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Leader of the pack

Posted on 28 September 2001  - 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).

Little could Glenn and John Gorman have realised when the then England management unleashed raw Manchester United youngster David Beckham on Moldova in late 1996 that they were setting an unlikely candidate on the route to national captaincy.

Five years later that is indeed the case and Beckham is winning the hearts and minds of the public after the devastating hiccup at France 98.

John happily admits that he did not see leadership qualities in Beckham when he worked with him in the national set-up.

"Probably not at that time because he was a young, quiet lad," said John. "Credit to him, how well he's done and he has done remarkably well.

"He was a young lad then and has since grown and got older and wiser. He's always been a wonderful player and he's just got better and better."

Becks is now lauded rather than sneered at by the football following fraternity, the latter as a result of his dismissal for flicking a leg at Diego Simeone of Argentina in St Etienne. He was castigated in the press for his actions and had to live with the consequences for some time.

"It was very unfair," reflected John. "I always said it, the treatment they gave him was totally unfair. I certainly never felt that way about him, I thought he was wonderful.

"He made a mistake on the pitch, which everybody does, and he was crucified for it. Because of that, he's come back even stronger and since then has got better and better.

"In some ways it was a turning point in his career as well."

Beckham's noted crossing ability has, no pun intended, been a cross for opposition teams to bear for some seasons now and Christian Ziege could well have his hands full on Saturday attempting to prevent them. John is aware of the need for damage limitation, but feels our flanks could be equally productive.

"I'm not saying what the team will be, it might be Christian it might be somebody else. But you've got to stop David Beckham putting crosses in - if you can!

"He doesn't need much space, much time, he can do it from dead balls and you must respect that.

"But we feel we've got attributes as well that can give them problems. Christian himself has got probably the next best crossing ability, if not very similar to Beckham.

"In my opinion, Christian's crossing is second to none"

By Richard Hubbard