Jermaine Jenas Q&A: Retirement, Forest & Dyer v Bowyer

Jermaine Jenas celebrates scoring a goal for Tottenham Hotspur
Jermaine Jenas becomes the newest member of the BBC Sport pundit team

Jermaine Jenas has joined BBC Sport as a pundit and to celebrate, he's been answering your questions on the Match of the Day Facebook page.external-link

Here are some of the best questions and answers…

Considering you are only 31, are you still looking to continue your playing career if the right opportunity presents itself? Barry Shiels

JJ: I'm not retiring!

Would it be fair to say given your obvious talent you have under-achieved? Paul Davis

JJ: Yes and no. Don't get me wrong... I'm more than happy with what I've achieved as a player, but I understand that at the start of my career it was a bit of a whirlwind and people were asking "what is this kid going to go on and achieve?"

But losing Bobby Robson, for me, was bigger than people think it was. At that point in my career he really understood me as a player - when I needed a rest, when I needed to go back home or when to play me, when not to play me and how to play me. He had the exact formula for what I needed to go on and develop as a player and it was kind of going back to square one in my mind. It shook me a little bit and I took the chance to go to Spurs.

One thing I would say is the injuries have played their part and I definitely played injured for a few years purely and simply because I wanted to play the game. I loved football and it probably took 10 or 20% out of my play, but I was out there and I was doing my best for the team.

I'd still rather be out there than complaining about a little niggle, which probably wasn't good for me in the long-term... as it proved.

What was the mood like at training following the infamous "Dyer vs Bowyer" incident? Awkward, or was it a frustration that they needed to get out of their system? Jack Fairclough

JJ: That was one of the weirdest incidents I came across at Newcastle because really there was no issue between Kieron and Lee at all. It was just a shock!

I remember seeing it happen on the pitch and the one thing which stood out in my mind is once we got in the changing room after the game, there was a bit of a moment. A lot of the players were angry because we went down to nine men for a large part of the game and we lost the game to Villa subsequently. A lot of the guys were like "if you want to fight, let's have it now, get at it now", but I think what they were both saying was it was just a really crazy moment in their careers and they were both really ashamed of it, but couldn't believe it.

Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer start fighting during a Premier League match with Aston Villa
After fighting during the match with Aston Villa, Lee Bowyer was banned for four matches and Kieron Dyer was banned for three

I've been in dressing rooms where people don't like each other and it could kick off at any time, but that definitely wasn't the case. We'd see each other outside of football... the atmosphere when we came back in on Monday morning was almost jovial. They obviously had a bit of a photo op and a smile and put it to bed and that was it. There was no animosity in training. Put to bed. Game over!

Would you, given the chance, play for Nottingham Forest again and do you think they will win promotion this year? Steve Musson

JJ: Yes I would, definitely, given the chance. People sometimes ask me what my biggest regret is in football and it's not being able to have that 'Steven Gerrard' moment where he's playing for the team that he loves in terms of where he's from. He went to school in that area, all his friends and family are in that area... and although I got to do that for Forest, I didn't get to do it at the top level.

I do believe the Championship is as weird as it's ever been this year. I looked the other day after Forest's very poor run of games and they were still only six or seven points from top - they hadn't won in eight or nine games... it was ludicrous! But looking at the squad they're capable of going up. I think they were favourites at the start so we'll see....

What is your most treasured moment in your football career? Michael Saltmarsh

JJ: I won the League Cup with Spurs and that was big as a team accolade - I remember speaking to Robbie Keane after we won at Man City and we were just desperate to win something. I think Man Utd were cleaning up at the time, winning everything and Chelsea would nick one here and there - not many people were getting the chance to win trophies and we were just so desperate to win one. We progressed, progressed, progressed and when we won it, people almost belittled that trophy at times. But as a team moment that was huge and when you speak to Spurs fans they look back and could identify with that team, whereas now they're struggling to do that.

Tottenham win the League Cup in 2008
Jenas won the League Cup with Tottenham in 2008

As a personal moment it would be winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2003. For most players in the Premier League to sit down and say "I think Jermaine was the best player at that time, in that league" and to go among the names on that trophy and for it to sit in my house - that was big for me. It was a moment not a lot of people get to achieve in their career.

Would you ever have signed for Arsenal as an ex-Tottenham player? Dwayne Clarke

JJ: After playing for Tottenham? Naaaah. I've got a mother-in-law who's a big Spurs fan and I don't think I'd be allowed back in the house to be honest with you! There'd be no Sunday dinners for a long time, I tell you that!

I know guys that have done it in the past, but I spent seven or eight years at Tottenham and sometimes you really have to just respect certain things that have happened in your career and doing something like that just erases it.

Was it frustrating not getting on the pitch at the World Cup in Germany in 2006, or were you just pleased to be a part of it? Stuart Steelyard

JJ: I was frustrated. I didn't go there to just sit on the bench. Me and Sven had a bit of a love/hate relationship to be honest. He's the one who gave me my debut and brought me through, but then there were games when I didn't feature or he brought me on at right-wing and I didn't feel like I got a fair crack at it to an extent. It was mad because in the first game I think we were 1-0 up and he called me to say "right, you're going on" and I got changed... and the final whistle went!

I was devastated. I wanted to play for England at a World Cup and to grace the pitch for even two minutes at such a big tournament would have been huge. That's not to say I'd rather have stayed at home at all. The experience was special but unfortunately the usual happened and we went out on penalties.

Jermaine Jenas consoles Owen Hargreaves after England are knocked out of the World Cup on penalties by Portugal in 2006
Jermaine Jenas consoles Owen Hargreaves after England are knocked out of the World Cup on penalties by Portugal in 2006

Do you think Southampton will be a surprise top-four finisher come the end of the season, or would it be better to judge them after Christmas? Kyle Arron Vincent Jones

JJ: That Christmas period is just so important. You're playing a load of games in a short period and it takes a toll on the squad physically and mentally and you can really maintain your position or sink like a ship by January.

But having seen Southampton quite a few times I'm optimistic. I've seen them play better than they have in recent weeks, but hopefully for Saints that's not cracks appearing.

We've seen it before with Everton when they kept going and kept going and everyone said "are they going to keep this up?" and then they did it. I don't think Southampton will finish in the top four, but I think they'll finish in a very respectable position - top eight and above.

Who will win the Champions League this season? Michael W Ward

Jose Mourinho at a Champions League press conference
Jose Mourinho has won the Champions League as manager of Porto and Inter. Could this be the year for Chelsea?

JJ: This is a tough one. Real Madrid, attacking-wise, are just scary but for some reason I don't see them being able to retain it. I think Chelsea have as good a chance as anyone because that team with Mourinho know how to play badly and win. They've got that mentality where they can go into games at, say, the Bernabeu and be able to say 'we might not win today, but we're not going to lose', and I don't think there are many teams that can do that.

I was impressed with Bayern Munich at Man City the other day, but if I had to say one, I'd probably say Chelsea. Big call.

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