20. On Spurs signing two Argentinian superstars: “It was manna from heaven for me when Ricky and Ossie came. I had someone to play football with.”

19. On youth development in England: “Until we make it the number one criteria for youngsters aged six and upwards to master the ball, we will still be in trouble, as unfortunately, the ball currently masters them.” 

18. On his early days at Tottenham: “We used to train Tuesday and Thursday nights. I would jump on a train at 11, on my own, from Harlow all the way down to White Hart Lane. And that was an eye-opener at 11 years of age. You wouldn’t be able to do that nowadays.”

17. On being recognised by the best: “Cruyff said he had heard a lot about me, but until he played against me he didn’t realise how good I was.”

16. On being an ambidextrous footballer: “I was naturally two-footed, but I also put in a lot of practice. If I run at someone I have always felt more natural on my left side, but if I had to take a penalty or free-kick I would take it with my right foot.”

15. On keeping his feet on the ground: “Me and a lad called Gary Hines must have done something wrong, as we were designated to go up on the roof of the stadium and make sure that the cockerel emblem up there was cleaned. But every time I ran out at White Hart Lane, that grounded me. Every time I came out I could see the cockerel emblem and said to myself: ‘Don’t get carried away. Always remember the day you had to clean that’.” 

14. On only winning 53 caps for England: “It would have been 100 if Brian Clough became England manager.”

13. On White Hart Lane: “It’s only 35,000 but it’s a throwback to the old days. The atmosphere is better than any other ground in the county when the fans get behind them.”

12. On dropping Gazza from his World Cup squad: “It was the saddest thing I’ve ever had to do, was leave Paul Gascoigne out. And that was purely because he wasn’t fit, and he wouldn’t have been fit for the tournament.”

11. On playing under Arsene Wenger at Monaco: “It was enthralling playing for him, I enjoyed every single second. He wanted me to play just behind the striker, which was Mark Hateley. I always felt that was my best position, but I never really played there for England or even during my hey-day at Spurs.”

10. On having unfinished business with England: “If I were to die tomorrow, my life would be incomplete.”

9. On being a playmaker in the eighties: “Teams would kick the s*** out of you. Creative players had the ball 60 to 70 per cent less than they would do in this era. It used to drive me mad.”

8. On his chart hit Diamond Lights with Chris Waddle: “I played in World Cups and in front of 100,000 at Wembley but nothing was as nerve-racking as Top Of The Pops.”

7. On critics who questioned his character as a player: “People talk about character, but what is character? Is it tearing around at 100 miles an hour? It makes me laugh. If I thought defending was that important I could improve my game by 50 per cent. But it isn’t.”

6. On Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’: “We didn’t blame him, we blamed the referee. I never felt retribution towards Maradona. What he did was instinctive, he probably thought he’d be booked. He was a great player, for me the greatest individual talent ever, better even than Pele. No man will ever influence a World Cup by himself as much as Maradona did in 1986.”

5. On the secret to success: “If you can take fear out of your life, you will be able to achieve far, far more. Fear blocks so much. If I had my time again, I would like to live without fear.”

4. On his time as Spurs manager: “We got to the final of the Worthington Cup, and we could have won that and maybe that would have set a different tone. It was a very political club at the time, there were too many obstacles to actually run the club. Some of the players I wanted to bring to the club were blocked.”

3. On his goalscoring ability: “I wasn’t a great goalscorer, but I scored great goals. My top 20 would be pretty interesting.”

2. On those ‘Glory Glory Nights’: “Those European nights at White Hart Lane were very special. The crowd came with a different attitude, and we responded to that.”

1. On his love for On Tottenham: “This is the club I joined when I was eight years of age, signed for at the age of 12 and didn’t leave until I was 28. Spurs is in my blood.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Glen, you are an absolute legend. I saw you make your debute at Stoke. Martin Chivers was in the side that day. We won 2-1 and you scored a screamer. No surprises there then.

  2. The most naturally gifted English player I have ever seen even if Greavesie is my all time hero!! If Glen had been Brazilian he would have over 100caps and spoken about in the same vein as Pele.

  3. Was at the Wembley 82 Centenary/Falklands Cup final replay against QPR. Glenn scored the only goal – a penalty. Never forget a banner in the great stadium. “Glenn Hoddle lays on more balls than Britt Eckland”. Still brings a smile. He was a a magician in white.

  4. If you were french you’d be a national treasure! Sadly like john barnes the national system expected YOU to adapt to it not the other way round! Big respect to you one day hopefully the england job will be yours again #COYS

  5. Glenn’s full debut was at Stoke but his first senior appearance was several months earlier. It was at home to Norwich as a sub and he was amazing from the off. I particularly recall him flicking the ball up with his right and volleying with his left but not quite beating Kevin Keelan in the Norwich goal. Another youngster debuted that day – a right back called Ian Smith, who also looked good. Smith played the following week at Old Trafford (a 3-2 defeat) but I don’t think Smith ever played again for the first team. Glenn reappeared for his full debut at Stoke and the rest is history – but I was there at the real beginning!

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