Klinsmann leaves his mark gives his all

Spurs' much-loved German bows out of White Hart Lane without a goal but covered in glory. Mark Burton reports
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The Independent Online
So Spurs fans did not get what they wanted yesterday - Jrgen Klinsmann's 30th goal in his final game. But what most of them wanted more than anything was for the German to stay.

He may not have given a last glimpse of his finishing power in this 1- 1 draw, but he showed everything else that he will now take back home and give to Bayern Munich. Made captain for the day, he ran, chased and harried in another display of what elevates the good player to greatness. He was always available to receive the ball, laid it off economically and accurately, and redirected attacks.

When the ball was lost, he chased back to help out an injury-weakened midfield which came under increasing pressure from a confident Leeds side chasing the point they needed to secure a place in the Uefa Cup.

Klinsmann had asked the stadium announcer to thank the fans for their support and for making his season so enjoyable. That deflected any possible discontent they might have voiced over his departure, which leaves Tottenham with a large hole to fill.

Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, put the loss of Klinsmann into perspective when he said after the game: "Players like that don't come off the wall, and we don't want to get ourselves in the same position of bringing someone in for such a short time."

"Who sells good players? Clubs want to keep them - especially big clubs. We didn't want Jrgen to go," Francis said. "Finding another one just like that is not easy."

The goal with which Teddy Sheringham put Spurs ahead after half an hour was itself worthy of a world-class player. Klinsmann, in searching for a goal, had tried and failed once again to turn into space and elude the close marking of David Wetherall. The ball was cleared only as far as Justin Edinburgh, who was advancing into left midfield. From his sweeping cross, Sheringham volleyed his 23rd goal of the season powerfully between John Lukic and the post.

Leeds almost equalised just before the interval when a header by Tony Yeboah, Leeds' Ghanaian striker imported from Germany, was pawed away from the top corner. That was one of several fine saves by Ian Walker, but the Spurs goalkeeper could do nothing about the low cross-shot with which Brian Deane capped a 60-yard run.

After their equaliser, Leeds had the better of things in a fast and furiously entertaining game that was a fitting finale to Klinsmann's brief Tottenham career: a typical English league game into which the German could fit his typically enthusiastic display.

But he could not raise his trademark smile as he walked off after milking the adulation of the fans in an emotional lap of honour with his team- mates.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Nethercott, Calderwood, Mabbutt, Edinburgh; McMahon (Dozzell, 71), Kerslake, Anderton, Turner; Sheringham, Klinsmann. Substitutes not used: Scott, Thorstvedt (gk).

Leeds United (4-4-2): Lukic; Kelly, Pemberton, Wetherall, Dorigo; Rod Wallace (Sharp, 71), Palmer, McAllister, Speed; Yeboah, Deane. Substitutes not used: Fairclough, Beeney (gk).

Referee: P Durkin (Portland).

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