The king of White Hart Lane is 52 years old today. Hoddle is my favourite Tottenham player of all time. I only caught the tail of his career at Tottenham, but the effortless way in which he played the game left an indelible mark on me.
Here was a man who epitomised the ideals that Tottenham Hotspur stands for. Playing football with just that extra bit of style and swagger than the opposition can muster.
Glenn made 490 appearance for Tottenham in all competitions, scoring 110 goals. Only four players have played more times for Spurs than Hoddle.
Whilst browsing the stats I was surprised at his goalscoring record at Monaco, after he left us. In 1988/89 he scored 18 league goals. What a shame that Hoddle’s spell in France didn’t coincide with an era when action from Europe’s top league was televised in the UK. As a Spurs supporter the idea of Hoddle in a Wenger team is a slightly disturbing one, but you can imagine the quality of football that was served up.
The point of Hoddle being born in the wrong era, has been one that has often been made over the years. English football just didn’t understand him at the time in which he plied his trade.
Various managers tried to shoehorn him into rigid 4-4-2 systems that didn’t make the most of the man’s talent. These days you’d like to think that he’d be given a free role, playing just off the main striker. Platini’s comment that Hoddle would have won 150 caps if he had been French, was a sad indictment of our game.
But let’s not look back at what might of been and celebrate what Hoddle gave us. His spell as manager didn’t work out as well as anyone would have liked, but he’s still treated like a conquering hero when he returns to the Lane. Happy birthday Glenn. Thanks for these memories.