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The switch at Spurs is made; Brad Friedel is on the bench

Oct 7, 2012, 3:21 PM EDT


Well, it happened a little faster than even I expected.

We told you two weeks ago that the Hugo Lloris momentum was already rolling downhill, gaining that unstoppable force. We said by mid-October that Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would acquiesce and make the change, replacing American incumbent Brad Friedel with the French international recruited and signed for Spurs duty on the recent transfer window’s last day.

Well, we almost made it. Until mid-October, that is. (The prediction is at the bottom of this post, in case you don’t believe me.)

Lloris was in goal Sunday for Spurs 2-0 win over Aston Villa. That means Friedel’s long, record run of 310 consecutive Premier League starts is kaput. It was a darned impressive stuff, though; the stretch of starts in one of the world’s top leagues goes back to May 2004.

Villas-Boas called it a “rotation.” Whatever. But he did say Friedel handled the news professionally:

Obviously Brad was disappointed but as a great professional he ended up accepting the decision. We respect his performances and I’m sure he will be back in the team as soon as possible.”

Hmmmm. Clean sheet for Lloris. Win for Spurs. Plus, it sounds like Lloris has been throwing some low-level little French hissy fits for lack of a solid, starting spot.

Friedel may indeed get the starts in Europa League or in cup games in England. But it sure looks like the switch has been made, like there’s a new goalkeeping sheriff in town for Spurs – and he speaks with the French accent.

  1. danielofthedale - Oct 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Since it looks like Hugo is now the #1 for Spuds, is there any shot that Brad would consider coming back to MLS and finishing his career out? Or has he been in England to long and way from the US soccer of any kind that he would see it as to far a step down? I for one would love to see him in the league and I think it would be a great way for the Americans to show him how much we love and respect him for the way he has represented US Soccer that we have never been able to since he abruptly retired from the National Team.

    • Steve Davis - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      I would love to see that happen, and have written so before. But the situation has to be PERFECT for an athlete in this case. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to uproot a family and move them somewhere for one year. And when we are talking about a 41-year-old goalkeeper, even one of Friedel’s ongoing ability, I don’t see anyone granting him more than a one-year deal.

  2. mennodaddy - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I fail to see any evidence of what you call “low-level little French hissy fits,” as you call them, from Lloris. The only real stories coming out about Lloris being “disgruntled” have come from the red-tops in the British media, or from people like Didier Deschamps, who has his own agenda as manager of France.

    Seriously. Apart from the tabloids, has there really been any evidence that Lloris has been unhappy? Everything coming out of the club seems to indicate otherwise. Friedel is saying there’s no problem. Lloris is saying there’s no problem. AVB is saying there’s no problem.

    This is like a zombie fabrication. All evidence to the contrary, and even after Lloris starts a EPL game, the meme that he’s unhappy at Spurs just won’t die.

    • Steve Davis - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      You make a good point. All I’ve seen are second-hand reports. … The perils, perhaps, of generating opinion from so far away.

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