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Updated on April 2nd 2024, 10:43:16 am

Tottenham Hotspur: Revisiting the Double-Winning Season of 1960-61

Tottenham's pinnacle came in the 1960-61 season under manager Bill Nicholson, clinching the league title and FA Cup double. Led by prolific striker Bobby Smith, Spurs' historic achievements set a high watermark in their storied history.

The last few years has been extremely difficult for Tottenham Hotspur and their fans. There was a time when the club were regularly qualifying for the Champions League and even reached the tournament final not that long ago. They are now a shadow of their former selves, and the club is also in serious danger of being replaced by Newcastle as one of the Premier League traditional top 6. Even bringing serial winners like Mourinho and Conte failed to bring silverware to the club, and former Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is the next who would now be looking at breaking the silverware curse of the club.

In this article, we will be looking back at the most successful season in Tottenham history, and one that busts the modern-day meme that Spurs haven't won a single trophy in the club's history. Tottenham have won several trophies  back in the day, but the club has failed to win a single trophy ever since the Premier League era began. Let us now look back at the golden period of Tottenham Hotspur, which was the 1960–61 season.

The manager

Modern football fans might consider Mauricio Pochettino to be the greatest Spurs manager ever, and one who was closest to getting them Silverware. However, a look back at history would show us that Bill Nicholson was the greatest manager in the history of the club. He was a former player of the club who had won the league with them, and Nicholson went on to make further history with Spurs as their manager.

He had a legendary 16 year stint as Tottenham manager, which might be quite the shock for modern football fans due to the manner in which Spurs quickly sack their managers these days. Nicholson achieved immense success with Spurs, and won over 12 titles with them.

Formation and team

Spurs played in a surprising 2-3-5 formation during the 1960-61 season, which would undoubtedly sound fascinating to the football fans of today. Bill Brown was the goalie, and the 2 defenders in front of him were the English duo of Peter Baker and Ron Henry. The midfield trio included captain Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman, and Dave Mackay. A surprise 5 man front line had the likes of Cliff Jones, John White, Bobby Smith, Les Allen, and Terry Dyson.

This unusual formation didn't last long though, as it was eventually replaced by the standard 4-4-2 by the end of the 1962 season.

The 1960-61 season

After finishing 3rd in the previous league season, Tottenham were entering into the new season with the hopes of improving their League performance and potentially winning the league title. What followed was exactly that, as Tottenham Hotspur went on to dominate the League and clinched their second League title in the club's history. The team had scored over 115 league goals that season, with most of the contributions coming from Centre-forward and club legend   Bobby Smith who scored 28 goals that season. Spurs achieved a total of 66 points, which was 8 more than 2nd placed Sheffield Wednesday.

The FA Cup saw Spurs continue their success, as they went on to defeat the likes of Charlton Athletic, Crewe Alexandra, Aston Villa, Sunderland, and Burnley to reach the finals. Spurs faced Leicester City in the finals, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Spurs with goals from Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson.

History was made by Spurs, as they became the 3rd English side in history to achieve the Double.

The Aftermath

Bill Nicholson was never able to win the League with Spurs again but the club went on to have a golden period under him even after the double-winning season. Tottenham went on to win 2 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, a European Cup Winners' Cup, and even a UEFA Cup.

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