2009-2010 Premiership

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02 December 2006

Old Man Sheringham Worries About The Kids Today

Teddy Sheringham is a great footballer. Still. There's no denying it. But there's also no denying he's 41 and when you get to that age, you start to get a bit cantankerous.

Hence his statements about there being a gambling 'problem' in football. I'm not trying to dismiss the issue, it's just that Teddy Sheringham is far from the ideal person to highlight it. And his comments read more like 'well, of course, in my day, we could handle it and still become top class footballers...not like the kids now'.

He is quoted saying :
"It's a problem, especially for youngsters coming into the game. They have so much money and so much time on their hands that they don't know what to do with it."

"You must be disciplined. My main focus was on being a professional footballer."

This is the same Teddy Sheringham that appears on TV playing tournament poker against professional players and reaches the final table? Yup, that Teddy Sheringham.

If there is a gambling problem within football, a guy who has obviously been playing poker for many years, is good at it and is the oldest ever Premiership footballer is not exactly the perfect person to highlight it.

27 November 2006

Jol's No Fool

There has been lots of speculation about Jermain Defoe's status at Tottenham Hotspur, with many thinking he may leave and rumours of a £7 million bid from Aston Villa in the offing.

But it seems to me that Martin Jol does genuinely want to keep the player (who wouldn't...he is a class striker) and that the Spurs boss is playing a cunning game to ensure that Defoe stays.

Why do I think this? Well, because of what happened last season. At this time last season, Defoe was Jol's number 1 striker, with Robbie Keane only coming on for 20 minutes a game. It was Keane who was rumoured to be unhappy and thinking about leaving.

However, as November turned into December, Keane was starting more and more matches and by January - when the transfer window opened - no one was talking about Keane moving on any more.

Unfortunately, what would have been a good strategy to keep both strikers happy backfired as Spurs weren't in Europe and got knocked out of the Carling Cup and FA Cup at the first try. That meant Keane's form resulted in few opportunities for Defoe over the season.

Hence, the situation this season with an unhappy Defoe. But, sure enough, as November is turning into December, Defoe is starting more and more matches and is playing well.

Plus, this time, Spurs have UEFA Cup football, a good Carling Cup run and the FA Cup all still going strong, so there's plenty of football to be played. And, if Jol repeats his trick of last season, Defoe will have played 5-6 matches in December, will be content and realise that Aston Villa or anywhere else, isn't where he should be.

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