White-hot Lane: Tottenham celebrate another stunning season in N17
TOTTENHAM'S victory over Bolton on Saturday added the gloss to another stunning season at White Hart Lane, and a campaign which has proved that Spurs have become a major force to be reckoned with in N17....
By Ben Pearce
TOTTENHAM'S victory over Bolton on Saturday added the gloss to another stunning season at White Hart Lane, and a campaign which has proved that Spurs have become a major force to be reckoned with in N17.
Saturday's 1-0 win over the Trotters was Spurs' eighth successive victory in front of their own fans in all competitions, a run which started back on February 24 - also against Owen Coyle's side, in a 4-0 win in the fifth round FA Cup replay.
And, in between, the Lilywhites saw off Everton, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Portsmouth, before celebrating the memorable back-to-back victories over both Arsenal and Chelsea.
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Of course, they are not the only members of the so-called 'Big Four' to fall in Tottenham this season, and the tone for Spurs' home campaign was set on the opening day with the 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Those big-name scalps bring back so many fond memories. Benoit Assou-Ekotto's screamer, the first goal of the season against Rafa Benitez's Merseysiders. Danny Rose's 30-yard volley against Arsenal as Spurs ended a decade of derby desolation.
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And yet, when Spurs fans voted for their most memorable moment of the season, even that was beaten. Of course, who could forget the 9-1 thrashing of Wigan back in November.
Those are the days that Tottenham fans will remember when they look back on the campaign at the Lane.
But, when all the unremarkable, forgettable matches are taken into consideration as well, Spurs' home form becomes even more impressive.
The Lilywhites have won 18 of their 24 home matches in all competitions this season, losing just three - against Manchester United, Stoke and Wolves, with the latest coming back in December.
And, while Sir Alex Ferguson's side may have merited their 3-1 win in September, Spurs fans are still wondering how their side lost the other two. They had 12 shots on target against Stoke, while the victorious visitors had two.
Defensively, Tottenham have the joint best home record in the Premier League, having conceded just 12 top-flight goals - level with Manchester United, who still have a game to play at Old Trafford this Sunday against Stoke.
None of this is new, though. Spurs were devastating at White Hart Lane last season as well, losing just one of their 21 games in N17 after Redknapp arrived, against Everton.
In fact, last season the rearguard action was even better, conceding 10 times in the top flight to break the all-time club record.
Add the two seasons together and Redknapp's Tottenham have turned their home ground into a fortress which rivals the most daunting arenas in England.
Spurs have won 32 of their 45 games in N17 since the 62-year-old took the reins in October 2008, a win-rate of over 70 per cent, and they have only lost four times - that is two less than Liverpool have lost in their 27 matches at Anfield this season alone.
Under Redknapp, the Lilywhites have hosted the 'Big Four' on nine occasions, and have won six of their clashes with the nation's elite outfits, losing just one.
Liverpool have lost all three of their visits to N17 in league and cup, Chelsea have also been defeated in both of their trips to north London, and Arsenal have taken one point from a possible six back to the Emirates. Only Ferguson's United remain unbeaten.
And, as Redknapp says, his side have done it with style. "We've played some excellent football, we've been good to watch this year and anyone who's come to see us at home has seen some great performances," he said.
"No-one can complain about what they've seen at Tottenham this year. Anyone who loves football and likes seeing good football has certainly been more than entertained.
"They've seen this football club and this team play as well as they've done in many a year. Nobody can be disappointed by what they've seen at Tottenham.