Dec 26, 2012, 10:45 AM EDT
Despite having lost his starting position, Brad Friedel is ready to push on at Spurs. The 41-year-old has signed a new deal with the North London club, one which will carry him through the 2013-14 season.
On one level, the deal is a surprise. After all, it’s not difficult imagining another club giving the veteran goalkeeper a chance to start next season. With the recently acquired Hugo Lloris likely to cement his hold on on first choice at White Hart Lane, Friedel’s likely to see very few Premier League starts going forward.
But for a player well into the twilight of his career, the chance to stay at a big club, not have to relocate his family, and still provide guidance on a team he’s come to know makes for an easy acquiesce. Given the grace with which Friedel’s handled Lloris’s acquisition, the former U.S. international appears to be under no illusions as to the state of his career. His new contract is a sign of that acceptance, with the former Liverpool, Blackburn, and Aston Villa keeper moving into a role he could sustain into his mid-40s.
There had been some small rumblings of Friedel moving back to the U.S., but as long as there was interest from England, the former Crew player was likely to stay abroad. The Friedels are well established in England, with Brad having played in the Premier League since 1997.
During that time, Friedel has made 471 Premier League appearances, a record 310 of which were made consecutively. He is the oldest player to appear in a competitive match in for both Aston Villa and Tottenham.
And while his new deal likely precludes him from adding huge numbers to his appearance total, it does mean he could be making appearances in the Premier League at 43. And realistically, as long as there’s not an appreciable drop off next season, there’s no reason Friedel won’t be asked to continue.
If he’s willing to accept a backup’s role and can maintain his same level of performance, André Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy seem happy to have him at the club.
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