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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.

Aug 242010

With Sevilla crashing out in the final qualifying round for before the Champions League group stages if you are to believe the rumours that we are heavily involved in trying to bring Luis Fabiano to the Lane then surely a win against Young Boys will seal the deal.

Sevilla Man Fabiano - Could He Be Lane Bound?

Sevilla crashed out losing at home to Braga 5-3 on aggregate, so if Tottenham can see off Young Boys then surely that makes joining Tottenham seem the better option for Fabiano. Spurs are trailing 3-2 so it is by no means going to be easy but I remain confident.

Fabiano seems to be the main summer target, that one major signing we have been looking for so if we can offer him Champions League football then surely he wouldn’t turn that down. There was confusion but it seems the rules have been changed for this seasons competitions to which a player is not cup tied if his team are knocked out in preliminary rounds. If this is the case then he would be free to play for us should we qualify.

So the odds have just increased in our favour of Fabiano coming to the Lane and should we win against Young Boys then I can really see this one happening, it will probably all hinge on that one game.

The match kicks off at 19:45 and will be live in the Forum as always so log in or sign up to watch it and chat live as other fans watch it with you.

Aug 232010

Well less than 12 months back and Gareth Bale was in the wilderness and seemingly frozen out by Harry, it looked as though he would be sold or loaned out in January and Nottingham Forest were the front runners. What a difference a few months can make.

Boom Boom Boom Let Me Hear You Say Bale....

More than luck than by good judgement by Harry as an injury to BAE forced the hand of the gaffer to give Bale his chance again at left back and boy oh boy did this kid take his chance. In fact I don’t think I have ever seen anybody grab a chance better in my life than Gareth Bale has done. This kid in less than a year has gone from almost joining Nottingham Forest to the hottest property in the Premier League.

Bale was signed by Tottenham for around £10million in the summer of 2007 from Southampton, he arrived as a 17 year old with great promise. He was in an out of the team for the first season due to picking up some injuries but he did chip in with a couple of goals along the way. He missed the back end of the season with ligament damage.

The following season Bale was a bit part player under both Ramos and Redknapp, unfortunately Bale had a hoodoo hanging over him which saw Tottenham not win a Premiership match in 24 attempts with Bale in the team. I think Harry read too much into this because he really didn’t seem to want Bale anywhere near his starting XI and for most part of the 2008/09 season Bale was frozen out again at left back in favour of BAE. None could really argue too much because BAE was really growing as a player and had become one of our best left backs in recent times.

2009/10 Started the same for Gareth and it looked as though he finally had enough and wanted to move in January but then fate decided to step in. BAE was due to play for Cameroon in the African Cup Of Nations so would have missed a few games but he actually picked up an injury just before. This saw Harry throw Bale into the team once again at left back for the FA Cup 3rd round match agaisnt Peterborough to which he was very impressive. He then started agaisnt Fulham in which we won 2-0 and finally his first win as a starter ending the Premiership curse hanging over his head and once again putting in an impressive display. In face for about 5 games in a row Bale was our best player from left back.

Bale seemed to be tearing teams to pieces when getting forward, he was good at defending but seemed to lack concentration and get caught out a lot, especially agaisnt the top teams. This showed when we faced Man Utd and Redknapp put BAE right back and Bale on the left, neither player felt comfortable and it showed. Harry has now found that when both are fit that playing Bale left mid and BAE left back does the trick. I can see why Redknapp wants to turn Bale into a good defender because of his ability to get forward as well it is like having 2 players in 1 on the left which is effectively like having an extra man in midfield.

With our push for 4th and that Elusive Champions League spot still up for grabs, Bale hit the winners agaisnt Arsenal and Chelsea. He finished the season as an icon to the fans. Gareth Bale had gone from the forgotten man to a player indispensible to the club. Even some of the big European teams have been sniffing around Bale but thankfully he has signed a new deal at the lane. Bale looks as though he is now enjoying life at the Lane and is truely adored by the Tottenham supporters. Since breaking into the team last January I don’t think Bale has had a really bad game, he is now one of the most exciting players to watch.

This season has started the same as the last finished for Bale, he looked threatening agaisnt Manchester City on the opening day and he bagged himself a brace agaisnt Stoke at the weekend, the highlights for that and the download can be found in the highlights section under the streams tab. If you haven’t seen his second goal yet then you must see it.

So this is the story of Gareth Bale, the rise and fall and then rise again of Bale, I think he is now established as one of the best players in the Premiership and he is ours and at still only 21 we have plenty more of him to see.

Jul 312010

Was browsing around Youtube and I came across an interview with new Spurs signing Sandro, I don’t know if many of you have seen it but for those of you who haven’t here it is.

He looks decent enough, let’s face it if you play for Brazil you can’t be too shabby can you. He seems keen to join us which makes me like him even more. He goes on to say that he will always give us 100% and was happy to see us finish 4th last season. I just hope he is the real deal and not another over hyped youngster like KPB. He plays the defensive midfield role which you would think that Harry has no plans to play him alongside Palacios, so is he going to be backup or can he actually offer something different?

The midfielder has signed a five-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur and will join the club once Internacional end their run in the Libertadores.

Jul 312010

Giovani Dos Santos! Watching him in midweek made me think to myself even more “I hope Harry can see he is worth keeping”, he didn’t change the game but for me he is a player who is always a threat and a player who is well capable of nicking us a goal out of nothing.

I am going to take a gamble on him this season by putting him in my dream team ( he will only be one of my subs to start with). Watching the World Cup he showed he has natural talent and abaility, he just needs someone to get the best out of him and if Harry can do that with the rest of our team then why not with Gio?. Whenever he plays for Mexico everything goes through him, he pulls all the strings  and at such a young age. You don’t play for Barcelona and become a bad player over night.

Harry seems to have warmed to him more since the World Cup, he has said on a few occasions that he knows Gio is talented but he prefers the party lifestyle and should he just knuckle down could be a great player. So why does Harry up untill now always overlook him? is it punishment for his extreme social life?

To me if Harry is a good manager then part of being a good manager is to work with players that have been misguided and turn them around and to help them reach their full potential. Giving up on a player with ability like Dos Santos is criminal and it would be a decision we could live to regret and that scares me.

The general feel I get from Spurs fans is that they mainly share my view that this kid isn’t done and dusted and could yet show us the reason we signed him. I think Gio would be well suited to Champions League matches. Gio was nominated for best young player at this year’s 2010 World Cup and it seems maybe Harry has picked up on his performances and might just be willing to open the door once more for Gio. Gio scored in our 4-1 defeat to Villarreal in midweek to give us something to cheer about, he gives off vibes of calmness when in front of goal and dribbling with the ball looks like it comes natural to him like it does to Messi.

Now if you are asking me I think up untill the new year we will see Gio given more of a chance, probably his last chance at Tottenham, but I just hope it is a fair chance and not 10 mins here and there, he can play on the left, forward or in a hole behind the striker. I sometimes think Harry doesn’t know which position is best for Gio but why not give him more of a chance. I would much rather see Gio in a Spurs shirt for another season than Jenas.

We take on Befinca at their gaff on tuesday night, hopefully Giovani will be given a good run out in that match too and hopefully win Harry over even more. The game will be live on ESPN I believe so sign up to the >>forum<< to see the match live. Gio what would you do with him?