Good enough for England?

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Paul Gascoigne

During this last international break it transpired that 15 out of the last 30 internationals had been coached by Mauricio Pochettino. Quite a stunning statistic. The last of course being the latest ‘one of our own’ as Harry Winks made his debut in the 1 nil victory against Lithuania. A very assured performance beyond his years earned him the man of the match award.

This prompted me to take a look at players who have pulled on the white shirts of spurs and England. Rather than focus on the best of these, I have picked 11 players that fall into two categories. Starting with those who were unlucky not to gain more caps to those with a solitary appearance to their name. Some may surprise you!

There is no better place to start than Clive Allen. Clive holds the record for most Spurs goals scored in a single season with 49 goals to his name during the 1986/1987 season (I know Harry likes a record but think this one may be beyond even him). Despite Clive’s goalscoring heroics a return of 5 caps (and no goals)seems somewhat meagre.

The last game of the 86/87 season was the FA Cup Final v Coventry City. This also happened to be the last appearance for Spurs for the legendary midfielder Glenn Hoddle. While a return of 8 goals in 53 games represented a good International career, surely the ‘most gifted player of his generation’ should have been pushing for the 100 club. Hoddle was recently quoted as saying “if George Best was English he wouldn’t have been picked for England” so I think Glenn may have shared this view!

Paul Gascoigne amassed 57 appearances and 10 goals. Again sadly denied many more caps due to injury and non selection. Ironically it was Glenn Hoddle, then England Manager who left Gazza out of the 1998 World Cup squad. Gazza though managed to mount a comeback in Euro 96 and scored perhaps his most iconic goal for England v Scotland at Wembley. England then under the stewardship of another ex spurs manager Terry Venables. (Prematurely jettisoned England managers is perhaps a topic for another day)

It was in this same Euro 96 tournament that Darren Anderton filled the troublesome left midfield spot with aplomb. A respectable 30 appearances and 7 goals again on the light side due to ‘sicknotes’ battles with injury.

Finally we have Michael Dawson. Daws displayed all of the qualities sadly lacking in players today. Namely a no nonsense approach and a thoroughly professional attitude on and off the field. Admittedly Dawson was at his best when alongside quality centre halves. I can’t help feeling he would have formed a good England partnership with the Chelsea Centre half. You know the one, not quite as good as Ledley. 4 caps were earned with the England management sadly not sharing my opinion.

This takes me onto my next category being the 1 cap wonders. Some can count themselves as unlucky while others we may be scratching our heads about. They all represented Spurs so I won’t insult them – you can make you mind up who fits where!

First up is Fraizer Campbell. He joined Spurs on loan as a makeweight in the Dimitar Berbatov transfer. (I remember this window more fondly for the arrival of Super Pav) Although only registering the 3 goals during his Spurs career, 2 of these were against Liverpool in a 4-2 victory in the 08/09 league Cup. This kept Spurs on course for a Wembley final appearance.

We then have two towering centre halves, Anthony Gardner and Stephen Caulker. Both very promising youngsters at Spurs that never quite fulfilled their promise. A goal on his one and only appearance however did give Stephen Caulker a goal per game ratio to make any striker jealous!

We then have perhaps the most surprising of them all. Steve Perryman appeared in a club record 854 games for Spurs but only received 1 England cap. This being a 70th minute substitute appearance against Iceland in 1982. A number of theories have circulated regarding the reasons, not least a symbolic ‘post Ramsey’ selection policy that left a number of great players uncapped.

Despite receiving 3 England caps I feel compelled to include Tim Sherwood on the basis that other Spurs managers Venables, Hoddle and Perryman are mentioned in the article. Venables and Hoddle also had the destinction of managing England. An honour not bestowed on Tim yet….. During Sherwoods three games England remained undefeated but a win ratio of 33.33% disappoints slightly!

Finally in the one cap club we have the great Bill Nicholson. While I know little of his playing prowess, he was the great Bill Nic…… That alone should have made him worthy of more than one cap!

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