Will Spurs come to regret letting go of this England star?

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Nobody will look back over Jonathan Woodgate’s time with Tottenham and claim he had a successful stay. But he had a good start: he arrived at the club in January 2008 and was a big part of the team that helped to guide Tottenham from the relegation zone right back up to 8th in the League as Harry Redknapp saved the club from near calamity. It was the years that were to follow that would be truly disastrous for Woodgate, however, as he managed to play just four times for the club over the next two years.

Woodgate has suffered over the last couple of seasons with a persistent groin injury which seems to have flummoxed doctors the world over. Despite undergoing at least two operations, the problem never really seems to have disappeared.

He made a brief-reappearance against AC Milan at the San Siro this year, but suffered an adductor muscle injury that saw him ruled out for the rest of the season. At the season’s close he was released by Spurs and spent a few weeks as a free agent until he was picked up by Stoke City on a one-year pay-as-you-play deal.

I’m struck by just how savvy this deal is. At the very worst, Woodgate won’t play any football for Stoke and won’t cost them a dime. At best he’ll recover his form and become a real asset for the club. Stoke either earn something from this deal, or lose nothing; not quite a win-win, but still a great position to be in.

In that respect, I’m not too sure why Harry Redknapp didn’t offer him a pay-as-you-play deal. The Tottenham manager even seems to have admitted that such a move would have been sensible, when he suggested that Woodgate “is worth a gamble on a pay-as-you-play deal because if you can get him fit you will have one of the best centre-halves anywhere”. He went on to say that “He could be a fantastic signing because he is training and feels fit for the first time in two years”.

If this was the case, why didn’t Tottenham keep him on under a pay-as-you-play type basis? Nobody knows Woodgate’s current fitness situation better than the Spur’s coaching staff and if he’s on his way to recovery, surely a player of his quality and stature would have been a real asset to Tottenham?

If he does recover his fitness and form, Tottenham may well look on at his performances with Stoke City with a tinge of regret. So was Harry right not to offer him a pay-as-you-play deal with Tottenham?

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  • Seb says:

    The reason Redknapp let him go is that he wouldn’t have fitted in the 25-man squad. With the options of King, Dawson, Bassong, Kaboul and Gallas, as well as Corluka and Huddlestone if things got really tight, we have plenty of defensive cover. Add to that the possibility of Christopher Samba and you see where he’s coming from. Redknapp has to make room in his squad for additional signings, and 8 centre backs won’t really help!

  • dave jones says:

    there comes a point when you have to let injury prone players leave, we had a whole team of them once,Ziege,J Redknapp,Anderton, etc. If players cant play more than 15-20 games a year then there isnt much point in keeping them. Ledley i exclude from this as he is a 1 club legend. players wages are too high these days to not be playing them regularly. I doubt stoke will get more than 10 games from woody i m sorry to say

  • MarkP says:

    Because Arry isn’t in a position where he thinks he can afford Woody to take up one of the valuable 25 1st team squad places for the sake of him maybe making 45 minutes here and there.

  • davspurs says:

    There is no doubt Woody is quality and no club or player could have done more to get himself on the park. But the sad facts he his hiding a big problem with his health i was diagnosed with a spine disease that started in my knees aged 16 then 19 and finaly it went in my spine at 23 . I had groin problems hip strains and rectum muscles strains and just like Woody when he slumped with his back spasm so did i and my footballing days and sport where finished i hope he proves me and Spurs wrong but i fear he wont and retire with good memory’s like his winning goal at Wembley that made me and many othher fans cry with Joy good luck Woody and God Bless You

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