Interviewed by Typical City in their 'Inside the Opposition' series which you can find here. Also shared here.
What do you make of Adebayor?
I rate him. I think most Spurs fans do. Sure, he’s a bit erratic but what he brings to the side is imperative to how we shape up offensively. He’s great at working the channels, dropping deep and even though he had the ‘Andy Coles’ about him last season he can score a few goals also. Not been ideal tbh, the way the transfer panned out in the summer. He wasn’t training or playing for City’s first team in pre-season, we eventually sign him and he’s injured, he comes back then picks up another knock. He offers more than Defoe, he’s more suited to our playing style and I’m hoping he gets the chance in the league to start a game. AVB has been very loyalty to Defoe so far.
Do you think Brad Friedel should remain number 1 until his form dips or do you think Lloris should be installed as number 1?
Honestly? This is my one major irritation with AVB. He must have had a say in signing Lloris. Surely. Otherwise every player we bought in the summer was a Levy signing and that could go some way to explaining why certain players have not been involved – but I think that’s borderline conspiracy. AVB is probably showing loyalty to Friedel because he was our number one. Performance wise, he’s a superb shot-stopper. He’s made mistakes though and he’s very slow off his line (if off it at all). Lloris is so much more than a keeper. Sweeper-keeper is the tag and you’d think he’s the perfect fit for AVB’s system because Hugo can use his feet and has brilliant distribution. I’m scratching my head with this. Brad admitted in the summer he would probably play second fiddle to someone, so it’s no big deal to him at the very least if he’s dropped.
Who’s been Spurs’ best signing this season?
Not sure we made it. We’ve not replaced Modric and van der Vaart and I don’t think we’ve signed a player AVB wanted 100%. Lloris is a great signing, hopefully we’ll see that soon. However, we need a playmaker and we need a full-fledged ‘striker’. Adebayor & the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year means we are shafted if Defoe gets injured. Vertonghen also looks like a brilliant signing, he’s fantastic. Defends and is superb at running forward with the ball. Very cultured player. Dembele is also a beast. Shame he won’t be available for us when we face you.
What would constitute a good season for Spurs?
A good season at the moment would be just to have the atmosphere back at White Hart Lane and for all Spurs supporters to unite behind the team. Success and the want for it has skewered expectations for many, hence the black cloud around N17. The way we’ve shaped up at home isn’t helping matters either. Considering the form of other clubs, I think top four is achievable – if we bolster in January. Would love us to get to Amsterdam and win the Europa League. Silverware, that olde commodity so many sacrifice for their lust for Champions League should always be a goal.
Who’s the best team in North London?
There’s only one team in North London. Tottenham Hotspur. I know we’ve had some South Londoners squat down the road after failing to house share with Fulham, but they don’t really count.
How much have you missed Modric?
Massively. Dembele is very talented but he offers a more direct style of offensive play. We lack that subtly of Luka. He was truly brilliant at allowing us to tick over, getting the ball forward then releasing a clever defence splitting ball. Doesn’t seem to have settled out in Madrid, but then he was never going to break into the first team that quickly. Hope he does, other wise, what a waste.
What’s your assessment of Villas-Boas thus far?
He’s astute technically and tactically. He’s a bit stubborn but then so is every manager. He needs a season. He can’t be expected to fix something with a half empty tool box. And we need new tools. In fact, even the ones we have are currently missing. It’s all good asking for him to have us playing swashbuckling football but it’s not always going to be possible. We’re better away from home, mainly because we have to react to how the opposition set out. But at the Lane, we’ve struggled to impose our identity. He’ll work it out in the end. Too many Spurs fans are hanging onto the good memories of Redknapp forgetting how much we struggled at key moments in the season (mind the gap anyone?) and how he also took a dump on the club with the way he whored himself to the FA for the England job. AVB needs time. The club has had an overhaul of training, coaches and ideology since the summer. We’re not playing well, yet we’re 5th. Not half as bad as it looks.
What’s your perception of City from the outside?
It’s a tricky one this because it would be easy to answer the question in the manner most would. If you look at your history, you’re supporters have had a truly emotional roller-coaster of hurt and elation, in terms of when you plummeted down the leagues and worked your way back up. In some ways, it must feel fantastical that you went through all of that and have now won the league title. On the other, personally, I’m uncomfortable with how modern football can see a club build so quickly to something like a league title because of financial clout. Chelsea being the perfect example. You think Jose Mourinho would have gone there if there was a Russian billionaire watching from the stands? They were a team doing quite well that we’re transported to the next level over night. The money, it’s a powerful tool, simply because modern footballers are obsessed with it.
Also, you have a fair few players that say if you we’re not owned by billionaires, you wouldn’t actually have and they’d be shared around other Prem teams and Europe. City, Chelsea, PSG one or two others…I guess this is a reality we just have to face up to. Some Spurs fans should actually appreciate how difficult it is to challenge consistently at the very top-tier because of how strong the likes of City are.
If you could sign one City player, who would it be?
Just the one? Can I not have three? Ha! Seriously, it would have to be Sergio Leonel “Kun” Agüero. We need a player like him up front.
Sandro might be back in contention. Real shame Dembele won’t be. Away from home, I always fancy our chances. It’s not beyond the realm of impossibility that we get some form of result at Eastlands. Could be a classic. I just want us to turn up and turn on. City have been erratic this season but the sheer amount of quality in your side means you have an abundance of match-winning players at the ready. Impossible to predict. So I’m going to go with a Spurs win. x