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Glenn Hoddle

Glenn Hoddle (born October 27, 1957 in Hayes, London) is a football manager and former player for Tottenham Hotspur and England. He has had spells as manager of Swindon Town, Chelsea, England, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and most recently Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although he has only enjoyed mixed success as a manager, he is undoubtedly one of the finest British players of all time, recognised as an immensely gifted attacking midfielder with superb passing skills and close ball control.

Playing career

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (1975-1987)

Glenn Hoddle, widely regarded as the finest post-war Spurs player, joined the club as a schoolboy apprentice in April 1974 following the recommendation of another Tottenham legend, Martin Chivers. He successfully overcame knee problems in his early teens and collected England Youth caps prior to making his first-team debut as a 17 year old substitute against Norwich City in August 1975. Spurs drew 2-2. Hoddle was forced to wait until February 1976 to start a First Division match and immediately announced his arrival with a spectacular strike past Stoke City and England goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

The talented playmaker flourished under the management of Keith Burkinshaw and despite the club's relegation to the Second Division in 1976/77 after 27 seasons of First Division football, a Hoddle inspired Spurs side won promotion to the top flight at the first attempt. As Tottenham's transitional phase continued, Hoddle's enigmatic and often controversial international career began in December 1976 against Wales in an Under-21 fixture. He would collect another seven caps at that level and play twice for the England 'B' team prior to scoring on his full international debut against Bulgaria in November 1979.

The 1979/80 campaign heralded the emergence of Hoddle as a top-class player, the 22 year old midfielder scored 19 goals in 41 league appearances and was deservedly awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the end of the season. Critics of Hoddle questioned his stamina and willingness to defend but his natural attacking skills were simply breathtaking and often at odds with the ingrained British football philosophy of tireless running and a strong work ethic. His sublime balance and close control, unrivalled passing and vision and extraordinary shooting ability, both from open play and set pieces, made Hoddle the most gifted English player of his generation.

In 1981, he starred as Spurs won the FA Cup for the sixth time, defeating Manchester City in a memorable replay and the following season Tottenham retained the FA Cup (Hoddle scored in both the Final and Final replay) and finished the League campaign in fourth place, the club's best league position since 1971. Hoddle performed as the midfield fulcrum in many of these successes and also contributed magnificently as the team reached the final of the League Cup, losing 3-1 to Liverpool, and the semi-final stage of the European Cup Winners Cup. During the summer of 1982, Hoddle played in two of England's matches in the opening group phase of the FIFA World Cup, starting against Kuwait after a substitute appearance in a 2-0 victory over Czechoslovakia.

Personal information
Full name Glenn Hoddle
Date of birth October 27, 1957 (age 49)
Place of birth    Hayes, Middlesex, England
Professional clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Tottenham Hotspur
AS Monaco
Swindon Town
377 (88)
? (?)
64 (1)
31 (1)   
National team
1979-1988 England 53 (8)
Teams managed
Swindon Town
Tottenham Hotspur
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1 Professional club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Unfortunately for Tottenham Hotspur and their star player, Hoddle's involvement in the following three seasons was limited by a number of niggling injury problems (he started only 76 of a possible 126 league matches) but nevertheless, Hoddle proved to be the architect behind the team's 1984 UEFA Cup triumph despite missing the Final due to fitness concerns. In October 1983, he dazzled the White Hart Lane crowd with a phenomenal second-round display as Spurs won 6-2 on aggregate against a Feyenoord Rotterdam side containing the legendary Johan Cruyff. Such was the quality of his perfomance in both matches, the Dutch legend entered the Tottenham dressing room and offered Hoddle his shirt as a sign of respect.

Spurs came close to further honours in the next three seasons, reaching third place in the First Division and the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1984/85 and another FA Cup Final in 1987, losing 3-2 to Coventry City, the only time the North London club has experienced defeat in the final of the famous knock-out competition. The unexpected loss to the Midlands side was Hoddle's last match for Spurs as newly-appointed AS Monaco manager Arsene Wenger brought him to the principality for a fee of ú750,000. Between 1975 and 1987, the gifted playmaker scored 110 goals in 490 first-team matches in all competitions, only four players (Steve Perryman, Pat Jennings, Gary Mabbutt and Cyril Knowles) have made more appearances in a Spurs shirt. At international level, Hoddle won 44 caps for England during his Tottenham career, an inadequate return for such a skilful and charismatic footballer.

AS Monaco (1987-1991)

Hoddle announced in 1987 that he would be leaving Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season to pursue a career overseas where his style of play would be appreciated by continental managers and supporters. He joined AS Monaco alongside George Weah and fellow Englishman Mark Hateley and immediately inspired the club to the 1988 Ligue 1 championship, its first league title in six seasons. The Monaco team of the time was managed by Arsene Wenger, later to become manager of Arsenal. Hoddle was voted the Best Foreign Player in French football and would guide the team to the quarter-finals of the European Cup in the 1988/89 campaign. Sadly, a severe knee injury curtailed his career at the highest level and in December 1990, the 33 year old left the club by mutual consent having helped to improve the standing of English footballers in foreign countries.

During his three and a half year spell in France, Hoddle represented England nine times, making his international farewell against the Soviet Union in June 1988. He returned to England and signed for Chelsea on a non-contract basis, leaving Stamford Bridge in March 1991 (without playing a senior match) to assume his first managerial post as player-manager of Swindon Town.

England international career (1979-1988)

Though regarded as a genius with the ball at his feet, Hoddle was considered an enigmatic and unreliable player to international managers guilty of over-emphasising hard work and physical prowess instead of technical ability and attacking creativity. He was included in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup squads, playing an important role in the latter campaign when England reached the quarter-finals against Argentina. Hoddle was one of the England players left behind by Diego Maradona as he burst from inside his own half to score his second goal in England's 2-1 defeat. Hoddle also featured prominently in the European Championship squads of 1980 and 1988, making his 53rd and final international appearance during the latter tournament.

Hoddle's talent is widely appreciated abroad; less so in England. Arsene Wenger, who worked with him at Monaco, recalled: 'His control was superb and he had perfect body balance. His skill in both feet was uncanny... I couldn't understand why he hadn't been appreciated in England. Perhaps he was a star in the wrong period, years ahead of his time.'

Michel Platini famously attacked the English for neglecting creativity; had Hoddle been born French, he said, 'he would have won 150 caps'. As Jean-Luc Ettori, Monaco's club captain at the time, put it: 'For us Glenn was le bon dieu - he was a god. There's nothing else to say.'

Honours (as a player)

  • 1981 FA Cup (1-1 aet, 3-2 Manchester City F.C.)
  • 1981 FA Community Shield (shared) (2-2 Aston Villa F.C.)
  • 1982 FA Cup (1-1 aet, 1-0 Queens Park Rangers F.C.)
  • 1984 UEFA Cup (2-2 on aggregate, 4-3 on penalties R.S.C. Anderlecht)
  • 1988 Ligue 1 French championship

Managerial career

Swindon Town F.C. (1991-1993)

Glenn Hoddle arrived at a troubled club with The Robins badly affected by a financial scandal which had seen them stripped of promotion to the First Division at the end of the 1989-90 season, a controversy which had negatively impacted the team's league form. Hoddle prevented Swindon from slipping into the Third Division and further improvement throughout the 1991-92 season saw the Wiltshire club finish ninth, just missing out on a play-off place. Swindon reached the new Division One play-offs in 1993 and beat Leicester City F.C. 4-3 at Wembley, and were then promoted to the Premier League. The 36-year-old Hoddle was one of the most highly rated young managers in England and many bigger clubs were demanding his services. He eventually returned to Chelsea and was succeeded at Swindon by his assistant and former Spurs team-mate John Gorman.

Chelsea F.C. (1993-1996)

In June 1993, Hoddle became player-manager of Chelsea (he retired from the playing side in 1995). His assistant at Chelsea was the former Tottenham manager Peter Shreeves, and they reached the FA Cup final in Hoddle's first season, where they lost 4-0 to Manchester United. But United had done the double, and consolation for their failure to win the trophy came in the form of a Cup Winners' Cup place. Chelsea reached the semi finals of that competition in 1994-95 and lost by a single goal to Real Zaragoza, who went on to beat Arsenal in the final. Hoddle guided Chelsea to the FA Cup semi finals in 1995-96, but was unable to take them beyond 11th place in the Premiership - they had occupied this final position three times in four years. Hoddle's three-year reign at Chelsea came to an end in 1996 when he accepted the England manager's job. He had not won any trophies during his time at the Bridge, but had come close in each season. He also signed big names such as Mark Hughes and Ruud Gullit, who were to be instrumental figures in the club's future success.

England (1996-1999)

On the international stage, Hoddle guided England to qualification for the 1998 World Cup, securing the team's entry with a memorable 0-0 draw in Rome against Italy. However, he caused controversy by omitting Paul Gascoigne from the squad and installing supposed faith healer Eileen Drewery as part of the England coaching staff, which led to the team being dubbed "The Hod Squad" by the tabloid press. They reached the Second Round of the 1998 tournament, losing on penalties to Argentina in a game noted for the ignominious sending off of David Beckham.

Hoddle came under fire after a disappointing start to the Euro 2000 qualifying campaign, and was sacked in February 1999 after he appeared in an interview with The Times newspaper where he suggested that disabled people were being punished for sins in a previous life. There was such an uproar, including intervention by Prime Minister Tony Blair, that the F.A. had little option but to terminate Hoddle's contract.

Southampton F.C. (2000-2001)

Hoddle was back in football within a year as Southampton manager, succeeding Dave Jones, who had been suspended in order to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with child abuse charges. Although these charges were later found to be false, Jones was not re-instated and Hoddle continued to be manager. Hoddle kept the Saints in the Premiership against all odds but left acrimoniously in March 2001 to return to Tottenham as manager.

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (2001-2003)

Tottenham Hotspur's league record in the decade leading up to Hoddle's appointment was disappointing. Hoddle was determined to establish them as a top playing side, and during his first season he had some wonderful opportunities to succeed. Tottenham reached the League Cup final but lost 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, who lifted the trophy for the first time in their history. The club's promising early season form dwindled away into mediocrity and they finished ninth in the Premiership, an improvement on the previous season's 11th place but hardly impressive. Spurs began the 2002-03 season in fine form and Hoddle was named Premiership Manager of the Month for August 2002 after they ended the month top of the league. Although few people expected them to stay there, 10th place in the final table was still disappointing. The pressure began to build up on Hoddle and he was sacked in September 2003 after a dismal start to the season, in which the team picked up just four points from their opening six league games and lay in the Premiership drop zone. Ironically, his final game in charge was a 3-1 loss to old side Southampton. It was an unhappy end to Hoddle's association with Spurs, although he will always be remembered fondly for his time as a player with the club.

Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (2004-2006)

Glenn Hoddle made his football comeback in December 2004 with Wolverhampton Wanderers, again succeeding Dave Jones. Wolves had just been relegated from the Premiership and their overheads had decided it was time for a change of manager after a dismal start to the 2004-05 Championship campaign. Hoddle steadied the boat and Wolves lost just one of their final 25 league games. But their hopes of making a late run to the playoffs were ended because 15 of their remaining games after Hoddle's appointment ended in draws. Wolves began 2005-06 among the favourites for promotion to the Premiership, but still drew far too many games and came one place outside the playoff zone - two places higher than the year before. In spite of this disappointment, the Wolves board insisted that Hoddle's job was safe, but on 1st July 2006 he handed in his resignation stating that he felt Wolves' ambition failed to match his after they announced stringent financial cutbacks: "I feel my expectations and the club's have drifted too far apart and this decision has been made early for the benefit of the club." There was great malice from many fans who believed Hoddle had destroyed any chance of a good preparation to the new season and never truly valued the Wolves managerial job. [1] [2]


Jasper Carrott once remarked of Hoddle:

I hear Glenn Hoddle has found God. That must have been one hell of a pass.[1]

Hoddle lost his job as England manager immediately after being quoted as saying:

You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and a half-decent brain. Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime.[2]


  1. ^ "Glenn Hoddle", thefa.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
  2. ^ "More bad karma for Hoddle", BBC, 1999-01-30. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.

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