Friday, 27 March 2015

"There's only one Micky Hazard"

Micky Hazard is like most Spurs fans,he bloody loves the club.  Obviously Micky had the great honour of playing for this wonderful club, so I chatted to him about his memories and what he thinks of the current side.

I started at the very beginning to find out how a North East lad settled into London life.

You moved down from Sunderland as a 16 year old in 1976, how did you find that?

I found life very very tough at first, I had never been away from my family and here I was in London at the age of 16 all by myself, scary.  I ran home on six separate occasions, but Spurs always persuaded me to come back and eventually offered me a deal to go home to Sunderland every ten days.  That certainly proved to be a great move as I settled during the following year and stopped pining for home.

When you went into the 1st team squad, Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa joined after the 1978 World Cup.  What was the atmosphere at the club when they joined?

The whole place was buzzing, they had just won the World Cup and they were now playing at White Hart Lane, truly amazing.

What did you learn in training and matches from the pair of them?

Training with them was awesome, and I was desperate to show them just how good I was, however it wasn't easy against World Cup winners.  I quickly picked up on how to behave on a football pitch and how to think about the game.  Ossie taught me ways to defend without having to tackle, but by reading the game ahead so to position yourself correctly to intercept or nick balls from your opponent, it was a total education watching them train and play.

You started both the Final and the replay of the 1982 FA Cup Final, what did it mean to you playing in the final at Wembley?

Playing at Wembley was just stuff of schoolboy dreams growing up, but all of a sudden it was reality.  Walking through the tunnel all suited and booted was just everything I dreamed it would be.  Then playing on the hallowed turf...just wow, amazing!  Then winning the cup just capped off an amazing day.

Talking of the final, a big thing for Spurs are the Chas n'Dave songs!! Did you enjoy singing on them?

Hahaha did I enjoy singing with Chas n'! I was very shy and although I could sing, I was very embarrassed to sing in front of the others, but it was brilliant experience and I can always say I've had a top 5 hit! Haha

The side were very consistent in this period of time, and qualified for the UEFA Cup in 1984 qnd won it.  That cup run had some excellent ties against Feyenoord, Bayern Munich and the semi final against Hajduk Split.  What did it feel like to score the winning goal in the home semi final?

To score the winning goal in any semi final is amazing, but to do it at White Hart Lane in front of our own supporters was a memory never to be forgotten.
It was a direct free kick and I curled it into the corner, and as I celebrated the goal, Danny Thomas celebrated with me and knocked my contact lense out of my eye! Luckily we found it and I left the pitch to put it back in, as I came back onto the pitch the sound of the fans singing "One Micky Hazard" echoed around the ground.  That was a moment in time, specially reserved for me.  It was a truly unbelievable reception.  Fantastic.

The final was a magnificent occasion, however how important was getting a draw away to Anderlecht? Were the team gutted to concede the late equaliser (first leg was 1-1)?

We should have won that game comfortably in Anderlecht, we played really well and yes we were truly gutted to concede that late goal, we should have been at least 3 up.
The home leg was very very nerve wracking, but we played well with a young side. Remember, we had no Glen Hoddle, Stevie Perryman, Ray Clemence, Garth Crooks, Ossie Ardiles or Alan Brazil.  We did amazing to win it, in what was Keith Burkinshaw's last game in charge.

What was the atmosphere in the Lane like that night?

I truly believe that the fans inspired us to victory that night.  During the penalty shoot out, when Danny Thomas missed his penalty, the cheer they still gave him, inspired Parksy (Tony Parks) to save the next decisive penalty.  It then led to amazing celebrations, oh to go back and savour it all again!

During that penalty shoot out, were you due to take one after the 5 selected had taken theirs?

I was due to take the 5th one but was suffering with cramp when Keith had to put the takers into the referee.  I had recovered in time, to witness Danny's miss, and was ready to take the 6th one.

How did you feel at the time, were you nervous or confident?

I was not nervous at all, this is why you're a professional footballer for moments like this.  I was ready to win the cup for Spurs, but Tony made that great save, and another Glory Glory night was chalked up...COME ON YOU SPURS!

What was your greatest performance in a Spurs shirt?

I would have to say both legs of the UEFA Cup Final, to look within yourself and find your best form when the pressure is at it's greatest, when nothing else will do, that is so satisfying to achieve.  All the big stars were injured and I had to dig deep inside myself, and in my opinion due to the enormity I rank both games as my best ever in a Spurs shirt.  I'm a very very proud man.

You left in 1985 to get more regular first team football.  Do you regret leaving, or was it the right thing to do?

I totally regret leaving.  Spurs and I were made for each other, their beliefs were my beliefs, their  motto was my motto, to dare is to do (Audere est Facere).  There was a chemistry between us, a chemistry that could never be broken.  I still regret it to this day.

Returning in 1993, would you have come back if Ossie Ardiles wasn't the manager?

I would have walked back to the Lane no matter who was in charge.  It did help that it was Ossie in charge, as he played the game the way I believe it should be played.

I remember your performance against Liverpool in 1993, you were a calming influence in centre midfield and inspired the team to come back to draw.  Was this your role, some experience in the middle of the park?

Yes I was the experienced player now, and I loved every minute of that responsibility.  However a couple of operations put paid to a great start I had, and I couldn't find my best form on my return.  Sadly then my hero Ossie was sacked.

Moving to modern times, Spurs have been a consistent presence in the top 6/7 in the league.  We've had some great experiences in Europe, won cups etc.
What players during this time have excited you?

It's always a rollercoaster supporting Spurs, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Players that have excited me over the years are fairly obvious.  Dimitar Berbatov was a super player who was very elegant and graceful, he used to score some amazing goals.  David Ginola was very exciting when in full flow, Gareth Bale the same, he always used to score with some wonderful strikes, which were worth the entrance fee alone.
Then we have the emergence of another hero this season, Harry Kane.  Something we always have at Spurs, despite the rollercoaster, is that we have footballers you would pay to watch.  Long may it continue.

What players have reminded you of your playing style?

Luka Modric was very similar to me in terms of his control and passing, I was maybe a better dribbler than him, but he was a super player, who I thoroughly enjoyed watching.

I agree, looking back, I think he is the player we miss the most.  Just look at him at Real Madrid, doesn't look out of place at all.

In your opinion what does the future hold under Mauricio Pochettino?

The future looks bright, we have some quality youngsters coming through and add this to some of the big buys we have, and it's a recipe for success.  In my opinion we are one or two players away from being a top draw side, if Pochettino is given time he is the man to guide us back to the glory days, he's made a very good start.

You seem to be a big fan of Social Media, especially Twitter.  Is this something you enjoy, the interaction with fans?

Yes I'm a fan, so why shouldn't I interact.  For me I think the fans are the game and players should interact more than they do, as without these fans we are all nothing.

Speaking as a fan, what would be your all-time Spurs X1?

Tough we go...

Pat Jennings - Simply the greatest goalkeeper of all time

Steve Perryman - A very good player who was the best Captain I ever saw

Cyril Knowles - A great defender who loved to attack, and was great at it

Mike England - A commanding centre back who won everything in the air, and could play on the ground

Ledley King - Read the game so well, and was so calm and composed on the ball.  Another great Captain.

Glen Hoddle - Simply pure GENIUS, no more needs to be said. AN AWESOME TALENT

Ossie Ardiles - A great reader of the game, a great playmaker who inspired everyone around him

Dave Mackay - A winner.  The most complete player in Spurs history

Chris Waddle - Outstanding footballer who worked his magic week in, week out, scored goals and created plenty

Jimmy Greaves - The greatest goal scorer in our history. Scored every type of goal from worldie to tap-in

Steve Archibald - Superb player who was razor sharp, and scored lots of goals

What a team!
Of course they can only be managed by Bill Nick!

If I spoke to a Spurs fan on the street, and I said "What kind of player was Micky Hazard" what would you hope they would say?

Hopefully they would say... exciting, entertaining, skilful, talented and loved watching him play, and more importantly loyal.

Micky many thanks for your time it's been a pleasure

No worries Chris. Thank you.

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