This Tottenham Hotspur shirt will make you long for Nico Claesen

In 1986-87, Tottenham were the nearly men of football, finishing third in the league, reaching the final of the FA Cup and the semi-finals of the League Cup.

They did it all whilst wearing this stylish number. The fashionistas at Hummel were obsessed with arrows during the 80s, and they really bring them to the fore here, taking them down off the arms and giving them pride of place on the front of the shirt. Although to the untrained eye, they can look like they are pointing in the wrong direction. But this must be personal preference.


Tottenham Hotspur, Hummel, 1986/7

The man overseeing Spurs’ success and their style of attacking, fluid football was David Pleat. Pleat would leave at the end of the year due to non-footballing reasons. But on the pitch, his team did the business. The person to most profit from his management was Clive Allen who won Players’ Player of the Year as well as the Football Writers’ Award (not enough to earn him a regular place in the England squad though).

A man who did not benefit was Nico Claesen, despite the fact that Pleat had been the person to sign him. Pleat had seen the opportunity to play a five man midfield, with Chris Waddle playing as a roaming forward. The man sacrificed was the stocky, goal-nabbing Belgian – a real Jermaine Defoe of his day.

Claesen’s number was finally up when Pleat left the club, and replacement manager Terry Venables decided that a striker who scored a goal every other game was of no use to him. But perhaps Claesen had never really recovered after this vicious assault by the Crazy Gang.

A player who Pleat was unable to sign, but who ended up still wearing the kit, was of course Diego Maradona. Here he is from the previous season, playing in Ossie Ardiles’ testimonial. After the game, there is an interview in which the little fella quite openly lies about his intentions for the upcoming World Cup.

Check out our marketplace for some banging Spurs shirts. Plus, you can get 20% this weekend only with the code ZIZOU

Rob Hogg


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