Darren Anderton, old shaggy, remember him? Decent bloke, decent player, plagued with one or two injuries. He said some rather interesting things in the papers recently about his career, including one or two digs aimed at our emperor, Daniel Levy.
Dazza, back in 2004, had a verbal offer for a new contract at Spurs. He was out in the US seeing a specialist about an injury that had seen him sidelined for 2 months. He received a fax from the UK, from a secretary, that simply said:
“We won’t be renewing your contract”
Classy. No phone call. No waiting for a UK return. Just one line of text faxed across the Atlantic. Dazza made sure Levy knew what he thought of the fax. Levy, in response, told Dazza that the club had to make a decision between offering him a contract or Jamie Redknapp. What makes this another perfect illustration of the detachment from footballing reality and Levy’s brain is that the excuse given to Anderton was that Redknapp and his wife were settled in the area, compared to Dazza who was obviously still waiting to settle having lived ‘in the area’ for 12 years.
Yeah sure. Santini (remember him? Christ, why do I still remember him?) didn't want him, so out went Shaggy. But regardless of whether it's up to the clubs discretion on what injury plagued player to retain, it's no way to treat someone who had spent over a decade at the club.
To make matters worse, Levy (at a later date) said that Anderton could have a testimonial only to then find out that the team would be on an end-of-season tour to Malaysia. A testimonial without the actual squad of players representing the club is not a testimonial. Its one man on his own in an empty ground.
It’s a bit of a shame really. He was a loyal and much liked player. Dazzled us a few times too, regardless of the injuries he was one bright spark during a period of time where we didn’t too often shift forwards in the right direction as a club, so had to make do with the odd stand out game(s) here or there as a way to cope with the overall barren, desolate plains of nothingness that us Spurs fans had become accustomed too. He did leave us with a few decent memories. The Famous Five, the Klinsmann season, Euro 96, early 2002 form.
Anderton is still kicking a ball about for Bournemouth. So all the best Dazza/Shaggy/Sicknote, and maybe, like you want, you get to visit the Lane with your current club in the FA Cup. Not quite a testimonial, but close enough.