Chris Gunter: Talentspotter

We found out more about the former Cardiff City academy graduate, who later featured for Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest and Reading, in April 2008.

Born
Newport 21/07/89

Position
Right-back

Nickname
Gunts.

Club supported as a boy
I’ve been a Cardiff fan since I was eight. I was a season-ticket holder but I stopped going when I got into the youth team as matches were played on a Saturday as well. But I managed to get to the 2005 League One Play-Off Final when we beat QPR. A great day.

Strengths
Pace. And my general defending is pretty good. I’d say it’s pretty hard for wingers to get past me. I also like to get forward and support the attackers and I can play both right and left-back.

Weaknesses
I need to work on my overall strength, but hopefully that’ll come with time. I could also do with improving my composure on the ball.

Play a bit like
I try to be my own player. At right-back though, Gary Neville’s not a bad example to follow. He’s been at Manchester United for all those years and has never really let his level drop.

Highlights
My debuts for Cardiff, Wales and Tottenham. I was pretty nervous before my debut for Cardiff and the fact that it was televised didn’t help – it made me even more nervous. The advantage was that I was able to record the match and watch it back. My debut for Wales against New Zealand was special too, and I played pretty well.

Lowlights
In my second game for Cardiff, we were beaten 4-1 by Hull; it wasn’t my best game. After the match, Dave Jones came into the dressing room, and you could tell he wanted to say something, but because everyone played poorly, not just me, he stayed quiet. Looking back now, it’s not always a bad thing to have that sort of set-back, as it makes you a better player.

Toughest opponent
Ryan Giggs. I’ve faced him in training with Wales and recently in the FA Cup. He’s got great movement and he’s really clever with and without the ball. He’s not as quick as he used to be, but he knows how to get the better of a defender.

Best player played with
It’s difficult to say. Of course there’s Ryan Giggs, but there are loads of good players at Spurs including Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane.

Best advice given
Not to get carried away with success or failure. Keep your feet on the ground and always work hard. It’s something my family have always drummed into me.

Biggest practical joker
At Spurs, Robbie Keane. There’s always banter flying about when he’s around. Michael Chopra was probably the biggest joker at Cardiff. He was always messing about with people’s kits and hiding their boots.

Biggest influence
My parents. My dad would take me to games when I was younger while my mum would always make sure my stuff was ready.

Wheels
A BMW X5.

Chicks
Probably Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud.

Flicks
The Brave One. Not sure who’s in it, but I’d recommend it.

Tunes
I’m into everything. Dance, indie, hip-hop, RnB. A mix. My favourite artist is Michael Jackson. I’ve got his Number Ones CD, which is brilliant.

TV programme
Soccer AM. It’s quite good.

If I hadn’t been a footballer
I’d be doing something to do with sport. A PE teacher, maybe. I knew early in my apprenticeship that I’d be getting a contract, so I was quite fortunate that I didn’t have to think of anything else.

Most embarrassing moment
Probably walking off the pitch after that 4-1 defeat to Hull. I thought I’d face some sort of initiation when I joined Spurs, but nothing happened. I think I got lucky.

Describe yourself in five words
Fun, considerate, joker, polite, charming.

Ideal holiday destination
Somewhere warm and busy, with a nice beach where you can go out in the evening.

In five years’ time
I’ll be playing regularly for Tottenham and Wales.

From the April 2008 issue of FourFourTwo.


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