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Month: July 2013

Bale to Real claims in Spanish Newspaper Marca

Bale to Real claims in Spanish Newspaper Marca

It may not be the most reliable source of information in the world, but Spanish newspaper Marca are claiming that Gareth Bale is on the brink of agreeing a six deal with La Liga giants Real Madrid. According to Marca, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett has met with senior officials at Madrid and worked out a lucrative long term contract for his prize asset. Also mentioned in the article is the fact that Barnett told Real president Florentino Perez that Bale has “wanted to play at Real Madrid since he was a kid,” and showed him a photograph of the player wearing a Madrid shirt when he was 10 years old. That’s when my bullshit radar hit the red zone.

Tottenham and Real Madrid have a partnership agreement and both clubs have claimed that no offer has been made or accepted. I really can’t see Gareth Bale’s agent going behind Levy’s back to negotiate a deal with another club that Spurs themselves have a great relationship with. Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas reiterated the club’s stance on the transfer of Bale today;

“I want to repeat what I was telling you last season and what I was telling you from the beginning of pre-season so I cannot extend myself.

“He is a player that we are willing to continue to have. He’s a Tottenham player, he’s one of the most fantastic players in the world at the moment and we are counting on him for the future.”

Bale doesn’t look like being in the 2014 mobile World Cup betting picture as his Wales side are languishing in 4th spot in qualification, and it could be that he’s keen to embark on a new challenge on the world stage. I personally expect Bale to remain at White Hart Lane for another year, and depending on what Spurs achieve this coming season, he might well be on the move come the end of the campaign.

For more information on the 2014 World Cup, visit www.wcaction.com.

Tottenham Kit Launch Report

Tottenham Kit Launch Report

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Spurs kit launch this past Monday which took place at the trendy Village Underground in Shoreditch. It was an incredible day weather-wise and although the guy I saw as soon as I stepped off the over ground wearing bright red chino shorts with a blazer made me realise I was nowhere near cool enough for EC2, I still enjoyed my lemon green tea with lychees on the roof in the sun.

As a Shoreditch virgin, I had no idea where this place was but luckily, I was meeting Ricky from the Fighting Cock who is a face of the local underground house music scene and a regular at Village Underground. On arrival, we were greeted by a team of doorman and opposite the venue, a number of the press and fellow bloggers in an orderly queue. Rather than create our own mini queue directly outside, we took the civilised option and joined the back of the existing one. Ricky then proceeded to tell a story about how wasted he got on Sunday and remembered nothing about going to his local co-op topless to buy a bottle of Cinzano Rosso.

Once name checked and inside, we were offered drinks and some poncy buffet food which all looked very nice. Because I’m currently trying to get down to double size zero for the peak of the summer, I just opted for a water. We were then ushered through into another room which was hotter than hell and the chairs packed double tight. I managed to grab a seat three or four rows back from the front which meant I got an excellent view of the Under Armour executive’s blazer. I just kept thinking how much he must be sweating. Sweat aside, he spoke really well about his company, a bit of history and finally, we were ready for the kit to be revealed.

Now, in front of us all was a wall with I WILL written on it. Ricky was expecting the wall to collapse and Daniel Levy to be sitting behind it with some headphones on ready to launch a DJ career. Unfortunately, this did not happen. As the music blared, one by one the letters came down. Each time a letter fell, a player walked out. First up was Michael Dawson. A pro on the modelling circuit, he knew exactly how to strike a pose from heading up last year’s kit unveiling. The rest of the players looked less at ease, particularly the next man to appear, Brad Friedel. The penultimate Spur was Jermain Defoe who was in the away strip, not a Stoke kit as a fat idiot I know joshed. When the final L hit the deck, I was not ready for Gareth Bale to saunter through the smoke. Pre ear surgery and hair restyling, this would have resembled something from Gorillas in the Mist, but I must admit, he looked like a proper sort.

After a few minutes, we all moved into yet another small room where the players were interviewed by various members of the media. The hunt was on for someone called Adrian who had what appeared to be a very important job to do. I was asked if I was Adrian at one point and the temptation to say yes was almost too much for my mischievous mind to stand, but no was the word that came out my mouth. To be frank, I’m a little disappointed with myself about that. I did try and find out what it was Adrian had to do and offered to stand in but the Tottenham Hotspur staff had no time for my juvenile banter. Dawson and Friedel were great in their interviews but Bale and Defoe looked like they could not wait to leave. I hope that wasn’t an indication that they can’t wait to get out the club that quickly! Check out this new betting review site for odds on where Bale will be playing his football in the coming season.

Transfer Time

Transfer Time

The summer transfer window turns even the most rational of supporters into a distracted and impatient character. Each passing day is an endless root through tabloid back pages, blogs and social media. The search is not dissimilar to that of a pig looking for truffles. The quarry here though isn’t an overpriced mushroom, rather an overpriced bloke who’s handy with a football.

Tottenham Hotspur, are possibly one of the biggest gifts to the rumour mongers and gossip columns in the entire Premier League. The club doesn’t have fortunes to spend, but is capable of pulling the odd rabbit from the hat. Think Luka Modric, think Dimitar Berbatov. Add to this the absence of Champions League football and the restriction of on only having a little over 36,000 seats to sell at every home game and you have all the ingredients required for transfer dilemmas galore.

Spurs routinely sell out their home games and the plans for new stadium have moved from the architect’s drawing board to Rudoplh’s being boarded up and construction work on the new Sainsburys obviously beginning to get underway. This is all good news to fans as securing Tottenham tickets for such a comparatively small venue can be less than straightforward.

So until the doors to the new stadium open, Tottenham will have to cut their cloth according to the size of their purse when it comes to transfers. Just as they ever have. The acquisition of Paulinho looks to be an inspired one. Voted the 3rd best player at the recent Confederations Cup, he gives every indication of being precisely what the Spurs midfield needs to step up a gear. The suggestion is that Scott Parker may be the man to move on to accommodate his arrival. The idea of Paulinho and Sandro teamed up for Tottenham is appealing, to put it mildly.

Despite the transformation of Gareth Bale from left back, to left wing, to free roaming attacker, the Lilywhites are now in urgent need of an upgrade on their strikers. Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe have both failed to measure up. Adebayor seems incapable of simply joining a side and doing what he’s paid to do without incident and complication. Jermain Defoe’s issues stem from his seeming inability to vary his game play. At his best he can score from nothing. At his worst, when he isn’t offside, he’s horribly selfish.

The name of Leandro Damiao has gone from being one that got Spurs fans salivating, to one that got them irritated. His non transfer has dragged on for three windows and recently the Internacional president revealed that he hadn’t received a single confirmed bid for the player since the beginning of the year. For whatever reason, this a move that is no longer worth speculating over.

Which leaves one man in pole position as Tottenham’s primary striking target, Barcelona’s David Villa. The Spanish legend would be a perfect fit at WHite Hart Lane from a number of perspectives. Firstly, he isn’t a stand alone front man, and would perhaps offer a role not a million miles away from that provided by Van Der Vaart. Secondly, despite lacking Premier League experience, this man is a World Cup winner and a seasoned professional of the highest calibre. Lastly, he would deliver the style of football that Spurs fans crave.

The new season looms and although it is probably said at this time every year, this one looks like being one of real consequence football 2013 – 14 tickets will be like gold dust at The Lane and rightly so. Tottenham spent the bulk of last season with depleted resources. Not only were they never able to replace Modric or Van Der Vaart, but they had to combat the sustained absences of both Younes Kaboul and Sandro.
To have achieved a 5th place finish under such circumstances might not have been miraculous, but it was admirable. With just a few key additions, a Champions League qualifying spot surely awaits.