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Christian's Derby daze

Posted on 11 April 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Christian Ziege has certainly discovered a new dimension to English football since arriving at the Lane - playing for a London club leads to a glut of derby matches.

We face our 14th and final one of the season against West Ham on Saturday and the games do throw up some surprise outcomes from time to time.

Such as Charlton going a dozen capital clashes unbeaten this season before falling to Arsenal and Fulham only winning one all season.

This is all new to Christian. During his time at Middlesbrough only the nearby Sunderland and Newcastle were considered local clashes, while neighbourly passions only flared during his spell at Liverpool when Everton was next on the fixture list. Although Liverpool v Manchester United is a tasty little side dish.

Derby days now come thick and fast for the German, but one stands out during his short time at the club

"It is strange," pondered Christian. "One is the major derby, which is Tottenham-Arsenal and then you have a lot of other derbies.

"I think they are different to the Arsenal one, maybe Chelsea as well, which was, in the end, more a battle than a football game."

Many managers have, in the past, suggested that the sheer number of these fixtures affects a capital title challenge and Christian agrees that the encounters are noticably different.

"It is always different, challenges are different to the way they are already in the English Premier League. It is always a different game, a derby.

So does he enjoy the high-octane clashes?

"It depends, if it is like Chelsea at the end I don't enjoy it, but normally it is a special day - and an enjoyable day as well."