Brad Friedel Transfer Gives Tottenham a Chance To Reach the Champions League
One of the most efficient goalkeepers in the history of the English Premier League, Brad Friedel officially signed a two-year deal with Tottenham yesterday.
Friedel has been one of the most important players for Aston Villa over the past four seasons, getting the Villans into Europa League qualification twice and helping the club to regularly finish in the top half of the Premier League table.
Before his time with Villa, Friedel spent eight seasons with Blackburn, helping the Rovers to secure promotion into the Premier League and the 2002 League Cup.
Altogether, Friedel has started a Premier League record 275 consecutive matches.
Internationally, Friedel used to play for the United States national team, participating in one match in the 1998 World Cup, and was the star of the US team that went to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals. Friedel announced his international retirement in 2005.
But after a subpar year with Aston Villa, Friedel joins Spurs after they had a fantastic season in the Champions League, beating the likes of AC Milan and Inter Milan to reach the quarterfinals in their first appearance under the Champions League format.
However, Spurs were unable to impress in Premier League like they were able to in the 2009-2010 season, where they finished fourth.
Throughout last season, one of Tottenham's biggest problems came in the form of mediocre goalkeeping from Brazilian Heurelho Gomes.
Altogether, Gomes started 20 matches for Spurs last season, but it was his numerous mistakes that will be remembered as a key reason why Spurs did not reach the Champions League this season.
Now that Friedel has been acquired, odds are that he will be starting all Premier League matches for Spurs and Gomes will either be pushed to the bench or sent out.
But this move for Friedel is an upgrade for Spurs next season and will be looked upon to achieve more than Gomes did in his last several seasons.
The only real remaining question with Friedel will be if he can stay on top of his game for two more seasons. Friedel can certainly do that but now the next move for Spurs must be to get a strong backup keeper to wait in the wings behind Friedel and probably take his job come the 2013-2014 season.
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