July 9, 2009
So after 134 games (incredible…), Didier Zokora has moved on to Sevilla. In my mind this is the best bit of business we will do all summer. To say Zokora is one of the worst players to play for Spurs ever is probably a little harsh, but he’s certainly up there as one of the worst to ever play over 100 games for Spurs. (EDIT: Dean Austin and Ruel Fox push him close)
I never had any problem with Zokora’s lack of goals, or his lack of passing ability in the final third. For me, that was outside his remit, so I ruled out the possibility of him ever getting a goal or assist (did he get any assists aside from the dive that won the penalty vs Portsmouth at White Hart Lane two years ago?).
The thing that annoyed me the most with Zokora was his “work ethic” – most people would never, ever question this, as he did run around a lot. I have no problem with players that cover a lot of ground (Jenas for example), so long as the work they are doing is the right type of work; most of Zokora’s running was wasted. For example, due to his lack of positional discipline he’d often charge towards a player and stop 5 yards short, meaning all that he had then stopped the opposition player doing is progressing further forward. Good players then just make triangles and pass the ball around him. Another example is his lack of tracking of runs – he’d often be seen sprinting back towards his own goal at high speed because he had failed to notice a breaking midfield player until it was too late.
Of course, he did have some good elements to his game – his acceleration was second to few in the PL – he had the ability to run past players at ease (normally shortly before falling over), and … well, that’s it.
So Cheerio, Didier – you always seemed like a nice bloke. But then I’m a nice bloke, and I wouldn’t pick myself to play in the middle of midfield for Spurs.