Football: Rarely trod path twixt N5 and N17

THE EX-FILES
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The Independent Online
Strange but true: Tottenham have signed as many Argentinians as Arsenal players since the war, while their visitors in tomorrow's derby currently have more Frenchmen in their squad than they have bought wearers of the north London cockerel over the same period.

There has not been a deal between the clubs since 1977, and even then it was a free transfer. Pat Jennings, after 472 games in Spurs' goal, was deemed to be past it, yet went on to amass a 237 appearances in eight years at Arsenal. Willie Young and Steve Walford made the same move that year, the two centre-backs reuniting with Terry Neill, the ex-Gunner who knew their capabilities from his two years as manager at White Hart Lane.

Neill's predecessor at Spurs, Bill Nicholson, swapped Jimmy Robertson for Arsenal's David Jenkins in 1968 - one of his less auspicious signings - and the last Highbury player for whom their rivals paid a fee was Laurie Brown, a pounds 40,000 buy in 1965.

Jimmy Brain, a Welshman in the Arsenal side who lost to Cardiff in the 1927 FA Cup final, left them for Spurs, while the England forward George Hunt made the opposite switch 10 years later. The great Arsenal winger Joe Hulme managed Spurs after the war - but how many wearing red and white tomorrow are aware that that the club's greatest manager, Herbert Chapman, reached his playing prime in the lillywhite of the other mob?

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