Tottenham Hotspur All-Time Premiership XI
You've been voting for two months and now it's time to reveal the results and the final 11 players that have made it into the greatest Tottenham Hotspur team of the Premiership era. As well as that, there was also the small matter of selecting a worthy manager to lead this dream team.
Let's not waste any time!
The Manager: Harry Redknapp
Possibly the most straight-forward of all the decisions made in this series, Harry Redknapp, the current Spurs manager, won with a staggering 88.6 percent of votes cast. This is a pattern that we will see continued throughout, with a number of the current playing staff making their way into this team.
That in itself is a reflection of the fact that Tottenham are better now as they have ever been in the Premiership era. You don't need any other explanation than that as to why Redknapp has won this honour.
The nearest man to him was current Fulham supremo Martin Jol, with just 8 percent. His tenure is worthy of mention because it began the Spurs' transition from mid-table mediocrity to Champions League challengers.
But, this is Harry's day, so the final word must belong to him. While Jol's efforts may have built some of the foundation, it was Redknapp that took the playing squad and transformed it into a side capable of the most attractive football in the country.
Redknapp led Tottenham on their first Champions League run, and what a run it was as they dazzled Europe all the way to the quarter finals. Spurs are on the brink of mounting their first serious title challenge in decades without the major investment that most other competitors have made, and that is a massive credit to Redknapp's skills.
Goalkeeper: Paul Robinson
The former England number one was the outstanding candidate in this vote, and the results show that clearly:
Robinson - 58.2 percent
Walker - 16.8 percent
Gomes - 13.7 percent
Sullivan - 11.3 percent
Winning with a clear majority, Paul Robinson was always a fan-favorite at White Hart Lane. His slump in form, apparently due to a complete eradication of all self-confidence, eventually led to his departure from Spurs and demotion from the England team.
But his sparkling form in his first two years at Tottenham was enough to make him the clear winner here, and the highlight of his time at the club would undoubtedly be his participation in the victorious League Cup-winning team of 2008.
Right-Back: Stephen Carr
This was the closest vote of the lot, resulting in a dead tie between Stephen Carr and Kyle Walker. As was the mantra throughout the series though, the arguments laid down in the comments saw to it that Carr gets the nod. These were the results:
Carr - 44.5 percent
Walker - 44.5 percent
Corluka - 11.1 percent
Another League Cup winner (albeit nine years earlier than Robinson), Carr was a mainstay at right-back for Spurs for eight seasons. For a large chunk of that time, it could have been argued that he was the best in the league.
His outstanding memory, aside from his League Cup Winner's medal, would have to be his "stunning" goal against Manchester United in 1999.
Left-Back: Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Was there ever any doubt? Most of the votes cast were made before Benny's spectacular goal against Everton recently, so you can bet that this vote would have been even more one-sided had it taken place afterwards.
Assou-Ekotto - 74.5 percent
Ziege - 17.5 percent
Young-Pyo - 6.3 percent
Taricco - 1.8 percent
After an uncertain start in a Spurs shirt, Assou-Ekotto has become one of the most reliable defenders in Tottenham's squad. An automatic starter when fit, the Cameroonian is the left-back in the best Tottenham team in recent memory.
This one was almost unfair!
Centre-Back and Captain: Ledley King
Ledley King was the clear winner of this poll, taking over 75 percent of the votes on offer. He is considered by many to be as good an English centre back as there has been in the last 20 years. If not for his injuries, this man would surely have been an automatic pick for England over the years, and would even arguably be captain by now.
In an area of the pitch where Tottenham has traditionally struggled to find high-quality players (at least in the Premiership era), King's emergence from the youth team must rank him as just about the best Tottenham product in recent memory.
He is the second of this 11 taken from the current squad and his undoubted defensive qualities and leadership ability mean I'm pulling author's rank and making him captain of this team.
To find out the identity of King's partner, move on to the next slide, where you'll also see the full results of the centre-back vote.
Centre Back: Gary Mabbutt
It's no surprise that the centre-back poll was the most controversial of all the positions. Gary Mabbutt edged into second place to earn himself a spot in this dream team, but not without some controversy. Here are the full results: -
Ledley King - 75.9 percent
Gary Mabbutt - 11.9 percent
Sol Campbell - 8.3 percent
Michael Dawson - 3.9 percent
On votes alone Mabbutt deserves his place, and he was indeed a fine servant of Tottenham Hotspur. His ability as a defender and as a leader is without question—he is a capped England international, after all.
However, a closer look at some of the comments on that particular piece reveal that there was at least an element of popularity that contributed to the poll. Sol Campbell ran him very close and there is a definite case to be made that he was the better player. He ultimately paid for his defection to the red half of North London, for which he remains unforgiven by most Spurs fans.
So, the people have spoken and, if nothing else, Mabbutt's loyalty and dedication (notable attributes themselves) have earned him his place in the team.
Central Midfield: Luka Modric
This was the most one-sided vote out of all the positions, which was a little surprising considering that there was a choice between six contenders. Still, Modric was the outstanding candidate and the fact that he received over 80 percent of the votes reflects that.
He seemed to be close to leaving the club in August but Spurs supporters appear to have forgiven him, largely based on the fact that he has been one of the Premiership's best players so far this season.
Watching Modric play the way he does in a Tottenham shirt is a delight and long may that continue. His contribution to the style with which the ball is knocked around the White Hart Lane pitch cannot be overstated and, were he to leave for richer employers at the end of this season, his boots would be extremely difficult to fill.
To see who Modric's midfield partner is, and for the full results on the central midfield vote, move on to the next slide.
Central Midfield: Scott Parker
This was another contentious choice, but, in fairness to Scott Parker, his place in this team is based on merit alone. Here are the full results:
Luka Modric - 80.7 percent
Scott Parker - 10.3 percent
Gustavo Poyet - 3.5 percent
Tom Huddlestone - 1.8 percent
Michael Carrick - 1.8 percent
Steffen Freund - 1.8 percent
Some might say that Parker's limited contribution (half a season) is not enough to merit inclusion in an all-time Premiership era Tottenham team, but the votes speak for themselves.
After all, there is an arguable case to say that his contribution to the current team is the difference between challenging for, but falling short of, Champions League football and being third with an outside chance of pushing for the title.
I would say that puts Parker above most of the other candidates, so in he goes.
Right Midfield: Aaron Lennon
Blistering pace and a habit for scoring important goals were enough to give Aaron Lennon the right-midfield berth in this team. Here are the full results:
Aaron Lennon - 56.6 percent
Darren Anderton - 40.4 percent
Simon Davies - 3.0 percent
Anderton deserves a special mention for the distinction with which he represented Tottenham, in both a Spurs shirt and an England one. His contribution would have possibly been greater had his career not been so blighted by injury, perhaps to the extent that he could have won this poll.
But Lennon was the clear winner, and once again the fact is that he is a key contributor to what is easily the best Tottenham team of the Premiership era forms part of the reason for that.
Lennon is now one of the longest-serving members of the current squad and seems to improve with every passing season. His pace must be terrifying for opposition defenders and he fits into Tottenham's style of play perfectly. Yet another fine addition to this dream team.
Left Midfield: Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale completes the midfield that is entirely made up of current Spurs players. That fact alone goes a long way to explaining why the current Tottenham team is the best in recent memory. Here are the full results from the left-midfield vote:
Gareth Bale - 74.3 percent
David Ginola - 25.7 percent
Ginola deserves a special mention here for being the stand-out performer that he was for Tottenham in the late 1990s, culminating in his double Player of the Year award in 1999. He was a true entertainer and a fan-favorite and will be remembered with great fondness for years to come at White Hart Lane.
Moving onto Bale: What more can be said? Ginola was a worthy challenger to his place in this team but ultimately Bale's attributes are just too many. His speed and ability make him one of the most feared footballers on the planet, and it is to be hoped that he sees his long-term future at Tottenham.
I would quite happily argue with anyone that Gareth Bale is the one Tottenham player that would walk into any other football team on the planet. And yes, I said any team. He is simply that good.
Striker: Jurgen Klinsmann
This was arguably the toughest choice to make in this entire series. It is the one area of the pitch where Tottenham has been consistently strong, which meant there was a long list of viable contenders. The ultimate winner though was world football legend Jurgen Klinsmann.
In his two spells with Tottenham, Klinsmann's contribution to the team was enormous. Scoring 30 goals in his one and only full season in England was a fine achievement, and it resulted in what was then (and remained so for over 10 years) Tottenham's highest Premier League finish.
His second spell was equally fruitful in terms of goals, albeit briefer. Klinsmann was a true icon though and the fact that he graced the Premier League in a Spurs shirt is enough to put a smile on this writer's face.
Check out Klinsmann's partner and the full striker results on the next slide.
Striker: Teddy Sheringham
If Jurgen Klinsmann is a world football legend, then Teddy Sheringham is a bona fide Tottenham Hotspur legend. Making well over 200 appearances in the shirt over the course of his two spells with the club, "Super Ted" was a clear choice to partner the German:
Jurgen Klinsmann - 39.6 percent
Teddy Sheringham - 26.5 percent
Dimitar Berbatov - 13.7 percent
Robbie Keane - 13.1 percent
Jermain Defoe - 7.1 percent
It's fitting that Sheringham won the place alongside Klinsmann, because theirs was the partnership that sparkled during that 1994-95 season. Forever labelled as something of a sidekick for both club and country, Sheringham's ability to create and score goals was unrivalled at that time.
So there you have it. The greatest Tottenham Hotspur XI of the Premiership era. It is perhaps a clue as to the ingredients that are still missing from the current team that the two strikers are from days gone by.
If Messrs Redknapp and Levy can address that with tangible success, we may have to do this all over again!
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