Friday, 25 March 2011

Top 4 On Friday - Tottenham's England players

With it being the international break, and Spurs having no fewer than five players in the England squad (Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson) this week's Top 4 On Friday looks at Tottenham's most influential England players down the years...

4. Glenn Hoddle - 1979-1988

Hoddle scored 8 goals in 53 appearances but is associated more with the England manager's job than pulling on the shirt in his playing days. As a coach, his World Cup campaign in 1998 came to an explosive finish against Argentina in the second round. In fact, Argentina proved to be a bit of a curse for Hoddle. The twinkle-toed midfielder was one of the players left in the dust cloud of Diego Maradona's devastating run in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, which led to one of the greatest goals of all time in the World Cup.

Despite his popularity at Tottenham, Hoddle never really settled into an England role; coaches are thought to have struggled to accept his technical, creative game, opting for hard graft and work-rate in the midfield instead. That said, he was greatly admired on the continent; Dennis Bergkamp idolised him and Arsene Wenger described his game as "ahead of his time".

3. Gary Lineker - 1984-1992

Younger Spurs fans will obviously know him as the face of BBC's Match Of The Day but Gary Lineker was the winner of the Golden boot at the 1986 Mexico World Cup and the only English player ever to do so, he retired with 48 international goals to his name and just one short of Bobby Charlton's record.

There was never any debate about who started up front for the national side during Lineker's day, he also scored 4 goals in the 1990 World Cup and famously gestured to Bobby Robson to keep an eye of Gazza's trembling bottom lip (more about that later).

Lineker was never booked or sent off for England or Spurs and is renowned as being the model professional. Although, he has recently "soiled" his squeaky clean reputation by admitting he was caught short during a 1990 World Cup game... If the video isn't proof enough for you, then here's a recent news story detailing Lineker's say on the whole sordid matter. Sorry Gary.

2. Jimmy Greaves - 1959-1967

James Peter Greaves remains England's third-top goalscorer of all time, behind Gary Lineker (48 in 80 caps) and Bobby Charlton (49 in 106 caps) but his scoring record far exceeds both, having taken only 57 games to notch his 44 goals. Greavsie's record is similarly impressive for Spurs (220 in 321 appearances).

The striker's impact on England's history books was sadly hampered by a leg injury during the 1966 World Cup, Geoff Hurst took his place in the team and held it all the way to the final, despite Greaves' recovery. In Greaves' absence, Hurst used the chance to write his name as one of England's greats with a hat-trick in the final. Due to not being on the pitch in the final, our prolific forward was denied a World Cup winners medal until his work was finally recognised in 2009.

1. Paul Gascoigne - 1988-1998

There really is no picture in football quite like it; of 23-year-old Gazza mopping his tears with his England shirt in the 1990 World Cup semi-final after a yellow card proved to be an onion in the eyes for the unpredictable midfielder. His impact, good and bad, is written all over England folklore; from dazzling performances to painful controversy, such as the famous dentist's chair night out prior to Euro '96. Some people even go as far as crediting the sight of a young man in tears with reigniting the nation's passion for football.

Gazza only scored 10 goals for the national team, but his exploits and his attitude ensured his impact is long-lasting. At Euro 96, during the group stages and in front of a home crowd at Wembley, Gazza again captured the nation's heart as he looped the ball over Scotland's Colin Hendry before volleying home, mocking the dentist's-chair scandal with his celebration.

No comments:

Post a Comment