Woodgate says Spurs can win race for the title
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Former Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate expects his old club to mount a serious title challenge but is not dwelling on what might have been.
Woodgate was released by the Londoners in the summer after three and a half injury-plagued years at White Hart Lane. The club opted not to retain the 31-year-old because of the cost of insuring him, and he was offered the chance to resurrect his career with Stoke. Woodgate was disappointed at the club's decision but does not hold a grudge and hopes they succeed.
"There's no animosity between me and anyone at Spurs," said Woodgate, who shone against his old team-mates as Stoke clung on for a controversial 2-1 Premier League win over Harry Redknapp's in-form team at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.
"They're a great side and I wish them all the luck in the world. I think they'll go close to winning the league, if not this year, then next year. I don't want to show anyone anything –I'll do it with my performances. I don't need to show anyone I can still play. I get on with my game and I know Harry Redknapp believes in me, so no problem. I didn't want to leave and he didn't want me to either. But that's life – you've got to get on with it. You move on."
Woodgate, normally a centre-half, was asked by Stoke boss Tony Pulis to fill in at right-back against Spurs. That brought him up against flying winger Gareth Bale but Woodgate survived the test as Stoke claimed victory to end Tottenham's six-match winning streak.
Woodgate said: "I didn't sleep much the other night, to be honest. He's the best winger in the world, more or less."
Spurs started sluggishly and fell behind to two strikes from another of their ex-players, Matthew Etherington, after twice failing to deal with Ryan Shotton throw-ins. They replied with an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty before throwing everything into attack and they were unlucky not to claim a point.
Among a catalogue of near misses, Spurs also had two more penalty appeals for handball declined while Adebayor had another legitimate goal wrongly disallowed for off-side. To compound their misery, Younes Kaboul was sent off and Redknapp rounded on referee Chris Foy afterwards.
Yet despite Spurs' immense misfortune, Woodgate feels that they will have to consider it a chance missed. "Maybe to come here and get a result, maybe grind out a 2-2, even when they go down to 10 men," said Woodgate, when asked what Spurs' missing ingredient is.
"But I think Spurs are an unbelievable team – different class – and they'll go very close to winning the title. The whole team has pace and it's frightening for an opposing team when you know everyone's quick, and with the ability they've got, as well as speed, they're going to be a good side."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing from Manchester United
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain