Tottenham legend Darren Anderton has revealed that he was once forced to play through a major injury due to pressure from former Spurs owner Alan Sugar.
Anderton is still seen by some Spurs fans as one of the most technically gifted players to wear the Tottenham shirt in the Premier League era but the midfielder failed to live up to his potential owing to the constant injury issues he had during his career.
While he still has the third-most Premier League appearances in the club’s history behind Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane with 299, he could have clocked up a lot more during his 12 years at White Hart Lane had he not been plagued by injuries.
The 51-year-old has now revealed that Sugar once forced manager Gerry Francis to stick him on as a substitute despite him being well short of match fitness.
The incident occurred when in a home game against Sheffield Wednesday at the start of the 1997-98 season after Anderton had missed the start of the season through injury.
He told FourFourTwo: “When I’d been out injured for about three months, he asked me to sit on the bench, to give the crowd a lift.
“I needed to be held back, but he said that if I gave the crowd a lift, I wouldn’t be required anyway.
“We were 3-0 up at half-time and he came in smiling as if to say, ‘Look at me; look what I’ve done’
“Then, with 10 minutes to go, it was 3-2 and Gerry Francis brought me on. I was scared s**tless to use my right foot.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Anderton could have perhaps gone down as one of the greats had his body not been made of glass.
I wonder if the winger might have been able to manage his fitness better if he had played in the current era, given the advances that have been made in sports science and recovery over the last decade and a half.
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