The other day I saw that Tony Cascarino pick his Premier League team of the last decade, in The Times. Naturally there were no Spurs players in this team, but then I wasn’t really expecting Noe Pamarot to get picked.
It got me thinking though about who I would pick in a Spurs team of the last decade. Here it is people.
A tough one this. People forget that Neil Sullivan was our player of the year in 2001, though he lost his form in his second season and was eventually replaced by Kasey Keller.
Then we had Paul Robinson, who started well, but eventually lost his confidence and now Gomes, who started terribly but has now turned a corner of sorts.
So everyone is pretty flawed in some way, but I’m going to go with Robinson, primarily for the relationship that existed between him and the Park Lane. If ever there was a player that deserved to have a great Tottenham career and go down as a legend, it was Robbo. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t meant to be.
We started the decade with Stephen Carr at right back. He was one of my favourite players, but then rather besmirched his reputation by joining Newcastle ‘to win trophies’. You backed the wrong horse there son.
Since then there’s been some dross like Paul Staltieri and the aforementioned Pamarot, before Chimbonda joined the club from Wigan. He was very good in his first season, but history shows that we should have flogged him then, when Chelsea were circling with loads of cash.
Hutton joined for big money but has not cemented a position in the team as Vedran Corluka has been preferred over the past couple of seasons. Not everyone’s a fan, but he’s brought the best out of Lennon and is a calm influence in defence.
It’s a tough one, but I can’t forgive Carr and therefore will plump for Corluka. We should never have sold Luke Young.
Good god this is going to be tough.
No one has really been any good in this position, which is why there’s been so many people played there. For several years there was Maurico Tarrico always cutting back onto his right foot. I always said that we should play him at right back, but then when we did, he would always cut back onto his left foot.
There’s been Erik Edman, Timothee Atouba and Lee Young Pyo. All useless in their various ways.
Now we have Assou Ekotto and Bale. I really hope that think that Bale could be the left back in a team of the next decade, but he’s not had the best start to his Spurs career, despite his promise.
Which leaves us with BAE. He was another player who looked absolutely terrible, until Harry took over and he’s been reasonably consistent ever since. Not really a world beater and I doubt that he ever will be, but OK these days.
Which staggeringly, somehow makes Benoit Assou Ekotto the best left back that Spurs have had in the last decade. Appalling.
Now this is easy. Ledley, step this way and pick up the number 26 shirt as you walk past it.
So who’s his partner? Michael Dawson was very consistent for a couple of seasons and now seems to have come back to form, but I’m giving the spot to Woodgate, who has been really classy since joining us and has stayed surprisingly injury free. I know that sounds stupid considering that he is currently injured, but I would have expected him to have played no more than a dozen games, given his past record.
Again, as with the centre of defence we need two players and one is absolutely obvious. Michael Carrick was brilliant at what he did for us and though we picked up a big fee when we sold him to United, we soon learned that money was no replacement for him (and nor was Didier Zokora).
Who plays alongside him? Davids, contributed in his first season, but was past his best. Jenas has been an enigma for half of this decade and Huddlestone looks to be following in his footsteps.
Don’t forget that Gus Poyet scored 14 goals in his first season and then there was Darren Anderton, though I always preferred him on the right.
There’s no really strong candidate, so I’m going with Wilson Palacios, despite the poor form of late. He’s been the strong player that we’ve needed for some time and would work very well alongside Carrick.
Harry, get on the blower to Sir Alex.
There was Anderton, as I mentioned, but again, there’s only one person for this position. When we signed Aaron Lennon and Wayne Routledge, we all expected Routledge to be first choice and the young lad from Leeds to be his deputy.
Instead Routledge got injured and Lennon came in and took his chance. He was brilliant in that first season and made the squad for the 2006 World Cup.
Then his career seemed to stall for a couple of seasons. It didn’t seem that his crossing ability would ever improve and that he would remain a Tony Daley-like figure. All pace but no end product.
We signed Bentley and this seemed to be the incentive that Lennon needed to up his game. He’s been fantastic over the last season and a bit and should go into this World Cup as England’s first choice right winger.
This is a position that had dogged us for the best part of the decade. We’ve finally seemed to have found a player that can do a job for us there in Luka Modric, so who am I to argue? Luka’s in my team.
The best striker that I have seen at Tottenham over the past decade is Dimitar Berbatov. Yes, he acted like a scumbag to get his move to United, but the boy was class.
One striker who would have been a shoe-in was Robbie Keane, but for his transfer to Liverpool. Joining us in 2002, Keano has played the best part of the decade for Spurs and scored loads of goals in the process. He should be a Tottenham legend, but he tainted his reputation with his move to his ‘boyhood heroes’ and hasn’t recaptured his past form since returning.
Then there’s one of my all time favourite players in Teddy Sheringham. His second spell at Tottenham wasn’t as great as his first, but he was still a class act. He’d definitely be on my subs bench if I was picking one.
Finally there’s Defoe. I don’t think he fulfilled his potential in his first spell at Spurs, which explains why he was sold, but he’s grabbed to bull by the horns on his return and now looks the player we all thought that he could be.
Decision time. Defoe and… Berbatov. I know, I know. I actually typed ‘Keane’ first but then deleted it. Ultimately they both betrayed us and the only difference between him and Keane is that Berbatov didn’t return to us with his tail between his legs (yet). So I’ve picked the player that was better at playing football, even though it makes a mockery my decision to omit Stephen Carr.
What can I say? Dimitar is like a woman that you know is bad for you, but that you just can’t get enough of.
So here’s the team in full:
I think that it’s a good sign that all but three of these players are actually at the club now, but does this mean we’ve got the making of a very good team, or just that we’ve had plenty of bad ones over the years?