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Sep 092010
 

OK so Tottenham have been hit with the news that Defoe faces a 6 week lay off due to the ankle injury he picked up laying for England in midweek. It’s a blow for the club because Defoe had looked as though he had shaken off his groin injury and found some form at last before his latest set back. The news comes as a double blow because in the previous game we all saw what happend to Michael Dawson.

So that’s two of our top players out, we know Gallas, Bassong and King will share most of the center back duties while Dawson recovers but up top who is likely to be Harry’s number one striker in Defoe’s absence. The odds are on Pavluychenko being the main man, he seems to be a different player than this time last year, he has found confidence and it seems as though his confidence in himself has been passed on to Harry as the Spurs manager now rates Pav more highly.

Crouchy will still be used as he was but Robbie Keane may get more game time than he might have expected over the coming weeks but in the event we do play a 4-5-1 formation with the arrival of Van der Vaart then Pavluychenko will probably be the lone striker. So hopefully we hear the chants of super Pav over the next few weeks. There is only the small matter of our first Champions League game on Tuesday after we travel to the Hawthorns at the weekend to take on West Brom.

So Pavluychenko may finally get an extended run in the team, he seems to enjoy putting on a Spurs shirt once again and I have every faith he will do us proud, Crouchy and Keano will also play a big part for the next 6 weeks with games coming thick and fast Harry is going to have to rotate the squad. It is nice that now we finally have a big squad that we can cope with injuries with sufficent cover.

Sep 092010
 

I know this isn’t Spurs related but it is something I would like to discuss.

Hopefully this article attracts the attention of some of the Rangers and Celtic fans. I was watching Sky Sports News last night when I saw that the Old Firm proposed switch to the English Premier League has once again been ruled out. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing them play in England but I don’t think they have any right to go into the Premiership without earning it.

The SPL standard is nowhere near that of the EPL so if you ask me winning the SPL year in year out still doesn’t earn you a place in England’s elite. Part of me would find it exciting seeing the Old Firm in England and if that were to ever happen then they should be prepared to start in League 1 or even 2 and prove they deserve a place in the Premiership by winning promotions. There are arguments because we have let Welsh teams play in England and now Rangers and Celtic feel they deserve the same treatment.

I can understand from the fans point of view that it would be great to see them playing in a top league to see if they can hold their own, personally I think they would get ripped apart in the Premiership, 10 years ago I think the gap was a lot smaller and they might have stood a better chance. The financial gain would be massive because of the world wide TV exposure the EPL gets Rangers and Celtic want a slice of the pie.

If you go back 10 years the quality of the Scottish league was of a higher standard, the likes of Di Canio, Larsson and Laudrup used to grace the SPL. Fair enough that Rangers and Celtic dominate the SPL but the financial power of the two clubs compared to the rest of the SPL is startling. You could argue we had the same problem here in England with the top 4 for a few years but at least there is a sign that things will change.

There is no doubt that both Old Firm clubs are massive clubs and probably deserve to play in a better league but the harsh reality is that they are Scottish and therefore have to play in that league. If there were to come down to England then let’s say Hearts started to dominate the SPL would we then have to let them move to the EPL too? Where would we draw the line?

So let’s have a small debate here, keep it nice and let’s see what people think, would you like to see Rangers and Cetlic here in England? If there are Rangers and Celtic fans reading this how would you feel about your teams coming to the EPL?

Aug 272010
 

Just having a flick through some of the early morning papers and one has picked up on a story that I have also heard whispers of and that is that Newcastle United are the latest club to be interested in Robbie Keane.

Now Newcastle don’t want to buy him they want a loan deal but with Tottenham contributing to the wages of the Irish striker. Tottenham refused to loan him to Celtic because he isn’t getting any younger and we need to cash in while we still can. Surely if Tottenham were going to accept a loan deal then they would let Keane have his dream move back to Celtic.

Aston Villa were persuing Keane for most of the summer but that deal seems to have died when Martin O’Neill resigned as the Villa boss earlier this month. It looks like Keane will move on before the window closes as Harry looks to buy a big name striker, the question is where will Keane end up, he once had a loving home here at Tottenham but since he returned from Liverpool it has not been the same feeling for Keane or the fans. One thing looks for sure, Spurs want to sell Keane and not loan him out yet again. He is now fourth choice striker and if that is the case then it is time to move on again.

Jul 202010
 

If, as expected, Big Martin Jol is confirmed as the new Fulham boss, a sizeable chunk of the supposed £20m transfer kitty to be handed to him by Mohamed Al Fayed is being reserved for a move to bring Robbie Keane with him to Craven Cottage.

Together Again ? - Jol & Keane

Despite a last ditch attempt from current employers Ajax to keep the former Spurs boss in Holland, Jol spent Monday afternoon accompanied by his brother and agent in thrashing out the final details of his move back to the English Premier League.

Once finalised and announced, Jol intends to raid his former employers at the Lane for out of favour striker Robbie Keane. Keane, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Parkhead with Celtic is thought to be available for around £5-7m and with the pair having enjoyed such a good relationship in the past, the Dutchman is keen to bring in the Republic Of Ireland international to bolster his attacking options ahead of the new season.

Whilst at Spurs, Keane was always Jol’s main striker, ahead of Defoe,Kanoute and Mido. So it comes as no suprise that with Spurs looking to sell that big MJ is looking to buy. Lets all be honest here, how many of us Spurs fans will be having a bit of a soft spot for Fulham next season, would love to see Jol return to us one day, he will always be ours but wherever he is I am sure most Tottenham fans wish him all the best.

Jul 072010
 

2 Serie ‘A’ Goal Machines Linked – Keano Celtic Loan Return Mooted.

Despite reports to the contrary, our chances of signing 2 of Serie ‘A’s finest forward players appear to have improved .

After Klaas-Jan Huntelaar went public, claiming that he was happy in the Italian capital and that he wanted to remain and fight for his place, his club AC Milan appear to be ready to shelve the Dutch hitman in favour of bringing in a ‘great striker.’

According to his agent Fabio Parisi :

“AC Milan is trying to sell him.”

“The player will soon find out that at Milan he will have no chance to play. Also because Milan will take a great striker.”

“Huntelaar needs to realise leaving Milan now will be better for him in the long run.”

Huntelaar ,26, has endured a frustrating time in Italy, similar to the spell he had at Real Madrid, however his goals – minutes played ratio has been very good and with his value to be set at around £10-12m he would seem to be the perfect choice for Harry Redknapp’s side. With reports in Italy suggesting that White Hart Lane will be his destination, I for one would be delighted to see this one come off!

Another player recently linked with the club is Edinson Cavani.

After the Palermo president publicly announced last week that a double deal had been agreed with Spurs involving defender Simon Kjaer, he was forced to quickly backtrack after the lillywhites came out and denied any contact with the Italian club!

Whether the interest in Cavani is real or not remains to be seen but should Redknapp be looking to the Uruguayan for extra firepower next season his cause will have been helped by the reluctance of Palermo to sell any of their better players to another Italian club.

Cavani’s dream of becoming ‘the Wayne Rooney of Inter Milan’ now appears to be off the cards leaving Spurs as the highest profile club currently linked with the players signature,  however I’d personally prefer to see the club looking elsewhere … Huntelaar in particular! The player himself has said that he would not be overly keen on a move to the premiership and heading into our most important season in recent memory I’d like to see a squad of players assembled that want to be at the club and that are prepared to fight for the badge !!!

Meanwhile one player seemingly heading the opposite way through the revolving door out of White Hart Lane is Republic of Ireland international striker Robbie Keane.

Following a successful stint on loan at Parkhead last season, netting 16 goals in 19 games for the the SPL runners up, Celtic appear to be exploring the possibility of a similar arrangement this coming campaign. Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby has confirmed the Hoops are chasing the signature of the Spurs man, but due to the financial situation at the Scottish club a permanent deal was not an option :

“Has Neil been speaking to Robbie? Definitely,” Mjallby told the Daily Record. “I don’t know Tottenham’s thinking when it comes to Robbie.

“He is out of our reach when it comes to buying him. But a loan would be perfect for us. To buy someone at Robbie’s level would be impossible. We don’t have that kind of money.

“The only way we could get that kind of player would be to ride our luck and maybe find someone on loan and make sure it’s a quality player who is going to give us goals.

“But we have the lure of European football at Celtic. From my own memories it’s very important as a player. It’s a great opportunity to play against the best and develop.”

Well, Robbie’s been a great player for us since he signed at the start of the 2002/3 season but after the Liverpool move and subsequent hit-and-miss form since his return, you can’t help but feel that the time is right for both Keano and the club to move on. If he does go , we’ll wish him well!

Jun 012010
 

Right for all you guys unsure exactly how this Champions Lgeaue qualifying round works, I will try to explain it for you all to the best of my ability to give you a better idea of our chances.

Basically the qualifying rounds are split into 2 groups, the champions side and the non champions side of the qualifying rounds. Obviously Tottenham will be in the non champions side of the draw, but the teams in the half with the other champions of their domestic leagues are usually filled with teams from the smaller leagues which are usually entitled to only 1 Champions League place for their country anyway. The 15 teams who would be in the NON Champions Qualifying Round
based on current League position
4th Place in ENG, ESP, ITA
3rd Place in GER, FRA, RUS
2nd Place in UKR, NED, ROM , POR , TUR, GRE , SCO , BEL , SUI

There will be seedings and this will work in our favour, because we have had 2 Uefa Cup (Europa League) runs in the past few seasons we have ranked up points, Spurs are currently ranked 30th in Europe with a coefficient of 56.199. Anyway the seedings works based on the points, and how well other clubs from the same domestic leagues have performed in european competitions in recent seasons. With both of these taken into account we rank in the top 5 clubs in the qualifying round and will be seeded straight into the final qualifying round. The likes of Celtic will have to play in the 3rd qualifying round because they don’t get seeded. So the 3rd qualifying round will be made up of 10 teams in the non champions section, these are 5 teams which have gone through previous rounds and 5 more teams including celtic which have been seeded to come in at this stage. Whoever overcomes the 3rd qualifying round will then come through to the 4th and final qualifying round to face the top seeds (of which 1 will be us). The draw will see the top 5 seeds take on the teams from the 3rd qualifying round in a 2 leg match which will see the winners enter the Champions League proper. To clarify this in simple terms, we go straight into the 4th and final round of qualifying because English teams have a good record in Europe, and then we will be seeded in that round because we have ranked up our own points by our previous couple of seasons in the Uefa Cup.

15 Clubs who will be in the Non Champions Section of Qualifying
Spurs
Sevilla
Sampdoria
Werder Bremen
Auxerre

Zenit St Petesburg
Dinamo Kiev
Ajax
Unirea Urziceni (Still four teams could qualify in Romania)
Sporting Braga
Fenerbahce
PAOK Thessaloniki
Celtic
Gent
Young Boys

======================
The Five teams listed first will get a Bye to the 4th Qualifying Round
which will have 10 clubs

The 5 Teams Seeded for Round 3 Will be
Zenit St Petesburg
Ajax
Fenerbahce
Dinamo Kiev
Sporting Braga

The 5 Teams Seeded for Round 4 Should be
Sevilla
Werder Bremen
Zenit St Petesburg
Tottenham
Ajax

It’s funny because if Manchester City Or Aston Villa finished 4th this season they would have not been seeded because of their Uefa coefficient points would have not been enough. When the final qualifying round draw takes place we can expect to avoid Sevilla, Ajax, Weder Bremen, Zenit. We will face 1 of the teams who overcomes the 3rd qualifying round.

I hope this helps you all better understand how it works because it can be very confusing.

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