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*The Simon Davies Interview

Posted on 8 November 2002  - 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).

In his programme notes for the Chelsea game last weekend, skipper Teddy Sheringham reserved a special mention for Simon Davies.

Teddy wrote that Simon is having an 'outstanding season and is growing in stature with every game he plays'. He added that the expectancy level on him is now so much higher than it was at the beginning of the campaign, but the old stager feels that the young thruster is enjoying that pressure.

Simon himself is aware of the expectation that now falls on him to perform in every game, but does not feel it is a weight on his shoulders. In fact, he takes expectation as a compliment.

"Not really, I probably like it that way," pondered a thoughtful Simon when asked at Spurs Lodge. "I want to be in that situation where people expect me to play well and I expect to play well myself whenever I play.

"I like it - it's a compliment."

Simon has illuminated for both club and country so far this season and the midfield dynamo knows, full well, that his remarkable run of form could well hit the buffers at some stage, but the young Welshman is simply working hard and enjoying the moment.

"Every player has had a dip in form at some point. I'm hoping I don't have one soon, but I'm sure I am going to have one at some stage in my career.

"At the minute though, I am enjoying my football and every time I go out there I feel I am capable of playing well."

With three goals in his last three internationals - including the opening goal in Wales' stunning 2-1 win over Italy - the plaudits are raining in on the 23-year-old. Glenn purred recently that, whatever Simon achieves on the domestic or international stage, he never takes anything for granted and is always seeking to improve.

It is this sort of attitude that must contribute towards the consistancy of performance that he has attained this season. Simon himself points to the learning process and competition for places.

"It's everything. Learning from the manager, all the players around me and also knowing that you've got to play well every week to stay in the team."

With his rapid progress in the last two seasons, Simon is becoming something of a household name. However, Simon he feels celebrity status is unlikely to ever become a problem to him.

"It's fine. I just like to go home and relax really. I don't go out that much apart from with the lads occasionally," he smiled, before admitting that he does get a few looks now whilst out shopping.

"You get a bit more of that stuff, but it's to be expected and it's no hassle really."

Simon has become something of a national treasure back home in Wales and, while aware of the attention, his feet-on-ground philosophy sees a positive in not being there to witness it first hand.

"My mum and dad always bring the papers down and there have been massive headlines - especially after the Italy game. It's really unbelievable.

"It's probably good that I'm not there to see it all," reflected the exile who even the travelling Cardiff fans took to their hearts on their recent trip to the Lane.

"That was nice as well because they are not renowned for their fondness of other players, I suppose. It was obviously good and it is a great time for Wales at the moment."

Considering the hype and hysteria that has surrounded the likes of David Beckham and Michael Owen when they burst on the scene and the doorstepping and attention placed on new kid on the block Wayne Rooney - Simon must be grateful that he hails from a country that takes a slightly more measured media approach to their sporting talent.

That is not to say that he is any less appreciated in the principality.

"I don't know what it would be like," he laughed. "But, being from Wales and playing for Wales, it's not going to be the same sort of thing. I'm not going to get the same sort of coverage in the papers as I would if I was English - but I'm getting it a bit back home in Wales."

By Richard Hubbard