Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Out of the goldfish bowl

News is coming in that Jermaine Jenas has completed a move to Spurs for around £8 million. Undoubtedly a large chunk of this cash will have been earmarked to pay for Michael Owen, and it doesn't look like the worst bit of business we've ever done.

My only major concern is that the injuries to Dyer, Emre and Bowyer might leave us a bit short in midfield replacements. Whether we have time and money to bring in anyone else before midnight, I don't know – but it could be a frantic few hours on Tyneside if stories linking everyone's favourite Peruvian trumpeter with a return to the North East prove to be true.

Whilst undoubtedly a player of promise, who Robson famously described as a signing for his eventual successor, it's probably fair to say that JJ has rather plateaued of late. His early form showed us all why he had been described as our Patrick Vieira and he thoroughly deserved his Young Player Of The Year award. However, since then he endured a pretty shoddy couple of years, with his ego appearing to overtake his footballing ability and a regular place in the England squad baffling many of us who watched him play regularly.

Whether his career flourishes away from the goldfish bowl he described as his life on Tyneside only time will tell, but he must be able to learn from a player like Edgar Davids whom he memorably eclipsed when we played Juventus in the Champions' League three seasons ago.

However, if JJ decides he's happy with life, and rather than push himself settles into a position where he's simply content to pick up his wages, then Spurs have just paid a lot of money for a player who could go on to lead his country, but equally may end up as a player who never fulfilled his undoubted potential.

Still, I wish JJ all the best as he goes to warm the bench at Spurs, and thanks for the money – even if, like Jon Dahl Tomasson and several others before him, he goes on to achieve more than he ever would had he stayed.


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