Hoddle: Spurs’ PFA nominations prove they are heading the right way
SPURS legend Glenn Hoddle believes that having two Tottenham players nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award is a clear sign that the club is heading in the right direction.
Rafael van der Vaart was among the six-man short-list for the prestigious honour, which was won by Gareth Bale.
And ex-Lilywhites midfielder and manager Hoddle, who won the PFA Young Player of the Year honour at Spurs in 1980, feels that both players will be important if Harry Redknapp’s side are to get another crack at the Champions League next season.
“I think when you are in the Champions League and you have two players like Van der Vaart and Bale playing well in key matches, they are bound to be up for awards,” said Hoddle. “Bale is a deserving winner and has a very bright future ahead of him. When you have two players in there challenging for the award, it just goes to show how well Tottenham have been performing as a team.
“A lot of the focus has been on those two players, but I think there are a lot of other good players in that team who could be challenging for the honour in the future.”
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Hoddle, who played 490 times for the Lilywhites between 1975 and 1987, feels that Tottenham have exceeded everyone’s expectations by reaching the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier competition in their debut campaign.
“Spurs should be proud of what they have achieved in the Champions League,” said the 53-year-old. “Look at where they were at the start, 30 minutes into the game against Young Boys and 3-0 down.
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“To get to the quarter-finals and be knocked out by a very good side in Real Madrid after going down to 10 men at the Bernabeu, what would have happened if it had been 11 v 11? Who knows?
“I think Harry and his team should be very proud and they have done the country proud. The experience has been fascinating for the fans, the club and the players.”
However Hoddle, who also had a stint in the managerial role at White Hart Lane between 2001 and 2003, feels that Spurs’ elimination last week could be a blessing in disguise.
“I think the fact that they have been knocked out of the Champions League is probably going to be the key as to whether they will be in the competition next season, so there is always a silver lining,” Hoddle continued.
“The Champions League has been new, fresh and exciting. It can be a stress on the squad but they are still fifth and still in with a shout for that fourth spot.
“It could have been quite easy for them to go out in the cup games and to be ninth or 10th in the league, nowhere near the fourth spot, but they have managed to keep it going and they are in pole position to make an assault on that as well. If they get into the Champions League again then it has been a very successful season and Tottenham should be applauded for what they have done.”
Glenn Hoddle was at Planet Hollywood to launch the new Football40 London Legends Cup taking place at Craven Cottage on 29th May.