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Month: July 2008

Bent, Bentley and Betting

Bent, Bentley and Betting

Darren Bent continued his impressive pre-season scoring record with three goals against Leyton Orient last night in another 5-1 victory. Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric were also on the score sheet.

Unless something major happens with us bringing in a couple of big name strikers in before the start of the season, it looks like Bent will be leading the front line coming off the back of some excellent displays.

Spurs have called a press conference for later today to unveil David Bentley. The fee is £15m rising to £17m depending on his performances. Arsenal are rumoured to be getting £7m of this.

A statement from Tottenham plc read: “Tottenham Hotspur plc is pleased to announce that agreement has been reached with Blackburn Rovers for the transfer of the registration of the England international midfielder, David Bentley, age 23 years, to Tottenham Hotspur FC for a total consideration of £15million and up to an additional £2million payable upon future performances.

“The player’s contract is for a period of up to six years.”

Goals from last night

Spurs Betting

My bread and butter is a betting site Expert Betting Advice, just a friendly horse racing forum where people exchange tips and news. We also have a horse racing syndicate and and free to enter competitions.

I have set up a page with just Spurs Odds for the coming season. Covers pretty much anything and everything Tottenham related. I’ll be writing some previews before the season starts and before each game, be pleased to hear your thoughts.

Tottenham Betting Odds

That’s me for today, might be back later if we sign Arshavin or if anything interesting happens at the Bentley party!

How will ‘lick em up’ Aaron respond to Bentley’s arrival?

How will ‘lick em up’ Aaron respond to Bentley’s arrival?

How would you feel if you were Aaron Lennon? The poor bloke is already five foot nothing and being compared more and more often to a hybrid of Tony Daley and Ruel Fox, now Spurs have gone and paid £17m for an ex-Arsenal player who is taller and plays in his position.

Admittedly, Tottenham do have UEFA Cup football and if they could well make it to the latter stages of the other competitions. In this day and age it’s not unrealistic for team challenging on a few fronts to have two top players in one position but if both Bentley and Lennon stay injury free, I can’t see Aaron getting much of a look in.

The club aren’t going to pay £17m for someone only for them to be a bit part player. Bentley will start most games so unless Lennon is going to play out of position, or be happy with the bench and Carling Cup games, I can’t see him having much of a future at Spurs.

Two things stick in my mind about Aaron Lennon. Firstly, November 5th 2006 when his goal at the Lane sunk Chelsea for the first time since 1990. Secondly, the excitement and pride I felt when he came off the bench in the 2006 World Cup.

Since then Aaron’s career has stalled, partly due to injury but partly due to the fact he hasn’t taken his game on and his explosive game didn’t seem as explosive as it once was.

His final ball was atrocious on occasions last season as was his finishing. Having blinding pace is an amazing ability, something defenders fear more than anything but their fear is eased once they realise their opponent is only going to put away 1 chance in 100 or put in one decent ball in a blue moon.

This part of Bentley’s game is second to none. His crossing and finishing for Blackburn in recent years has been superb and unless Aaron Lennon can step up develop that side of his game, I fear Bentley will make the right midfield position his own for years to come.

Bentley and transfer rumour round up

Bentley and transfer rumour round up

As we suspected yesterday, the Bentley deal has taken a step forward now we have seen Robbie Keane in a Liverpool shirt (yes, made me feel sick too!)

The BBC earlier reported that ‘Blackburn Rovers have confirmed they are in negotiations with Tottenham over the possible sale of David Bentley’.

He will be a great addition to our squad but I find it slightly frustrating Spurs are going to have to weigh out £17m+ for a player discarded by Arsenal only a couple of years ago for an undisclosed fee but thought to be £4m or less. Even more frustrating is the fact Arsenal will get a percentage of the fee we play Blackburn!

I can’t say I’m very impressed with the amount of stories I’ve heard about Spurs’ interest in Diego Milito. I know we are short up front now but surely we can do better than this? Everton are also being strongly linked with him so I’m keeping my fingers crossed the master of the Glasgow Kiss, David Moyes, can get him signed and sealed sharpish.

A deal I am a lot more keen on is Andrei Arshavin. He’s been rumoured to be very close to a move and is currently in talks with Spurs officials….could be an exciting few days coming up.

Darren Bent in household pet murder shocker!

Darren Bent in household pet murder shocker!

Ok, so Darren Bent scoring 4 times at a Championship side doesn’t do a lot to ease the pain of losing your club’s Player of the Year for 3 of the last 5 years, but it does give us a ray of hope.

At Norwich last night, Bent played in a lone role with Giovanni Dos Santos in behind. This is the type of position Bent was so successful with at Charlton and I feel it’s the kind of formation that could serve us very well away from home, an area which has cost us Champions League football in recent seasons.

The common conception is that Bent is a bit of a joke but I truly believe he still has a lot to offer us. The price tag was over the top when Spurs signed him but his record for the previous two seasons was second to none, especially considering he achieved it at a lesser club like Charlton.

It does seem like any mistake made by a Spurs player is highlighted and blown out of all proportion. Robbo, Kaboul, Dawson and Bent all got slammed last season for admittedly stupid errors but at the same time errors that would be quickly forgotten at most other clubs.

Hopefully Bent can get a run of games under his belt and get that confidence back that he seemed to exude before being burdened with the £16.5m man tag.

Line up v Norwich
Gomes, Gunter, Gilberto, King, Dawson, O’Hara, Jenas, Zokora, dos Santos, Modric, Bent. Subs: Jansson, Bale, Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Taarabt, Berbatov.

Goals from last night

Damien Comolli to be dishonorably discharged?

Damien Comolli to be dishonorably discharged?

There have been rumours flying around about Damien Comolli for the last week or so. The man that made Martin Jol’s job impossible is to be removed as quietly as possible once all the transfer activity is done and the season gets underway.

The figure that was apparently so influential at Arsenal for seven seasons has been a total disaster for their main rivals. Younes Kaboul, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Ricardo Rocha, anyone think he’s still on Arsenal’s payroll?!

He may have had his critics but I loved Martin Jol. He was a great manager for us and a great character. The way he was treated by Levy was a disgrace. It seems to have all been forgotten so quickly now we have the dream team of Ramos and Poyet but it still sticks in my mind, especially the role Comolli played in his demise.

It’s fairly common knowledge Martin Jol wanted to sign certain proven players to sure up the side, especially the defence, but instead he was given some complete disasters from the very man that wanted him gone.

Comolli is credited with unearthing the talent of Gaël Clichy at Arsenal but there are also claims that he thought Peter Cech, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba would never cut it in the Premiership.

Why Levy allowed Comolli so much power at the club I don’t know but let’s hope he does the right thing and gives him the bullet as soon as possible.

In other news…

Keano should tie up his move to Liverpool this week but to soften the blow Spurs will announce the capture of Bentley and one other player on the same day. Robinson’s move to Blackburn was a sweetener in the Bentley deal.

Portsmouth are confident of signing Younes Kaboul this week. Roy Keane is getting fed up with his indecision.

Spurs have made an enquiry about IF Elfsborg ‘keeper Johan Wiland.

Sunday paper talk

Sunday paper talk

I wasn’t going to write anything today but an injury picked up last night has meant my ankle is currently a bit bigger than Jermaine Jenas‘ head meaning I’m stuck indoors so I’ll just do a quick round up of the always reliable stories in the Sunday papers.

There are conflicting reports about Berbatov today. The Express claims he will be moving to Manchester United next week for around £24m but The Sunday Times says different. According to them, Fergie’s interest in Berbatov has cooled due to Levy’s ridiculous valuation of £38m which he isn’t willing to negotiate.

Robbie Keane will join Liverpool early next week in a five year deal that will earn him over £20m so say The Daily Star. Keane apparently came to an agreement with Ramos to be left out of the side so as not to pick up an injury before his big move.

My favourite story of the day is not transfer related and again concerns Dimitar Berbatov, this comes courtesy of The News Of The World.

Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov never goes to nightclubs and says he prefers to stay at home and feed squirrels from his balcony.

All the best to England’s (former) Number One

All the best to England’s (former) Number One

The inevitable has finally happened, England’s No.1 as we affectionately called him for years has been sold to Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £3.5m.

After his ‘mistake’ for England against Croatia he was never the same keeper for us or the national side. Now you can say he should have been man enough to get over it and get on with the job at hand but he was completely hounded by the press and the fans from then on. Every little thing he did was scrutinised beyond belief.

I fought his corner for a long time against fellow supporters but in the end I had to stop making myself look like such an idiot! I really thought Robbo would get his head straight and get back to the form he’d showed up until 11th October 2006 but it just didn’t happen.

Even after the warning shot from Ramos, replacing him with Radek Cerny. I don’t think for one second Ramos thought Cerny was a better keeper, I just think he wanted to give Robinson a kick up the backside and wanted him to see if he still had some fight and hunger. Hunger is probably a bad choice of words given Robbo’s weight issues!

Robbo must have shown Ramos something because he won his place back but you still never felt Paul was confident and never again commanded that respect and authority the top goalkeepers have to.

The papers, especially The Sun have a lot to answer for. I know professional footballers are fair game but the way he was persecuted by them was so unfair. No matter what his was saying publicly he must have been constantly thinking about making a mistake and being the back page headline yet again for the wrong reasons.

Lets hope Paul Robinson can turn his career around at Blackburn and even win his England place back. Good luck Robbo, you are still a Spurs legend in my eyes.

Robbie has been showing us that thing for years

Robbie has been showing us that thing for years

Our first serious friendly of the pre season against Hercules of the Spanish 2nd division last night ended 1-1 thanks to a Darren Bent equaliser. (Yes, I did say Darren Bent!)

I know Bent scoring is a big story in its own right but two others almost as big were;

Robbie Keane was not even on the bench.

Dimatar Berbatov played the full 90 minutes.

Expect to see Keano in a Liverpool shirt in the next couple of days. There is a line in the film The Color of Money that goes something like this, “I’ve given you as much as I can, I’ve showed you everything, I’ve shown you my ass.”

Well I feel like Keane has showed us his ass and anything around the £20m mark is good money for an ass we have been seeing for years. He needs a fresh challenge and we need new blood, someone who is hungry and whose ass we are yet to see.

I know we are short up front but I don’t really see the value of playing Berbatov. He won’t be around for the start of the season; Ramos may as well keep playing Pekhart until another striker is brought in.

Paul Robinson hasn’t even travelled to Spain and Blackburn have reportedly made a £3.5m bid for Rockin Robbo. According to today’s press, this paves the way for Bentley to go in the other direction. (Not one quote from anyone mind, just ‘sources’) We all know Bentley’s coming to the Lane but it’s just the price tag holding up the deal, I’m sure it will happen before the start of the season.

In other news, Anthony Gardener’s move to Hull is actually a loan deal until January with a view to making the move permanent. Can you see this lump not getting injured or having a nightmare between now and Jan? I know, I’m also excited at the prospect of having him back!

Younes Kaboul is joining Tainio at Sunderland by all accounts; sounds like Pompey aren’t willing to match Sunderland’s offer or wages. Quite a turnaround from this earlier in the week courtesy of Kaboul’s agent;

“Younes would not join Sunderland – even if there was an earthquake”.

Tottenham and transfers, the agents are to blame.

Tottenham and transfers, the agents are to blame.

Every season is the same; the transfer window is open so Spurs are linked to every high profile player that may be considering a move.

I’ve lost count of the number of players we have been linked with in the last couple of months but what makes me laugh is the players we are linked to that have gotten desperate because they have yet to tie up a deal with their favoured destination, Samuel Eto’o being my favourite example.

Eto’o was quoted in the press months ago as saying Spurs weren’t even on his radar. He obviously doesn’t want another season at Barcelona but does want a move to a club with instant Champions League football and a club that are of a similar standing to Barca.

His agent hasn’t managed to tie up a deal with Milan, Real Madrid or Chelsea yet so what to do? Oh I know, we will say a few clubs have made offers to hurry things up. Spurs don’t want us and we don’t want to go there but let’s say they have made an offer anyway!

Every agent does the same, not yet got a deal at a CL club, no problem, just put out to the press that Spurs are interested!

The most frustrating thing about this is it gets some of the more naïve fan’s hopes up of signing one of these overpaid megastars when in actual fact the club have no interest whatsoever in signing them. The fans then think we have missed out time and again but the reality is quite different.

Most fans will come to realise the players we have a chance with and the ones we don’t and a bit of speculation coming from agents isn’t a bad thing but where Tottenham Hotspur are concerned it’s beyond ridiculous.

Sorry about the serious tone to that post but don’t worry, I’ll get back to the ‘comedy’ with my next entry!

Tainio’s gone, brings a tear to my eye

Tainio’s gone, brings a tear to my eye

Teemu Tainio has completed his move to Sunderland. While he didn’t exactly set the world alight while at Tottenham, I always felt he gave 100% and was willing to play out of position for the good of the team.

Of all the players on the fringe of the first team, I think I’d always want him in the side before anyone else.

You can’t blame the guy for wanting first team football but it’s a shame we have lost a grafter when we still have a lot of players in the squad that like to go missing during games.

The fact he was also a Spurs fan meant a lot, you could tell he wanted to play for his club at every opportunity and I’m sure he only left because he was told he was surplus to requirements.

The clubs have not disclosed the fee for Teemu, but I read today in the Guardian that Sunderland bid a combined £23m for Tainio, Chimbonda, Malbranque and Kaboul. I don’t think that’s too shabby for those four when you take into account their ages and the fact Chimbonda is a complete tosser.

Teemu Tainio, you will be missed by this THFC Supported at least, all the best at Sunderland.