glory glory david ginola

Written on the imminent departure of David Ginola to Aston Villa


Ginola is the player who on his day can bring the fantasy to any side. His ability is beyond question and the dribbling skills he displays have not been seen at the Lane for many a long year.

However, since George Graham came to the club it was always on the horizon that he might not fit into the former Arsenal manager's template of his ideal midfielder.  All the right noises were made on both sides for the honeymoon period, which saw Spurs win the Worthington Cup, but as the following season progressed, it became clear that GG was using Ginola in shorter and  shorter bursts.

The frequent substitutions and the final ignominy of being dropped for the games at Kaiserslautern and Manchester United were the straws that broke the camel's back.  It was clear that the Frenchman could no longer play where, as he said, he was not respected.  In terms of using Ginola in a rotation system, the argument does not really stand up.  Have Tottenham such riches within the squad that they can afford to rest such a talent ??  However, then when you look at Daveed, he is not getting any younger and a fee of 3 million must rate as good business for the corporate minded Tottenham board.

As for the fans, well, they love Ginola.  He is a throwback to the days when Spurs were about Glory and not boring the other side to death, so his departure is perceived as a move in the wrong direction.  But such views are tainted with emotion, which is what football is all about.

In the cold light of day, his skills do not produce the end product as often as they should, in terms of goals himself and the additional number of assists he could make.  No doubt some of this is due to the players around him not reading his play, but some of it is down to over-indulgence, when a simple ball would suffice.  Also his Gallic shrugs and the flinging of his arms in exasperation leave the rest of the side to recover the lost ball, while Graham would prefer him to chase and retrieve the situation.

There are fewer and fewer players like Ginola in the game today. The sort of player that Tottenham used to provide an atmosphere for them to thrive in.  Times have changed and it appears that David has no role to play in the Spurs side of 2000-01, despite George saying he would like him to stay.  Having him on the bench to use in bursts and to exploit tired legs would be a great asset, but I think Ginola wants to play all the time. That is something he cannot be guaranteed at White Hart Lane it seems.

I will be sorry to see him go, as he has provided so many moments to remember, but should the inevitable happen, the club will go on.

Maybe as a paler shadow of it's former self though.

Wyart Lane

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