Matthew Etherington on hisTottenham frustrations and looking to prove a point

Matthew Etherington reflects on his time at Tottenham as his old club prepare meet another of his former employers this weekend in the form of Stoke City.

Matthew Etherington has said in his Stoke Sentinel column that he knew his chances would be limited at Tottenham Hotspur when the club decided to sign Christian Ziege.

Etherington made a total of 45 appearances for Spurs, scoring just the one goal, between 1999 and 2003. During his time at White Hart Lane he had a short spell on loan at Bradford City, before moving on to West Ham United and concluding his career at Stoke City.

Ahead of Stoke’s Premier League clash with Tottenham this weekend, Etherington has highlighted the impact his spell at Spurs had on his career.

He said: "Even when I had a good run when Ziege was injured, as soon as the German was fit he was back in for me.

"Maybe that left me feeling I had a point to prove whenever I played Spurs in later years – it certainly seemed that way whenever I played against them for Stoke. I will always remember getting both goals in a 2-1 home win against them."

Though he may have felt the need to leave, and a desire to prove a point whenever he lined up against his old club, Etherington seems to be grateful for the experience he gained in north London.

He added: "They were the ones who gave me my big chance when signing me and Simon Davies from Peterborough as youngsters.

"It was an eye opener going from Peterborough in League Two and hitting the bright lights of London and suddenly working alongside players like David Ginola.

"There was also the likes of Jamie Redknapp and Teddy Sheringham, two people I get to play a bit of golf with these days, and if you can't learn from players like that on the training ground then you've got no chance."

For Etherington, he is thankful for the start he had at Tottenham, but knew it was right to move on and have a pretty lengthy career in the Premier League.

Still only 33, the ex-England U21 international announced his retirement from professional football in December 2014 after struggling to shake off a persistent back complaint.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch