Monday, December 19, 2011

Remembering Spurs' Argentina swoop

The first big English football news I can remember as a kid was TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR'S audacious transfer coup of signing OSSIE ARDILES and RICKY VILLA from ARGENTINA.
I reflected on the move last night, while I read old soccer magazines after returning home from work.
Ardiles became such a fixture on the British football scene -- 10 seasons with Spurs, managing numerous clubs, serving as a television pundit -- and foreign players have become so ubiquitous -- Premier League clubs on occasion have fielded teams without any English players -- that it's easy to forget how shocking the Ardiles/Villa double signing seemed at the time.
Ardiles and Villa had contributed to Argentina's 1978 World Cup win, and many people thought they would go to Europe to play in Spain or Italy. North London? They were probably more likely to play on the moon.
It was more difficult for an American kid to follow English football back then -- in the pre-Internet and pre-digital cable days.
Still, I remember the shock and awe of Spurs' Argentine adventure, and I laugh today and the quaintness of it all.


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