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Sunderland v Spurs - media view with Martin Lipton of The Sun

31 January 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

Martin Lipton has been a journalist at the very top level of the game for almost 30 years - and a Spurs fan for longer. Here are his views on our Premier League clash at Sunderland this evening...

Martin Lipton
Deputy Head of Sports Content, The Sun
Life-long Spurs fan

What are your thoughts on tonight’s game at Sunderland?
Martin: “It won’t be easy - of course it won’t - but I believe this is a game Spurs should win. We saw Sunderland’s approach at the Lane, they defended for 90 minutes and had one great chance which they missed at 0-0. Last season it was complete domination by Spurs at the Stadium of Light but they had to wait until the 83rd minute when Ryan Mason scored the goal. It will be that sort of game, and very much about scoring the first goal. Sunderland picked up a point against Liverpool and made it tough for Chelsea but if you’ve got aspirations of winning the league - and Spurs rightly do - this is a game they should be looking to win. If Spurs play Tottenham football, they are better. It doesn’t mean they will win, but they are better.”

Below: David Moyes


You mention Sunderland’s performances against Liverpool (2-2) and Chelsea (narrow 1-0 defeat) and it’s clear they can raise their game for the big matches…
Martin: “Sunderland will be difficult to break down and bringing in Darron Gibson and Brian Oviedo tells you exactly what David Moyes is thinking, he’s trying to grind out points against the better teams and then maybe nick some home wins. Playing at home, they need to come at you to certain extent and then Spurs have that pace to take advantage. Spurs have the physicality, the talent and that sheer ability on the ball, Dele Alli, Kane, Eriksen, Dembele, they are fabulous players. It’s the strongest Spurs team I’ve seen in terms of strength of the squad.”

Below: Victor Wanyama takes on ex-Spur Steven Pienaar in our 1-0 win at the Lane in September


You’ve been a Spurs fan all your life, where do you place this Spurs team?
Martin: “In the Premier League era it’s without question the best Tottenham team I’ve seen with a fantastic unity and purpose. The full-backs are fabulous, the centre-halves do a great job, the midfield, that physicality but also strong, quick, powerful, dexterous in their feet – the complete package for a football team. I still try to get my head around how good they are - but - until you win things, you will always be judged against teams that have won trophies. I was lucky, I saw Bill Nicholson’s team in the early 1970s, Keith Burkinshaw’s team in the early 1980s, David Pleat’s team of 1987 and the way Harry Redknapp’s team did so well. Now we’re brilliant to watch. The first half against West Brom was the best football I’ve seen from a Tottenham team and the only game I can compare that to is Feyenoord in the UEFA Cup in 1983 when we were 4-0 up at half-time.”

Below: Martin's favourite Spurs moment - Peter Crouch celebrates his goal against AC Milan


You’ve been a journalist since 1988 and covered a lot of Spurs games so professionally, what has been your favourite Spurs game in that time?
Martin: “The one that really struck me was AC Milan (Champions League last 16, 2011), both legs, winning over there when people doubted us, come on, this was AC Milan at the San Siro! It was knockout time in the Champions League and then the sheer nervousness I felt during the home leg, it was fabulous. Just trying to be a reporter while keeping my supporter side in check wasn’t easy! I did it, and it was brilliant."