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
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
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.
|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).