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Stephen Clemence: your questions

Posted on 15 July 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

We were flooded with questions for midfielder Stephen Clemence and he kicks-off his spell in the hot seat with the subject matter including early days, George Graham and favourite positions.

From Carl Beard: Whom did you support as a boy?

SC: "We left Liverpool when I was about three and I supported Liverpool until was 10 or 11 but once I saw Gazza playing at Tottenham I was fascinated with him and started following Spurs."

From Adam McInnes: Did your time at the FA National School of Excellence help you?

SC: "Without a doubt. I had a great coach in Keith Blunt and we were taught a lot about the game and things like discipline, playing in different positions and a lot of technique."

From Paul Richardson and Phil Elliot: What was it like to link up with the likes of Campbell and Ginola when you first broke into the first team?

SC: "I remember the first time I trained with everyone and it was daunting. All of as sudden you are next to David Ginola. But you just get used to it. They were all great though, always willing to give advice and help out."

From Alex Scott: Do you think George Graham has improved your game?

SC: "Definitely. I was having a tough time at the start of last season but he called me into his office and told me what part of my game I should be working on. In the end, I think I had quite a few good games."

From Mick Tickner: Do you prefer playing the holding role in midfield or do you like being the playmaker? Also from Roy Erik Aas.

SC: "It depends on the match, If I'm playing with Steffen Freund then I'll look to get forward. If it's Tim Sherwood, we'll share the duties but if it's with Darren Anderton, you'll look to hold while he gets forward. You just do what you're told to do. I like getting forward and I think I need to look at scoring more goals. I've got to improve on that front."

From And Hall: What is your preferred position? Also from John Dawson, Martin Lucas, Lee R Skinner, Stig T Skogsholm, and Paul Isles.

SC: "Central midfield is my favourite position. I don't particularly like playing down the left side but if I'm asked to do anything to be in the team, I'll do it."

From Gary Hillier: Is it better to be a squad player at Tottenham or a regular first-team player at clubs like Coventry or Southampton?

SC: "Personally, I've grown up with Tottenham and that is the club I want to play for. I want to play regularly and that is what I'm aiming for."

From Mark: With the left midfield position missing from the England set-up, do you think you would be suitable? Also from Matt Brady.

SC: "Being left footed seems to be a bonus at the moment! I have to concentrate on Spurs first but it is every player's ambition to play for his country."

From Jonniewon and Michael McCabe: Would you volunteer to go in goal in an emergency during a game?

SC: "That would be putting pressure on myself! I wouldn't mind to be honest. I mess about in goal sometimes in training and I'm not that bad but Chris Armstrong fancies himself there as well."

From Laura Elizabeth Warner: Which player, dead or alive, would you most like to play with or against and what are the three things you couldn't live without?

Stephen Clemence: "I would have loved to have played with Paul Gascoigne, a world-class player. He was unbelievable when he was here. As for the three things, I would say family, friends and football."

From Scott Golding: What is the greatest thing to happen to you so far in your career?

SC: "When Gerry Francis read out the team before I played my first game against Manchester United in 1997. I was told about an hour before kick-off. My stomach turned."

Sunday: Questions on dad, David Ginola, Lee Bowyer and hopes for the season.


Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.

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