Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hoddle Is Talking Up Thatcher

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hoddle Is Talking Up Thatcher

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN CURTIS

GLENN HODDLE today hit back at accusations that he has ignored Ben Thatcher for the last two months.

The Tottenham manager is angry about reports claiming he had not spoken to the former Wimbledon defender for speaking out about his lack of opportunities and praised his attitude in trying to win back a first-team place.

Hoddle is adamant he has no communication problems with his squad and, after watching his side lose to Liverpool at White Hart Lane, he set about putting the record straight.

Hoddle said today: "I spoke to Ben a couple of months ago about his situation, his future, what he has got to improve on to get into the team. It has been suggested that I haven't spoken to him for two months. It's pathetic.

"Of course we've been speaking - every day. If people want to turn it upside down, it's out of my control. Ben's attitude has been excellent. He has played for the reserves and encouraged the youngsters and that is excellent.

He came in against high-class opposition in Liverpool and did very well.

"He lacks a bit of fitness at the moment but both he and Ledley King did very well. And as for suggestions that we haven't spoken for two months, well, it's just not true."

Thatcher did enough to suggest that he may get a run in the side, especially after Mauricio Taricco was forced off in the second half with a calf problem.

But suicidal defending - chiefly from skipper Teddy Sheringham - cost Spurs at least a point in a game overshadowed by a spat between Hoddle and Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

They clashed publicly after Houllier accused the Argentine defender of trying to get El-Hadji Diouf sent off. The Frenchman was adamant that Taricco was attempting to provoke Diouf into a reaction following an incident at Celtic last week when he spat into the crowd. …

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