Why so dismissive of Hooper?
The internet if rife with talk that Spurs could make a bid for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, much to the disgust of many Tottenham fans.
Of course, Hooper is playing in Scotland, therefore he has to be rubbish, would appear to be the thinking of many, and the fact he has scored 71 goals in 116 games North of the Border at 0.6 goals per game is purely due to useless opposition in the league that his side dominate. However his 4 Champions league goals in nine games might counter that argument, though lets not let anything positive about the player detract from the character assassination, even before there is foundation to the link.
Hooper will be twenty-five next week and would appear to be improving every season as a player and scorer. Sure he is playing in a league that is probably rating somewhere around our Championship level, perhaps below, however is there an ability in him to step up in quality and become a natural scorer at whatever level he plays? Perhaps as English fans, we dismiss any player in Scotland, but as we have seen in the past, that hasn't stopped someone like Henrik Larsson, leaving Celtic for Barcalona, and Hooper is probably their best striker since the Swede left in 2004.
Lets not forget that Hooper is English and he will surely see moving South as a way to attract Roy Hodgson to his talents at a higher level and perhaps we need to consider the opinions of our coaching staff over our own 'expert' views, should they decide he is good enough to perform for Tottenham. Now I haven't really seen enough of Hooper to suggest whether he is or isn't good enough for us, however I am happy to back the judgement of AVB and his team. Perhaps if he was an exotic foreign signing or playing in an exotic foreign league, we would be excited, but because he is an Englishman, playing in Scotland, he is by simple definition rubbish.
Though only 5'9' tall, Hooper is a player that is seen as comfortable holding the ball up and also linking well with his midfield. Add to that he is rated highly as a natural scorer, perhaps Spurs fans shouldn't dismiss his attributes lightly. Hooper was originally on the books of Spurs from the age of seven, until his release at 14, and that release has always been something to rankle with the player and is suggested to be a driving force in his career to prove Spurs wrong. Whether based on past history, he would welcome a return to WHL, remains up for debate, but judging by the premature reaction of our fans, he might prefer to play his football elsewhere and save himself the hassle...