One of the strange realities of being a football fans are players who are clearly terrible but nevertheless seem to be popular with certain members of the crowd.

The good folk at SpurredOn have addressed this phenomenon with this video list of inexplicably loved Tottenham players. See what you think of the players they’ve gone for and let us know what you think. We’d have added Stefan Freund and Didier Zokora, popular for running around a lot and doing a silly dance respectively, despite their lack of football ability.



  1. I like the Terry Naylor mention. He was certainly awful. John Pratt was even worse…Simply diabolical. He would put at least one ball over the Paxton Road end (he refused to shoot to the Park Lane) at every single home game!

    • Now you’re talking! Terry Naylor, a Smithfield meat porter as I recall and played like one! Ray Evans was another one lacking in even an ounce of finesse. Then there was the execrable Willie Young, with the turning circle of a battleship and the close control of someone with Tourette’s! Finally, as mentioned, the butt of endless Cockney wit on the terraces, John Pratt. I have a soft spot for John, truly as honest a footballer as probably ever walked the planet, but nevertheless genuinely crap! The poor man’s Steve Perryman is putting it kindly. How the great Bill Nicholson sold Graeme Souness and kept the likes of Pratt, Naylor, Phil ‘Noddy’ Holder, etc, is truly beyond comprehension and the biggest mistake of his managerial career.

  2. ‘Inexplicably loved’ rules out Roberto Soldado. ‘Inexplicably bought’ would work.

    We’ve had plenty of crap players down the years, but not many of them loved. Good thread 🙂

  3. The worst player to ever wear the shirt was David Jenkins We swapped him for Jimmy Robertson with the Swamp Rats Don’t sk why it’s complicated

  4. Its an age thing, there have been completely diabolical team-members (‘players’ to good a word for them) down the years but this is an attempt at something else – ‘we know they’re crap, but we love ’em!’, but it’s not that, is it? What is really happening when fans show affection to men-in-white who shouldn’t be on the pitch is that emotional self-harming is part of football supporting – ‘he’s woeful, the team is woeful, why do I support this team?, supporting is what gives me meaning, so I’d better just accept that we’re crap and find another way of venting’ – so, ‘Timothee!!’ for a player who looked, as a Spurs fan memorably put it, like Frank Bruno on ice. This kind of love for crap team members is really a way of transforming horror into something acceptable. The George Graham years, the Christian Gross years, the Ramos year, the AVB year, Gerry fucking Francis. Crap managers who buy crap players field crap teams and make a first rate club a second rate joke. And yet we all go on believing … Newcastle did the double over Spurs last season, and I’ll be in ultra-expensive counselling for the next decade trying to get over that, so crapness leaked through even Poch’s mostly stainless Y-fronts. As for these five, BAE began bad but got there in the end, I once asked a Norwich fan if they’d have Fox back, she looked truly shocked, he was a God for them. Doherty was lamentable, but so was a score or more lilywhites of the 90s. No-one loved him, he just epitomised that lost decade, but Cundy, Dozzell, Dumitrescu and many others – too many others – broke my heart week in and week out. I want a cup! I want many cups!! Like it used to be.

    • Bravo. The 90’s were hard, It has made the failure of Liverpool and more recently Man U even more satisfying. Their London based contingent have learned to keep their mouths shut.

  5. I think to make the list you have to be a trier, and for me there has never been one who tried harder than “Soldado whoa, Soldado Whoaoa, he came from sunny Spain to play at WHL” I mean seriously when this guy scored his first goal for us he actually looked like he was going to cry, and the look on his face week in week out as he would hit the post or was denied by a last gasp foot or shin. Loved him to bits!

  6. You’ve forgotten Willie Young,known to his friends as BIG Willie,left to go to the scum up the road, the worst damage we did to the gooners at the time.

    • Inexplicably loved? I think not! He was utter crap though and had the worst close control of any central defender I’ve ever seen at the Lane. Watching him turn with the ball was like watching a battleship doing a turning manoeuvre!

  7. OMG I could spend hours here BUT my one pet hate was Justin Edinburgh. Not the worst LB we ever had but the one who, all by himself, decided more games than did Hoddle or probably Greaves. He would play his usual poor LB role and at the vital moment would misplace a pass or miss a tackle(if he actually noticed the opposing player) and cost us the match. My son did a compilation of JE moments and you could see every goal conceding mistake he made in one season in 5 mins(long lost now). The joke was that so many of them were duplicated multiple times as he never learnt. It appeared that opposing managers had sus’d out his weak spots and always exploited them. I have not seen him as a manager but he had to be better.

  8. 1. Correction: s/b “Futura creatio tua est”. Just saying 😛

    2. Barry Daines. Anyone who bought a “programme ! team and line-up !” and didn’t dispair at seeing his name at the top of the lefthand column week in, week out, wasn’t a true Spurs fan 😀 He made Mark Kendall look good, FFS !


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