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Jan Vertonghen F.S.C.

As fellow cricket followers may know, on joining the staff of Lancashire Cricket Club in 1987, the former England cricket captain Mike Atherton had the initial F.E.C. daubed on his locker.

For a long time this was assumed by many to be a recognition of his talent and statues as a Future England Captain. However, in his autobiography Atherton claimed that the truth was somewhat less prescient or flattering. Apparently unimpressed by Oxbridge graduates, his team mates had nicknamed him F***ing Educated C***. Personally, I liked the idea that a man could possess such talent and character that upon signing his first professional contract those around him would have foreseen it as inevitable that he would one day become captain of England. Which, in a round about way, brings me to Jan Vertonghen and the purpose of writing this article.

Since Ledley finally hung up his boots, the question of who will become the new long term Spurs captain has remained unresolved. Michael Dawson was made club captain shortly before turning down the chance to join QPR and has subsequently struggled to make the starting XI. Although William Gallas has been handed the captain's armband when playing this season, his performance in defence have been far from convincing and anyway, given his age, he was never going to be anything more a stop gap. While the captaincy has been passed around to various others players for different games, none have stood out as the obvious long term successor to Ledley King. Step forward Jan Vertonghen.

I can't think of another signing who has made a better instant impression than the Belgium centre half/emergency left-back since Jurgen Klinsmann scored on his debut in a 4-3 win Sheffield Wednesday and celebrated his goal with a knowing dive. But whereas the former German striker was nearing the end of an illustrious career, Vertonghen is only just beginning. Educated at Ajax's cultured youth academy, composed in possession and defence, with a technique and eye for goal that many forwards would envy, if ever a player possessed the qualities to captain a club of Spurs' great traditions it is the former captain of Ajax and Dutch Footballer of the year.

Not only that but he is also articulate and engaging when interviewed - even displaying occasional wit, such as when he remarked with a wry smile that he hadn't joined Arsenal because they had wanted to play him in midfield, whereas Tottenham has assured him that he would be playing at centre-half. Yes, for me, from the moment he stepped foot on the turf at White Hart Lane it was clear that Jan Vertonghen was a Future Spurs Captain. He seems to have it all and at the tender age of 25 will only get better.

I would love to see him at the heart of our defence with the armband on his sleeve for the next ten years. As for Atherton, my guess is that F.E.C. might well have stood for Future England Captain, but his modesty and humility - the very qualities which along with his talent made him so suitable for the England captaincy - would not allow him admit it. Of such stuff are great captains made, and from what I have seen to date, Jan Vertonghen has all those qualities and more.

Written by OneCentRob

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The journalist

Writer: OneCentRob Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 18 2012

Time: 9:23AM

Your Comments

Legend in the making. Awesome player!!!
Exactly what hudderspur just said.. love the man!!!
And he's hardly played in his proper position yet. We are getting very close to the first string back 5 - Lloris, BAE, Verts, Kaboul, Walker with Parker holding. Considering only Walker of those has been playing consistently in their correct position so far this season we are not doing too badly. Our goals 'for' column is only bettered by United/City. Hopefully our goals 'against' column will improve with our first string defence out in the 2nd half of the season.
Hand him the armband!
Great article well written
Spot on. Getting a bit worried about Kaboul not a lot being said about when he will be back. Caulker and Vert in the middle, and I would have Dawson before Gallas, sorry but think his legs have gone.
Yido T
He certainly seems to have all the perhaps he is the FSC...Kaboul I think is pencilled in for the 29th, it will be good if they play as well together in real life as the partnership looks on paper...two ball playing CB's who don't get bullied in the air, with another Caulker able to step in...and we still have Daws for the likes of stoke!
Yep, we desperately need Daws back against Stoke, probably alongside Caulker with Verts at left-back. Will be useful if Bale and Ade are available too. Basically we just need them to be tall.
We will certainly be analysing all week where Stoke's goals come from and looking to nullify any of their threats. Hopefully our better quality, possession game and individual flair will be enough on the day.
Gary Neville certainly agrees with us. Did anyone see his analysis of our defending on Monday night football? Brilliant, it showed Jan as a real leader.
Tactically Challenge
Vertonghen is a fine player, though only one of several at Tottenham with natural captaincy skills. The squad has players prominent in their national squads and that is expressed when they play for Spurs. Others do the job well at Tottenham, and Jan Vertonghen would do the job well, too.
When I first saw him play for Ajax against Manure in the CL last season, when we were being linked with him, I thought then that if we sign him he'll become captain of the side & I haven't changed my mind.

Agreed that he is certainly on his way to being the Spurs captain but not this season. Lets not discount Sandro from that role either - cause if he took the same no nonsense, all action approach with his team mates as he does with the opposition I don't think anyones concentration would drop in the last ten minutes!
Slurms McKenzie
Off topic - Messi has just signed a new deal with Barcelona, so he isn't coming in January :-(
Verts definitely should be given the captaincy if Daws is sold & Kaboul is back instead of Gallas. He is a REAL leader & made for THFC. Only Parker can rival him for the distinctive armband. Can't wait till BAE, Parker & Kaboul & ADE are all back firing on all cylinders. And of course Moutinho , a striker & LB cover are bought in this January.
Jan the Man gets my vote!
yiddyboy, Classic! Perhaps we can get Ronaldo instead? Is he still unhappy?!
Tactically Challenge
Gallas may or may not be the quickest defender in the league, but he is a good talker when payers get pulled over by the ref, his experience in dealing with them helps, apart from that his calls heads or tails. Danny Blanchflower was Bill Nicks general on the pitch, for those of us older ones and directed Bill Nicks instructions, we have had some outstanding players over the years and some very good captains, we have the same again in the current AVB mode, Parker is another, for his short time on the pitch sunday, he was straight into the action and when Michu went down, Parker again was in talking with the ref, Mike Dean nearly lost it at that point, up until then he had done very well, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, players happened to be moving away from the incident, we don't have eyes in the back of our heads, so no harm in the end was done. Jan Vertonghen must be one of the clubs best signings in a long time, he is a Captain in his own right and like Parker does not need the armband to show his a leader, time will come for Gallas to retire as a spurs player, he may even be outed by Kaboul when he returns another good player and potential leader, I still feel that AVB has Moutinho as his number one target, we may have to wait until the summer, but he was AVB's captain at Porto, that's why he rates him so highly, if we could sign him we not only sign a world class player, but we add another leader to the ranks.
spu 4 life
The man has only been here five minutes. Kaboul has done way more for this club and would rightly feel put out if he isn't given the job. He was earmarked for leadership from the French youth teams he is the outstanding candidate.
Can't wait to see the pairing of him and Younes. How did Lloris get 14% of the vote for the Swansea game? He didn't make a save. Did he get it for laying out Michu? Loved Verts' celebration after his goal, i guess it stands for SuperJan?
Yan, Sandro, Parker, or Daws they are all good for me but I do think that Jan would be my first choice
Super Jan he is... !
I'm not going to beat around the bush here. Anyone that doesn't agree with this article is a fool.
Tottenham Hotcore
I couldn't disagree with this article more.
Slurms McKenzie that case, I'm no fool
Great read. Deserves to be published. Jan for me, but not for a couple more years.
We need all our senior players to be captains on the pitch. The club captain needs to be comfortable with all the representative stuff as well as command the respect of his team-mates. Longevity and loyality are important attributes I feel ala Stevie Perryman.
Love totty
I'll give you another good candidate for the future, Steven Caulker,saw him at Bristol City give David James a mouthful when he was 18yrs old. Mature beyond his years and is a good reader of the game.
matt hoten
should read: NTDFSC! Not too distant future spurs captain. Next season is my bet!

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