With the end of 2009 in sight, and the transfer window having shut a few weeks back, ‘Arry will have to make do with the squad he has until the window reopens in 3 and a bit months time. Thus I thought it was a good moment to reflect on some of the Spurs teams and players of the last decade. In 10 years we have definitely made progress; statistic whores will no doubt point out that we finished 12th come the end of the 2000/2001 season and that we finished only four places higher last term, but in those few years we have established ourselves as a contempt UEFA Cup team and one of the better sides outside of the “top four”. We won the League Cup in 2008, and finished as runners-up in 2002 and 2009, and barring a minor blip under Juande Ramos, we have looked strong when managed by either Martin Jol or ‘Arry. In fact, if it wasn’t for some dodgy lasagna, we could have made the Champions League under Jol…
However this isn’t a post about what could have been. This is a series about the best ten Tottenham Hotspur players of the decade. So without further ado ladies and gentleman I give you the tenth best Tottenham player of the decade and the 21st century…
Darren Anderton (1992-2004)
OK, so it’s not exactly a glamorous start. Anderton never really set the world alight at Tottenham and was part of a very mediocre team for a very long time. However he was a great servant to the club, appearing 364 times in total. He also was an important player for England and was valued as an international, playing an important role in the 1998 World Cup, picked ahead of David Beckham in the opening stages. In this decade his England career came to an end, despite the fact that he was picked in Sven Goran Eriksson’s first two games, and so to did his time at White Hart Lane after 12 years of service. He probably would have made many more appearances had it not been for his one, glaring fault as a player- injuries.
- Anderton was a solid player for both club and country
Dubbed “sicknote” by both the fans and the press, Anderton gained a reputation as being an injury prone player. Despite his obvious talent, injuries played a cruel starring role in Anderton’s career and his progress in both his national and club sides was regularly halted due to the plethora of problems he suffered. However he still remained an important player for Spurs, and won popularity with the fans when he turned down a mega-money move to Leeds in 2002. “Shaggy” also declined offers from Portsmouth and West Ham a year later, and became an important squad player for Glenn Hoddle, who was a great admirer of the right winger. Following Hoddle’s departure from the club, Anderton was featured regularly by caretaker boss David Pleat but failed to feature in new manager Jacques Santini’s plans. He eventually left the Lane for Birmingham City, bringing a close to his Tottenham career.
- Birmingham beckoned after his Tottenham departure
Whilst I may have stated that “Shaggy” was part of a very mediocre team for a very long time at the beginning of this peace, I want to make it clear that Anderton himself was actually a very good player. His passing was nearly spot-on the majority of the time and he was able to play well in a defensive position, leading Hoddle to prefer Anderton to Beckham when he was manager of England. Anderton was also capable of banging in a goal or two, and has scored some fantastic long range efforts in his time at the Lane. It’s a cliche, but one does wonder what a player he would have been, had it not been for the injuries…
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