By Chris Wright
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that he may have no choice but to omit crocked defender Jonathan Woodgate from the 25-man squad list he is to register with the Premier League in August, and that it doesn’t look particularly likely that the centre-back will even be included as one of the three revisions to the list that can be submitted in January.
Woodgate, whose plasticine groin gave way during Spurs’ 9-1 thrashing of Wigan in November last season, hasn’t featured for the first string since and has been forced to repeatedly travel to America and Australia for various surgeries and treatments.
However, Redknapp has revealed that the 30-year-old is still ‘way off’ from making a full return;
“It must be really hard for him because he is nowhere near kicking a ball. He has been out for a year and he still has a long way to go. It would be impossible to put him in my 25 at the moment.
If he does not start playing before the start of the season, he has got no chance. You cannot have somebody in who is never going to play, who is not going to be fit. We will see how we go in January, but he is a long way off now.”
Woodgate made just three appearances for Spurs following an unprecedented two-season (save the odd niggle) spell of relatively fine fettle, but his career stats still make ominously sparse reading.
During his twelve-years as a professional footballer, Woodgate has amassed a fairly woeful 235 domestic appearances and this latest blow will see him forcibly sidelined for yet another season’s worth of action.
So herein lies my question to you, the Pies faithful.
At the grand old age of 30, is it finally time for the injury-riddled defender to call it a day for the good of his long-term health? Or do you think his obvious talent is such to afford him another crack?