RAUL: The pasta was over-cooked and Juande spilt wine on his shirt

Raul admits to Tottenham interest
Spurs almost sign Raul
How I almost joined Tottenham
Almost a Spur

You’d think we nearly signed him if you don’t look beyond the overly dramatic headlines. Fact is all Raul did was have lunch with Ramos (whilst still Spurs boss) along with Gines Carvajal who is agent to both. Raul claims that they called him to discuss English football, as he was interested in hearing Juandes experience of Tottenham and the Premier League. Apparently he likes the English game. Hidden away in some of these reports (not all) is another Raul quote about ‘interpretations’ relating to the fact that Ramos was then sacked by Spurs and appointed Madrid boss. Sounds like Raul/Carvajal are trying to dismiss more local rumours (back in Spain) about Raul tapping up the then Spurs boss.

Here’s a better headline for this story: Nothing to see here, please move along, slow-news day.

Elsewhere, Darko Lazovic has had a successful trial at Spurs, impressing in the past month. The 18-year old playmaker is currently at FK Borac Cacak and is valued at a lowly 500k (expect imminent £15M offer soon then). Reports suggest he will sign for us, even though nothing is directly mentioned other than the player saying he is in no rush to make a decision.

We don’t have the greatest track record at the minute when purchasing hyped kids. Gio, Adel, Kevin Prince Boateng – all have been bit part players in their time at Spurs. KPB has gone back to Germany on loan. Gio is nowhere near the first team squad and rumours continue to persist about a summer departure (almost joined Pompey back in January). And as for Adel……great talent (was buzzing on international duty for Morocco mid-week) needs development on decision making. Harry fancies him a bit and we’ll probably see a lot more of his magic feet in the coming weeks (play him from the start in the UEFA Cup rather than a late cameo appearance where he tries to hard to impress). As for Gareth Bale (another kid), he’ll reclaim his past form for us (he looks class for Wales) soon enough. He just needs to find the voodoo doll and remove the last few remaining pins.

edit: Adel isn't in the UEFA Cup squad. Gutted. We'll have to stick with the cameos until next season then.

As for Darko, sign him up if the kid is a genuine talent rather than hype. Sounds like he might have enough about him to knock on the first team door sooner rather than later. ComolliVision no longer a concern.

And Spurs are doing something right at the moment with the academy team who are exceptional (thanks to Alex Inglethorpe). As long as the experienced first teamers get it together, bringing the younger players into the fold won’t be so daunting and morale crushing. Maybe the likes of Gio and KPB (who was never a Young German Player of the Year no matter how many times the newspapers tell you) were the wrong type of signings for us.

Not much else to report on at the moment. International week followed by Cup weekend has bored me to tears. UEFA Cup? Oh yeah. Not sure you can count the Shakhtar Donetsk game as important. I always want Spurs to win. But I can’t say this weeks UEFA Cup first leg in the Ukraine is something I’m excited about. We can’t win the competition with so many players cup-tied (Corluka, Keane, Pavlyuchenko) and not risked (King) along with the fact that we’re a bit shit. Three points in the next league match is the only priority for us - that and Wembley, I guess.

I’ll be watching the game on Thursday hoping to see some of the ‘kids’ perhaps get a baptism of fire (not so daunting and moral crushing if we lose as Shakhtar are no mugs and there is little expectation for this game). Won’t lost any sleep if it goes pear-shaped. Hull, sandwiched between the two legs (ooh matron), is the one to win. Don’t see us risking too many players considering that winning at Wembley would also be quite nice. I could do with a smile. We could all do with a smile. Doesn’t mean the players who are selected to play in the Ukraine don’t give it 110%. Even if the game is not a priority, they should still aim to impress.

Cheeky 2-1 win then to us?

And finally, Roman Pavyluchenko is struggling to come to terms with the English language, women and food. To be perfectly honest, it sounds like he’s settled in just fine. Welcome to England. You’re one of us now.