Gareth Bale achieved an amazing PFA double last night when landing both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. He becomes only the third player to win both accolades in the same season, and the first since Christiano Ronaldo in 2007. With Spurs’ chances of playing Champions League football next season still hanging in the balance, will the Welsh wonder now be on his way out of White Hart Lane?
Not since Ronaldo at Manchester United has the Premier League seen a player with such impact and who can turn games so quickly, something I’m sure In play betting punters will have benefited from this season. I’ve lost count of the number of games that Bale has rescued for Tottenham during this campaign and to lose a player of this calibre could really hurt the progress of the club for years to come.
Real Madrid are being touted as the favourites to land Gareth Bale’s signature, with the bookies installing the Spanish giants at odds of 6/4. Madrid have endured a tough season, lying a long way behind Barcelona in the race for the title and looking likely to exit the Champions League at the semi final stage. A marquee signing the quality of Bale would go a long way to appeasing the disgruntled fans and he’d definitely be a great addition to their squad.
Daniel Levy isn’t likely to let his prize asset leave on the cheap as his previous negotiations with player sales demonstrate. Transfer fees around the £100m mark have been mentioned and any offer around that kind of figure would definitely be hard to refuse. I’m obviously still hopefully Andre Villas-Boas men can win their remaining fixtures and secure a top four finish but I still don’t believe that will guarantee that Bale will begin next season in a Tottenham shirt.
I’ve always felt the Europa League is a bit of a nonsense competition. Having to fly out to various distant parts of Europe to play in the cold on a Thursday night must have a negative effect on Premier League results. The taste of Champions League action probably hasn’t helped and neither did the fact we finished fourth last season only to be cruelly denied another tilt at that elite contest. Seeing Real Madrid and Manchester City play out that classic last night also reminded me exactly what we are missing out on as Tottenham fans.
I do feel that in our current situation, the Europa League could well be a positive thing. Our squad is extremely healthy at the moment and a number of top players are sitting on the bench getting very little game time. While playing in this competition may not keep them all happy, it will maintain their match fitness and also give Andre Villas-Boas the opportunity to assess their talents on the pitch. With Defoe in fine form, it might be a while before Adebayor and Dempsey get a start in the current system so I’d expect them both to play a part in the Europa League.
Andre Villas-Boas also appears to have a strong passion for the Europa League. As Porto manager, Villas-Boas became the youngest ever manager to win a European competition when his team took the 2010–11 Europa League. Although the Premier League and a top four finish will be the manager’s priority, he will also be keen for his new side to do well in this competition, beginning with Lazio this Thursday night. Villas-Boas has been quoted in the press this week saying that he ‘wants to do something special’ in this season’s Europa League and sounds very keen on winning the trophy for a second time.
I expect Spurs to have a successful European campaign this season and while it may not be the Champions League, I think we will be in for some exciting Thursday evenings over the coming months.
He is talented but hugely unlikeable and not just because of his stint at Arsenal. I couldn’t understand a word that came out his mouth during the World Cup when he was helping diversify the BBC’s panel of pundits. He puts in 110% for a few games a season but is largely lazy. I think that pretty much sums up Emmanuel Adebayor. While I might sound a bit negative about the current Manchester City misfit, I would also say that on his day, Adebayor is still capable of being one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
Early in Adebayor’s Manchester City career, he faced former club Arsenal at the City of Manchester Stadium. It was a game in which he was later to receive a ban for violent conduct and he also chose to run the length of the pitch to provoke the travelling Arsenal fans. That wasn’t what stuck in my mind about that match however. What did stay with me was the way Adebayor played. He was quite simply breathtaking at times and while the majority of Arsenal fans were happy to see the back of the Togolese attacker because of his questionable attitude, they were probably also left wondering who in their squad could produce such a meaningful performance.
It doesn’t look like Real Madrid want to retain Adebayor’s services and he has rejected talk of moves to Blackburn and PSG in recent days. Could he be the man to solve our striker issues or would he just create more of them? City are unlikely to want to sell to Tottenham but it could be a possibility if the price is right. Also, Harry isn’t scared to take ex Arsenal players to the Lane if he thinks they are good enough as was the case with William Gallas.
Personally, Emmanuel Adebayor wouldn’t be a player I’d consider for anything like the £25m valuation that is being banded about but if we could bring him in at a cut price, I think he is possibly worth taking a punt on. Without the lure of Champions League football, the world class players that we can attract are all likely to come with some baggage.
A few days ago, I wrote an article discussing the online betting for next season’s Premier League title. I found it puzzling that Liverpool were a significantly shorter price than Tottenham going on last season’s form, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the future of their star players. Gerrard was to be joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and Torres was also allegedly keen to move, that is if anyone is brave enough to risk millions of pounds on a player that looks to have serious issues if his World Cup performances are anything to go by.
I genuinely thought Joe Cole would end up at Tottenham this summer. If the internet and newspapers are to believed, Spurs offer of wages was the lowest of his suitors, and significantly lower than those Liverpool where willing to pay. The way I see it, Liverpool were willing to pay over the odds for a player like Joe Cole as a statement of intent. They are not in the Champions League currently, have appointed a very talented but arguably low profile manager and looked like a club in serious regression last season. Cole’s signing not only shows they are still able to attract players of world class
All this being said, I don’t think it’s the end of the world that Spurs missed out on Cole. We already have a wealth of talent in midfield and paying 100k a week or more for a player in his late 20s who has a very poor injury record probably wasn’t the right move for us in hindsight. I think he was a lot more important for Liverpool than he was for Tottenham.
Do I think Cole’s move to Liverpool will propel them to mount a challenge for the Premier League title this coming season? Not a chance. Do I think he will tip the balance in their favour over Spurs where the battle for a top 4 spot is concerned? I doubt it, but I fully expect them to be better than last season. The only problem for them is, Spurs will be too!
Gary Mabbutt is my favourite Spurs player of all time. His work ethic and consistency was second to none during his playing years as was the example he set as club captain.
By chance I stumbled across this article about the role he has played in South Africa’s successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup. 2010′s Unlikely Star
By all accounts he was key in South Africa’s achievement. He is married to a South African but the place was in his heart since pre-season tour to Swaziland in 1984.
Ronaldo has been the talk of the town in recent days with his world record move to Real Madrid. The word legend has been banded about where he is concerned but I can’t see him ever being allowed to use the term The Arch to describe Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“I was sat in the front row of the hall at Fifa’s HQ with the rest of the bid team,” he says. “When the result was announced we leapt up and ran onto the stage.
“The first person I came to was the Arch and we gave each other a big hug.”
“Sorry, Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” he laughs. “A few years earlier I’d asked him what I should call him a few years earlier and he just said ‘call me the Arch’.”
I hope Mabbutt gets the recognition he deserves and that we will be calling him Sir Gary Mabbutt before too long.
There is no question about it, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been one of the best strikers in the world over the last decade. On the form he showed at PSV, Man Utd and even Real Madrid, he’d be a superb acquisition for Tottenham. The problem is that he’s fast approaching 33 years old and hasn’t played any football for a good nine months following a serious knee injury.
Ruud has had more than his fair share of injuries over the years. This is the 2nd time his knee has kept him out for a considerable period of time, the first being when his move to Manchester Utd was delayed for almost a year. He was also out for a large portion of Utd’s 2004-05 campaign.
There may only be a nominal transfer fee involved but Van Nistelrooy’s wages will still be considerable, rumoured to be around £70,000 a week. I know Harry’s a gambler but I’m not sure it’s a bet I’d want to place.
At best, we will get one or two decent seasons out of him. At worst, Spurs will be chucking £70k a week down the drain for a player that is very likely coming to the Lane for his final payday and will spend most of his time watching games from the stands.
The form Ruud Van Nistlerooy showed for Madrid until his injury was still good and he doesn’t become a bad player just because he’s been out a few months but I’m very concerned about the knee injury, especially at his age. It’s the 2nd time it’s gone and an injury of that magnitude is sure to have taken something away from his game.
Even six months ago, I doubt Spurs had entered Ruud or his agent’s head but now our spending power and their lack of offers from any high profile CL clubs means it’s a match made in heaven, or possibly hell, I can’t decide.
The British press are amazing. According to the Daily Star, Ramos is going to sign both Aaron Lennon and David Bentley!
According to most of the rumours I heard, Bentley was one of the main reasons Ramos got the boot. Not only because of his awful performances on the pitch under Ramos, but also for displays of dissent towards the manager in the dressing room. It was him kicking off when he heard he was being left on the bench for the 2nd leg of the match against Wisla Krakow that was the beginning of the end for Wendy.
I know Ramos has questions to answer after some of the methods he employed during his tenure at the Lane, but is he really stupid enough to sign a player after that? I think not.
As for Lennon, he was another player Ramos used sparingly especially toward the end of his reign at Spurs. Why would he want to sign him?
I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Star, let’s hope for more of the same. Maybe the players he didn’t give squad numbers too could also be on his hit list?!
I felt a little sorry for Juande after his sacking from Tottenham, I feel a little less sorry for him after today, he’s been appointed manager of Real Madrid, in case you didn’t know!
“I would like to thank the board for their confidence – I face this job with excitement. It’s everybody’s dream,” he stated.
“I hope I don’t let anyone down and that I achieve the successes that this club has set for this season.
“In most of my previous jobs I have had short contracts. We came to a quick agreement and I’m delighted.
“If I’m happy at the end of the season then I might extend the contract. Both sides are free to see what happens.”
So he’s gone from managing a slightly above average Premier League side rooted to the bottom of the table, to running the biggest club in the world and got a good few million pounds compensation in the process.
The bloke won us our first trophy for ages (I ain’t counting the Peace Cup) and guided us to a 5-1 victory over Arsenal and we are safe in the hands of Harry now, so I don’t begrudge him a few quid.
I knew his last few months at Tottenham couldn’t have been as bad as they seemed. It was a plan all along. My only surprise now is Berbatov wasn’t sold to Madrid. At least his compo can be taken from the money we mugged Liverpool out of with the Robbie Keane transfer.
Looks like everyone is happy then except the scousers and Bernd Schuster…