FanCast columnist Fanos Kyriacou continues his 6 part series into the great myths that surround his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. Part 2 focuses on the not so prolific Les Ferdinand.
It always astounds me the way supporters immortalise certain players while forgetting that actually they weren’t really that good. A massive example of this is the Spurs career of Les Ferdinand or Sir Les as he is sometimes affectionately known as.
When we signed Ferdinand in 1997 I was genuinely excited by the prospect of him playing for the lilywhites. He was a proven top quality goal scorer and a self confessed boyhood Spurs fan. Coming from Newcastle where he scored 41 goals in 68 games we were buying the finished article. At his beloved Tottenham though he only scored 33 goals in 118 games – hardly the stuff of legends. Despite scoring just 12 goals in his first three seasons at the club he was still highly regarded by the Spurs faithful. Chris Armstrong was crucified by fans at Tottenham and yet he scored more goals for the club, would he be considered a legend? I think not.
I think the appeal of Ferdinand is that he always comes across as a really nice guy (unlike his dippy cousins Anton and Rio) and it is difficult to dislike him even though he really was pretty awful overall for Spurs. I think the reason he may be considered a legend is that he is a Spurs fan and he scored a few important goals and obviously the Premier League’s 10,000th goal. But is this enough to be considered a White Hart Lane Hero?
I have been guilty too of regarding Sir Les as a legend at Spurs but when I think back I realise that he was nothing of the sort. Who could forget his woeful finishing in our Worthington Cup final defeat against Blackburn in the 2001-02 season? Had he taken those chances we would have won the League Cup and I wouldn’t have had to endure that awful journey back to North London from Cardiff.
How can we put Les Ferdinand’s Spurs career in the same bracket as players such as Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith and Teddy Sheringham who are all indeed legendary strikers at the club? He doesn’t even come close to them. We might as well go the whole hog and start naming players such as Andy Booth and Helder Postiga as Tottenham legends!