The
WALTER
PILKINGTON
COLUMN

ITS AN
INJURY - 
NOT A 
CURSE

MEHSTG Vol. 2  Issue 23  -  November 2001

With the injury list at Tottenham as seemingly as long as ever, I asked myself how can this be resolved ?? With Carr, Iversen, Armstrong, Gardner, Bunjy, Thatcher, Sherwood, Doherty, Clemence, Taricco and Anderton all out recently for varying lengths of time, the plague of maladies won’t seem to go away. So why us ??

Was there a gypsy curse put on the side because they were lucky when the year ends in one ?? Did the evil Dr. Evil of Arsenal dispense some of his dripping bile on our turf to cause harm to the lilywhite shirted men ?? Are there others within the game who would wish ill on the Spurs players ?? Some teams, like the well-oiled machine that is Liverpool, seem to go along without a whole long list of damaged goods, while our players can’t even seem to get along with well-oiled joints. With Korsten being forced to retire due to a recurrent hip problem, there are fewer options available to use when injuries strike.

Whatever the cause of the effect that has resulted in more casualties than a BBC hospital drama series, the answer is less easy to come by. With a never ending stream of knocks and pulls, where does the source of the sick-room syndrome lie ?? Are the players trained to much, as was the complaint under Gerry Francis ?? It would explain the troubles that Steffen Iversen has suffered over the years, when he played on with injuries, as did Chris Armstrong. However, if you take the example of the original Sicknote, he came with an injury and has been hit with one problem or another since he arrived. At least that is one area where the clubs medical experts have clamped down. Buying players who have not been in peak fitness is a thing of the past. Nadjuan Grayeb was knocked back with his knee knocks and he went to Aston Villa from under our noses. Unfortunately from the Midlands club’s point of view, their medics thought he was worth a punt, but it was not a good bet on their part. He played a handful of matches before he was released to run back to Israel. The same with Big Fat John Hartson, who was rejected by so many clubs that he was not allowed to be a member of the Ovalteenies when he was younger !! His lack of weight loss and his drastic hair-loss make him an outstanding candidate for an advert for the Poutney Clinic for cosmetic surgery !! Whatever possessed Celtic to take him on, is beyond me.

While Anderton still goes to see Eileen Drewery, there is no magic cure for what the players are suffering and whatever helps them regain fitness, then good luck to them. Hoddle was to bring in an expert on the back (no not a defensive coach) to sort out a lot of injuries that the players have suffered. That might help. Taricco had to go to Italy to find out that he had a back injury that was causing his groin to be permanently in pain. With Darren Anderton regularly going to the USA for treatment, I am sure that the players wouldn’t mind a trip to Italy every now and then. It’s either that or a trip up the A10 to Mike Varney’s physiotherapy clinic !!


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