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Jermaine Jenas: Where Did It Go Wrong For Nottingham Forest's Loan Signing?

by Ben McAleer
28 September 2012 22 Comments

He was supposed to be the next big thing, but it never really worked out for the midfielder at White Hart Lane. Now he's off back to where it all began in a final throw of the career dice...

I still remember that day when it all clicked into gear for Jermaine Jenas at Tottenham Hotspur who is set to join Nottingham Forest on loan. A 2-0 win against Everton at White Hart Lane back in October 2005. I was a wee nipper back then, well, I wouldn’t say wee; I was about four stone overweight, struggling with the concept of stairs and 17 years of age. Anyway, it was almost two months since the midfielder arrived from Newcastle United for a fee of around £8m following a reported falling out with then manager Graeme Souness.

He claimed he was fed up of the ‘fishbowl’ lifestyle in Newcastle and craved a move to London and, at the time, it appeared a real coup for Spurs. Jenas was 22-years-old at the time and was tipped to have a big future in the game, having come through the ranks at Nottingham Forest before continuing his form with the Magpies.

That afternoon against the Toffees began in frustrating fashion; David Moyes had set his Everton side out in defensive fashion as they looked to pick up their second win of the campaign. They secured on doing just that in the opening 45 minutes, as Spurs struggled to break the resilient Merseysiders down, but that all changed after the interval.

Whatever was said to Jenas at half-time certainly spurred him to life for the second half. The midfielder began to flex his creative muscles and it wasn’t long before Spurs took the initiative, the England international providing the cross for Mido to head home past Nigel Martyn. Five minutes later, the provider turned goalscorer as Jenas netting from a pinpoint Jermain Defoe cross.

I was a wee nipper back then, well, I wouldn’t say wee; I was about four stone overweight, struggling with the concept of stairs and 17 years of age

It was supposed to be the making of the box-to-box midfielder, who had failed to live up to early expectations following his deadline day switch to White Hart Lane. Yet, since that warm afternoon in October, Jenas has really failed to push on and fulfil the massive potential he showed as a youngster.

A succession of injuries has seen him fail to gain any consistency in the middle of the park and significantly hindered his playing time. In 2007, he signed a five-year deal to keep him at White Hart Lane before signing a one-year extension in 2008, meaning his current deal expires next summer, with the club seemingly unwilling to offer him a new deal, despite head coach Andre Villas-Boas seemingly a fan of the now 29-year-old.

Some claim Jenas will hold a place in the heart of Spurs fans due to his performances against Arsenal, where he regularly seemed to pop up with a goal or two; the 5-1 rout of the Gunners in the Carling Cup in 2008 and his last minute equaliser against the North London rivals in the 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in 2007 just two examples of this.

Yet, for all his pros as a midfielder, his cons far outweigh them. Jenas possess a hell of an engine on him, which should make him an asset for any team, right? Wrong. Whenever he has the chance to break forward and cause damage to the opposition, he stutters, looks a bit lost before locating the nearest team-mate and executing a well-time sideways pass.

Yet, since that warm afternoon in October, Jenas has really failed to push on and fulfil the massive potential he showed as a youngster

It’s a problem that has dogged him since he arrived at Spurs. When encountered by a tough tackling, combative midfielder, he bears a striking resemblance to a cute little bunny caught in the headlights of an oncoming 4×4. Such actions saw fans jump on back early and it is something he never was able to really overcome.

A loan spell with Aston Villa was supposed to see the re-emergence of the all action midfielder, but his spell at Villa Park came to an end during his first start under then Villa boss Alex McLeish, tripping on the turf against Manchester United, rupturing his Achilles that would see him ruled out for six months.

A summer move was expected, with Sunderland thought to be a possible destination for Jenas before a deadline day move to the Stadium of Light fell through. Now Spurs are looking to ship him out to a Championship side in the vein hope they can eventually sell the midfielder on for a nominal fee, even if they fail to make on a profit on his signature.

Many would call his career a massive fall from grace, but they couldn’t be further from the truth considering Jenas never really reached his peak during his career. Regardless of his 21 caps, a figure I doubt Jenas will add to, it’s fair to assume that the midfielder won’t reach the heights that were predicted of him as a fresh-faced Nottingham Forest youngster. A move away from Spurs will definitely be the best thing for the player, with his career stagnating significantly at White Hart Lane.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Andy 8:31 am, 8-Sep-2012

The problem with Jenas is this, he's never been very good. We couldn't believe it when you bought him for 8m, almost as good business as 35m for Carroll. I remember David Platt describing him as a 'phenomenon' when we got him from Forest. It's a phenomenon how he ever played in the Premier league.

Doug Munro 8:43 am, 8-Sep-2012

The sooner Spurs get rid of him the better. He may have scored some important goals in the past ,but he has never lived up being a brilliant midfield player.I have seen him playing in a lot of games at the Lane when he just goes missing , does not commit himself to tackling and not enough commitment which has turned a lot of Spurs fans on his back. Hope he manages a Championship team where he can try and build his career again as he will not get another opportunity at Spurs.

JG 12:30 pm, 8-Sep-2012

Jenas is supremely talented, he has everything in his locker to be a very good EPL player...everything except heart and a positive attitude. If he had Scott Parker's determination and drive he would have been a great player instead of a wasted career. Still no reason to boo a loyal member of the squad even if he is very frustrating.

Ben McAleer 12:49 pm, 8-Sep-2012

"Still no reason to boo a loyal member of the squad even if he is very frustrating." Couldn't agree more with you on that one, JG. A shame it never really worked out for him at White Hart Lane. Massive potential as a youngster at Forest.

Bill 1:15 pm, 8-Sep-2012

some great goals.......has talent.....maybe needed some fine tuning by a personal fitness manager to perform at the highest level...mental attitude etc......as been said .....all this booing nonsense is pathetic.....as it undermines the club?? daft!!...lift the players and conquer!!

Billy McGooligan 1:47 pm, 8-Sep-2012

As a Newcastle fan I was surprised we got £8m for him to be honest. Showed promise when we signed him but never really progressed that much. His comments RE the "Goldfish Bowl" were interpreted by most as an insult to Newcastle; they were, however, a much more damning indictment of his attitude. In saying this, he was basically admitting that he couldn't cope with the spotlight of being a Premier League player - a fault manifested in his tendency to "go missing" during a match.

Andres' Crouching 2:02 pm, 8-Sep-2012

Where did it all go wrong for Jenas. That's easy, the day he took up football, that's when it all went wrong.

MarkA 3:20 pm, 8-Sep-2012

He was never really a worldbeater at Forest yo be honest. Always one for the future with 'potential'. Dawson was a much bigger miss when he left.

colney spur 6:26 pm, 8-Sep-2012

Just another on a long list of spurs players we have brought and then ruined , and I always thought we played better with him than without , trouble is that whatever he does the boo boys will never give him credit, I am the same with poor old livermore if ever a spurs player looks the part but fails to deliver it's him and my heart sinks when his name read out , but that's only my opinion.

SpursFan 8:15 pm, 8-Sep-2012

He is shit. Plain and simple. He cant pass forward and he is weak as anything on the ball. He is a championship player at best.

MattC 11:48 am, 10-Sep-2012

...if he's got it - Warnock will find it....

bri 11:55 am, 10-Sep-2012

i think you should cut the kid some slack h wasnt the best but at newcastle he had mass potential he went to spurs and never really had much of a chance i truley belive if he had a long run he would have been a better player he was only 22 you dont find many outstanding 22 cm's bare the od one or two. im a newcastle fan and watched him a lot and thought he was average but still i would never nock the kid......and to be fair he only really played in his first season for yous until yous got better older players...if you dont give some one a chance for a long period of time they wont have the mentality or the confidence to push on....look at perchinho we singed him no one give him a chance he got a long run out now hes a brazilian legend !!!

BillytheFish 12:25 pm, 10-Sep-2012

Classic example of bags of talent with poor application(Lazy twat!)

Billy from Byker 12:31 pm, 10-Sep-2012

Simple,had plenty potential but no bottle.

Jim 12:41 pm, 10-Sep-2012

I agree with much of what's been said above about him, which is why I can't believe Neil Warnock wants him at Leeds, he doesn't fit the tuff tackling mould, or the injury risk free player Leeds should be looking for considering we've got 3 injured midfielders already! A strange one, if he comes, maybe he'll play well and earn our respect, or maybe he won't like the tuff combative championship league, shirk a tackle and injure himself, again.

Mark Carroll 1:55 pm, 10-Sep-2012

Jenas has always been a poor player, Newcastle fans could not believe it when we got £8M for him. Like his mat Dyer...terrible attitude and nowhere near consistant enough. Nearly signed for Sunderland? Well it would have been from the Goldfish Bowl to Toilet Bowl!

Daz 2:57 pm, 10-Sep-2012

As a Newcastle fan I remember when we sold him to Spurs and all the Spurs fans goaded us thinking they'd nicked one of our best players. Perhaps now the Spurs fans can understand why we laughed at their comments. Jenas certainly wasn't one of our best players. Not even close. I'm sure no Spurs fans lost any sleep with his sale either.

Mark Carroll 3:36 pm, 10-Sep-2012

Well to be honest Leeds are a bigger club than fickle Spurs anyway.

Andy 11:53 am, 28-Sep-2012

So, a talentless lazy twat with a bad attitude spends the last 10 years getting well paid to play football. Sounds as if it all went OK for him actually. I wish my lack of talent and bad attitude could have been spotted earlier!!!

Phil 2:38 pm, 28-Sep-2012

Well he's just another player ruined by Harry i only care about the 1st 11 redknapp.

Nick 1:07 am, 29-Sep-2012

I still remember that day when it all clicked into gear for Jermaine Jenas at Tottenham Hotspur who is set to join Nottingham Forest on loan. They secured on doing just that in the opening 45 minutes. The provider turned goalscorer as Jenas netting from a pinpoint Jermain Defoe cross.My favourite - the vein hope. I suggest you are the Jenas of journalism mate. At least I can now say I write as well - or better than - a reporter!!

Keith 12:22 pm, 11-Feb-2013

Harry is a big fool to sign him for QPR, whenever Jenas plays, the team suffers, the statistics and track record bears it out. Tottenham became strong when AVB sideline jenas after the first few games.

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