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Sep 302010
 

Finally after months of debate Haringey Council had a final meeting to decide whether or not to give Tottenham the go ahead to redevelop White Hart Lane into a new 60,000 capacity stadium, council members voted unanimously in favour of  Tottenham redeveloping White Hart Lane.

Watching the live webcast on the Haringey Council website the points were discussed and it seemed as though a lot of the council members were concerned with Spurs being linked with a bid for the London Olympic Stadium, the meeting finally finished around 11pm tonight in which the members voted in favour of giving Tottenham the go ahead. Just by looking at comments from others who were watching like myself they seem to have picked up that the Council seemed worried that Tottenham were set to bid for the Olmypic Stadium and this could well have worked in Tottenham’s favour when the voting process began.

Tottenham will still have to overcome one or two more hurdles but with the biggest obstacle would be getting permission from Haringey Council but with the council on their side it looks as though things can now finally begin to move forward. A Tottenham spokes person was also asked to comment on whether Tottenham had in fact made a bid for the Olympic Stadium but refused to comment on the matter, fueling speculation that there may be truth in the rumor, it now looks as though Spurs won’t actually need to bid for the Olympic Stadium afterall.

The final part of the application is in the hands of Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who now has 2 weeks to rubber stamp the approval for Tottenham to press ahead with the new £400 million stadium.

Council leader Claire Kober said: “The Spurs development has the potential to make a huge impact, not just on the success of the football club, but also on the whole of Tottenham – delivering job opportunities, regenerating the area, and boosting the local economy.

“We’re proud of Spurs’ rich history in Haringey and excited that the club has committed its future to the area.

“We look forward to seeing the development unfold and are confident that it will deliver fantastic improvements to this part of the borough.”

A statement from the council said: “The plans will now be referred to English Heritage, the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for a final decision.”

Sep 302010
 

Tottenham and AEG, the American operator of the O2 Arena, have teamed up to mount a surprise joint bid to lease the London Olympic Stadium after 2012.

The bid was submitted on Thursday, the deadline for applications and the same day that the Premier League club was due to hear whether its plans to redevelop its existing White Hart Lane ground in north London had been approved by the local planning authority, Haringey council.

Tottenham had been sniffing around an Olympic stadium application for some months and it’s joint bid may be seen by the council as a tactical lever in the club’s protracted White Hart Lane redevelopment negotiations.

Given the huge amount of time and money the club has invested in these plans, staying in Tottenham remains the club’s priority. But even if the council approves the scheme, the club must still overcome several hurdles, including approval from the London mayor and the government. It must also raise about £250m for the scheme.

The Tottenham-AEG bid for the Olympic stadium, said by a club insider to be “a sensible back-up option” to White Hart Lane redevelopment, means the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) – the government agency responsible for the post-2012 future of Olympic venues – has rival and similar-looking applications from Premier League clubs to consider.

West Ham United, which regards itself as the obvious choice of tenant because of the proximity of its existing Upton Park stadium to the Olympic Park, has the backing of Newham council.

Tottenham and AEG’s plans involve converting the 80,000 Olympic stadium into a 60,000-seater venue for football, as does West Ham’s application. AEG, the Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment business, would manage the venue, including arranging naming rights and premium seating and other stadium uses including concerts and athletics.

Each of the Premier League clubs’ offers have pros and cons. While West Ham would be able to point to local backing, it has debts of nearly £100m and is struggling to bring in new investors.

Tottenham, owned by billionaire currency trader Joe Lewis and chief executive Daniel Levy, reported a £33.4m pre-tax profit for 2008-09 and the partnership with AEG may give the OPLC greater comfort about the viability of the £550m stadium beyond 2012. The Olympic stadium conversion costs are in the region of £150m.

Although West Ham discussed a joint bid with AEG, the two sides failed to reach agreement because of “personality issues”, said one person familiar with the talks.

But the OPLC intends to sign a lease agreement by the beginning of next April and, given Tottenham’s ongoing redevelopment plans, it will need to establish just how serious the club is about taking up the Olympic stadium lease.

Although the OPLC is at arms length from the London 2012 organisers, AEG is well known to Olmpic officials. The O2 will be the venue for Olympic gymnastic events and the basketball finals and will be rebranded the North Greenwich Arena for the Games.

Tottenham also has London 2012 links. Sir Keith Mills, who was chief executive of the London 2012 bid and is deputy chairman of the London organising committee, is on the Spurs board.

AEG and Tottenham declined to comment.

So are we really keen on a move to the Olympic Stadium or are we just keeping our options open? West Ham remain fim favourites to land the Stadium after the 2012 games and as a Tottenham fan I would hope that there is no chance in hell that we would get it, it would mean relocation and in turn moving from White Hart Lane which would kill part of our history.

I think that there may be truth in this but I also believe that it is a backup plan in case there are any problems with the proposed redevelopment of White Hart Lane, even if we did have to play at the Olympic Stadium then it would may well be temporary until White Hart Lane is complete even though the current plans allow for us to stay at the Lane while work is underway. The deadline for any bid to take over the stadium after the games was today (30th September).

No thanks.

Credit to The Financial Times for most the article.

Sep 302010
 

It was great to see Heurelho back for us in the Champions League this week and you could see the confidence oozing throughout the back four. Gomes had been out for the last month through a groin injury and we have really missed him in my opinion. Some people never quite understand just how big of an influence and important it is having a keeper that the defenders are confident in. Whether or not his judgment is always right, the important thing is that he is confident enough to come for every cross and this confidence passes through the rest of the team.

Although Carlo Cudicini had provided cover and made some good saves during this period, there’s nothing like having the club’s number one fit again. King, Hutton, BAE and Bassong all looked so much more comfortable at the back last night know that they had the big man behind them. As someone that has played football all my life I know how much it improves my game having a solid keeper behind me to rely on should I need him. The Tottenham back four and Midfield will now not be as cautious at the back and will not be afraid to push on and attack meaning we won’t have to play as deep.

Gomes has shaken off his reputation of being a calamity after a bad start to his Tottenham career which saw Harry Redknapp losing his patience with the Brazilian to become one of the Premiership’s top goalkeepers. Without a keeper like Gomes in goal last season I don’t think we would even be playing Champions League football this season, that’s not to say I am taking anything away from the rest of the team. Gomes stood big last night to make one good save of note and although didn’t really have much to do last night don’t underestimate the influence his sheer presence had on the rest of the team. We started the season by battering Manchester City but not managing to break them down, and who was in goal for that game? Gomes! Since he has been out injured you could see how the team looked a bit more nervous and didn’t play with freedom and confidence. Trust me now we have the big man back in between the sticks I think we will be seeing a better free flowing Tottenham and they will prove me right by destroying Villa this weekend. To back up my point you only have to look at what happend to Newcastle as soon as they sold Shay Given.

Sep 092010
 

Talking to Spurs TV, Rafael Van der Vaart says we have one of the best squads in Europe and declares he is really looking forward to playing for the club.

He sounds just like Martin Jol which makes me love him even more. Roll on Saturday where hopefully we will get to see him in action.

Following his first training session with the club gave an interview for Spurs TV where he speaks of his ambition.

Sep 082010
 

The international break ended last night with PL club managers looking on with anxious eyes. Harry Redknapp and Spurs fans alike must have been fearing the worst when they saw Jermain Defoe lying centre circle in a heap and later leaving the field on a stretcher.

As if to add to the torment, there was no further mention or any update regarding the injury and left most of us scratching our heads and wondering if we had imagined it all? After match reports repeatedly referring to the Theo Walcott injury were being periodically updated yet the omission of any reference to Defoe ‘s situation was glaringly inexplicable.

Thankfully this morning the smiling face of Jermain appeared on our screens with a look that seemed to be saying ‘whats the problem’? But the 27-year-old is confident he will have regained full fitness in time for the trip to the Hawthorns.

When asked whether he would be available for the weekend’s encounter, Defoe replied: “Yeah, definitely. I hope so. (ok gotcha, you maybe you maybe not?)

“I jarred my ankle or my knee but it feels alright.  

“I’ve always said I’ll do my best to make sure I’m out there.

“I’ve just got to rest it (the injury). I’ll just keep icing it and I’m sure I’ll be ok.

Defoe was satisfied with England’s performance in Switzerland as they followed up Friday’s 4-0 triumph over Bulgaria at Wembley

“I think the movement in the first half was maybe better than the previous game,” he added. “We did really well, the manager was really happy.

“The energy again was good. In the second half they blew up a bit in the first ten minutes but overall I think we were the better side.

Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has heaped praise on team-mate, Crouch, who was forced to pull out of the England squad with a back injury, says he was pleased for Defoe and built up his club-mate’s ability.

He told his Spurs’ official website: “It’s fantastic for Jermain and he took his goals really well. I was really pleased for him.

“I thought the movement for all his goals was fantastic, the way he took defenders away and made space for himself. He looked really sharp. Yeah ok, he didn’t get a goal against the Swiss but his movement and link play with Wayne was excellent in the first half.

“I’ve played with him a lot and he’s going to get goals whenever he plays. He’s so sharp around the box and with that kind of movement England have, the players will find him and create the chances.

“As strikers, we all benefit from that.”

Luckily we’ve got the extra day for all our returnees to recover in time for our visit to the Hawthorns so come Friday we will  have a better idea who is available for selection, keep icing it Jermain.

Sep 072010
 

                                                                                                 

The transfer window has hardly had time to mist up before the latest rumour hits the surface and it involves our very own Jermain Defoe. Sources in Italy are circulating rumours suggesting Juventus intend making a move for our pocket rocket come January.

Defoe, 27, is on the Italian club’s radar as he continues to impress for both Spurs and England. The hit-man’s hat-trick against Bulgaria at Wembley last week — after previously scoring twice in the second leg of Spurs’ crucial Champions League play-off game against Young Boys — has seen his stock rise sharply around Europe, and he could be the answer for Juventus, who have been looking at signing a striker.

La Vecchia Signora are said to be keeping the spotlight firmly on Defoe, whose contract with Spurs expires in 2014.

A January transfer could arise, but the Bianconeri would have to offer the Premier League outfit at least €16 million (£13.3m) to garner attention and overcome Tottenham’s likely resistance to a sale.

The Old Lady added Jorge Martinez and Fabio Quagliarella to their forward ranks this summer, but Luigi Del Neri is looking for the pace and shoot-on-sight instincts Defoe offers, reports Tuttosport.

What a week for Defoe, hat trick for England, being compared to David Villa of Spain by Ian Wright (thats what friends are for) and now apparently on Juve’s wanted list. Although Defoe is known to happy at White Hart Lane after his reunion with Harry Redknapp and Spurs, Juve will remain hopeful that their status as one of the biggest clubs in Europe might persuade the 27-year old to make a move.

Defoe added goals 13, 14 and 15 to his tally on Friday night in his 44th appearance.  Defoe is one of the most prolific scorers within the English Premier League and has scored 29 in 50 starts and 7 substitute appearances since his return to White Hart Lane after scoring 17 in 34 starts and 2 appearances off the bench with Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth.

Could the desire be there to now prove himself on the continent whilst in his prime? Following the World Cup there was a belief England player’s experience and effectiveness is limited to the Premier League.  Defoe could be the first player to make a leap from the safety of the Premier League into the uncertainty of Europe for some time.  We as a nation import many players but very rarely export.  Is this because we over price them, or is it simply we have something in our make up which is fatally flawed?

However this plays out, we as a club must make sure any deal benefits all parties with the emphasis on the fee involved sufficient to enable the financing of a suitable replacement.

Sep 062010
 

Last week Spurs confirmed the signing of Croatian Stipe Pletikosa on a season long loan. Having not had much time to research this guy as he seemed to be the forgotten man in the Van der Vaart saga I finally got around to it today.

I found this video on and I like the look of him, he is very brave and athletic. He has won 80 caps for Croatia which is impressive and you could argue that at the age of 31 he should be in his prime as a goalkeeper. Many believed that Pletikosa deserved to win the best keeper at Euro 2008 but unfortunately the luck never fell his way.

My only criticism I any are that it looks as though he might be a bit over theatrical in some of the saves he makes but we will have to wait and see. He was once regarded as the best keeper in the Russian league. You lot are the judges, opinions below chaps.

Sep 052010
 

I am a bit late with this one but I will give it to you anyway for those who have just had a big Sunday morning lay in to sleep off a hangover. Arjen Robben last night insisted: Spurs have made the signing of the summer in £8million Rafael van der Vaart.

Van der Vaart signed on transfer deadline day in the final minutes in a £8million move from Spanish giants Real Madrid after falling down the pecking order behind the likes of Kaka and Ronaldo.

Rafael Van der Vaart was tipped to join Bayern Munich before Spurs snapped him up and fellow Dutch team mate Arjen Robben who was hoping VDV would join him at the German club was quoted as saying “With Rafa on board, Spurs really do have one of the very best midfield  players in the Premier League, maybe even the best.”

“I don’t know why he didn’t join Bayern in the end. I really wanted him but Spurs have bought a gem”.

“In terms of his vision, his range of passing, his ability to split a defence and his eye for goal he is as good as Cesc Fabregas, Steven Gerrard and of course Frank Lampard.

“He is that bridge for Spurs that makes them go from a very good Premier League club to a team capable of taking on and beating any side in Europe on their day.”

“Madrid almost gave away one of the best players in the world – but that’s their style.

“They got rid of me and Wesley Sneijder in the same summer and I went on to win my domestic league and get to the Champions League Final while Wesley went on to win the Treble and become the best player in the world.

“Madrid’s mistake will very much be Spurs’ gain.

“I knew of his interest in England and that van Persie had been  speaking with him about how great life in London was.

“I think when Robin was trying to convince him how great London and the Premier League was, it was as though he was trying to convince him to join Arsenal.

“It’s kind of backfired on Robin a little bit now, though, because he has signed for their biggest rivals.

“Before Rafa signed, I’d still have had Arsenal down as the stronger team – but now I don’t think there is anything between them.”

It is good to hear that the people who know him best regard his ability so highly and nobody can doubt on paper we have a midfield that can rival anyone. We couldn’t get a top top striker so Harry added something extra to midfield which will mean not having a top top striker might not cost us anything this season. Van der Vaart will add goals from midfield as he likes to get in the box like Lampard does.

Robben added: “For fans who have not seen a lot of him, I would compare him to Cesc Fabregas. He can play out wide, but his ideal position is playing in the middle of the park as playmaker.

“Spurs can play him as they wish but he is by far the most talented player in their squad. If they don’t build the team around him in the middle, it will be a big waste.”

Aug 262010
 

It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet just what we have achieved, I suppose it will seem strange watching the draw for the Champions League group stages and seeing Tottenham pulled out. However nobody can deny that we don’t deserve this chance. For once a Tottenham team with real promise has actually delivered.

Last night was perfect because of the early goal, it was so nice to be able to watch a Tottenham game and have the nerves taken away so early on, we are used to going through agony for the whole 90 mins before we are finally put out of our misery but last night was different. The result never looked in any doubt, what a contrast from last week’s match.

Friday will see us in the 3rd seeds pot but to be honest nothing else matters from here, everything is a bonus, bring on the big boys. Inter and Real could be in our group but I say bring it on. We can beat anyone at White Hart Lane because we have something no other team does…. Gareth Bale!

Our group will end up with any three of these teams in it, one from each pot.

Pot 1

Inter Milan
Barcelona
Bayern Munich
AC Milan
Lyon

Pot 2

Werder Bremen
Real Madrid
Roma
Shakhtar Donetsk
Benfica
Valencia
Marseille
Panathinaikos

Pot 4

Hapoel Tel Aviv
FC Twente
Rubin Kazan
Auxerre
Cluj
Parizan Belgrade
Zilina
Bursaspor

Aug 252010
 

First and foremost for the grammar experts, yes I have been drinking heavily tonight but considering the occassion please firgive any spelling errors.

Watching tonight’s match and oh boy what a feeling, the sense of what we have actually achieved hasn’t properly sunk in yet as I am sure it hasn’t for most of you. Well let me try to hit it home for you, Tottenham Hotspur are a Champions League club, you can get used to sitting in on a week night to enjoy our beloved club play Champions League football.

Like a lot of others I was skeptical tonight, I knew we had the ability but the best thing about supporting Spurs is you never know, we could just as easily have gone out and lost tonight as when something is usually too good to be true it usually turns out that way and we end up with heartache.

Tonight though things were different, for once we delivered our promise and finally delivered the club Champions League football. Peter Crouch scored a hat-trick in a convincing 4-0 win over Young Boys. Crouch set us on our way in just the 4th minute which was the perfect start we all hoped for and we never looked back from that moment.

This means a windfall of over £20million for Spurs so don’t be surprised if our quiet summer turns into a spending frenzy in the next few days. I don’t think there will be many new faces but maybe one or two big signings and I expect Luis Fabiano to be on the cards even more so now because we are Champions League and Sevilla are not and new Uefa rules mean he is now not cup tied.

So Say it and believe it Tottenham Hotspur will be hosting Champions League football at Whie Hart Lane, we are now amongst Europe’s elite and a much more glamorous club.

Aug 252010
 

Thanks Willo for sending this in, good read.

I lay in my bed last night, 3am, the dreaded alarm reaching touching distance and still I was hours away from sleep. The fresh stitches in my knee from a touch of horrific-tackle-induced surgery were not helping, but it was glory I had in my mind.

With the best part of 25 years behind me as a Spurs fan, I am that generation of fan that was a bit too young at the time to have vivid memories of Gary and Gazza, as was my father for the glorious Double Winning Team. 3 trips to Wembley, 1 to Cardiff, 2 League cups and 2 sad days, and that’s it really. We have had some unbelievable nights at the Lane; Bonfire Night 2007, the 5-1 Drubbing of the Arse, Danny’s Volley and occasional 9-1 scorcher, but have we ever had a night of tonight’s ilk?

In a way, the defeat last week was a blessing. It has given us a night that I can remember forever, the night we finally stood up and were counted for. At school, my peers were mainly Scum supporters, and they revelled in silverware they picked up season after season – as if taking our rock wasn’t enough, we had to sit back and take their success coupled with our relative failures. Martin took us to the brink, and lasagna jokes aside, we nearly got ourselves into the position we sit today, without ever looking like we wanted it, or deserved it.

Today is a different picture. Harry has pumped fresh life into 90% of our squad. Not only do we want to take our place amongst Europe’s Elite, we deserve it. We are not Tottenham of old, we have strength, depth, skill and flair. In Bale and Lennon we have 2 wingers that have and will run circles round some of the best defenders the world has to offer, and we are 90 minutes away from giving them that opportunity.

Last Tuesday night, for 28 minutes I saw a team that I had watched for a decade. A team that got scared of the stage they were on and the crowd that was watching them. At the risk of tarnishing my reputation before it is born, F*ck the pitch. We were not good enough. At 3-0 down we looked like the side who bottled it against West Ham. Then Tom came into the fold and showed us all why Harry has picked him as his Quarter Back – agile and mobile he may not be, but without him we looked like a door with no hinges – as soon as he stepped foot onto the pitch belief came back and we looked more like the side who earned their place in Bern.

We are 90 minutes away from achieving something I can hold my hands up and admit that I never thought possible. When we beat them, we will go through to the biggest club competition in our game, and we will do it with a squad big enough to handle it. Our Chairman, and I say Ours because he is Ours, he is a business man yes but he runs the club impeccably, and when we qualify, a kitty will open and White Hart Lane will emerge as The Place to Be. Losing is not an option, losing is not a possibility, we have come too far and tried too hard, tonight is the night Arsenal fans wish they were Lily Whites, the night Chelsea fans regret riding the wave of success on the back of an Oligarch’s Billions, tonight is our night.

COYS.

Aug 252010
 

This is what it has all come down to, all the hard work from last season now boils down to this one important game. The winner of this final Champions League qualifier stands to make around £25million, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

We all know what happened in the first leg and if it wasn’t for Bassong and Pav pulling us back two goals them it’s almost safe to say we wouldn’t have much hope for tonight. However we now have just a one goal deficit and home advantage on our side. Last night’s games however were a remind that upsets do happen with Sevilla crashing out at home to Braga, so it is important to show Young Boys the respect they deserve.

Jermain Defoe looks to play through the pain of a groin injury one final time before going under the knife which will see him out of action for a month. Modric has failed to recover from the injury he picked up last week and will play no part in tonight’s match. Giovani dos Santos, Robbie Keane and Pavlyuchenko all picked up knocks in the game as well, however were in training on Wednesday morning and ready to play a part. Robbie Keane has also made the trip and is likely to play some part after rumours of a bust up behind the scenes with Joe Jordan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNr4TdzpOPU

So this is it, have we really broke the top 4 or are we merely just a flash in the pan? Come around 21:30 tonight we will know the answer, as the hours go by I feel myself getting more and more nervous and I am sure with every shot on target tonight from both teams that my heart will be in my mouth.

Tottenham Hotspur v Young Boys, Champions League qualifier, it doesn’t come any bigger than this. The game will be live on ITV or the ITV website plus as always I will put it into the Triffic Tottenham Forum so sign up to be able to watch and chat for live reactions from fellow fans, the forum is active now with almost 1,000 members and I really appreciate the effort from you guys so far.

Spurs shirts on tonight, this is what we have waited all summer for, I dread that sick feeling if it doesn’t go our way but I am feeling confident.

COYS!!!!

Kick Off 19:45

Highlights to the first game and any other matches so far can be seen here