Right, before I receive a shed load of abuse for overlooking your very own worst Tottenham player, let’s remember that in essence, this article is arbitrary in that football is down to opinion. One man’s Didier Zakora, is another man’s Wilson Palacios after all. Further, I am a man of limited knowledge, having failed to watch every last Spurs game in the club’s 128 year history like many of our other fans, owing to my failure to learn the secret of time travel. However, these next five Tottenham players are pretty woeful, and arguably could be up there with the worst in the club’s history…
If I’m being honest, I’m still in shock about this signing. Who was he? How could an Italian A) be blond, and B) be such a rubbish defender?
The ‘Italian’ (I’ll believe it when a birth certificate is produced) left-back was signed for Tottenham from Piacenza by Christian Gross for £ 1.35m in June 1998, and came with a CV including 39 appearances for Inter Milan. ‘At least he’ll be solid’ we thought. Wrong. In his first two appearances, Tottenham conceded six, whilst the icing on the cake came in a 3-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough, where Hamilton Ricard (remember him) tore us to shreds in what was Tramezzani’s fifth league appearance for the club. Tramezzani managed just one more appearance for Spurs before George Graham took over in early October, and was then replaced with Justin Edinburgh.
Poor going forward, awful at defending, it is difficult to know where to start. Tramezzani surprisingly stayed with the club until January 2000, leaving for Pistoiese in a move worth £400,000.
Jason Dozzell joined Tottenham Hotspur from Ipswich Town in 1 August 1993 for £1.9m. The player was highly regarded at the time, and Osssie Ardiles signing of the midfielder was considered a real coup. The 25 year old was being considered for England selection by Graham Taylor, and was regarded as a cultured goal-scoring midfielder.
However, what Tottenham got was a slow, uncoordinated and fragile player, who played in one of the worst Tottenham sides for many a year in 1993/94. Tottenham only avoided relegation by three points that season, and Dozzell was frozen out after the arrival of Gerry Francis in 1994.
Dozzell made 84 league appearances for Tottenham in four seasons, scoring 13 goals. Dozzell became a figure of fun at White Hart Lane, and is affectionately remembered as one of the worst players in the club’s recent history.
Stuart Nethercott grew up through the ranks at Tottenham and made his debut on 20 March 1993 in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Wikipedia’s description of the player is genius however, as I seem to remember the event clearly:
“Stuart Nethercott is perhaps best remembered for the disproportionate amount of times he featured in the Merlin F.A. Premier League Sticker Book collection for the 1994-95 season. Much to the chagrin of collectors, it was not unknown for a six sticker packet to contain six copies of Nethercott, then in the Tottenham ranks.”
Aside from the liberal number of Stuart Nethercott stickers that were in floatation, the real reason Tottenham fans in particular will remember Nethercott , is because he was an awful player. Nethercott was slow, incapable reading the game, had a poor positional sense and was error prone. A mistake that comes to mind was a miss-hit clearance against Southampton at White Hart Lane in 1994, which fell straight into the path of Matthew Le Tissier who couldn’t miss from eight yards out.
I seem to remember Hoddle attributing the words “Serbian Beckenbauer” to Goran Bunjevčević, and so this has forever affected my memory of the player. Goran joined the Lillywhites for £1.4m in 2001, with a reputation for being a classy ball playing defender/holding midfielder. However, after overcoming a fractured cheekbone, sustained in a 2-2 draw with Chelski early on in his Spurs career, Goran proceeded to produce insipid performances time and time again thereafter.
There may have been technically worse players than him, but the fact that this guy played 57 times for Tottenham really makes you wonder how Glenn Hoddle stayed in the job as long as he did. Bunjevčević was slow, weak in the tackle, and for someone who could ‘spot a pass’ he was remarkably average on the ball. A player that played far too many times for Tottenham.
An inspired George Graham/David Pleat signing, the ‘Ginger Pele’ gets into the top five owing to the fact that he was useless at both centre-half and in attack. In fairness, Andy Booth, another Graham signing, could also have made this list and did make Doherty look like Pele, but the former Sheffield Wednesday legend never made anywhere near the 72 appearances this guy somehow made at Spurs.
He was one of the slowest, least mobile centre forwards Spurs have had to deploy in recent history, but arguably, at least he was less of a liability upfront than in defence, where an error was always looming in the background, waiting to happen. I have an enduring image of him turning round with a downtrodden look on his face, having lobbed or scored a diving header against Kasey Keller (who was also rubbish). I can just imagine the Luton Town chairman and manager going out for beers and high-fiving after Pleat offered £1m to take the player to White Hart Lane – in short he was a nightmare.
Well, there you have it. Five rather poor Spurs players methinks. They’d make one hell of a 5-a-side team wouldn’t they, although they’d have to play rush goalies, even with Doherty’s flexibility.
I am of course, a young, (handsome) man, and if you are a bit older with a wider knowledge of Tottenham failures, or just disagree with any of my choices, get involved in the comment box below…
You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mark0turner
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