WHY I JUST HAD TO LEAVE TOT­TEN­HAM

Smith feared be­ing a for­got­ten man

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Chris Dunlavy

SPURS re­ject Adam Smith says he joined Bournemouth to avoid be­com­ing a foot­balling no­body.

Smith, 22, came through the ranks at White Hart Lane but made just one Pre­mier League ap­pear­ance in six years.

He has also been farmed out on loan SEVEN times, the lat­est to Derby which ended when Steve McClaren re­placed Nigel Clough. Now the young right-back has de­cided to cut his ties with Tot­ten­ham and set up home on the south coast.

“I’m just sick of go­ing on loan to be hon­est,” says Smith. “For the past five years I’ve ba­si­cally been trav­el­ling all over Eng­land and liv­ing out of a suit­case.

“I’m not say­ing it’s the worst life in the world, but no­body is happy when they’re con­stantly away from fam­ily and friends, stay­ing in ho­tels all the time.

Crazy

“I still had two-and-a-half years on my con­tract, so I could have sat on that. There are plenty of play­ers who would be happy to just stay and say: ‘I play for Tot­ten­ham’.

“But when that con­tract is up, what have you have to show for it? Noth­ing, re­ally. No­body knows who you are. I didn’t want to end up like that.”

Smith – whose peers at Spurs in­clude Harry Kane,Tom Car­roll and Swin­don loa­nee Ryan Ma­son – was coached through the youth ranks by Tim Sher­wood, and ad­mits he thought about hang­ing around when the ex-Black­burn skip­per be­came first-team boss.

“It did cross my mind,” he says. “But then you think what you’re up against. Kyle Walker isn’t go­ing any­where. Kyle Naughton is a great player.

“There’s a lot of good young­sters at Spurs. In fact there’s a lot of play­ers full stop. It’s crazy, and it makes it very dif­fi­cult get in the team. And there’s so much pres­sure on man­agers that they want to buy in ready­made play­ers, not try out kids. It’s not help­ing young English play­ers, but what can you do? It’s the way the game is go­ing.”

Smith’s first loan spell was at Wy­combe in 2009, fol­lowed by stays at Torquay, Bournemouth, MK Dons, Leeds, Mill­wall and fi­nally Derby. And while he en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence, he be­lieves loan play­ers aren’t al­ways treated fairly.

“When I was at Mill­wall for the first six months, I was fly­ing, play­ing ev­ery game,” he says.

“I was get­ting Pre­mier League in­ter­est and stuff like that. Then we got into a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle and for some rea­son, I didn’t play as much. I think per­haps it’s eas­ier to drop a loan player. The man­ager maybe thinks: ‘Well, he can al­ways go back to Spurs’. It was the same at Derby.Nigel Clough brought me in and got sacked. Steve McClaren wanted his own play­ers. If I’d been a per­ma­nent player, maybe he’d have used me, but be­cause I was a loan I was easy to get rid of.”

Sacked

And talk­ing of man­agers be­ing sacked…

“Yeah,” laughs Smith.“I went to Leeds on the Mon­day, then Si­mon Grayson got sacked on the Tues­day. I’m sur­prised any­body wants to sign me now!”

But some­body has, and af­ter work­ing with Cher­ries boss Ed­die Howe in a sea­son-long loan at Bournemouth in 201011, Smith is sure he will not re­gret leav­ing Spurs.

“There were other of­fers, both loan and per­ma­nent,” adds Smith, who has signed a three-and-a-half year deal.“But I know Ed­die well, and he plays the kind of foot­ball I was brought up play­ing at Spurs.

“That’s ob­vi­ously go­ing to make my game look bet­ter, be­cause I can go for­ward and ex­press my­self prop­erly. I didn’t want to go to a team who would just ask me to tackle a man then bang it long.

“I’ve come here to im­prove and Ed­die’s a top, top man­ager who will make that hap­pen.”

HOME FROM LOAN: In his loan spell at Bournemouth in 2010-11, Adam Smith played 38 league games. Now he is back on a per­ma­nent deal

LIST: Barry Fer­gu­son

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