Two of my former teams are playing tomorrow and people keep asking me who I will be cheering for. It would be a difficult choice but it’s one I’m not going to make, because when I signed my first contract I stopped being a fan and became a professional.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching football. I’m a huge fan of the game and closely follow the three clubs I have represented; Brighton, Tottenham and Portsmouth.
But for me to come out and say I’m a Tottenham fan and I’m cheering for them or that I’m a Brighton fan and I’m cheering for them would be very disrespectful. I know a lot of ex pros are very clear about where their affiliations lie but you will never hear me referring to a team as ‘we’ because I think it’s unprofessional.
I do have great memories from my time at both Brighton and Tottenham and will always want them to do well. Both clubs have had difficult seasons so far but under very different circumstances.
How bad is the malaise that has developed at Spurs at the moment? I don’t think it’s anything like as bad as most people are making out. We all know that things change fast in football and results can change everything.
In a month’s time Spurs might be in a very difficult situation, but they might have completely turned things around and be back in the top four and on course for the last 16 of the Champion’s League.I hope it will be the latter and if that happens the League Cup exit will be long forgotten.
While Spurs need the points to get back in the top four for Brighton the priority is moving away from the relegation zone.
Brighton have been playing some really good football but they haven’t been getting their reward in terms of points.
It’s a totally different leadership regime there with Graham Potter taking over from Chris Hughton. He’s a modern coach, his teams play out from the back and he wants to play an expansive, entertaining type of football whereas Chris Hughton was a lot more pragmatic and tried to ensure his teams kept things tight and didn’t lose game.
For Chris it was all about staying in the Premier League, even if that came at the expense of entertainment. It’s not that he didn’t want to play entertaining football, he did, but it couldn’t come at the detriment of picking up points.
Brighton might feel it’s a good time to play Spurs and if that’s the case they can use it to their advantage. But some would say it’s a bad time to play Spurs because after what happened midweek there’s bound to be a backlash so in that respect it is all psychological.
So you won’t find me cheering for either team tomorrow. But I will be watching the game because first and foremost I’m a football fan and Brighton and Tottenham will always be close to my heart.