The Academy Award goes to...
The suggestion is we dropped out of the race to sign Oscar days back, leaving Chelsea with an alleged bid (reported by the English press, not reported by the Brazilian press, denied by Internacional). £25M the valuation. Expect confusion as Joorabchian is involved. Sure, he's (Oscar) 'unknown' in terms of adaptability to the Prem and a far bigger risk than the more well known Joao Moutinho - the more likely candidate to slot into the position of the departing Luka Modric.
With regards to Internacional themselves, more confusion from the stands over our partnership/relationship that was struck a while back. My understanding is we get first dibs on their academy produced players (like Sandro). Although I remember this would entail youth players coming to Spurs and acclimatising to European football before moving on to the continent. Whether this means we sign them and sell them on (profiting both us and Inter) or they are loaned and return back to Brazil is anyone's guess. Bruno Uvini came to us on loan. But he plays for Sao Paulo and not Inter. So unless I'm mistaken, I've yet to see anything play out between the two clubs, aside from the perpetual linkage to Leandro Damiao.
As for Moutinho? Best supporting actor? I'll be happy to see him take the plaudits in a Lilywhite shirt.
Let battle commence
Around 1:30pm - 2pm, Wed, live on Sky Sports News via the new Tottehnam Training centre...Villas-Boas and his first press conference. How many times will the press mention Harry Redknapp by name? I reckon eleven times. Villas-Boas looks sexy, speaks great English (more articulate than our previously soundbite ridden gaffer) but is not half as animated and stand-up comedianesque so expect a subtle backlash in the post-coverage.
Between the sticks
Villas-Boas stating everyone has the chance to impress him, clean slate all round. Great news right? Wrong, well, wrong if you believe the current stories that we are in talks with Hugo Lloris, Lyon and French international sweeper keeper. Somewhere, in a dark corner at The Lodge, Gomes wipes a single solitary tear off his cheek. Would be a cracking signing this. He'd be our number one. Confident, commanding and although Gomes might scream out about shot stopping and reflexes, he cant compare or compete with Lloris cool maturity and decision making. The latter an important ingredient in the high-line tactical planning Villas-Boas is planning on introducing to Spurs. Also, having signed Vertonghen (formally captain of Ajax) we'll be getting another leader in Lloris. This bodes well. Fingers at the ready...and cross them...NOW. Source of this story? This is no watery spurt of Ketchup. It's via L'equipe and negotiations have apparently started. He's twenty-five years of age. He fits the new age bill. Brad to slot into the number two role, Gomes to move on completley.
Defoe to Reading?
That's the rumour. Although I wouldn't expect that to happen unless we've got signings on the way. You get the feeling he's still going to be third inline to the throne at Spurs. Adebayor + another top class signing + potentially a young understudy (or a promoted Harry Kane). Meaning that JD might be better off at a club where he is guaranteed to start every game, up top with a partner and not as the lone man in a three tier attack. As an impact striker, I'd have no complaints in keeping him. He'd have a few. All theortical of course.
Via Le Parisien, PSG are interested in Luka Modric, so much so they've offered 40M Euros. French ITK? The vast majority of people claiming to know something would tell you he's already on his way to the Bernabeu. Although that's not to say such an offer from the mega-rich French wouldn't give Levy a nice little a bargaining tool if no offer from elsewhere has yet to be accepted.
Everyone get all giddy when seeing the photos of Villas-Boas and the lads back in training? I'm having to change panties daily. Dean Parrett (youth player) was equally excited, tweeting:
"New gaffers quality knows what he's doing and speaks to everyone.. Everybody has a chance to impress"
I'm sure the first team players feel the same. To have someone astute and mindful and prepared can only make you (the professional footballer) better as an individual and as part of a collective. Completley different, I'd hazard a guess, to Redknapp patrolling the byline and letting Bond and Jordan drill the first team. Am I understating Harry's accountability there? Sure, yes. Much like the tabloid hacks built up this great exodus that was upon us post-Villas Boas appointment.
Photos and video footage of training sessions on official THFC Facebook page.
Jan Vertonghen joins the team tomorrow.
This is the best team, you've ever played for
Another 'worst kept secret' it would seem as everyone is waiting for official word on us making Emmanuel Adebayor a permanent signing giving us two forwards and still requiring a box office third. Adebayor give us a dimension to our play that we've lacked for a while. Not just the tracking back and the decent work ethos but also the ease he settled into the Tottenham way of linking with his team mates as opposed to some of the lesser effective strikers we've had in the past (Darren Bent) that required the team to support them rather than the player support the team. Under Villas-Boas I expect him to be more successful in front of goal, ironic that one of our best performers under-performed at times where it mattered most. Although he had his fair share of disallowed efforts and our general lack of discipline and fluidity from the flanks and support in the penalty area made for a frustrating lack of cutting edge. With Bale and Lennon on the wings and someone of Adebayor's calibre up front, we should have got more for our possession last season. I'll wager we will this time round.
What does it mean?
Continuing on from Adebayor - if he has signed then we're talking about the player agreeing to become our highest paid player. Possibly 100k? More? If so, does this nod approvingly to the direction Levy wants to take us in terms of now paying for players when its imperative to do so in order to capture their signature or is this a clue towards the rumour of a cash injection? Allowing us to be more ambitious in the transfer market and with our wage structure?
The hype continues to build.
Cycling 5000 miles across the USA for Cancer Research UK
Max Ricky Mills, Tottenham fan, is currently cycling 5000 miles across the United States. Since starting his journey he has been astonished by the generosity and kindness of those he has met so in turn has decided to try and link his trip to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. You can take a look at some of the photographs he has taken on his blog: http://maxrickymills.tumblr.com/page/2 and click here if you wish to donate.