Jermaine Jenas – why is he judged using a different scale?
There are a few things that constantly come up in Jenas threads on Spurs message boards (and indeed in mumblings around WHL) that I have never really been able to understand.
- Some of our fans “hate” him.
- He is seen as not caring/a bottle job/weak.
- He is seen as inconsistent.
1. Why would you hate a Spurs player? He seems like a nice enough lad off the pitch – he came from a tough background with a single mum, and he worked hard to get to where he is today. He talks well on the game, he’s not as stupid as a lot of players, and he comes across as passionate about the club. He is also doing some good off the pitch – see this interview. I just don’t really “get” why some people have such an irrational dislike of him.
2. IMO he shows no more or less commitment than 99% of our players. He could be physically stronger, but so could many of our players.
3. He doesn’t play well every game. But how many footballers for sides of a similar standard to us do? Equally, Kranjcar has had some brilliant games for us this season, but he’s also had some very poor games. Modric has been awful in his last two appearances, but is generally seen as our best player. Palacios has made a string of defensive errors that have directly and indirectly cost us goals. In effect, Jenas is far from the most inconsistent player we have.
I don’t particularly like Jenas as a player – I prefer players who play football the way I personally like to see it played, and I do feel that he quite often doesn’t see a pass, or dallies too long and misses opportunities. However, he certainly has some good qualities – he has excellent energy, he takes responsibility defensively, and he probably (without checking) has a better PL scoring record than any of our other midfield players.
I think the crux of the issue is that I feel that some people judge him on a scale totally different to other players. They expect him to be single-handedly dragging us through games a la Gerrard for Liverpool (who, incidentally, has had a poor season). Why? Just because he plays in the middle of midfield? Why is Jenas expected to do the near-impossible, when others aren’t? It’s almost like having a go at Gomes for being too tall – it’s just the way he is. He hasn’t got that steely determination of Rooney or Gerrard, and he never will have. You can’t teach that.
All I ask is that players are judged fairly, and I certainly don’t think that Jenas is.