the anderton contract

12.6.2001

As Glenn Hoddle pronounces that he is pulling all the stops out and close to getting Darren Anderton to sign
a new contract at Tottenham, what do you really think about it all ??
Has the flighty winger become a millstone around the club's neck or is there still life in the old bird ??
Here are your views ...

When the 2000-1 season opened, Tottenham included among their attacking players, Armstrong, Ferdinand, Iversen and Anderton - all of whose  recent fitness records were appalling. As supporters are more than aware, our former manager spent much of his last season bemoaning the fact that the club had a lengthy injury list which was hampering progress. Well what did he expect? Surely not that all these players would magically get and stay fit. Now it is reported that Glenn Hoddle, having re-signed Ferdinand, is talking about the club not having seen the best of Darren Anderton and appears to be falling into the same trap as his predecessor in placing blind hope ahead of common sense.

The simple fact about Anderton is that in nine seasons at Tottenham he has only been available to start about 225 league games which averages 24 a season. Significantly, that average drops to under 20 over the last six years. It is thought that the player earns about  25,000 per week which means, in the case of last season, he cost over 55,000 per league game. As he only managed half a season this means the club were also having to pay another player to fill one first team position. In light of this is it surprising that offers for Anderton's services from other clubs have not exactly been plentiful?

Apart from the financial perspective there is also another important factor the club should take into account namely the bad psychological effect there is of having a number of players on the books who are not generally fit. It means that the manager is always disadvantaged by not having his strongest team available (so providing a ready excuse for under performance), other players will feel frustration knowing that the side could be stronger and supporters have the disappointment of wondering what might have been.  The injury situation at Tottenham has been woeful for a number of years; possibly a cynic might argue because the club sought to buy players on the cheap and as a result got damaged goods, and surely now is the time for the position to be properly addressed.

Although sod's law will decree that if Anderton leaves he will star in 60 games for another club next season this does not mean that he will stay fit for Tottenham. If he is to be retained, then the club cannot afford to keep three injury prone strikers as well and on the basis Ferdinand is staying then Armstrong and Iversen  should be sold and replaced by another forward with a sound fitness record. If such action is not taken then next season will simply be a re-run of recent ones and with older players having been added to the squad, may even see a return to the farcical days under Gerry Francis when, for example, the club had five international centre backs on its books yet Stuart Nethercott could still get  a game. 

Matthew Joseph

 

I have to say I am utterly dismayed at Hoddle's apparent delight in almost getting Anderton to sign another contract.  Who cares?!! He'll spend most of next season in the treatment room (again!) and when playing he'll be about as effective as a cat flap in an elephant house.  His performances will gradually improve as the 2002 World Cup draws closer, as, by his own admission, "Eriksson can't have been impressed with that performance" when playing a game last season before the then-new England manager.  That sums him up and he should be reminded that his extortionate wages are paid by Spurs fans who don't give a monkey's about his England chances.  They're only aggrieved at having to put up with his over-inflated ego and yet the fans remain divided.  I'm sure I must see a different player than what these others claim to see: "Oh he's a quality player", "He gives us added dimension" are some of the quotes  I've heard when registering my frustration at yet another (into the wall special) free kick, ball given away and total inability to go round an opponent.  And yet season after season we're coughing up for his wages which makes us something of a laughing stock, recent media speculation linked him with Chelsea (if only!!!) and a Chelsea-supporting colleague was practically praying that Sicknote wasn't West London bound.  No worries there, after all, there is only one club stupid enough to put up with him.  Perhaps when fit, Shaggy could spend some time with Simon Davies and see how he should be playing; with Shaggy's earnings it warrants him working a little harder on his game!

It would be nice to wake up to find this all a dream and one out-of-contract player agrees to stay and one goes.  That's what's going to happen, but unfortunately the one we want to stay is going and the other is going to squeeze his massively swollen head through the treatment room doorway for yet another season of making a fortune lying around doing nothing.  I bet the nation's dole cheats have a more active lifestyle (whether that applies to when he's injury-free is down to the cynicism of the reader).

Yours moaningly

Martin Simpkin


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