Jermaine Jenas is a player who splits the White Hart Lane faithful. When JJ is on form he drives the team forward and is involved with almost every attacking move; however the problem with Jenas is that his being on-form does not happen often. Prior to Harry Redknapp’s arrival at the club Jenas had spent well over three years as a first choice starter but his form was unpredictable, one day he’d be unplayable and the next he’d be anonymous. He’d have sustained periods of good play, like when Juande Ramos first took over and Jenas hit top form, but his form has always dropped and he runs around like a headless chicken when he’s not on top of his game, oblivious to the game going on around him.
Jenas’ problem is that Redknapp prefers Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios in midfield to him and thus he’s been relegated to the role of substitute this season. When he’s come on he’s shown glimpses of his previous promise, good running on the ball and good passing, but Redknapp clearly doesn’t rate him as highly as his predecessors did. Added to that is the fact that Spurs are now being heavily linked with moves for central midfielders with Miguel Veloso the name that won’t go away – such a move would surely lessen Jenas’ playing time to minimal appearances and surely spell the end of the White Hart Lane career of the former England international.
Jenas’ relegation to being a squad player has not made him fall out of favour with the club; as constant lists come in about the deadwood at the club who need to be sold Jenas’ name is never included and he is simply regarded as a good player to bring off the bench if the team need some extra attacking options in midfield. However, Niko Kranjcar’s impressive form means that Luka Modric could end up playing down the middle which would make Jenas even more obsolete for the team. How much Harry rates him isn’t entirely clear but when he mentioned Jenas earlier that season he had grouped him with the players Spurs supposedly want to sell. Harry said prior to a cup clash:
“We’ve players who need matches – the likes of Alan Hutton, Gareth Bale, Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Keane – so we’ll change a few around and freshen things up a bit.”
Being considered a player for cup games is not what Jenas will want, it shows how much he’s regressed in becoming a backup rather than the key player he once was. With a lack of faith from his manager and replacements linked to the club Jenas must surely be considering the idea of moving himself – he wants to get to the World Cup with England afterall and starring for a smaller club may be the one way he stands a chance of getting there as he certainly won’t manage it by sitting on the bench at the Lane.
Jenas is not a bad player by any stretch of the imagination but his performances have not been consistent enough for a club with plans as big as Tottenham’s. Whilst he would like to be a part of the Spurs squad that finally makes it to the Champion’s League it seems to make little sense to keep him around when he’s not needed and when Redknapp could spend the money made on him on other, higher class players such as Veloso. A move would be in the best interest of all parties involved as it would give Jenas a chance to play regularly again and it would give Spurs money. He’s been a good player for Spurs over the years, with performances against Arsenal particularly standing out, but the fact is he’s just not consistent enough to hold down a first team place in Redknapp’s plans and thus it’s time for Jenas to move on.