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WTPS: Teddy, Les and Alan...

Posted on 20 October 2001  - 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).

Plenty of previews to get your teeth into today with Teddy Sheringham, Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand - all strike partners for club and country in the past - all in focus.

The game gets a full-page treatment in the Star with Iain Dowie's big-match tactic board, Bobby Robson talking about Shearer and Les talking about Shearer.

Shearer talks about Teddy in the Sun, admitting 'never mind jis lack of pace...the guy's got an extra yard in his head'.

Carl Liddle's feature in full reads as follows:

ALAN SHEARER aims to win tomorrow's battle of the Premiership's thirty-something strikers at St James' Park.

Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand roll into Tyneside having helped the Londoners crack 10 goals in their last three games.

Shearer has played alongside both in his time with England and Newcastle — and has no doubt the two hitmen are playing as well as ever.

And he insists Sheringham MUST be in Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad for next summer's World Cup finals — even though the Spurs striker will be 36 by then.

Shearer said: "There is no reason why Teddy cannot go to Japan and South Korea. In fact, I think he definitely should go.

"I watched him on TV against Derby the other night and it's easy to see how he can still control a game.

"Whether he can play 55 games a season remains to be seen. But the form he is in at the moment doesn't surprise me at all."

Shearer, 31, added: "People say you begin to lose your pace as the years go by but that cannot happen with Teddy — he never had any.

"But for what he lacks on the ground, he has an extra yard in his head.

"When others start thinking about something, he has already reacted and done it, he's that quick upstairs.

"He is still such a great player. Intelligent, clever and a great pro to boot. I tell you, there is a lot of football still left in him.

"I have no doubt Teddy can still do it for England, no other player in that position does a better job. He is so hard to mark, gives some great passes and can worry any side with his intelligent runs."

The pair hit their international peak together in Euro 96, when the SAS memorably demolished Holland 4-1 at Wembley — Shearer and Sheringham scoring two each.

But, if Sheringham was Shearer's dream partner in England games, so too was Ferdinand, 34, in the black and white stripes of Newcastle.

Kevin Keegan paid Blackburn £15million to bring Shearer to his hometown club in 1996.

He had just one season with Ferdy but they finished with a combined tally of 44 goals — 27 of them from Shearer's golden boot — as they gave Manchester United a run for their money in the title race.

Shearer said: "Les was a fantastic partner for me. He was a great pro, had a great attitude and worked his socks off.

"I would go as far as to say that Les is unplayable, unstoppable on his day. He is quick, has a great strike on him, and he can score great goals with his head. We had a great partnership here."

Amazingly, Keegan then sold Ferdinand to Spurs for £6m — and nobody was more disappointed than Shearer.

The former England skipper added: "It was a shame Les went because in that season we hit almost 50 goals between us — and not many partnerships do that.

"I was disappointed when he left because we really did have a great thing going."

The Toon Army will certainly never forget that goal-den year.

They ended the season second in the Premiership and scoring goals for fun at home — 54 in 19 home games.

In total, Ferdinand managed 41 goals in 67 Premiership games for the club — a phenomenal strike rate of two every three games.

And Shearer added: "We just complemented each other so well.

"Defenders did not like playing against us because we are both physical. But our games suited one another, with us we didn't need to work on it we just clicked.

"When I signed from Blackburn a lot of people said that we could not do it together. But I loved playing up front with Les — we shared everything, shared the workload and shared the goals!"

Ferdinand hit his third of the season in Monday's 3-1 victory over the Rams — a welcome run of form after finally beating his nightmare injury problems.

His impressive run has also forced boss Glenn Hoddle to keep £11m Ukrainian Sergei Rebrov on the sidelines.

And Shearer added: "It does not surprise me that Les can still do it, even after so many injuries.

"He still has a great attitude and appetite for the game."

Shearer also netted his third goal of the season in last Saturday's 4-0 romp at Bolton — and, like Ferdinand, is back to something like his best after missing most of last season after two major knee operations.

His goal at Bolton was Shearer's first for six matches.

But Toon boss Bobby Robson said: "Alan did very well when he first came back into the side and then had a little dip in form.

"He had a couple of matches when fatigue set in but we knew that would happen.

"He's been out a long time. He worked extremely hard during the summer to get fit but there was always going to be a time when things would catch up on him.

"He was aware of that and he's been doing extra fitness work to try and regain his sharpness."

Shearer needs another 16 goals to achieve his target of scoring 200 in the Premiership.

And Robson has no doubts about him doing it. He added: "His knee is fine now and against Bolton I thought he was back to his best.

"As we get him stronger and fitter then I am certain he will be back to the Alan Shearer we had two years ago."

Meanwhile, John Cross talks to Dean Richards in the Mirror and the big defender again praises Teddy. "It'sd a luxury to play behind him," says Deano. "He has got such an awareness of the people around him that you know our other strikers will score goals.

"I haven't been at this club very long but he helps me to get used to winning and that was not something I did too much at Southampton."