Why is it that there are so many Spurs/Ex-Spurs players in the England
squad? Is it the 'old boys network' working overtime with Venables and
Hoddle? Or is it that they are that good? The ones that spring to mind
instantly are: Walker, Campbell, Barmby, Sheringham, Scales, Gazza. Let
me discuss their merits and try and deduce a logical explanation for
their inclusion. If there are any I've missed, then they're not worth
1. WALKER: Tee hee! Perhaps one of the funniest haircuts on a keeper
I've seen. I'm sure there's a draw-string hanging by his ear to close
the fringe. I've always thought he was average and nothing I've seen
convinces me otherwise. To tell the truth, his understudy, Baardson,
looks better. Maybe Walker has received exposure by the frailties of the
Spurs defence, but surely the bloke's confidence must be undermined when
he lets in six versus Bolton and seven versus Newcastle?. I was disappointed to see him
in goal against the Italians: I felt uncomfortable seeing him in goal.
Hoddle and principally Venables, must see something I don't.
2. CAMPBELL: Chuckle. One of his first games for Spurs was as a centre
forward and all that was missing from that day was a carrot attached to
his nose. Someone then told him that playing at the back is his forte.
Always beware of striker-to-defender converts because they invariably
get pulled out of position (just ask Zola). Spurs fans whinge that he
has been their best defender, but when examining the shortlist, it's
like selecting the best striker from Suker, Beadle and White. I cannot
honestly think why he's in the squad. The best I can deduce is that the
other candidates are from the same donkey farm.
3. BARMBY: Loud, uncontrollable laughter. He is best summed up with:
f*** me, he's crap. Somebody said he's the new Peter Beardsley, but dear
old Quassy has skill, awareness and looks. I remember Robson saying
he'd got a bargain when he transferred Barmby from Spurs to
Middlesbrough. Nuff said. Then he went to Everton, pronouncing that he
had new desire and the fresh impetus to further his England career, but
what nobody told him is that you've got to play football of a decent
standard. Consequently, he was on the bench inside three months. I
know a few Spurs fans and one Everton fan: when I ask about Nick Barmby
they sigh very deeply. Come and join Aldershot FC now that Neil 'Tubby'
Webb has gone.
4. SHERINGHAM: Ha. Now this will divide a few people, just as it did at
the pub the other night. I was asked who would be the first two on my
team sheet. I went for Shearer and Seaman. The bloke replied Shearer and
Sheringham. Now I was puzzled by this as I thought the bloke was
intelligent and knew about football (sweeping statement!). His main
argument was the two work well together with Sheringham playing just
off Shearer. I can see some of the benefits, but not how Sheringham
plays it. I could write all day about this subject, but let me sum it up
by pointing to the Georgia game at Wembley recently, where Sheringham,
clearly frustrated at not receiving enough of the ball, was actually
taking the ball off the defenders feet and passing it to the midfield,
leaving Shearer to fend off four defenders. To me, his idea of playing
off the central striker means anywhere in front of Seaman.
5. SCALES: Now that he has left Liverpool he suddenly comes into the
England limelight. Why? He is a fine player, but was never on the
fringes whilst at Anfield. Maybe because the match is a friendly
against South Africa and therefore the stakes are low? Ask Hoddle why,
if he ever gets off the phone to Roy Evans.
6. GAZZA: Who? A superb player before that tackle against Forest in the
FA Cup Final. Now he's an BMW M3 with a Fiesta engine.
CONCLUSION: Who's worth it?
Sheringham, just. The others get in (Scales apart) because of their
potential they offer(ed) in training whilst at Spurs. This is what
Venables and Hoddle have seen during their time at WH Lane. It must be
the Old Boys Network.