For Spurs fans the international break has never been such a welcome respite. Key individuals Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson can enjoy two weeks of recuperation and hopefully, England’s performance or possible lack of one, will allow us to forget anything to do with blips and capitulations.
With quite a number of our players off on international duty and not much else to with my time other than fantasise about Spurs regaining their form, my mind turned towards our past internationals.
Who have been our worst international players?
The requirements to qualify for this team are you need to have played at least three times for your country and represented Spurs in the last 20 years or so.
Tottenham’s Worst International XI
Espen Baardsen (Norway, four caps)
Baardesen tall, blond, good looking and born in California, missed his calling as a Abercrombie & Fitch sales assistant and instead became a footballer.
His time at Spurs was largely spent on the bench, but he did manage on one of his few outings to keep a clean sheet against Woolwich, regardless of this achievement though, any man unable to usurp Ian “How’s My Hair looking?” Walker, can not be remembered as a success. His greatest feat at White Hart Lane remains the four goals he conceded for Everton whilst playing against us.
The former Norwegian international quit football at the age of 25 to become a banker. It assuring to know our money is in such safe hands.
Ramon Vega (Switzerland, 23 caps)
In the years before YouTube, social media and Twitter very little was really known about a player before they signed. When Vega arrived most of us stupidly thought the fact he had a Street Fighter name and came from Serie A meant he would be awesome…He wasn’t.
Vega did manage to collect a League Cup winner medal in 99 but he also collected his fair share of boos.
Ricardo Rocha (Portugal, six caps)
When we signed Ricardo the Ricket, as I like to refer to him, I couldn’t quite believe he wasn’t related to Vega. When you looked at Rocha with your head in your hands shaking with disbelief, he is the dopplegänger of the Swiss donkey.
The image of him trying to head a ball 0.5 of a centimetre off the ground to set up Woolwich’s second goal in the 2007 3-1 Carling Cup Semi second Leg defeat, is burned onto my retina.
He cost Spurs the game and a £3.3 million transfer fee. Brilliant bit of business.
Gary Doherty (Republic of Ireland, 34 caps)
Was he a striker? Was he a defender? Well he is, remarkably still a footballer, so kudos goes to him for persevering. Now plying his trade at Wycombe Wanderers I was delighted to see him live last season in a game against Carlisle United.
The chap still has it, well what little he had to start with. The Ginger Pele should be revered as the poster boy of just how bad we were in the early 2000’s. Everyday you should thank whatever greater being you worship that even if we do collapse again, we will never have to hero worship a pub player again.
Goran Bunjevčević (Serbia & Montenegro, 16 caps)
Serbian Beckenbauer, signed by Glenn Hoddle. Case rested. Welcome to the XI.
My one lingering memory is off him strolling around in our tight white Kappa top looking like he needed a good feed.
Gilberto (Brazil 35 caps, one goal)
Nilton Santos, Junior and Roberto Carlos are classic examples of a time when Brazil had world class left-backs. In recent years comedian Andre Santos and the chubby faced diver Marcelo have let the side down, but the granddaddy of Brazil’s rubbish left-backs is Gilberto.
In seven games for Spurs, two of them ended up with him being hauled off at half-time. Amazingly he did score one goal for Spurs, but even more surprising than that is he went to 2010 World Cup in South Africa and even played. No wonder Dunga was sacked.
Alan Hutton (Scotland 29, caps)
The Scottish Cafu, well that’s what we were told. Apparently he never wanted to leave Glasgow Rangers, but they packed his bags and called him a taxi when we threw £9 Million at them.
Terrible at defending, average going forward and with a slight facial resemble to a Sea Cow, he is now at Mallorca playing alongside former Spurs party-boy Gio Dos Santos.
Jose Dominguez (Portugal, eight caps)
He was once considered Sporting Lisbon’s replacement for the departed Luis Figo, however once that person came off the acid, he was sold to Spurs.
To say Dominguez is little is an understatement.
The chap is a Lilliputian. Despite his size though he somehow he managed to survive the dark days of Gerry Francis and Christian Gross, before George Graham discovered him hiding in the corner and promptly got rid of him.
After football Dominguez took up youth coaching but quit after the bigger boys started stealing his boots and holding them above his head. “Jump Jose!! Jump!!”
Nicola Berti (Italy 39 caps, 3 goals)
He may have had nice hair and a pretty face, but just like our kit at the time, he was Pony. How he played so many times for Italy and even in the 1994 World Cup final against Brazil is a mystery.
Four and a bit years after that WC final appearance, Berti sauntered up at White Hart Lane to help us escape relegation and in the process happily tell everyone his name and age whilst walking down the street…
Louis Saha (France 20 Caps 4 Goals)
About 10 knee operations ago Saha was a bloody good striker. Fast, powerful, good in the air as well as on the ground, he would have been awesome for Spurs.
Instead his arrival sums up the run of results that make me feel like vomiting every time I am warned about a void whilst stepping off the Tube.
At least Saha had some fun at Spurs, he dyed his hair, wrote a book, secured a nice short term deal at Sunderland before signing for arse stabbers and full-time racists Lazio.
Grzegorz Rasiak (Poland 37 Caps 8 Goals, yes that’s correct 8 Goals)
You can’t have a list about rubbish Spurs players without him. It’s like a Barrymore party without a pool, a Kate Moss gathering with no white stuff, or a…you catch my drift. Tall, wasteful, slow and rubbish. He could captain this side.
Who though is the Greatest Worst International to be at Spurs but never play?
Qu Bo aka Kevin, which was the English name he chose for himself. Another one of Hoddle’s many dodgy imports, but with an international record of 18 goals from 78 appearances, perhaps he could have been Hoddle’s saviour if he had got that pesky work permit…
One of the benefits of reminiscing about players from the past is that you quickly remember where we were and where we are now. Every single Spurs fan on this planet should say to themselves everyday: “Things aren’t that bad at the moment. We have seen worse.”
This story originally featured on The Fighting Cock