Tom Huddlestone

Marty

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As you say, I’ve been going to Spurs for over 30 years and there aren’t many better passers of the ball I’ve seen than Huddlestone. It’s just a shame he was so immobile and such a pussy in 50/50 situations for a man of his size.

I always thought he would have done well in Italy and in international football where the pace is slower.
He should've been "lucky" that Capello was England boss in the years where he was at his best for us, but he only won three caps under Capello and one under Hodgson after Euro 2012 so clearly Capello also thought his mobility limitations were an issue.

On pure passing technique he's the best passer we've had at the club since Hoddle.
 

mpickard2087

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As you say, I’ve been going to Spurs for over 30 years and there aren’t many better passers of the ball I’ve seen than Huddlestone. It’s just a shame he was so immobile and such a pussy in 50/50 situations for a man of his size.

I always thought he would have done well in Italy and in international football where the pace is slower.
His main problem was his lack of bravery to receive the ball. Technically he had all the tools, his lack of mobility can be overcome somewhat, but he just didn't have the appetite (pun intended...) and that was the main factor really. There were far too many games where if the opposition were getting in our faces and trying to get at us higher the pitch, and/or he was feeling a bit of heat in midfield, and he'd just hide himself away. Someone, I think BC, used to do forensic examples of these type of matches where umpteen times Huddlestone would just run behind a marker and then just point to give the ball to someone else. He was never one to always be available for a pass, absorb pressure and manage to keep the play moving, and reliably dictate football matches.
 

Japhet

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His main problem was his lack of bravery to receive the ball. Technically he had all the tools, his lack of mobility can be overcome somewhat, but he just didn't have the appetite (pun intended...) and that was the main factor really. There were far too many games where if the opposition were getting in our faces and trying to get at us higher the pitch, and/or he was feeling a bit of heat in midfield, and he'd just hide himself away. Someone, I think BC, used to do forensic examples of these type of matches where umpteen times Huddlestone would just run behind a marker and then just point to give the ball to someone else. He was never one to always be available for a pass, absorb pressure and manage to keep the play moving, and reliably dictate football matches.

Would have been in his element in a team that routinely dominated the opposition - alas, that wasn't us. Liverpool masked over a lot of Jan Molby's shortcomings but I bet he'd have been dreadful for us.
 

dagraham

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His main problem was his lack of bravery to receive the ball. Technically he had all the tools, his lack of mobility can be overcome somewhat, but he just didn't have the appetite (pun intended...) and that was the main factor really. There were far too many games where if the opposition were getting in our faces and trying to get at us higher the pitch, and/or he was feeling a bit of heat in midfield, and he'd just hide himself away. Someone, I think BC, used to do forensic examples of these type of matches where umpteen times Huddlestone would just run behind a marker and then just point to give the ball to someone else. He was never one to always be available for a pass, absorb pressure and manage to keep the play moving, and reliably dictate football matches.
Yeah totally agree, I liked him a lot and he was a player that you could watch and admire from the stands, but he simply lacked the aggression and discipline necessary to be top player.

Used to infuriate me when he’d just let runners go and pussy out of 50/50 challenges, but we haven’t had a player who could spread the play and ping long range passes like that for a while. Modric and VDV could do it as well of course ( amongst many other things), but it’s something we’ve missed ( even when we were at our best under Poch).
 

Spurrific

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This is one of my favourite Huddlestone moments, aside from the numerous thunderbastards
 

McFlash

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I was always a fan of Huddleston but surely Modric edges that one
Dunno, Modders was a great passer but there was just something about Thudds technique that stood apart from pretty much anyone I've ever seen.
The way he stroked the ball was something else, sublime.
 

Spurs_Bear

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I’ll never forget having the argument with BC about Hudd being a better passer than Palacios. It’s weird you had to argue those kind of things with him.
 

idontgetit

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One of those Champions League games where we played Inter Milan off the park, him and Modric were incredible in the middle of the pitch. He got fit playing under Ramos, and when Ramos left he sprang in to life as a player. There was a point where I really thought he was going to kick on and become a top class player but got an injury and never seemed to come back from it.
 

SlumDilla

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One of those Champions League games where we played Inter Milan off the park, him and Modric were incredible in the middle of the pitch. He got fit playing under Ramos, and when Ramos left he sprang in to life as a player. There was a point where I really thought he was going to kick on and become a top class player but got an injury and never seemed to come back from it.
I remember the 2009/2010 season and Palacios got injured right before we had to play Arsenal and Chelsea back to back in the league and we were faced with the prospect of a Hudd & Modric CM pairing and a lot of posters were sure that we would be steamrolled in both games. We won both games and both players really showed that they could thrive as a partnership.
 

SpunkyBackpack

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I genuinely thought he'd be the fulcrum of the Spurs and England midfield for years, i've never seen someone who made passing look so easy. To be fair around the same time i was also telling people that Leigh Mills was going to be the best centre back in the country.
 

TwanYid

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I was always a fan of Huddleston but surely Modric edges that one
I agree that Modric was the better passer but when it came to pinging, nobody- and I mean nobody- could place the ball cross field like Huddlestone. His super long distance passes were metronomic; what, say, Ndombele could do from ten feet THudd could do from 50 yards: i.e., put it on a dime with such beauty and nonchalance that I- who at that time was relatively new to soccer (I'm a Yank who unfortunately discovered this greatest-of-all-games very late in life, having never played myself [and I mean literally NEVER]-- so I didn't realize just how incredible/abnormal his level of skill actually was) started to immediately see the difference as soon as he was gone.

Indeed, the whole notion of us switching play from side-to-side via wonderfully executed, perfectly timed/weighted cross-field pinged passes pretty much died when he left (which is- naturally- the time when I finally realized that what I had theretofore seen as "normal" professional-footballer skill was actually anything but; any professional of any stripe in any league can hit nice diagonal pinged pass, but only Huddlestone could do it in this languid, "I'm just chilling here reading the paper...oh, would you like the ball back? Ok, no need to shout- HERE!*****"ENJOY!******").

The guy was just mind-bogglingly wonderful to watch regarding that one special skill set (which, let's face it, IS an important one; switching play on a dime ain't exactly easy, and it truly can/does change and/or at the very least affect matches-- particularly when the opponent knows what's coming but can't stop it) that his downsides- of which there were a ton- could be overlooked due to his long-range aerial wizardry.

GOD I LOVE SOCCER...

Anyway sorry for the rant, just will always have a soft-spot for THudd (btw, was it THudd as in "Thud!" or THudd as in "Tee- Hudd?" Never could quite figure that one out lol)...

I miss those days, what with;

-The Croatian Contingent (Corluka, Luka, and guy everyone's wife would fuck in a second)
-Our slow-as-molasses-yet-still-fun-to-watch midfield (Wilson, Sandro, Thudd, etc.)
-Our "Strikers" (Darren fucking Bent, Defoe-Yiddo, Cartwheel boy, Mido's Hair Band and Leandro Damiao [he played for us, right?]), etc. etc...
-Robbo (The best- and worst- goalkeeper in the League)
-Michael Dawson, Ledley's knees, Eunice, Ping Pong, Pascal Chimbonda; Hell, I'd take that prat David Bentley right now...
-"Spursh," "Run about abbit," and finally AVB (ok THOSE days I don't miss; fucking hated watching us under him, before of course we stepped up in class and truly, finally became a top club due to the beautiful Argie, whom we never would've come across were it not for Vilas-Boas- so in a way I guess I'm thankful even for him)....

...and everyone else from back then (and yes, that includes Zokora)...

(sigh)

So yeah- THudd is old Spurs, and good LORD how I miss those days...so much so in fact that if given the chance I would gladly make Mansion our permanent sponsor and give Captain Gillet a five year/no-termination-possible contract right now if it meant I could see just my boys play...

God does this world suck right now...

Anyway- enough of this pity-party: I'll just get back to watching to watching Lucas' goal for the two-thousandth time...

p.s.- One last THudd question: was it against Stoke in early-2010 when- at the Lane- he thunderstruck a guided missile from outside the box into (from his perspective) the top right corner, thereby giving us the badly-needed 3 points, thereby helping send us on our way to our first-ever top-4 finish? It was Stoke, right?

Ah, the different old days...
 
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dagraham

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Probably my favourite Huddlestone goal, back when I used to actually quite enjoy us being in the EL. Also an assist from another player who was blessed with good technique who sadly did not make the most of his ability.

 

SlumDilla

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I agree that Modric was the better passer but when it came to pinging, nobody- and I mean nobody- could place the ball cross field like Huddlestone. His super long distance passes were metronomic; what, say, Ndombele could do from ten feet THudd could do from 50 yards: i.e., put it on a dime with such beauty and nonchalance that I- who at that time was relatively new to soccer (I'm a Yank who unfortunately discovered this greatest-of-all-games very late in life, having never played myself [and I mean literally NEVER]-- so I didn't realize just how incredible/abnormal his level of skill actually was) started to immediately see the difference as soon as he was gone.
Unfortunately, many of Hudds compilations have been taken off Youtube but I did find this gem.

 

Timberwolf

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I’ll never forget having the argument with BC about Hudd being a better passer than Palacios. It’s weird you had to argue those kind of things with him.
Even for BC that's especially weird. Peak Palacios was great but he was always a bang average passer.
 

RichieS

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I remember the 2009/2010 season and Palacios got injured right before we had to play Arsenal and Chelsea back to back in the league and we were faced with the prospect of a Hudd & Modric CM pairing and a lot of posters were sure that we would be steamrolled in both games. We won both games and both players really showed that they could thrive as a partnership.
Ah, what Bus Conductor used to call "the chocolate teapot" midfield.
 

spids

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He should've been "lucky" that Capello was England boss in the years where he was at his best for us, but he only won three caps under Capello and one under Hodgson after Euro 2012 so clearly Capello also thought his mobility limitations were an issue.
He was never a Capello type player, with a rigid 4-4-2 and players who can press preferred. He could have thrived under Hoddle in a 3 man CM. However, he was also up against Carrick, Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes who were all far superior footballers (as well as athletes).

... but I have a lot of time for Hudd. Technically he was an amazing striker of a ball.His goal away at Man City (Ghaly assist) was incredible. And his goal against Arsenal at the Lane when he hit it and it skipped up of the turf and through VDVs legs was a gem!
 
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