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The winter of Brad Friedel

Jan 24, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

New York Red Bulls Practice Session With Tottenham Hotspur Getty Images

Brad Friedel, 41-year-old netminder Brad Friedel, is not the starter at Tottenham anymore. He’s given way to 25-year-old Frenchman Hugo Lloris in a move that has United States supporters up in a tizzy, but is probably the right thing long term for everyone involved. Friedel, doesn’t seem to care.

“I don’t go in and bang down doors anymore and say, You have to play me,” he tells Fox Soccer. “At my age that’s not how it works. The older you get, your ego goes down a little bit. You can see the big picture a lot more clearly.” Gosh, that’s great. Also, I suspect, a little bit a product of the situation and the new reality, but whatever. I love that Friedel’s all “yeah, I’ve had an awesome career and I know it and whatever happens now is cake. Oh cake! I’d like to eat some of that now. And I can because I’m a back up.”

You know what Friedel does want to do? Get his coaching licenses, which is exactly what he’s doing at Tottenham and one of the major reasons he resigned with the club instead of moving to Blackburn Rovers where he would have been insured of a starting place. He feels that he can learn more at Spurs, spelling Lloris when necessary and getting those badges. That’s a good attitude.

You know what else that shows? That we, the punditry, have so little idea about what’s actually going on during the transfer period. Players have motivation beyond simply getting on the field. Did you, the people, read a story about Friedel’s desire to stay at Tottenham for the sake of coaching when he was looking to re-up or move on? Of course not. He didn’t let that slip. Be wary of journalists, or anyone for that matter, saying they know the whole story behind a player’s motivation to make — or not make — a move. They don’t.

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