Tottenham Thoughts: Steely Rome, a Roming Friedel and....Gunners-Lite?

Trent Scott@ IIINovember 23, 2012

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 22:  Andre Villas-Boas head coach of Tottenham during the UEFA Europa League Group J match between S.S. Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stadio Olimpico on November 22, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

All is not doom and gloom for Tottenham after a second 0-0 draw against Lazio in the Europa League Thursday.

Though Spurs can count themselves somewhat lucky that the Rome outfit did not beat Hugo Lloris, the Londoners could also feel aggrieved that, yet again, another goal was disallowed against the Italians.

A choppy match was nearly brought to life from the off when Tom Carroll put Gareth Bale in to score, only to see the linesman’s flag up for reasons that completely elude me.

Past that, though, Spurs were second-best in the attacking sense yet Lazio were wasteful in front of goal.

In truth, though, Tottenham got a result that many would normally be happy with and will likely see the white half of North London into the last 32 of the competition.

The match did, however, see the return of Mousa Dembele, a welcome sight even if he had little to do other than help defend over the final 15 minutes.

The draw seemed fitting as Lazio’s profligate shooting made up for the goal that was not and, after the events before and during the match, it is one that should be cherished for some time to come.

No Roman Holiday

On a less pleasant note was news before the match that several Tottenham supporters were attacked at a bar in the Italian capital in the wee hours of the morning Thursday.

Italy has had a torrid history of less than pleasant greetings for English fans and Rome has been a particularly nasty city for attacks.

Supporters have been tattooed with steel from various clubs and while the Italians typically reserve their more dastardly deeds for Serie A matches, English fans have been given plenty of chances to have blood spilled.

What is troubling with this is that is, while a night on the town should not end with somebody’s forehead split open, fans have to know that there the precedent has well and truly been established.

A Roving Friedel

As has already been discussed in previous editions, the goalkeeper position at Tottenham would be a competition until Brad Friedel was eventually moved on to make way for Hugo Lloris.

Given the upside of Lloris and the fact that Friedel is old enough to remember when Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney, Jr. were major movie stars, it’s not surprising that the press would start floating stories about.

Cue The Mail, who offer a completely plausible idea: a return to Blackburn.

Given how close it is getting to the January transfer window, it should come as little surprise that a story like this should pop up.

But, in all honesty, even if this particular round does not prove to be the full story, the theme that Friedel will be departing is one that will be understood by most and parroted for most of the next two months.

It is a shame that Tottenham did not have a chance to have more time with Friedel, as the American backstop has proven repeatedly to be a top-class keeper match after match no matter where he has been.

Lloris, however, is one of the most highly regarded net minders in Europe and Tottenham are in capable, if slightly acrobatic, hands.

Regardless of the drubbing he was subjected to in another section of London, Lloris has gotten enough of a taste of English football to be able to slot in with little trouble.

Eliminating the revolving door should also help by removing one lingering doubt from the minds of Tottenham defenders who might wonder who they are protecting on a weekly basis.

Considering how hapless they looked against Arsenal, any relief should be welcomed.

What Spurs Really Need Is…..

I laughed when I read the headline about Nicklas Bendtner saying he was “open” to the idea of moving to Tottenham earlier this week.

You know, because picking up more castaways from the red half of North London is going to keep improving the squad.

Becoming Gunners-Lite is probably not a generally accepted practice in the area around White Hart Lane. Even the idea of it is somewhat disturbing.

Never mind the idea that Spurs have picked up three former members from the dark side—William Gallas, Emmanuel Adebayor and David Bentley—and gotten mixed returns from that trio.

The fact that Juventus took on Bendtner is remarkable. So far, he has repaid them by….not having scored.

Considering the Old Lady has scored 29 goals so far in Serie A, zero goals in six appearances probably does not qualify as a ringing endorsement of Bendtner's scoring exploits.

Because when most people think of improving the squad, picking up a striker who does not score and seeing improvement only applies to people who buy Fernando Torres.


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