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#ChampionsLeague #MatchReaction #Legends #Ajax

Truly, truly amazing - Stevie P, Daws, JD and JJ on Champions League heroics

Fri 10 May 2019, 10:54|Tottenham Hotspur

Four legends. One twice lifted the UEFA Cup and made more appearances than any other player in our history, including most in Europe. That can only be Steve Perryman. Three more recent legends all helped take the Club back into Europe in 2006 and then into the Champions League for the first time in 2010. Still so emotionally involved with the Club they all love, what did Stevie P, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe and Jermaine Jenas make of the events in Amsterdam?

Here's what four men who collectively made 1,743 appearances for the Club had to say...

Steve Perryman

All-time record appearances, 854, 1969-86
Most European appearances for the Club, 64
UEFA Cup winner, 1972, 1984
Scored twice in UEFA Cup semi-final v Milan, 1972

“If you are wearing that white shirt, you give it all, for the fans, the manager, yourself, but the lengths they went to at Ajax were truly amazing. To push their bodies the way they did, to eek out that win, to snatch it from defeat, to keep going when some of the players have had the longest of seasons, taking into account the World Cup, injuries, suspensions, to overcome those hurdles, especially in the Champions League, says a huge amount about their character, motivation and willingness to work. I watched the game on my own at home but I’m linked into various groups on WhatsApp and I was getting a feeling from them that ‘we’ve blown it’ and at moments like that, I don’t join in. I stay quiet. Not because I’m clever, I just don’t want it to be true. Once again the players have come back. They’ve recovered it again and when you do that so many times, it’s not luck, is it?

“Substitutions at the right time, substitutes coming on and doing it, players stepping up in the absence of others... it’s an amazing feat what they’ve done so far. Just one more now. Go on, show us all for doubting you at times in this campaign! Guts, tenacity, I could not believe what I was watching in the second half. The fans and the team were together and you could see that at the end. It reminded me of the crowd cheering Danny Thomas after he missed a penalty in the 1984 UEFA Cup Final. That was facing possible defeat. This was the same thing. They put themselves out to go there, the team put themselves out to overcome their problems on the night. Truly, truly brilliant.”

Jermain Defoe

363 appearances, 2004-14
Sixth on our all-time goalscoring list, 143
Was top European goalscorer (23) until overtaken by Harry Kane this season
Part of team that got us back into Europe in 2006, then UCL in 2010/11

“I knew they would do it. I don’t know why. It was meant to be. It’s such a great time to be at the Club at the moment with the new stadium and I just had that feeling. I thought if we get one goal, it all changes. When Lucas Moura scored his hat-trick, my hands went over my mouth. I could not believe it. I literally could not believe what I was watching. When I saw the manager’s reaction and what it meant to him, that’s proper emotion, raw. Football is unbelievable. I was so happy because over the years, plenty of people have had plenty of things to say, but now we’re in the Champions League Final. What a feeling. It’s an amazing story.”

Michael Dawson

324 appearances, 2005-2014
Part of team that got us back into Europe in 2006, then UCL in 2010/11
Captained team in UCL last 16 win at AC Milan, 2010/11
Now at Forest, commentated during our UCL run for Sky Sports News

“I couldn’t believe it. I go back to doing Sky Sports News and Harry Kane’s late goals against PSV (MD4). I remember saying ‘the dream’s still alive’. At 1-0 down in that game, 10 minutes to go, we still only had one point. We were finished. There seemed no chance but we got through. Even at Ajax, half-time, I’m thinking ‘it’s a big ask now’. Three-quarters of the way through the tie, 3-0 down, 45 minutes, can they do it? The important thing though was to get the next goal. I’m sure that’s what they said at half-time. Score the next goal and see what happens. Well, they scored the next goal and the rest is history. This is why everyone loves football. Look at this week - Vincent Kompany’s goal for City, Liverpool against Barca, how have they turned that around? Could Spurs do the same? I played with Danny, Hugo, Jan, Harry Kane trained with us as a young lad, Christian, Erik Lamela, when they came in I’d been there for a while. Now they’ve all been at the Club for a while and they’ve gone to the next level. They have been an absolute joy to watch and as a fan, it’s absolutely electric. I can’t wait for the final, can’t wait.”

Jermaine Jenas

202 appearances, 2005-2012
Part of team that got us back into Europe in 2006, then UCL in 2010/11
Played eight times in run to UCL quarter-final in 2010/11
Now pundit with BT Sport/BBC including MOTD – co-commentator at Ajax

“It’s not just the connection with the Club, for me, specifically, since retiring I’ve not come out of the game because of the job that I have and in doing so, I’ve built relationships that have got even deeper. I’ve got good relationships with a lot of the lads, Toby, Jan, Danny Rose, Dele, Harry, Trips, I still speak to a lot of these lads and the manager has always been great to me. It gets deeper than that when you go back over the years, this journey the Club has been on, when I first signed it was very much a conversation along the lines of ‘we want to challenge for a Champions League position’. Our team played our part to try and kick the Club on a level and now this team, this manager and the chairman have taken it to an all new level. I had that moment on Wednesday night when I thought ‘wow’, the realisation of the achievement of everyone associated with the Club, above and beyond what anyone expected and seeing the manager’s face, the players, the emotion, it was too much for me at the time to get my words out.

“It was so weird. Our fans were up in the Gods, so high up and those events, the long ball from Sissoko, the flick from Llorente, the touch from Dele, it was almost in slow-motion. The stadium just seemed to get quieter and quieter and when the ball hit the net, it was unreal. Lucas Moura has scored a hat-trick in the semi-final of the Champions League! When that third goal went in, for me, it was very much ‘this isn’t happening’. I thought Jan’s was the chance. I said in commentary that I thought we’d get a chance and it was just whether or not we’d take it. I saw Jan’s and thought that was it. To have one more ‘Hail Mary’ moment and put it away, you can’t write that. If someone showed me that film script, I’d say ‘no, you’re lying, you've made it up’ but because it’s sport it takes your breath away.”