Azza Blud

13
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

When Aaron Lennon was first signed by Spurs, he was nothing more than an understudy to Wayne Routledge. Routledge then suffered continuous injuries that gave Lennon the chance to play in the first team. To say he grabbed his opportunity with both hands would be an understatement.

Lennon’s early days with us were nothing short of entertaining. Pace, directness and most importantly getting results. Lennon’s speed bamboozled opponents. His feet moved quicker
than most defenders could think. This boy gave migraines to a lot of full backs as well as nightmares. As a relatively unknown quantity then, it would take some years before opposition teams formulated the blueprint to shackle the winger. His potential became so apparent that he was one of the first names on the match day sheet. So strong were his performances that even when Routledge recovered from injury, he was used sparingly. The diminutive winger’s agility warmed to fans and pundits alike who became fascinated with the boy wonder.

Just to put into perspective the talents of Azza, consider this. He was Leed’s Young Player of the Year before signing for us in the 2004-2005 campaign. The following year, he won the
same accolade this time with Spurs (2005-2006). His trail blazing displays also earned him nominations for the PFA Young Player of the Year for a consecutive three years. A year after
breaking into the England U21 setup, he found himself in the senior squad just TWELVE months later in May 2006 and was a member of the team to go to the World Cup at just 19. During that World Cup, there were strong calls for our Azza to dislodge Beckham on the right wing as it was believed he would offer a lot more variety to England’s play. I could go on.

Injuries began to limit his impact through his early to mid twenties. After a while like with any footballer on the rise, people get used to your style of play. Movements that would have
caught opponents by surprise begin to get anticipated. Attributes that made a player once unplayable start to look predictable. It’s at this point, hot prospects are defined or exposed as so called ‘wonderkids’ who might have just peaked a little earlier than their peers. But real hot prospects build on their rising reputation, refine their game and add more to their skill set. It’s when you are able to mix up your game with evasiveness that makes you unpredictable. Ask any defender or goalkeeper. Predictable players are the easiest to play against. You know what they will attempt before they even get the ball. But a defenders worst nightmare is a player that is hard to figure out their next move. Top players at the top of their game keep their opponents guessing.

Sadly, for Spurs, Lennon burst onto the scene like a Playstation. At the time, relatively unknown, exciting and daring. Yet he hasn’t evolved into a Playstation 4. He has not recountered
many of the players that have countered and learnt how to shackle a speed merchant like himself. Unfortunately, he has not matured into the player we had hoped for.

Dare I say Walcott, Chamberlain even Townsend to some extent have usurped him now as an effective winger. England are in a World Cup and Lennon is nowhere to be seen. Sterling is the one doing the business and he has his ticket in Brazil with the senior team. Lennon has dissapointed and the closest he will get to the team is watching them on TV.

I’m not branding the boy a dissapointment based on last season alone. That would be unfair as many of our stars failed to turn up. At 27 he should be in his peak now. As good a player
as he still is, it has to be said; if we had an option of choosing either Chamberlain, Sterling or Lennon to wear the famous No.7 shirt who would you choose? Lennon is actually one of my favourite players. We were born in the same year. In the same month. Plus only five days keep our birthdays apart.

However, no player is bigger than the team. I cannot fail to agree with my eyes the truth I know in my heart. Sometimes we have to be real and not be biased. As for the question of
which winger I would choose to wear the iconic No.7 shirt, I know who I’d choose to wear it. Ultimately, I think you do too.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. The guy just has no hunger to be a better player. When Bale started being marked out of games he found a way round it, Lennon on the other hand, when he receives the ball and there's not a clear run to the byline or goal he just plays it backwards when he should be taking people on.

    His speed is still an awesome weapon and he should be tearing people apart but I think he just doesn't like the idea of getting clattered 4/5 times every game if he has to run anywhere near a defender. I used to think his speed on the break meant that we couldn't leave him out but he turns it on 2/3 times a season which definitely is not enough to justify his position. Anyway Lamela needs as much of an uninterrupted season on the right as we can give him.

  2. I understand this article, which is something hard to disagree with but still think Lennon should stay at THFC.

    The lack of an end product and AVBs tendency to prefer inverted wingers has cost Lennon and caught him short/exposed his limitations… But, a simple reuse of Lennon in his old position of running AT defenders should see him much more effective – we’ve seen the fear it causes in European matches.

    However, he is no longer irreplaceable in our starting lineup and if Lamela rises, we could see Lennon benched or reutilised elsewhere.

    One thing is for sure, each time we’ve tried to replace him, he has come out on top – Routledge, Bentley, Townsend.

    The boy is a fighter who plays for the team, he’s just not a huge attacking threat – something a manager can reinstall into a player

    Great article though

  3. Aaron Lennon has been the most underwhelming performer for years. It’s been over half a decade since his most influential season and that saw him only scoring 3 and assisting 8. That is not good enough and that was his long since best. Out of Lamela, Lennon, Townsend and Chadli – Lennon played the most games by a mile in all competitions. But his stats are tied worst with absent Lamela? How can that be our first choice winger?

  4. Lennon has made a right tidy living out of never beating his man and always going inside, failing to cross a ball accurately and basically being the biggest waste of talent I have witnessed down the Spurs, I gave the kid the benefit of the doubt under a few managers perhaps thinking he was being coached to press and close and not push on too far but it isn't that all is it, he is just a massive disappointment and I find it an insult that he has been with us so long, I will defend him in one instance, Under HARRY he did work back bloody hard and seemed to thrive in allowing Walker to do all the things he should have been doing, I find it absolutely skull numbing that Lennon used to stand on one wing watching Bale take people on and have all the crowd on their feet yet failed to notice he is more than capable of doing the same but can't be arsed, that in itself is worthy of a visit to the transfer list and the possibly the loan system, I can hand on heart say Adam Johnson would have been a better player for us if we invested in him last summer rather than the boy who spends more time practising his eye brows than his crossing. WANKER !!

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