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The Friday Feature

Posted on 13 October 2000  - 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).

Chris Armstrong would love to be sent to Coventry this weekend.<P class=MsoNormal>Unfortunately the striker is recovering from the latest mini-setback he&rsquo&#59;s had to endure in a frustrating start to the season.<P class=MsoNormal>Armstrong damaged his groin in the final week of pre-season training and has yet to feature in Premiership action.<P class=MsoNormal>Still, as he might say, life could be a lot worse &mdash&#59; he could still be packing in a factory in Wales.<P class=MsoNormal>In the latest of our Friday Features, Armstrong talked to Paul Miles about his early days at Wrexham and Millwall, big-money moves to Crystal Palace and Spurs, scoring goals, the fans and, of course, injuries.<P class=MsoNormal><B>PM: First of all, you are on your way back from injury so how does it stand at the moment?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I&rsquo&#59;ve had two reserve games in the last couple of weeks. I had a little niggle against Stevenage on Tuesday which I&rsquo&#59;m having treatment on now. Hopefully that will only stop me from training for no more than a few days and I&rsquo&#59;ll be able to start again next week. The problem was at the top of the hamstring, just a slight strain. It shouldn&rsquo&#59;t keep me out too long.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>It seems to be one thing after the other for you at the moment.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;It seems that I recover from one problem and something else comes along. It&rsquo&#59;s been a bit of a problem around the groins this season but hopefully this will be the last one.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>We travel to Coventry on Saturday and if you cast your mind back, you scored the winning goal there last season and that kicked off a run of nine goals in your last 13 games. What can you remember about it?</B><IMG align=left src="../title_images/001013_armstrong_cov.jpg"> <P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;The Coventry game itself was quite tight, there was 10 minutes to go and I managed to get my head on a corner. It was a difficult game and they were a good team.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>The goals then came left, right and centre. It was as good a spell as you&rsquo&#59;ve had at the club.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;It started with the Liverpool game at home at the turn of the year. After that I started getting fitter and I was confident that once I was fit, I would be able to score goals. I&rsquo&#59;d been playing with injuries before then and that showed in the second half of the season.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>You were born in Newcastle. What was it like growing up in that football-mad city?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;To be honest I was only there for about three years. We moved to London when I was about five and then up to Wales when I was about eight.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>Was it always going to be football for you?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;Not really. At 16 I&rsquo&#59;d left school, had a normal job and stopped playing for a year. I always wanted to play as a kid, like all kids do but it was a bit late coming to me.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>What job did you have?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I worked in a factory, packing things.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>So you must appreciate what you&rsquo&#59;ve got now.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;Of course you do. Compared to getting up at six in the morning and doing eight or 12-hour shifts this is a walk in the park.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>Unless you&rsquo&#59;re injured!</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I suppose so but you can&rsquo&#59;t let injuries get you down. You just have to think about how much harder life could have been.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>You got your break at Wrexham. How did that come about?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I was just playing park football and Wrexham sent a scout around to watch me play. I was offered professional terms at 17 and grabbed it with both hands. It was a choice between working in a factory all day or playing football &mdash&#59; no contest really.&rdquo&#59;<IMG align=right src="../title_images/001013_armstrong_millwall.jpg"> <P class=MsoNormal><B>What do you remember about your early days at Wrexham and Millwall?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;They were good days, exciting days, playing for your home-town team in front of a town where you knew everyone. It was a good buzz. I was there for two years before the Millwall move came along. It was a big move for me at that age, 19, 20, going to London on my own but I enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed my time at all my clubs in those early days.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>You really made your name at Crystal Palace though.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I was a year at Millwall and moved for a million to Palace. There was a quite a bit of pressure put on me then because I didn&rsquo&#59;t really play that many games for Millwall before I moved and Palace were in the Premiership then. I settled in quickly there and had a good time. They had good coached and it was a good move for me.&rdquo&#59;<IMG align=left src="../title_images/001013_armstrong_palace.jpg"> <P class=MsoNormal><B>What do you remember about moving to Tottenham? That must have been exciting times for you.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;A few clubs were interested, Tottenham and two other Premiership clubs. I signed on my 25<SUP>th</SUP> birthday. It was a good day! There were other clubs but once Tottenham came in for me there wasn&rsquo&#59;t much of a decision to be made.&rdquo&#59;<IMG align=right src="../title_images/001013_armstrong_teddy.jpg"> <P class=MsoNormal><B>Your first year at Tottenham was very successful. The partnership with Teddy Sheringham went really well.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I actually made a slow start in my first season and it was 10 games before I scored. I got one at Everton away. I had a good run then and it was a good partnership with Ted, I learned a lot playing alongside him.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>But since then injuries have taken their toll.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I&rsquo&#59;d look at the Everton game at home when I did my ankle for the first time. It was a bad couple of years after that first problem, which was the worst. It got infected and seemed like it was never going to get better.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>You take a very positive attitude when you are injured now but there must have been some dark days a couple of seasons ago.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;There were. I had three or four operations on both ankles and you start thinking &lsquo&#59;is it ever going to be right again&rsquo&#59; but then again, I suppose you have to look at it and think worse things could be happening or I could be doing.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>Onto last season. Obviously the fans got at you a bit but you managed to turn that around. Again though, that must have been hard.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;I&rsquo&#59;d played with a few injuries &mdash&#59; I knew that. I just went out there and tried not to worry about the crowd. It didn&rsquo&#59;t bother me up to a certain point but it went on for so long I tried to use it to my advantage and try and take the positives out of it.&rdquo&#59;<IMG align=left src="../title_images/001013_armstrong_cel.jpg"> <P class=MsoNormal><B>You turned it around though.</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;After Christmas. Once I got a few games under my belt I knew the goals would come.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><B>And the future?</B><P class=MsoNormal>CA: &ldquo&#59;Hopefully it will be about a week and I&rsquo&#59;ll be back in action.&rdquo&#59;<P class=MsoNormal><A href="">To listen to the full interview, click here</A><P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>