When Mabbsy met Jurgen - Part Two
16 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Welcome to Part Two of our special 'When Mabbsy met Jurgen' feature.
The fellow Spurs legends, team-mates and friends met up when Gary Mabbutt welcomed Jurgen Klinsmann and the USA national team to our training facility at Hotspur Way this week.
One of the all-time greats, Jurgen made a huge impact in two spells at the club in the 1990s.
The striker formed a lethal partnership with Teddy Sheringham in his first season in 1994-95 and the pair scored over 50 goals in all competitions.
Jurgen contributed 29 to wide acclaim and went on to be named Football of the Year.
Captain throughout Jurgen's two spells at the club, Gary turned interviewer as the pair reflected on Jurgen's days at Spurs - and started Part Two at the now infamous 'diving' celebration as Jurgen scored on his Premier League debut at Sheffield Wednesday in August, 1994.
Mabbsy: "In my experience, it can take a long time for players to settle in, a long time for fans to love a player but with you, with your enthusiasm on and off the field, you warmed to their hearts very quickly, especially after the first Premier League game at Sheffield Wednesday. We won 4-3 and you scored a fantastic header and the whole team did the dive. What are your memories of that?"
Jurgen: "That story tells you about the connection between the players. Teddy Sheringham said if I scored I should do a dive and all the players would follow. It was Teddy’s idea and we repeated it a few times. We had a real blast. Within a few weeks, I felt I’d always been here.
"Emotionally, it was something I’d not experienced before. I certainly benefited from my experiences in Italy and France because as a German, I had to learn to take people the way they are, especially in three years in Milan, I had to learn to adapt to their surroundings, their culture, their language.
"It was easier to come into a new place again because I knew I could only win everyone over by becoming one of you. That helped me a lot and helps me today, as coach of the USA, when our players go to the Premier League or the Bundesliga or France, they struggle in the beginning, they are nervous but I tell them that the major job they have to do is make yourself one of them, become one of them with how you integrate and how you communicate with everyone because that’s the big first step. After that, you have to convince everyone on the pitch as well. But the first big step is to become one of the lads and I think I did that right away."
Mabbsy: "It was a great season, that first season. Your partnership with Teddy worked well, as a team we played some decent football but for me, my biggest disappointment was that we should have done better in the FA Cup. We went to Anfield and had a fantastic victory there, you and Teddy scored the goals but we then got blown away by Everton in the semi-final. Was the FA Cup something special for you as well?"
Jurgen: "It was exciting for me to experience the energy of the FA Cup which is second to none in terms of cup competitions around the world. If you play in the German Cup Final in Berlin it’s a big like Wembley and it means a lot but it’s not at the same level as the FA Cup.
"We thought we were on a roll and thought we could do it after the win at Anfield. That was a first for me, unforgettable because I’d never played in a stadium away from home where you win and then the whole stadium rises and gives you a standing ovation. I thought ‘this isn’t real’.
"When we walked off at Anfield, perhaps we were too confident but then Everton gave us a big wake-up call and those dreams were over. It was a big lesson for me to understand what the FA Cup really means to the English people. It was an exciting run but it came to a very disappointing end."
Look out for Part Three of 'When Mabbsy met Jurgen' as they talk about Jurgen's second spell in 1998...