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Former Tottenham outcast: my maturity got me through my late transfer

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No love for Azza at Spurs Lodge

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Our former #7 and interviewee extraordinaire, Aaron Lennon, did not have the brightest of memories in his last summer with Spurs. Disclosing details about the waning months of his Tottenham career, he had this to say:

I went back in for pre-season and there were a few of us told they were not going to be in Tottenham's plans. It was football. Certain managers just don't fancy you and it wasn't just me - there was a complete overhaul with a totally new squad.

I wasn't getting any assurances from Everton. The window was open and Spurs had made it clear I was up for sale. The only thing I could do was get myself as fit as possible and hope the move happened."

Lennon's status took a plummet, not a fall, from grace under new manager Mauricio Pochettino. A supposed member of the Kaboul Cabal, Azza's old hand stature seemed to clash with the newly appointed Argentine. Lennon never really fit Pochettino's system anyways. While his work rate was always admirable, it was rumored that the coach wanted him to defend differently, a notion which Lennon took a major offense to. Further, he is neither interchangeable among an attacking three, nor a goal scoring threat from a wide position; both requirements for Poch. Thus, after a successful loan spell at Everton, where he took the most miserable new signing photograph ever, he was hoping to return to a situation more fruitful than the one he had in North London.

"Maybe I would have handled things a lot differently if I were younger but I knew that if I didn't train the only person it wouldn't help was me. Towards the end of the window, I was thinking: ‘what if this doesn't go through?' I woke up on deadline day and had a weird feeling in my stomach.

I was just waiting by the phone, hoping to get the call to say it was all agreed. It was late afternoon when I got it and I had to get my medical done in London. I signed the forms and it went to the wire."

For such an outstanding servant to the club, it is sad to see what Azza had to endure towards the end of his Spurs career. Yet he has found green pastures in the hometown of the Beatles and is coveted by Everton manager Roberto Martinez. With a dynamic attack of Lukaku, Kone, and Barkley, Lennon will have teammates who will benefit from his pace, effort, and quality.

Good luck going forward Aaron.