Mauricio TARICCO

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Taricco - Tottenham Hotspur - Biography of his football career at Spurs.

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 26 December 1999

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    • POSITION
      Full Back
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Saturday, 10 March 1973
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • CLUBS
  • Ipswich Town FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1994-1998
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 26th August 1995 as a sub in a 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      134 League apps (+3 as sub), 4 goals
  • Tottenham Hotspur
    • Club Career Dates
      1998-2004
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 16th January 1999 as a sub in a 0-0 draw at Wimbledon (Aged: 25)
    • Club Career
      125 League apps (+5 as sub), 2 goals
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Mauricio TARICCO - Tottenham Hotspur - Biography of his football career at Spurs.

 

 When George Graham made Argentine Mauricio Taricco his first signing as Tottenham manager in December 1998, the fullback was regarded as one of the best footballers in England outside of the Premiership. Following in the footsteps of countrymen Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa - both heroes at White Hart Lane - the £1.75m capture from Ipswich Town arrived with the equally daunting prospect of filling the club's troublesome left back slot.

Taricco's neat touch and distribution were allied to a typically Argentine robustness in the tackle. The 25-year-old made his debut as a substitute in a 0-0 home draw with Wimbledon on 16th January 1999 and went on to make 13 league appearances that season, although he was cup-tied for the club's victorious League Cup campaign. Despite being comfortable going forward, he looked defensively shaky in the early days and was over-reliant on his stronger right foot. However, he had shown enough promise to earn a regular starting role in 1999-2000, with long-term incumbent Justin Edinburgh nearing the end of his Spurs career and another newly-signed left back, Paolo Tramezzani, failing to impress. Taricco took the opportunity to establish himself as first choice, making 29 league appearances.

 

Injuries restricted him to only five games in 2000-01, as the role of left back once again proved a problem position for Spurs. After trying unsuccessfully to plug the gap with right back Luke Young, midfielder Stephen Clemence and young centre back Alton Thelwell, Graham paid £5m for Wimbledon's Ben Thatcher, ensuring that Taricco would have a fight on his hands once he returned to fitness. Yet it was on the other flank that Mauricio got back into the side in 2001-02, deputising for long-term injury victim Stephen Carr. The Argentine's most consistent period as a Spurs player then followed. He made 30 league appearances during the campaign and helped the club to their second League Cup final in four years, although he again missed out on a winner's medal as Spurs were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Blackburn Rovers.

 

Despite his slight build, Taricco wasn't a player to shy away from confrontation. He received a five match ban after consecutive sendings off at Manchester United and Chelsea in March. Although he had stepped over the line, his involvement in such unsavoury incidents was welcomed by supporters as a sign of his commitment to the cause and his refusal to be bullied, traits which had too often been lacking from Spurs teams of recent years.

 

Surprisingly for a player known for his energetic forays into opposition territory, Mauricio didn't score for Spurs until March 2003, his long range effort slipping through the fingers of Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek in a 3-2 defeat. His only other goal for the club came the following August, a rasping 25-yard drive in a 2-1 win against Leeds United. By now an experienced and reliable member of Tottenham's defence, Taricco made 32 league appearances in 2003-04, his most in any season at the club. Again, however, his temperament came into question following spats with Chelsea's Scott Parker and Damian Duff in April 2004, and Taricco was banned for the first three matches of 2004-05.

 

With the summer arrival of new manager Jacques Santini came fullback Erik Edman, and the Swede's consistency kept Taricco out of the picture. The Argentine's prospects didn't improve following the appointment of Martin Jol in November. Now 31, Mauricio was allowed to leave on a free transfer to West Ham United that same month. Although he hadn't made the same spectacular impact on White Hart Lane as his legendary countrymen, Taricco had proved himself to be a consistent and capable performer in his 125 league starts for the club. It said much about Mauricio's commitment as a professional that after tearing a hamstring only minutes into his West Ham debut, he offered to cancel his contract. The gesture marked his retirement from professional football. (Alex Voskou)