Another chapter in Norway
04 August 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Friday’s meeting with Inter Milan in Oslo will mark the 29th time we’ve run out on Norwegian soil.
Our first visit to Norway came in May, 1966, when we won 3-0 against Sarpsborg in the far south of the country with an Alan Gilzean brace and an effort from Keith Weller securing the victory.
Our most recent trip came in November, 2013, as we triumphed 2-0 against Tromso IL in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, an Adnan Causevic own goal being added to by Mousa Dembele in the snowy northern reaches of Scandinavia.
The latter fixture was one of only two competitive matches we’ve played in Norway, the other coming during our defence of the UEFA Cup in September, 1972, when we beat Oslo-based Lyn 6-3.
That first round, first leg encounter was recalled fondly by our legendary former midfielder John Pratt (pictured, below) as he watched us play our first match against Tromso at White Hart Lane in September, 2013: “Lyn applied themselves very well,” recalled the now 68-year-old, who was among our scorers on the night and also played in the second leg a fortnight later, which we won 6-0.
“Really at times the goal difference flattered us in the sense that they played some really good football.”
Martin Chivers and Alan Gilzean bagged a brace apiece that night, while Martin Peters also got in on the act.
Our remaining 26 games in Norway have all been friendlies. John recalled: “We used to go there every pre-season because the Norwegians were half-way through their season and it was good practice for us.
“Technically they were quite good but also around our pre-season time, during the end of July, they were very fit sides as well and very capable physically.”
Here’s a run-down of all our matches in Norway to date…
|13/09/72||Lyn (UEFA Cup)||Oslo||Won 6--3|
|19/05/77||Sogndal IL||Sogndal||Won 6-0|
|17/05/78||FK Kvik-Halden||Halden||Won 2-0|
|27/07/84||IL Stjordals-Blink||Stjordals-Blink||Won 9-0|
|30/07/84||Viking FK||Stavanger||Won 1-0|
|08/08/89||Viking FK||Stavanger||Won 5-1|
|10/08/89||SK Brann||Bergen||Won 2-0|
|23/04/90||Valerenga IF||Oslo||Drew 1-1|
|07/08/90||SK Brann||Bergen||Won 1-0|
|09/08/90||Viking FK||Stavanger||Drew 1-1|
|11/08/90||Sogndal IL||Sogndal||Won 1-0|
|30/07/91||SK Brann||Bergen||Drew 1-1|
|01/08/91||Bryne FK||Bryne||Lost 0-4|
|23/07/93||Team Nord-Trondelag||Steinkjer||Won 1-0|
|27/07/93||Team Porsgrunn||Porsgrunn||Won 5-4|
|25/07/96||Odd Grenland||Skien||Lost 1-2|
|15/07/97||Ski IL||Ski||Lost 2-3|
|17/07/97||Faaberg IL||Faaberg||Won 2-0|
|18/07/97||Fredrikstad FK||Fredrikstad||Drew 0-0|
|21/07/97||Rosenborg BK||Trondheim||Lost 0-2|
|28/11/13||Tromso IL (Europa League)||Tromso||Won 2-0|
We’ve also had five senior Norwegian players on our books over time – three of which were goalkeepers!
Erik Thorstvedt was the first, making 218 appearances for us between 1989 and 1996, and was part of our 1991 FA Cup-winning side. Espen Baardsen, who was born to Norwegian parents in the United States and represented the Scandinavian country at international level, played 29 times for us between 1996 and 2000 and was in the squad that won the League Cup in 1999. Fellow gloveman Frode Grodas had a brief spell with us in 1998 after moving from Chelsea but didn’t play a senior competitive game in our colours.
Further forward, midfielder Oyvind Leonhardsen spent three years at White Hart Lane between 1999 and 2002, scoring 11 goals in 72 appearances.
Striker Steffen Iversen (pictured, above), another member of our 1999 League Cup-winning side, played 177 times for us between 1996 and 2003, scoring 47 goals along the way.
A further playing connection comes in the form of legendary centre-back Paul Miller. A two-time FA Cup winner in 1981 and 1982 - and 1984 UEFA Cup winner - ‘Maxy’ spent a few months on loan with Skeid in Oslo during his early years at White Hart Lane to gain experience of senior football.
Tickets are available here for Friday’s match against Inter Milan at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo. Kick-off is at 5pm local time (4pm UK).