Playing for your deadliest rivals is just plain wrong, isn’t it?
Of course there are players who have crossed the great divide, become traitors and defected for virtually all of the arch rivals. Whether it be Arsenal and Spurs, City and United, Liverpool and Everton or even Celtic and Rangers, if you are a player and you decide to cross the line, you can expect no mercy.
As you pull back the red and white and the blue/white veil of time and take a look back, there really aren’t that many that took their life into their own hands and swapped one part of North London for the other part. Most have been derided or hated, but only one player seemed to make the transition from one to the other and become a legend at both clubs.
That in itself is a feat when you think about it because at some point, and usually twice a season at least, you will step onto a pitch in front of your former team’s fans only to hear the views from the terraces.
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Only 15 players have ever made the disgraced walk of shame, in some fans views, from white to red or red to white. Of those 15 players, only seven have actually appeared for both clubs in the derby itself.
Interestingly enough, two managers have managed both Arsenal and Tottenham and while being very unusual, that’s a fact for trivia fans. Have a look back anywhere – it’s not that common that rival teams have more than one manager that have managed both clubs. Sam Allardyce is a recent example, but he is the only one in the North East, one manager managed both City and United, one for Liverpool and Everton, but Arsenal and Spurs have had two.
The first player to play for The Gunners and Spurs was Jimmy Brain. Brain was a prolific striker who lies joint-fifth in the all-time Arsenal goalscorers list. Now in no particular order are a few of the 15……..
The one player that managed to become a legend at both clubs was Northern Ireland international goalkeeper and all-round nice guy, Pat Jennings. A former Football Writers’ Association and PFA Player of the Year, Jennings is widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers of all time. He played in three consecutive FA Cup Finals for Arsenal from 1978. Nearly 600 appearances in the white of Tottenham and almost 330 in the red of Arsenal makes Jennings a legend in any fans eyes.
Emmanual Adebayor – Now plying his trade with Crystal Palace, the Togo frontman Adebayor is one of only two players in history to have scored in derbies for both north London clubs.
David Bentley – Now living in Spain, winger Bentley fell out of love with football subsequently, but started at Arsenal and then joined Spurs.
Sol Campbell – Ex-England centre back Campbell is a veteran of many derby days. After nine years as a pro at Spurs (1992-2001) and over a decade on their books, his contract was up and he made a free transfer to Arsenal, causing huge controversy, and he’s now a hated figure at Spurs. In 2009, The Daily Mail published a feature listing the biggest traitors in English football. Topping the list: Sol Campbell.
William Gallas – Versatile former France defender Gallas is perhaps best known for his five-year spell with Chelsea (2001-06), but went on to spend four seasons at the Emirates (2006-10) and three at Tottenham (2010-13).
Rohan Ricketts – Arsenal youth product Ricketts played in a 4-0 League Cup win over Manchester United for Arsene Wenger before jumping ship to Spurs in 2002. He then took his talents abroad and was last seen playing in Moldova.
Steve Walford – A former England youth international, Walford was a tall central defender who pocketed an FA Cup Winners’ medal in 1979. He also played for another London club in the early 1980s at West Ham.
Willie Young – Signed from Aberdeen and hard as nails, just ask Paul Allen in the 1980 FA Cup Final. Young was a strong, uncompromising defender who played in three consecutive FA Cup Finals for Arsenal from 1978.
Clive Allen – After three appearances in Arsenal’s warm-up games and with not a goal to his name, the teenage striker was on his way out to another London club – Crystal Palace. Allen spent just a single season at Crystal Palace before returning to QPR. He then joined Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham where he scored a stunning 49 goals in the 1986-87 season. In his time at Spurs Clive Allen scored 112 goals in 173 games. What would he be worth today?
And the two managers that managed both sides were…
Terry Neill – Neill managed Spurs in the 70s before replacing Bertie Mee as manager at Highbury in 1976 to become the youngest manager in the club’s history.
George Graham – Graham is one of Arsenal’s most successful mangers of all time, winning two League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup before later moving to Spurs after a spell in charge of Leeds United.
So you can play for your deadliest rivals, but the question is – can you live with yourself once you’ve done it?
— Europcar Sport (@EuropcarSport) February 28, 2016