But outward-bound striker Jermain Defoe still managed to put together a fantasy line-up of his Spurs team-mates, past and present – and then backed the side to take the Champions League by storm!
Speaking as part of his final interview as a Spurs player, the England international named a star-studded eleven in a 4-2-3-1 formation – with even the substitutes’ bench brimming with talent.
JD talked us through his line-up...
GOALKEEEPER: Hugo Lloris
“I’d play Hugo in goal. He’s fantastic, he’s special.”
RIGHT-BACK: Kyle Walker
CENTRE-BACK: Ledley King
CENTRE-BACK: Jonathan Woodgate
LEFT-BACK: Danny Rose
“Kyle’s one of the best I’ve seen. He’s a great athlete and he’s still young and in what he does he’s so consistent as well.
“Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate were special players. Obviously everyone knows about Ledley. And Jonathan Woodgate going to Real Madrid – you’ve got to be a special player to go there. He was just unfortunate with his injuries and stuff, the same as Ledley, but they were two special players.
“At left-back, there’s been loads. I’m being biased because they’re my friends. I like Benoit Assou-Ekotto but I like Danny Rose. I like Rosey because he’s young and I think his whole attitude towards playing is great – he’s a winner. Even in training he gives everything and he’s going to improve. He’s strong, quick and he can tackle. I’d play that back four.”
HOLDING MIDFIELDER: Sandro
HOLDING MIDFIELDER: Luka Modric
“Maybe I’d kind of fit players in. It’s difficult because there’s so many midfielders. I love Sandro, I think he’s an animal. I like Luka Modric, Tom Huddlestone, but how do you fit them all in? I’d play two holding midfielders. I think one of them would be Sandro just to eat people up – maybe Sandro and Luka.”
RIGHT WING: Aaron Lennon
LEFT WING: Gareth Bale
NUMBER 10 ROLE: Dimitar Berbatov
STRIKER: Jermain Defoe
“Aaron on the right with Gareth on the left, then I need a number 10. For me it would have to be Berba with me up front.”
SUBSTITUTES: Rafael van der Vaart, Tom Huddlestone, Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch, Gus Poyet
“Obviously you’ve got Rafa who was a special player and Crouchy who I had an unbelievable record with. Then there’s Tom Huddlestone, who’s probably for me one of the best passers I’ve seen in the game, he’s very special.
“Keano was special with the amount of goals he scored here. When I first signed I played with him and his movement and everything was clever. I’d also have Gus Poyet. On his day, even though he was older, he used to make those late runs into the box and just nick goals. He was a character. ‘Radio’, that’s what we called him because he never stopped talking!
“I’d go with that team. The rest on the bench, but yes I’d go with that team, definitely. Good squad isn’t it? It’s strong. That’s Champions League, that!”