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From Gazza to Dele - Mabbsy on our MOTD Goals of the Season

Posted on 17 May 2016  - 12:00

Gary Mabbutt had the best view in the house the last time a Spurs player won BBC Match Of The Day’s Goal Of The Season.

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That was back in April, 1991 and, of course, Paul Gascoigne’s free-kick against Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley. It’s an iconic Spurs goal, still regularly voted the best of all-time by fans.

Gazza’s goal does have competition though - and that competition comes in the form of Dele Alli’s wonder strike at Palace in January, a goal that has landed a Spurs player the MOTD GOTS for only the second time since it began all the way back in 1971.

Dele’s control, flick over Mile Jedinak and volley home at Selhurst Park made it into the top three of over 100,000 public votes on Sunday evening alongside Jamie Vardy’s volley for Leicester against Liverpool and Cuco Martina’s strike for Southampton against Arsenal and was then named GOTS by Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy.

Legendary former skipper Gary lifted the FA Cup against Forest in the 1991 final after Gazza and Gary Lineker’s heroics beat Arsenal in that semi-final.

He saw some special Spurs goals in 16 years at the club, and said Dele’s goal ‘flowed beautifully’.

“The way he took it, every part of the movement was completely under control, nothing out of sync, everything seemed perfect,” said Gary.

“First of all you’ve got to decide what you want to do, then you have to put what you are planning into action and all these things happen in a split second.

“It flowed so beautifully, from the moment he started to the moment the ball hit the back of the net. It deserved to be Goal Of The Season, I don’t think many could match that.

“It shows the confidence and ability Dele has and we saw a lot of that this season.

“Normally it takes a long time for new players to have that confidence and to feel comfortable when expectations are so great but Dele was like a breath of fresh air. It didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest.

“He knew the talent he had from his days at MK Dons but to be able to bring that talent out in the arena of the Premier League is a completely different scenario. He’s done it this season.”

Below: Gary gets ready to duck as Gazza lets fly against Arsenal in 1991

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As for Gazza’s never-to-be-forgotten strike, ‘Mabbsy’ recalled: “When we got the free-kick I thought it was a bit too far out for him!

“I talk to Paul about this quite often. He has a photograph, as he runs up to take the free-kick, I’m standing to the right of him (as Gary looks at it), just outside the box. I was marked by Alan Smith, who is a lot taller than me. I was going to make a decoy run across the box to take Alan Smith away from the area where Paul was aiming.

“As I made my run across the box, I looked, Paul’s hit the ball and it’s coming straight for my head. I ducked, the ball went straight over my head and into the top corner. Gazza has a photo of me ducking and the ball going just over my head. I’m claiming an assist for that one!"