On This Day: A David Beckham screamer at Tottenham, 1997
He’s got a foot like a traction engine. That’s still a funny quote, isn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I remember from going to football as a kid are my dad’s sayings. For example, he once remarked that Alan Shearer was “a goal machine” and I didn’t mind that I got laughed at school for repeating that the next day, because look where I am now. Reminiscing about being laughed at in school in February 1997. A mere 15 years on, and apparently that still hurts.
But anyway, enough of that, let’s concentrate on January 1997, a much better month all round, I’m sure you’ll agree. Another one of my dad’s utterances, without which I wouldn’t be the erudite, suave pundit that stands before you today, was uttered after this goal by David Beckham at Tottenham: “That was in the moment it left his foot.” Quite.
Beckham’s breakout season featured several stunners – that goal at Wimbledon, piledrivers against Liverpool and Derby, a glorious chip against West Ham and a trademark free-kick against Spurs in the FA Cup a week before the goal in question.
This one proved to be the winner for an injury-ravaged United against an injury-ravaged Spurs, who were missing both Tedward Sheringham and Chris Armstrong. United took the lead in the 20th minute through Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer a minute after Spurs had twice rattled the woodwork up the other end. Rory Allen – remember him? no – equalised from close range right before half time, before Beckham did a goal late on.
It was typical United. Despite not being at their best for much of the season owing to a fixation with the Champions League, they were still good enough to win the league with something to spare, not least because their rivals kept on screwing up; the day before, Liverpool drew at home to West Ham and Newcastle threw away a lead at Aston Villa. Nothing changes, everything stays the same.