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Ask Ben: Part One

Posted on 16 May 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

You asked, Ben Thatcher answered! We had hundreds of questions for our Q&A with the no-nonsense defender after he won March's Player of the Month award.

Typically of the man and the player, Ben answered openly and honestly and we'll publish the results in two parts.

Here is Part One - Part Two will follow on Friday.

From Jamie Brown: Why do you think it took so long for you to settle into the Spurs team?
Ben Thatcher: I started off at left-back and then George (Graham) wanted to play me at left wing-back but that didn't suit me and I played very poorly. Then I had the hip injury. It was a bad start for me, full stop. This season is a different outlook at the club, training is a bit different and I'm getting to play at left-back or left centre-half, which suits my game. It also helps that I've had a decent run in the team. When you miss pre-season, like I did, you are always playing catch up. I caught up and my form has been a little better.

From William Smith: Does your tough tackling, no-nonsense attitude on the pitch mean that other players have a preconceived idea of what to expect when they played against you? Have you made any enemies this way?
BT: No really. You just get on with your job, I'm a defender and tackling is part of that. After the game you just shake hands. You will mistime a couple but to be honest, I haven't got a grudge against anyone and I would expect anyone to have one against me.

From L Golds: After such a good run in the first team where do you see yourself next season? We have so many quality defenders, including yourself.
BT: I think I've done okay towards the end of the season so hopefully I'll be in the gaffer's plans. We'll go away in the summer, start the pre-season games and then we'll see. We've got Goran to come back, Chris Perry, Ledley King, who has been our outstanding player this season, Dean Richards, Alton Thelwell, Anthony Gardner, Gary Doherty, there are a lot of quality players after those three slots. It depends if the gaffer goes for a four or three. If he goes for a four I feel I've got a good chance of getting a game. With a three I'd like to believe in my own ability that I could get a game on the left of the three. It's tough but that's what you need.

From Peter Miles: What a fantastic run of form. Is there anything you put it down to or did us critical fans misjudge you before?
BT: No, I just didn't play very well before. As I said, it's a case of my fitness being up to scratch with the lads, playing lots of games quickly and I've trained every day this season and it all gives you confidence. It took me a little time to settle in. Now I'm giving it a good go.

From Anthony Neeson: Who did you support as a boy?
BT: My father was orginally from Winchester so he used to buy me Southampton tops. Then I supported Millwall because I was down in south London. When you are in football you don't really support a club as such. I play for Tottenham so I support them.

From Paul Thomas: What exactly was the problem with the injury?
BT: It was an injury where I had pain in a different area to the actual injury. That's called a referred pain, so it was hard to explain myself. It was just a case that we chose to rest it to see if that would work but in the end I had the operation.