Ancient knights to title fights: everything you need to know about Spurs

Crystal Palace’s are back in Premier League action on Friday, 28th October (20:00 BST) at Selhurst Park – and before kick-off it’s time to get the lowdown on our latest opponents…

FACTFILE

  • Manager: Ange Postecoglou
  • Position: 1st
  • Nickname: The Lilywhites
  • Ground: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Founded: 1882 (141 years ago)

WHAT’S THE STORY?

How quickly things change in football: Tottenham Hotspur’s dejection at the end of last season has turned into boundless optimism in just a few months, thanks to Ange Postecoglou.

The charismatic manager has stamped his authority on the club, and his Spurs side are already playing the kind of attractive football that has made him such a hit with supporters at every one of his previous clubs. An early victory over Manchester United kick-started the new era, and an impressive performance in the North London Derby did nothing to quell the gathering sense of possibility around the side.

It seems crazy that Spurs lost their talisman and record-goalscorer this summer, but the blow of Harry Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich has been softened by one of Spurs’ signings hitting the ground running. James Maddison was Player of the Month in his first season at Spurs, and has looked every bit the player he was at Leicester City and more. Combined with Son Heung-Min rediscovering his scoring touch and things are looking positive for Postecoglou.

Could they pose a genuine title challenge to Manchester City? It seems too soon, but if they continue impressing week after week, Spurs fans may feel that anything is possible.

THE BOSS

The hugely-likeable Postecoglou’s journey to the top began with a semi-professional side in his home country of Australia, working his way up via the national side, a spell in Japan and two successful years with Celtic before taking over in north London. His free-flowing style of football has won him plaudits worldwide.

BOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Palace’s legendary promotion-winning captain Mile Jedinak became a Selhurst Park hero in 2013, and returns to south London as assistant to countryman Postecoglou.

RECORD AGAINST PALACE

Odsonne Edouard, 28 seconds, Premier League debut – you know the story. Palace have had plenty of joy against Tottenham, and will hope that the departure of Harry Kane, who scored 11 goals against the Eagles, including seven at Selhurst Park, may work in their favour.

DID YOU KNOW?

Why Hotspur? Because of 12th century knight Sir Henry Percy, of course, who was nicknamed ‘Hotspur’ by the Scots for his tendency to dig his spurs into his horse while charging into battle during the Hundred Years’ War, and whose family owned the Tottenham Marshes where Spurs first played.

Because spurs (the item) were associated with fighting cockerels, the club adopted the bird on their logo too, and a version of the huge statue that stands atop their stadium today was first crafted by William James Scott, one of the players.

Still a non-league club when they won their first FA Cup title in 1901 – the only club to achieve such a feat – they had sporadic success before the Second World War. Then, future Palace manager Arthur Rowe took over and laid the foundations for Total Football with his ‘push and run’ style of play, winning a first top-flight title in 1951.