David Hannant: It’s him, Tettey - now let’s show City’s longest-serving player some love
PUBLISHED: 15:07 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 10 October 2018
I decided about a week and a bit ago that the next column I write would be about the lasting impact of Alex Tettey.
I often decide ahead of time what I’m going to ramble on about before attacking the keyboard, and almost every time I do, something big happens in the interim and throws a spanner in the works.
A managerial change, a big transfer deal, perhaps something of a cabinet re-shuffle...
Ordinarily, this would make me completely re-think what I’m going to be writing about. However, instead it’s actually made me more motivated to stick to my guns and write about the rock in City’s midfield.
For, oddly, I feel it just makes this decision all the more appropriate as in a way it sums up Alex Tettey’s career.
Sure, he’s always been a popular figure around the place; he plays with a huge trademark smile on his face, is slightly more candid, shall we say, in interviews and appears to be one of the club’s true characters.
Despite this, though, it is almost always somebody, or something else that is spoken about while the Norwegian carries on quietly about his work.
And this is why even with the big news off the pitch this week I want to take the time to show some love to one of the more unsung heroes of the last half decade at Carrow Road.
When Grant Hanley picked up his knock earlier in the season, I was one of the first to start pulling what little I have left of my hair out worrying about what would follow.
Part of my concern was around the hole he would leave in the back four, but a big part was to do with the lack of City’s leader and captain.
We all know what has happened since then – a real turn in fortunes that has seen just one defeat in a congested run of fixtures.
I’ve seen so many things touted as the reason for this - the white hot scoring form of Teemu Pukki, the resurgence of Marco Stiepermann, Moritz Leitner hitting his stride. All these I agree have been big factors in things coming together - for now, anyway - however, there’s one factor I haven’t heard too many people speaking about.
Ever since City’s longest serving player pulled on the armband in Hanley’s lieu, he’s hit new levels of excellence.
The man really is everywhere - if somebody is slightly out of position, there’s Alex Tettey.
If a pass from either side is put slightly astray, there’s Alex Tettey.
If somebody needs an encouraging arm around them... you get the idea.
This is nothing new with the veteran midfielder; it is what he has done throughout his time at the club. In all honesty, I was quite surprised to see him sign on the dotted line over the summer, I think most of us were, but it really is looking to be shrewd business.
As good as Hanley is, when he is fit and ready to come into the fold again, I’d be tempted to keep the armband on the man currently carrying it.
That is - obviously - if Hanley can even get back into the team right away, given how Christoph Zimmermann has been performing as of late. He’s another big part of City’s recent resurgent form.
But back to the man I came here to talk about, who I am running out of second mentions for!
The Scandinavian supremo (there’s another) has been a real powerhouse ever since arriving from Rennes all those years ago - yet I’m left wondering how he will be remembered, 10, 20, even 30 years from now.
Just this week, we reflected on it having been 50 years since Duncan Forbes first pulled on the yellow and green.
The iconic centre back is clearly one City fans of a certain age hold near and dear - though he was just a bit before my time.
From my early days as a City fan some of those spoken about are Jerry Goss, Chris Sutton, Darren Eadie. From my teen years, people like Craig Bellamy and Iwan Roberts. More recently, Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan will likely stick on the lips of fans for years to come.
However, years from now, will Alex Tettey still be spoken about? I for one, really hope so.
Of course, as time goes on it’s more the moments than the people that stick with us, and luckily for Alex, there are a few of these that will stick around forever.
That toe poke at Old Trafford, the volley at home to Sunderland and dancing on the pitch at Wembley all spring to mind.
However, I truly hope he’s remembered for much, much more. He has been, and continues to be, an excellent servant who perhaps isn’t fully appreciated until he’s not there. Long may his formidable form continues.