Darren Anderton Retires

Darren Anderton has retired, but I’m absolutely staggered to discover that he’s only done it today. Yet there he is, large as life on Sky Sports News, looking the picture of health and happiness, bowing out at Bournemouth.

Arsene Wenger thinks that there is a new generation of British players about to come through who will be equal technically to the rest of the world. There was a time in the mid-to-late ’90s when that already seemed to have happened, and Darren Anderton was right in the middle of it.

Anderton, Barmby, Macmanaman, Fowler, Owen, Beckham, Scholes, Shearer: put Seaman in goal, and in front of him stand George Graham’s Arsenal defence – there’s enough there for a very decent team and talent on the bench.

You’ll want to add other names.

It was an injury-wracked career, so I suppose one has to say, not so much “thanks for the memories” as thanks for this memory: it was one of those really bright, hope-filled football moments.



6 Replies to “Darren Anderton Retires”

  1. Just reading those names makes me feel sad. Anderton and Barmby could have been so much better at club and international football. McManaman and Fowler had curious club careers- including great success and also a fading off. Scholes should have been the heart of the England football team of the late nineties- as he was of the United team. Perhaps only Beckham and Gary Neville acheived their promise.

    The sequence of failure is not unique (think Woodgate, King, Brown, Bowyer, Smith from 2000). What would be interesting is to hear from Wenger why he thinks that the current generation won’t have that happen to them- given Scolari’s complaints about the medical department at Chelsea and the career of Robin Van Persie at Arsenal, I wonder whether the careers say of Walcott and Wilshire won’t end up being destroyed by bad tackles like Anderton’s and Smith’s were.

  2. Yes, I feel the same way. Is the “Brown” in your 2000 list Michael or Wesley? The latter’s not old enough to be having an Indian summer, but he’s having one on credit as it were.
    What Scolari would have said about the pre-Mourinho Chelsea set-up would have been worth hearing.
    I wonder. Wenger’s teams always seem to be kiboshed by injuries, and you have to wonder if there’s not a mini-Newcastle situation there where half the trouble lies on the training ground.
    That said, England are surely due a run of luck in this department. How many more World Cups will there be where all the top men are unfit or injured?

  3. Oh Wesley- I’m not sure about Michael- after Sheffield United, he seems to have settled back into a kind of Nigel Quashie type player in the lower reaches of the Premiership. I say that though having never really paid enough attention to him as a player.

    Yes I would agree about W. Brown’s Indian summer- but in a sense it has come too late. I remember Ferguson saying Brown was the best centre half in the country in terms of ability at one point- and you can see the way his career has moved, in that he has been revitalised because United have lost their current first choice right back. If Neville had been fit last season, I reckon Ferguson might even be looking at selling Brown given the Brazilian kid coming up behind him.

  4. Ledley King is a wonderful player, but alas has only managed about 250 games for Tottenham so far in his career. Huddlestone has already played over 200 games (inc Derby). If we’re lucky He’ll develop into a wonderful player as well. He alreays has a sublime pass.

  5. watching that goal has put a shiver down my spine. i emigrated from the US to the UK in 1988, aged 7. i remember watching that match in a pub ten years later. when the first goal went in i cheered just to go along with the crowd, but when beckham scored nine minutes later i did so instinctively. it was literally the moment that i became british.

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