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Aug 222011
 

By John Toner

After a day of social unrest disrupted Tottenham’s opening day game at home to Everton, they face the rather more difficult task of going away to champions Manchester United.

Only time will tell if the late start to Tottenham’s season will have a positive or negative effect. On one hand the extra few days of rest might be beneficial to the players’ fitness; but then on the other, playing catch up from the off is never ideal and could have an impact on morale if things don’t go quite to plan early on.

United started their season as scheduled and as expected by seeing off West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Strengthened by the acquisitions of Ashley Young and Phil Jones, they look to be starting much as they left off at the end of last season; although there are questions being asked about the ability of new goalkeeper David De Gea.

The champions do however have a number of injuries to key players which will be of some concern to Sir Alex Ferguson. Nemanja Vidic had to be withdrawn from the victory over West Brom with a calf injury and could be out for another three to four weeks. Also substituted due to injury in that match was Rio Ferdinand who suffered a hamstring problem, he should return by the end of August but Monday night’s game comes too quickly for him to feature. United are also without Rafael Pareira Da Silva (shoulder), Darren Fletcher (illness), Javier Hernandez (concussion) and Luis Antonio Valencia (ankle) with Michael Owen also a doubt.

Spurs have a similar amount of injuries with midfielder Sandro sidelined after a knee operation and Steven Pienaar unavailable for at least a month after having groin surgery following an injury in pre-season. Also doubtful for the game are William Gallas (calf), Jermaine Jenas (achilles), Ledley King (knee) Luka Modric (groin) and Wilson Palacios (knee).

Tottenham have a miserable record against United in recent years, their last victory over Ferguson’s side was way back in 2001 and the last time they won at Old Trafford was 22 years ago. As opening games to a Premier League season go, Spurs especially, could not have ended up with a harder one. Although they will be buoyed by putting five past Hearts in midweek at Tynecastle this is an altogether more challenging prospect.

After a good start United will want to push on and get their title defence well and truly underway. Considering Tottenham’s dismal record against them, especially at Old Trafford, they will very much fancy their chances of getting the three points.

However, Ferguson will be very wary of Spurs’ Attacking threat especially having been deprived of both first choice centre halves. Redknapp will need to capitalise on that weakened defence if his side are going to come away from greater Manchester with anything.

United and Spurs usually provide an entertaining show, recently with added controversy; that combined with both sides being somewhat weakened and the unpredictability of early season fixtures, we should be in for a cracking game.

Toner’s Prediction: Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Follow me on Twitter @johnedwardtoner

Oct 142010
 

Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal are all reportedly monitoring 16 year old Eric Dier, this youngster is different from the rest, he currently plays abroad for Sporting Lisbon as he come through their youth academy and has recently come to the attention of the big clubs in England after recently signing his first professional contract with the Portuguese giants.

Dier moved to Portugal as a youngster after his mother landed a new job for the Euro 2004 Championships and was picked up by Sporting Lisbon. He stands 6ft 2in and plays center half and looks to be a promising youngster who is being watched by scouts from the English clubs.

Dier has his PE teacher to thank for his progress, he spotted the talent of the youngster at school and put him in touch with Sporting Lisbon scouts who then watched him before signing him up to their youth academy. Earlier this year Dier signed his first professional contract with the club.

The youngster can apply for dual nationality when he turns 18 but said it was his dream to play for England, he may in the near future be looked at for an England U17 squad but as yet has had no contact with anyone from the England set up. Dier said he is happy at Sporting at the moment and would like a few more years at the club, however if one of the big English teams come knocking at his door he may think again.

Sep 112010
 

Confirmed reports have just been announced that Sir Alex has dropped Wayne Rooney from his squad to face Everton today at Goodison Park. It seems as though Rooney would have been targeted by the Everton fans for abuse during the game after revelations of affairs in his private life.

Sir Alex has taken the decision to protect Rooney from the onslaught and removed him from the squad just before kick off, whether Rooney has asked to be excused we do not know.

Rooney left Everton to pursue a career with United and there are fans who still remember this and would have relished the chance to verbally attack Wayne today. Rooney is mentally at an all time low and Sir Alex is probably doing the best thing for Rooney. What Wayne needs to realise in the future is that he is a professional and his private life will interfere with his career, his decisions over recent months may now cost his team 3 valuable points today.

Following the revelations in Rooney’s private life, Everton away was probably the worst game imaginable for the lad and Sir Alex, I would imagine that once this one is out the way then it will be business as usual for Wayne.

Jun 222010
 

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Manchester United may have already struck a deal for Joe Cole.

The 28-year-old will not have his Chelsea contract renewed this summer and a number of clubs have been chasing his signature.

Redknapp has confirmed that he would love to see the midfielder move to Spurs, while Arsenal and United are also thought to be trailing the England international.

But while Redknapp wants Cole at White Hart Lane, he thinks the Red Devils may have already won the race to sign him.

“I’ve got a feeling that it might have been done (for Cole to join United),” he said.

“It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Joe’s not wanted to speak to anybody and his people have been saying ‘let’s get the World Cup out of the way first’.

“But we’d be interested for sure. I like Joe.”

Cole has been the subject of much debate in recent days as he has yet to make an appearance for England in this summer’s World Cup.

Taken from the Sky Sports interview, hope it’s not true, I like Cole and was hoping for a bargain free transfer. Really thought Harry wouldn’t let him slip through the net, but who can turn down Fergie? Still, while there’s Arry there’s hope.

Jun 202010
 

Diego Forlan is wanted by Tottenham.

The 31-year-old Uruguayan striker has been one of the stars of the World Cup in South Africa and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp rates him highly.

Atletico Madrid relied heavily on Forlan in their Europa League triumph and he scored twice in the final as they beat Fulham.

But the stumbling block could be Forlan’s age – and the price that Atletico will demand.

They will want in excess of £12million, while Spurs would not be prepared to go higher than £8.5m.

But Redknapp feels a player of his experience will be vital as Spurs go for the Champions League.

Now forgive me here but when Harry said he wanted that 1 special player this summer I really pray to god he didn’t mean Diego Forlan. I can’t deny that Forlan in Spain is not the same Forlan that played in England but I remember Savo Milosovic in the 90s going to Spain and being top scorer after not really impressing in England, so what makes Forlan any different?.

My personal opinion on this subject is that I hope Harry is having a laugh here, I just think the style of Spanish football helps Forlan and his game. I think if he were to come back to the Premiership he would not be as deadly but go back to being that donkey we all remember from his Man Utd days.

We then move on to the price, £12mil for a player of 31 and which in 2 years will be worthless. It will be a pricey gamble because if he does flop at Spurs then nobody in their right minds is going to stump up anywhere near that amount for a 31 year old flop. The one thing I admire about Daniel Levy is that he is a good business man when it comes to deals and usually buys players of younger age who can be sold on in the future. My only worry here is the persuasive power of Harry, especially now we have secured 4th place in the Premier League.

I really hope this is a nasty rumor that just won’t go away because for £12millon we could get so much more for our money than Diego Forlan, however this is just my opinion on Forlan and I will not start doutbing Harry after what he has done for the club, so god forbid if he really wants to sign Diego Forlan then as much as that pains me, he has my full support.

Modric Staying Put!

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May 312010
 

Well it seems that Luka Modric will not be leaving, we know the big clubs want him but they can only offer him the same as us now which is champions league football.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has quashed talk that he will sell playmaker Luka Modric, stressing that the Croatian is not for sale.

Modric has been linked with a £25 million move to Manchester United following a successful campaign with Spurs, helping them qualify for the Champions League.

Redknapp is looking to challenge at the top of the Premier league and in Europe next term, and is therefore not interested in allowing one of his most influential players to depart White Hart Lane this summer.

He said in The Sun: “There’s no chance of it happening at all. Luka’s key to everything that’s happening at this place.

“Everybody knows what I think of him. And if you want to move on to higher levels you don’t start flogging off your best players – to anyone.

“I have an excellent squad and – I stress – Luka Modric is going to remain a part of it.”

Redknapp is determined not to lose another of his stars to United following the departures of Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov to the Red Devils in recent seasons.

It has been suggested that Spurs are also interested in Manchester City’s Stephen Ireland and Bolton defender Gary Cahill, but Redknapp denied the reports.

The club has also been linked with a move for Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies after Martin O’Neill claimed he is open to talks over the 25-year-olds future.