The White Hart Lane Faithful has been blessed throughout the years with some of the best wingers to grace the British and world game.
Since I’ve been a fan, we’ve had the likes of Chris Waddle, David Ginola and Darren Anderton hogging the touchline, dropping a shoulder and producing a moment of brilliance or a cross which has brightened a dull winter evening.
With such a strong history of playing wide expansive football, under the tutelage of Harry Redknapp tutelage we have been able to produce two wingers in Bale and Lennon who would compare favourably to their illustrious ancestors.
The wingers role has changed over the years. In the past a winger would be all about skill, close control, producing crosses and going on solo runs with a hope of an end product. It was an individual role in a team environment. They were seen as mavericks, with a duty to entertain.
Nowadays the winger is intertwined into the team’s fabric, not seen as a winger, but a right/left-sided midfielder, with more responsibility in the defensive side of the game, working the length of the pitch.
Lennon is seen as the modern day wide man, speed being the main asset required, he has it in abundance, the defensive side of his game has improved, striving to track back and help his full back.
His work in the attacking third can be erratic, sometimes sublime. His assist to Teemu Tanio in the famous 4-3 win doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It was world class. If Messi or Carlos Kickaball had done it, we’d all be purring, but there are times when Lennon’s final ball leaves a lot to be left desired.
To be fair the former Leeds player’s distribution has improved in the six years he’s been at the club, but I feel over the last couple of seasons he’s hit a wall and the potential his ability had promised has failed to materialise.
Lennon has the ability to be anything he wants to be. He has the pace and skills to be one of the best wide players in Europe, yet his brain doesn’t seem to work at the same speed as his little legs and prevents him being able to slow things down, see the bigger picture and distribute the right ball.
I really expected him to be a very special player, up there with the best players in the league, but he is yet to reach these heights. I’m starting to feel that he never will.