue of sensations! Even so, even by their own almost monotonous high-standards, they seemed to surpass themselves in the early days of 1978-79. Everything, really, was climaxed in that Tottenham demolition-Job — In which hardly a Liverpool pass went astray — that prompted even the normally taciturn Bob Paisley to comment afterwards: "We mustn't let go to our heads — but our football today was frightening." And to any future opponents of Liverpool watching the game — even by way of highlights on TV — it cortainlv was! Tottenham, nonetheless, kicked-off well, with a promising 1-1 draw on the ground of League Champions Forest — who didn't! In fact, after four League games, they still hadn't won — and that single goal remained their only one. True, they won 4-2 in a League Cup replay against Oldham — but only after being held away by the Second Divisioners. So... more Surprises coming ...?

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