DanDan The Football Fan
My name is Dan Stephenson, I’m not a current or former footballer, I’m just an armchair fan offering his view on the football world.
So it’s that crazy time of the year again where the clubs splash the cash for the players that they hope can make their season. At time of writing Adebayor has left Man City to join Real Madrid on loan, bottom placed West Ham have signed Midfielder Gary O’Neil from Middlesbrough and of course, the one that had many people talking, was the sale of Darren Bent from Sunderland to Aston Villa for £18m+.
Now, I know that the majority of people in Amble will most likely be Newcastle supporters and will be rolling their eyes at the thought of reading about Sunderland, but after the sale, a lot of the media went on and on about why so many footballers seem to leave the North East. But do that many more really leave than at southern clubs?
Now I don’t know how long every single player has been at each Premier League club, but a quick look shows that the length of time players spend at each club does not seem to be that different around the country.
In fact, apart from Ryan Giggs at Manchester United, Newcastle probably have the longest serving player in the league. Steve Harper has been at the club since 1993, a staggering 18 years. Of course Newcastle also had Shay Given who was there for 12 years.
Ledley King at Tottenham made his debut in 1999 but joined Spurs in 1997 giving him 14 years in total at the club. Therefore there is indeed loyalty at clubs in the North and South, and due to today’s modern market there will inevitably be players who move on at the earliest stage.
If you look at Darren Bent’s last three teams he only lasted two seasons at each of them (his first team Ipswich he lasted four seasons not including youth team).
Why he moved we will most likely never know; money, other players receiving the plaudits, being ‘tapped’ up, or didn’t like the North East. It could be any of those reasons but despite what the media says, I don’t believe players leave the North East any more than they do at any other club in the country.