Glenn Hoddle on Spurs' defeat at Arsenal yesterday
With thanks to Absolute Radio's Rock "N" Roll Football Show and Ian Wright
This is a transcript of Ian Wright's radio interview with Glenn Hoddle after yesterday's game:-
IW: I am joined now by a giant of the modern game, Spurs legend also played under Arsene Wenger at Monaco and earned 53 caps for England who he also went on to manage very well, made some great decisions with his squad picking, I’ve got to say in that respect alongside Chelsea and Spurs and like me his nerves were shredded today. Ladies and Gentlemen, Glenn Hoddle, The Gaffer. How you doing boss?
GH: I’m doing fine Wrighty how are you?
IW: You know it was my…I’m really good, notice how I said “Made some great selections in his England squad”…
GH: Because I put you in the squad…
IW: Thank you, thank you very much. Gaffer, I’ve got say we just finished watching the game and really, that sending off. People say about sending off changing the game, I looked on the clock there was 18 minutes gone and I said “You know what…he’s cost them there…”
GH: He has and, I mean, you can’t defend Adebayor’s tackle, he’s left the floor, the rules say if you leave the floor, you are not in control and he’s actually caught the lad Cazorla and it could have been a nasty, nasty injury for him. But he had to go, it was a good decision by…
GH: Howard Webb and, but yes it’s changed the face of the game because, I’ve got to say, I was very impressed with the way that Tottenham started.
IW: They did, yeah.
GH: One nil up and Lennon nearly scoring and going second…
GH: To make it the second one. Tottenham looked like it would have been there, an absolute stormer of a game because…
IW: You look…
GH: It’s a pity it didn’t pan out that way.
IW: Exactly, you look at, I looked at his 18 minutes gone, like I say. I thought he started really well. Tottenham fans have been saying for a while that they wanted a 4-4-2 with two men up front and it really did look really potent. Adebayor was coming off a bit, Jermain Defoe like he, for setting up the first go, he literally lost Mertesacker, left him for dead. Are you pleased to see the two wingers and 4-4-2 at Spurs at the moment with the personnel that they have got?
GH: Well, yeah, I said two weeks back that he has got to find a way of getting Adebayor and Defoe in the team together to elevate the team and improve the team, it doesn’t have to be two players up top square of each other. I think Adebayor is clever enough to play just in behind in that same shape but it doesn’t matter, I think if you have got a, if you are playing against a defence that you fancy that the two centre arms, one-v-one you’re going to cause them all sorts of problems, men do it and I think with Mertesacker certainly with the first goal, Defoe showed simple movement. He did it a week before and got away with it, relatively. So, he’s ended up scoring a magnificent header, I have got to say, I have got to say his header was…
IW: Oh, he’s six foot eight for crying out loud, and was that his first goal for…How long’s he been there?
GH: It was a turning point in the game and got them back in the game so quickly, when you go down to ten men you want to hold on until half time and Tottenham might have had an opportunity to have seen the game out. But Mertesacker’s header did change it, but defenders, he gets paid to defend…
GH: Wrighty and for me, I was crying out the last 20 minutes for Bale to go, Dempsey for me wasn’t perfecting enough and from the Tottenham’s perspective, Bale up against him playing down the middle with Defoe and put Dempsey out on the left hand side to just do a job, a defensive job. I was crying out for him to do that, AVB, because I think that would have actually, at 4-2, there could have been a still a game on. It would have been a nervous end to the match, but you have got to say here Wrighty, Arsenal kept the ball well and put Tottenham to the sword in the end. You have got to take your chances when you get them.
IW: Well he did kind of try to go for it a bit with the second half where he played the three at the back and that, but saying that, like we said, at 20 minutes, like Cazorla, Arteta and Jack Wilshere, they were nowhere near it and obviously once they went down to 10 men these players, their chests kind of puffed up and then all of a sudden I am starting to see them. This is something, I still think personally, it’s one of those where Arsenal fans will go in there a little bit disgruntled with what’s going on with Arsene Wenger and I think he’s got out of jail. I think Adebayor’s got him out of jail because I still feel that there is a lot of work to be done at Arsenal.
GH: Yes, I think you are absolutely right. There is definite work to be done. They have got some wonderful players. Defensively, I still think they look very reckless, they look open and they can improve going forwards still. As you say, they scored the five goals on the back of really having, sort of, such a long time. 18 minutes in you go down to 10 men or you’re playing against 10 men and that’s different than maybe the last half an hour, which normally happens. So, yeah, I mean Arsenal took Tottenham to the sword in the end and you have got to say that, but in the long term, when it was eleven-v-eleven, at the Emirates, you’ve got to say for that sort of period of short period of time, Spurs looked, probably, the better team.
IW: I have got to say, Arsene Wenger. You mentioned about the players, the Arsenal players, Arsene Wenger has compared Santi Cazorla with you, because he says he is very, very technically gifted and that very short version of you I have got to say but, have you seen a lot of him?
GH: [laughter] Yes.
IW: I think he is pretty good, but I would like him to be more consistent in the game like, really take control of the game like Hazard does, like Mata does.
GH: I think that might come as Arsenal improve and get better and better, but I do like him, I think he is a wonderful little player and he has got the added ingredients that he can play off both feet. If you are two footed player in any standard of football there is not many, and this kid can play off left foot or right foot and to be honest, when you have got that ability Ian, you can play in 360 degrees…
IW: Yes, certainly.
GH: Whereas so many players are, they are playing in quarter of the pitch all the time because you know where they are going to go. And if this kid can score goals and make goals and he’s playing in the pocket, which is great position for him, it really is, so I think Arsenal fans have got a little gem there. They have lost Fabregas but they have replaced him with another little Spaniard that, what I think, will get people on the end of their seat and they’ll enjoy watching him.
IW: I have got to say, talking about technically gifted, obviously you were technically gifted, we were talking about Santiga’s but what about Ibrahimovich and the technically gifted he is, that goal what he scored the other day, Boss, in respect of, he kind of like, when it was happening, Joe Hart, yes he misjudged the bounce, but if you watch Ibrahimovich you could just see the whole of his genius weigh up the whole situation, but for people to realise the technicalness involved in that, the technical execution he used, I can’t explain it to people, what did you say when you saw it. It’s hard not to swear.
GH: [laughter] It was magnificent. His other three weren’t too bad was he? The hat-trick that he got. But what you are right in, what I saw in him instantly, he knew, he half guessed it, he read the situation, goes away from Hart, his body starts to go to the right, and he goes away from it thinking “well, if he makes a mess of this, I am pouncing on it”, he already had it in his mind and when he saw the ball wasn’t cleared far enough then, he, I’ve seen him do that in games, he has got athleticism, he really has. He scored a wonderful goal I think in the, oh my word, I can see it now. He got his leg up and almost behind his head…
IW: Oh yeah, behind his head, yeah….
GH: It was in the Euro’s wasn’t it, or the World Cup for Sweden.
IW: An unbelievable goal, yeah…
GH: So he’s got that in his locker and I have got to say I was out of my seat, as an England fan and wanting England to do well, it was an unusual goal and one that you probably won’t see the likes of again. It was fabulous. It really was.
IW: And before you go Gaff, I have just got to ask you about that performance, I know he was the major difference. He seemed to be playing in second gear until he got in and around the box, but, any, any shining lights there, anything to look at? I still think that we have seemed okay, not really nothing really for me.
GH: Nothing to exhilarate you no, but I think there was times when we seemed to have some good possession and I think that it one of the things that we need to grow on, when we get all of our players back and flying and the system right we’ve got to maintain retaining the ball better. We did that at times okay. I thought that lad Sterling looked decent. He looked like he needs, you always need about 10 games in international football to feel at home but if he gets a little run, he could be the real deal because he plays with his head up, he’s a wide player but can play with his head up. Which is pretty unique sometimes, these players seem to get their head down too quickly. But he looked quite promising to me, I must say. But, no, you’ve got to say, Ibrahimovich was outstanding on the night. He was like a man playing against boys at times.
IW: It was, it was unbelievable. Listen, Boss, thanks very much for giving us a bit of your Saturday, I know it’s not a great Saturday for you, it’s, I am quite pleased in a funny sort of way but I still feel we are papering over cracks but it’s a great result because we beat them, Spurs. So I am sorry to throw that one in at the death. Thanks for coming in Boss.
GH: Alright, cheers Wrighty.
IW: Take it easy, bye Boss, bye.
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