Skip to main content

News

  • Programme Alton Thelwell
Subscribe to newsfeed 

Programme: Alton Thelwell

Posted on 20 January 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).

<SPAN lang=EN-US><I>Ashley Weller talks to Alton Thelwell</I></SPAN><P><SPAN lang=EN-US>To make your senior debut against Liverpool was obviously a huge game for you, but your opponents didn't get any easier after that did they?</SPAN><P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>No, after winning the first two games against Liverpool and then Leicester City, we had Manchester United away! I knew it would be a tough one, we all did, but personally it was just good to be involved. Although we lost 0-2, it was a great experience for me playing at Old Trafford.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>What are your memories of that match?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>Just walking out onto the pitch was amazing, with such a huge stadium full with more than 67,000 people. It was a very different experience. The United team has just got quality all over, so we knew how hard it would be. No one expected us to win really, but I thought in the second half we had a good spell when we might have equalised, but when they scored the second it really killed off the game.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Who were you up against?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>I helped mark Teddy Sheringham and Dwight Yorke in that one, before Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench! They are all very lively, the whole team is. You can see why they are top of the League.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Which game have you enjoyed the most to date?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>I really enjoyed the North London derby at home to Arsenal. That has been the most passionate game that I have played in so far. It was totally different altogether and I didn't know what to expect beforehand. The one thing I noticed was that there didn't seem to be that many fouls or bad challenges, compared to Spurs-Arsenal games of the past. It was clean for a derby, but didn't lack anything in commitment and passion. I really enjoyed that one.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Did you notice the crowd more in that match?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>Yes. The fans were great in that game, they really lifted the team. I think they are always louder and more passionate for the Arsenal games though. It means so much to both sets of fans.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>How about your best personal performance so far?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>My debut I think, against Liverpool, the adrenaline was pumping for that one. I don't think I made too many mistakes either, so that was a good game for me.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>As well as the Manchester United front players already mentioned, which of your other opponents have been particularly tough?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>There is a lot of quality in the Premiership and I have played against a lot of the top teams in my first few matches, so I have come up against some great strikers. I really had to be at my best playing against all of them, be on my toes and really switched on.You can't afford to make the slightest mistake, because it can be so costly, you have to concentrate and be focused for the whole 90 minutes.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Was there anyone specific?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen for Liverpool are both very quick, Leicester had Ade Akinbiyi and Trevor Benjamin and that was a more physical challenge. Benito Carbone and Stan Collymore of Bradford are both tough for different reasons, Marcus Stewart at Ipswich is a good striker, and then there was Thierry Henry's pace and Kanu's skill against Arsenal! It has just been great to be involved in all the games.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>When you are preparing for a game does the fact that it is live on television make any difference?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>Out of the eight games I played, four of them were broadcast on Sky TV, which also added to the whole experience for me. I did think about it a little bit before hand, but once you are out on the pitch and warmed up it doesn't really cross your mind.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>What are your overall thoughts on the whole experience so far?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>I have played eight games, come up against some top players and learned a great deal from the experience. But I want more. Hopefully I can play more games.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>How well do you think you have coped?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>I started off on the left of the back three, which wasn't really my position, but I felt I coped quite well there. However, there are a lot of things I must work on to improve and achieve the high standards needed in the Premiership. I need to improve my left foot and be more dominant in the air sometimes, timing my jumps, but I am learning all the time.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Any disappointments?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>The last two games that I played in. We lost to Southampton and Ipswich Town and both those matches didn't go so well. I think the whole team didn't play well as a unit. But, personally, I was disappointed too, especially in the Ipswich game, and then I was on the bench against Newcastle United, Leyton Orient and Everton.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal style="mso-outline-level: 1"><SPAN lang=EN-US>How did you feel when you were left out of the side?</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>It is disappointing, especially after getting a taste for it. It is a huge contrast, but hopefully I can stay in the squad, on the bench, and then get another chance. You have got to be positive, have confidence in your ability and do your best to try to stay in the team on your own merit. I'm disappointed to miss a couple of games but I will hopefully get another opportunity and then try to stay in the team.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>You must have learned a lot over the last couple of months.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US>As I say, the last two games I played in were defeats, which wasn't great, but I have gained so much from the experience. I have now got eight games under my belt and I feel more confident with every match, as well as in training. As a young player, you spend the whole time building up to your debut, wondering when it will be and what it will be like. When you have got your first game out of the way you can then look to the next step and progress in the team. Now I know what it is like, I can't wait to play some more games.</SPAN> <P class=MsoNormal><SPAN lang=EN-US></SPAN>&nbsp&#59;