- Feb 1, 2005
Osvaldo Cesar Ardiles - Born 03/08/52, Cordoba, Argentina
Debut 19th August 1978 (A) Nottingham Forest 1-1
Osvaldo or 'Ossie' Ardiles is best known as a player for his time at Spurs. The skilful Argentine midfielder had given audiences a show-reel of his talent in the 1978 World Cup, which his country had won on home soil.
He went on to gain domestic and European honours at White Hart Lane and finished his career after representing his country 43 times.
Having arrived in 1978 with compatriot Ricky Villa, Ardiles added the panache that could elevate Tottenham onto the next level of footballing excellence. As an attacking midfielder, partnered with Glenn Hoddle, he provided a vital link between defence and attack. [ar]
Having promised to 'win the cup for Tottingham', (click to see video) as Ardiles pronounced on a classic pre-Wembley record, he helped the north Londoners to two back-to-back FA Cups in 1981 and 1982 - although he was prevented from playing in the latter final due to the war in the Falklands Islands.
That conflict cast a shadow over the end of his career with Spurs and he left to join Paris St Germain for a season, citing "immense pressure from the British and Argentinean media" as his reason for leaving England.
On his return, however, he was soon back among the trophies as he came on as a substitute to help Spurs beat Anderlecht on penalties in the 1984 UEFA Cup final. [al]
However, there was to be no more silverware for Tottenham before Ardiles left to join Blackburn on loan in 1988. He wound down his playing career with a further spell at QPR.
However, the Argentinean soon turned his hand at management and he guided Swindon Town through the old Second Division and into the top flight for the first time in their history. But financial irregularities cost them their hard-earned promotion.
They were initially relegated to the Third Division as punishment, although this was later transmuted to being forced to spend another season in Division Two on appeal.
Ardiles moved to Newcastle and then West Brom, but in 1993 White Hart Lane beckoned again and Ardiles took the managerial reins. After a forgettable first season, Ardiles brought a captivating brand of gung-ho football to the Lane.
He dazzled opponents and crowds alike with his 'Famous Five' - an attack comprising Teddy Sherringham, Jurgen Klinsman, Ilie Dumitrescu, Nick Barmby and Darren Anderton.
Spurs' attacking football was a joy to behold, but their defence was not and Ardiles was replaced in 1994. Even so, Ardiles' contribution has been honoured by an induction into Tottenham's 'Hall of Fame'.
Appearances/goals: 238/16 (LG), 32/4 (FAC), 32/3(LG CUP), 9/2 (EUR)