Results for Zeki Fryers

Fryers demonstrates the problem at Spurs

8:30 am
Zeki Fryers joined Crystal Palace as Tottenham sought to reduce their squad size towards the end of the summer transfer window. We had gone to some lengths to get him but he never really developed and was at the stage where he'd only develop playing football.

Fryers demonstrates the problem at Spurs

With a large squad size players like Fryers and Tom Carroll haven't had much of a chance to develop. It's the age old English problem, if you are young a top club can't afford to play you until you are the finished article and you can't be the finished article until you play regularly. It's why England have so few players to pick from and why high quality English footballers are a dying breed.

Chelsea realised that and started loaning out their youngsters abroad for a season or more. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is a prime example. He joined Chelsea in 2011 and has spent the time at Atletico Madrid where he won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Europa League, the Super Cup, finished runners-up in the UEFA Champions League and was selected by Belgium, for whom he now has over 20 caps. Then and only then has he returned to play his first game for Chelsea.

It is a tactic we at Spurs have to start copying if we want to develop youngsters and it should be something that Steffen Freund is working on.

Zeki Fryers decided he wasn't being picked in squads, the manager isn't telling him what's happening so if he wanted to play football he'd have to leave and that's exactly what he did, as he told the Croydon Advertiser.

“It felt good the gaffer Neil Warnock wanted me, I just wanted to get out and play some games so I am hoping to do that here. 
“Spurs were a great club but the opportunities didn’t come as much as I’d like there. I felt it was time for me to elsewhere to show what I can do. 
“I felt like I wasn’t going to be part of the setup at Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino didn’t speak to me about the plans but I wasn’t involved in the first few games. 
“I had a good pre-season but I felt it was my time to move on.”

Tom Carroll is in the same boat and unless he has an excellent season at Swansea his future at Tottenham looks bleak. The midfield area is a congested and competitive one.

We need players to be first team regulars standard at 22, not 24 or 25, by then it's too late. By the time a player is 32 he has lost his value and you are looking to offload him, if he didn't develop until 25 then you have only had 7 seasons out of him. It's common sense that if you can develop them at a younger age you should to get more years out of your investment in them.

We do a lot of good with youngsters and we are producing a lot of good ones but we are not finishing them, they need a finishing school and that means sending them abroad so they start playing first-team football at 18 and 19, learning from a different culture and a different style.

Fryers demonstrates the problem at Spurs Fryers demonstrates the problem at Spurs Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Is Pochettino fast tracking Veljković?

8:30 am
Tottenham have got themselves in a pickle at centre-back which stems from a lack of forward planning.

Spurs fast track Veljković

When Harry Redknapp was manager he was a 'player for now' manager, he would bring in proven players who could do a job now with little or no regard for the future. At centre-back he bought in William Gallas, fine for a couple of years and then injuries and Ryan Nelsen to cover for injuries. That sort of policy merely pushes a problem away for a year or two.

When you have a settled centre-back pairing then youngsters coming through who want to play simply say, as Steven Caulker did, I can't see myself playing enough so I want to leave. Had he stayed he would have been a regular by now and a firm fans favourite.

Now though we have Younès Kaboul, who has only ever had one decent season n a Spurs shirt and is living off its memory, a slowing Michael Dawson, who was never quick to begin with. Vlad Chiriches, who can't adapt to the Premier League and can't be trusted, and Jan Vertonghen  who wants Champions League football.

At the moment only one, Jan Vertonghen, is good enough. An overhaul is needed and long term centre-backs found. I am beginning to wonder if Mauricio Pochettino, who has identified the area as a weakness, has already shown us his long term solution.

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Michael Dawson and Vlad Chiriches it would appear are surplus to his requirements, sales for both are actively being sought. Their replacements will be one defender with experience, ideally around 25/26 years of age and one young centre-back. John Stones of Everton interests us, as does Eric Dier of Sporting and Jamaal Lescelles of Nottingham Forest.

Héctor Moreno has broken his leg and Dejan Lovren has chosen Liverpool it seems. But what next, what of the future so the problem isn't going to arise in another couple of years when perhaps Vertonghen leaves and Kaboul hits 30.

Mauricio Pochettino may have identified his long term solution and he may have shown it to us on the pre-season tour of the US and Canada. Zeki Fryers has played both his games at centre-back and while looking a little dodgy, he is a newcomer to the position. Tim Sherwood felt he was a centre-back who could play left-back and last season he did play mainly at left-back. Mauricio Pochettino may have decided the same and be grooming him as a central defender.

But it's not just Fryers, he can't solve the situation on his own. A solution may be to fast track highly-rated 18-year-old Serbian Miloš Veljković. Tim Sherwood gave him game time as a defensive midfielder, bringing him to the attention of fans and media alike. That was a very shrewd and unselfish move from Sherwood. Now there is interest in a player regarded as being beyond his years and with interest comes the pressure to give opportunities and with that comes game time.

Against Toronto Pochettino paired Veljković with Younès Kaboul in the first half and Zeki Fryers with Michael Dawson in the second half. Both were able to pass on their experience to the youngsters. Veljković is not going to be ready this season, it will probably be two seasons before he is drafted in for games regularly but he is already a better central defender than Fryers. Fryers however being taller is better in the air.

That's the sort of forward planning the club needs, a solution now and a solution for the future.

Fast tracking Veljković, specialising with Fryers and signing a young centre-back together with a 25-year-old would give us in two seasons time, the experience of Kaboul at 30 and players of 27, 23, 22 and 20, assuming Vertonghen has left by then.

That appears to me what Pochettino is aiming at so that when the time comes to let Kaboul go we have a guy three years younger to assume his experienced mantle. There will always be comings and goings but there has to be a long term plan and that appears to be it.

Is Pochettino fast tracking Veljković? Is Pochettino fast tracking Veljković? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Need Chiriches out to bring centre-back in

10:30 am
Desperate times call for desperate measures and our central defence is in a desperate state. Vlad Chiriches is poor, his game doesn't suit the Premier League, Younes Kaboul is living of the memory of 3 seasons ago, Michael Dawson is getting slower day by day and Jan Vertonghen will give us one more year to buck our ideas up.

Vlad Chiriches Spurs flop

A crisis now, a crisis looming, reinforcements and upgrades are desperately needed. 21-year-old Zeki Fryers has played both his games at centre-back on the 2014 Tottenham USA & Canada Pre-season Tour. I do wonder therefore whether Mauricio Pochettino agrees with Tim Sherwood that that is where his long term future lies rather than left-back, well see.

I believe we have agreed terms with a young central defender but need to offload players before we bring any in. Buying players giving you too many on your books puts you in a very weak position to sell players. Clubs simply offer low fees and or will wait to the last minute when we'll take anything to get them off the books rather than keep them but be unable to name them in the Premier League squad of 25 and therefore play them.

The defender concerned is believed to be 20 year-old Jamaal Lescelles of Nottingham Forest. We are also on the search for an experienced centre-back, 26-year-old Héctor Moreno of La Liga side Espanyol broke his leg at the World Cup and 25-year-old Dejan Lovren of Southampton appears to have chosen Liverpool.

Thus we have had to turn our attention elsewhere with 29-year-old Ron Vlar said to be interesting us. He sounds a bit long in the tooth, in February he will hit 30 so at best would be a stop gap while we wait for Moreno to recover from his broken leg.

We had looked at 23-year-old Stefan Savić of Fiorentina who were interested in both Younès Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches, however nothing has come of that. Fiorentina offered Kaboul are healthy salary to go and we tried a swap deal with Chiriches, neither have happened.

The latest stories surround 24-year-old Vlad Chiriches who couldn't adapt to the unique demands of the Premier League and grew worse as the season wore on. His agent has admitted he didn't adapt, that he is better suited to Italy and doubts he will play for Tottenham again, however he is still here. We are told he has a back injury, which he has had for months now, although passport problems were first rumoured for his non appearance o the pre-season tour.

I wonder whether its because we don't want him getting injured so we can ensure we sell him. Both he and the other player the subject of intense transfer speculation, Sandro, both missed the tour. If Schneiderlin come in then a central defensive midfielder has to leave. One for the conspiracy theorists.

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Roma are said to be interested in him and we are prepared to let him go for just £7.5 million (€9.46m). Reports differ about how much we paid for him from £7 million (€8.83m)to £8.5 million (€10.72m) but the higher figure would include add-ans. Obviously those add-ons are not going to be activated so we will have nearer the lower £7 million figure (€8.83m) which we are looking to recoup.

Teams however seem unwilling to match even that valuation so it's a nervous wait to see if the situation gets solved. We can't go into the season as we are, improving the centre of defence was agreed by Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino, in their initial meeting after the Argentinians appointment, as a priority.

We have addressed the left-back situation and have been fortunate enough to pick up a number two goalkeeper along the way. We have designs on a ball playing defensive midfielder because we have issues getting the ball from defence to attack quickly enough and a wide left attacking midfielder who can defend. It's the centre-back area that really concerns though and a Champions League challenge with the current incumbents looks unlikely.

Sky Sports reporter Graeme Bailey has tweeted that Chiriches is not in Pochettino's plans and that it is being reported in both Romania and Italy that Franco Baldini is trying to sell him.

Tottenham need to offload him to a mainland European club and quick, he game may well suit the slower pace of football, it certainly doesn't suit the Premier League.

Need Chiriches out to bring centre-back in Need Chiriches out to bring centre-back in Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

A breakthrough season for Fryers

4:30 pm
Zeki Fryers started to get games under Tim Sherwood last season as the former Head of Player Development continued developing our youth by bringing them into the first team.

A breakthrough season for Fryers

Tottenham should see the benefits of that next season, with a bit of experience under their belts the like of Zeki Fryers, Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb will hopefully push on.

Zeki Fryers is certainly aiming to do that after breaking into the first team picture, as he revealed when speaking to the official site.

“I’ve been involved in some important games in Europe this season and I’ve enjoyed the experience."

He has certainly had some adapting to do considering he played at left-back in the Europa League and was then asked to play centre-back away to the Europa League runners-up Benfica, alongside Sandro a defensive midfield player. He had an excellent game that day. He turned out in the Premier League at left-back but was again also asked to play centre-half.

That sort of pressure on young shoulders can only help him i the future. He'll be able to call on those experiences next season and not be so nervous, knowing tat he has performed well when the chips were down.

“I remember getting the assist for Ade’s winning goal when we came back to beat Dnipro at home – that was a great moment. I remember I switched it to him, he took it down and slotted it past the keeper. He’s really shown what it takes this season."

That moment was a White Hart Lane when he was playing at left-back against the Juande Ramos side. He put a lovely forward cross for the rejuvenated striker.

“Then we had that tough game in Portugal with Sandro and I at the back. We obviously weren’t used to playing there together but we just got on with it and concentrated, focused and it felt like I’d played there with him for a long time.

“I think I can now take all these positives into next season and see what happens.”

With a new man as Head Coach known for developing youngsters and another Europa League campaign there should be plenty of opportunities for Fryers, last season Spurs played 54 games.

Where Pochettino sees his long term future we will have to wait and see.

A breakthrough season for Fryers A breakthrough season for Fryers Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:30 pm Rating: 5

Fryers - Senior players helped me

8:30 pm
Zeki Fryers agrees with Nabil Bentaleb when he says the senior players helped him when he came into the side at either left-back or centre-back.

“I’ve got a lot of experience and further built my character throughout the season.

“Playing certain games has also boosted my confidence, which is good for me moving forward, and hopefully I can take all that into next season.

“There’s been a lot of competition in each position and there’s not one position that you can say is guaranteed.

“What’s helped over the season is that I can fill in at centre-back and also play at left-back so I can mix my games up.

“But it’s also been beneficial having help from the seniors in the squad, the bigger characters in the group. They’ve helped me a lot so far.”

The 21 year old made 16 appearances and is slowly progressing after the previous season being given a talking to by Tim Sherwood about his attitude. In fairness to Fryers he responded to that dressing down in the right fashion, he's knuckled down and got his fledgling career back on track.

Next season he'll be hoping to push on with his career and challenge for a more regular slot, with Europa League football again there should be plenty of games available. Importantly of course he is another home grown player.

Fryers - Senior players helped me Fryers - Senior players helped me Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Communication is Key

11:55 am
With club captain Michael Dawson making errors and Vlad Chiriches having moved from a potential liability to a liability with his recent performances Tim Sherwood has turned to a left-back to play at the heart of defence.

Communication is Key

Younes Kaboul is endeavouring to get fit and bring himself back up to premier league level and is thus being given a run of games before Spurs decide whether to offer him a new contract. He has one year left and could simply wind it down for a free transfer if he wished.

To be blunt Spurs have seen one good season from Kaboul and that's it, his form at the moment is terrible, he is making error after error and looks all at sea.

With the season over developing the youth has been the theme thus Harry Kane is getting his chance and taking it, Nabil Bentaleb has done the same and now Zeki Fryers is getting first team opportunities.

He has figured at left back in the Europa League and had to step into the centre-back role alongside Sandro for the away tie against Benfica where the pair muddled through quite well.

The recent game against Fulham saw Fryers unfortunately knock the ball to Sidwell who skipped past Kaboul and neatly finished but the real error was Paulinho making a half hearted attempt at a tackle in midfield just after he had scored.

Prior to that he came on at WBA at half-time as a straight replace Chiriches who was having a nightmare game. looking forward to this week he has spoken to the club website which highlighted the importance of communication.

“It was great to play alongside Younes again because he gives me advice and helps me during the game.

“He’s a lot more experienced than me so it’s good for someone of my age to be able to learn from him.”

The value of being able to communicate with your teammates cannot be underestimated and the fact that our three players who spoke little or no English joined us have been poor is no coincidence. Spurs lashed out £73 million and since then we have heard Spaniard Soldado talk of having to work harder to improve his English, Brazilian Paulinho tell us he is too lazy to learn and the disappearance of Argentinian Erik Lamela.

You can all decide for yourselves if that is a coincidence or if more could and should have been done to prevent the situation from happening, I know where I stand on that one.

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“Obviously we conceded in the first half against Fulham in a disappointing manner but overall we were strong and stable as a team,” Fryers continued.

“Now we go to Stoke, who are a good side. They’re a strong team and I know from watching other clubs go there that it’s difficult to win there.

“They make it hard for opposing teams so we’ve got a big challenge at the weekend and we’re looking forward to it.”

Let's hope Sherwood keeps faith with the young man and plays him in the remaining games to give him more experience at this level. With the problems we have had at centre-back for years that experience could prove valuable when we have to call on him as a left-back or centre-back next season.

Tim Sherwood blieves his best position is as a left-sided centre-back.

“I see him as a centre-half, a left-sided centre-back. If you look at where he played at Man United, he played as a left-sided centre-back five or six times. That’s where he will be in the end.

“I think he’s flexible enough to play left-back but if he’s going to be picked at the moment, it’s as a left-sided centre-back.”

If he is to fill that position then the decision has to be made is he the fourth or fifth choice. Centre-back is definitely one of the key areas that needs strengthening.

Communication is Key Communication is Key Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:55 am Rating: 5

Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers

7:30 am
Tim Sherwood has a temper, I think we all know that and if we didn't we certainly have learnt that over the last few games.

Verbals with Jorge Jesus at White Hart Lane and throwing his gilet during the Arsenal game in an anger rarely seen from a manager. The guy cares, he hurts just like we do. Whether some supporters like it or not not his heart beats Tottenham.

Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand
Sherwood and Ferdinand have plenty to smile about
Before the game he spoke to the ITV cameras.

"I knew it was going to be tough, the first month was easy when you are winning games and I knew that we would come against tougher opposition but we will be striving to do better.

"There have been a lot of well-wishers in football and I thank them and there have been a lot that want to tread on your head and I don't thank them.

"We need to find some leaders out there tonight, I'm sure there are some in the dressing room and they can bring us through. We are playing against a Champions League side, but we have nothing to lose. There are 3,000 travelling supporters and we need to do them proud."

Then after making those 3,000 travelling fans proud and all the supporters watching at home he said:

"It was good to see their manager sweating. I did not see a suave character on the side, I saw someone who was really flustered, which was good to see.

"That is what we intended to do and that is what we achieved. I just wanted to get a better view and maybe take some steam out of the situation.

"It was about what our boys could do against their boys on the pitch. I didn’t want that to take away from what we did on the pitch."

I think we are all well aware he didn't want to be anywhere near Jorge Jesus and had no intention of shaking his hand. Sitting in the stands saved him having to publicly not do so for which I don't blame him at all.

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Harry Kane made an impact when he replaced Roberto Soldado was involved in plenty of the action. He headed on for Chadli to grab our first, he headed back for Chadli to grab the second, and was bundled over for the penalty that was not given, although as the commentators said, had it been at the other end it would have been given. He spoke after the game.

Harry Kane made an impact
Harry Kane created an aerial threat
"The lads were working hard [before I came on] but then perhaps Benfica got tired. I posed an aerial threat, won a few flick-ons and got them going the other way a bit. We got the two goals and were unfortunate not to get a third in the end.

"The third goal at home was a poor goal to give away and it is always a tough ask to come here and get three goals – but once we went 1-0 down here nothing changed, we still had to get three goals. Overall, today we were different class but it's a shame the game hasn't gone into extra time.

"Once we got one and then two they started to get a bit nervous and it was down to us. We had a few crosses, a couple of unlucky headers but they are the fine margins in this competition. We were playing a great side in Benfica and I thought we were a bit unlucky. We showed we are a team and that we are together. We stuck together throughout both legs and hung in there.

"We're disappointed, we came so close. The lads are proud of each other, we feel for each other because we all put in a shift but that's football sometimes. You want to impress in these games and you're playing against some of the best teams in the world so to get the two headers was good."

Young left-back Zeki Fryers who had to fill in at centre-back had a solid game of which he could be proud. He also spoke after the game.

"I thought the lads showed great character to come here 3-1 down and show some fight. We still had belief after the first game. Once we scored two we really believed we could get a third. It was disappointing but we have picked our heads up already. Benfica are a great side and it's a great stadium. The atmosphere was great so for a young lad like myself it was a great experience.

"I've got to play in the UEFA Europa League quite a bit and it's different, there's a different style of play to other games. We now know if we go a goal or two down we can pull it back. If we show the same fight for the rest of the season it will help us."

He makes an important point about the experience. This was a makeshift side who have never played together before, that is tough in itself. Add to that it was a young side and the bench was full of 18 year-olds gaining experience of first team life.

The back four did their job and Nabil Bentaleb in front of them must surely have silenced his crazy critics. The experience he is gaining now and will gain at the World Cup will stand us in good stead next season, when we won't need to be buying any defensive midfielders. He is a star in the making and could be a stalwart of Spurs sides for years to come.

The Benfica eagles flew before the start of the game and our lads soared during it. They can hold their heads up high.

Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:30 am Rating: 5

Zeki Fryers

12:30 pm
Zeki Fryers had to pull out of the England Under 21 squad after earning his place with two consecutive displays at left-back for Spurs.

The 21 year-old had to be given a talking to last season by Sherwood to amend his attitude and that chat seems to have helped Fryers develop. You may recall there was a chance he could go on loan to a Championship side in February to get some game time but Tim Sherwood blocked any move.

He has been rewarded since, standing in for the injured Danny Rose, with Kyle Naughton having to play at right-back. He had the opportunity to experience a pulsating cup evening at White Hart Lane in the Europa League as a result.

Zeki Fryers against Dnipro
Zeki Fryers enjoyed the atmosphere against Dnipro

It was one of those nights, a typical Spurs night, when we did things the hard way. Already 1-0 down from the first leg, then another goal down at home, a 13 minute burst of 3 goals transformed the tie and sent Spurs through to the last 16 of the Europa League where they meet Benfica.

“It was an amazing experience. We just kept pushing and pushing, and eventually we got the result.

“For me, being a young lad and having not played that many games, that was probably the most exciting game I’ve played in.

“To go another goal down and then come back, that was unbelievable. Everyone was buzzing in the changing room afterwards.

“This is a club that should be getting into the latter stages of cup competitions. I think it’s time, and the fans have been patient as well.

“If they can keep getting behind us and helping us as well then that’s a massive help. That was a huge factor last week, we all felt the buzz of the fans and it helped.”

Looking forward to Benfica in the next round he said to the Tottenham & Wood Green Journal:

“They’re a big team but so are we, and if we do the right things and do the right job then it will be another exciting game.

“I think it’s an advantage playing the first leg at home, but anything can happen so all the lads are looking forward to it.”

With Danny Rose reportedly out for another 3 games he may get further opportunities and does not regret quitting Manchester United.

"A lot of people say that when you leave Man United you go down but for me, I feel like I have gone up, in terms of my development."

He left Manchester United, for whom he couldn't agree terms, for Standard Liege but joined Spurs just 4 months later. United had wanted a crazy £6m compensation yet sold him for £1m!

"There were always going to be accusations, obviously. I wanted a new adventure, really. There were certain things there that didn't fall my way. And I thought it was time to move on. I felt that I wanted to be more regularly involved around the first team.

"I wanted to go abroad to further my career. Most foreign players come to England to play, but it's rare that English people go abroad to play. So I thought I was going to go and try something new. I enjoyed it, it was a great experience.

"Come January [2013], there were a few options. Spurs was the best for my improvement and development because of the staff there, such as Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand. They are great coaches, they did a lot of work with me.

"They helped me improve my game. They helped me get forward more, introducing something new to my game, becoming more of a modern full-back. Tim chats to you individually, he's honest, and honesty is the main thing you need."

He said after his first Premier League start against Stoke City, "It's a great feeling, if I can get opportunities and play well then anything can happen."

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His full match day involvement for Tottenham so far this season is below.

22 Aug Qualifying Round 1st Leg Dinamo Tbilisi vs Spurs WON 5-0 he was on the bench.
DEBUT 29 Aug Qualifying Round 2nd Leg Spurs vs Dinamo Tbilisi WON 3-0 he came on in the 57th minute and played 34 minutes.
22 Sept Premier League Cardiff vs Spurs WON 1-0 he was on the bench.
24 Sept League Cup 3rd Round Aston Villa vs Spurs WON 4-0 he played the 90 minutes.
02 Oct Group K Anzhi vs Spurs WON 2-0 he played the full 90 minutes.
24 Oct Group K Sheriff vs Spurs WON 2-0 he had to come off after 34 minutes with an injury.
28 Nov Group K Tromso vs Spurs WON 2-0 he played for 71 minutes before being substituted.
07 Dec Premier League Sunderland vs Spurs WON 2-1 he was on the bench.
12 Dec Group K Spurs vs Anzhi WON 4-1 he played at centre-back for the full 90 minutes.
15 Dec Premier League Spurs vs Liverpool Lost 5-0 he came on after 46 minutes and played for 45 minutes.
18 Dec League Cup Quarter-Final Spurs vs West Ham Lost 2-1 he came on after 62 minutes and played the remaining 29 minutes.
29 Dec Premier League Spurs vs Stoke City WON 3-0 he played the full 90 minutes.
01 Jan Premier League Manchester United vs Spurs WON 2-1 he was on the bench.
04 Jan FA Cup 3rd Round Arsenal vs Spurs Lost 2-0 he was on the bench.
11 Jan Premier League Spurs vs Crystal Palace WON 2-0 he was on the bench.
20 Feb 2nd Round 1st Leg Dnipro vs Spurs Lost 1-0 he was on the bench.
23 Feb Premier League Norwich City vs Spurs Lost 1-0 he was on the bench.
27 Feb 2nd Round 2nd Leg Spurs vs Dnipro WON 3-1 he played the 90 minutes and played the ball in for Adebayor to score the third goal, giving him an assist to his name.
02 Mar Premier League Spurs vs Cardiff City WON 1-0 he played for the whole 90 minutes.

That breaks down as two and a half games in the Premier League.
One game and 29 minutes in the League Cup.
Three full games, one of 70 mins, one of 34 mins and one of 33 minutes in the Europa League.

In addition Zeki Fryers has been playing for the Tottenham Development Squad in the Under 21 Premier League.

19 Aug Spurs vs Manchester City WON 6-3 he played at centre-back for the full 90 minutes.
23 Aug West Ham vs Spurs WON 3-2 he played at centre-back for 63 minutes before being substituted.
16 Sept Aston Villa vs Spurs DREW 1-1 he played for the full 90 minutes.
21 Oct Spurs vs Leicester City DREW 1-1 he played for 70 minutes before being substituted.
03 Feb Spurs vs Everton DREW 0-0 he played for 45 minutes before being substituted.
17 Feb Spurs vs Bolton Wanderers Lost 5-2 he played at centre-back for the full 90 minutes (Spurs went down to 10 men in this game).

Zeki Fryers Zeki Fryers Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Zeki Fryers to play on Thursday?

8:30 pm
Zeki Fryers is in the news with a potential loan to the Championship until the end of the season, however that it seems is being blocked by Tim Sherwood.

Spurs youngster Zeki Fryers
Zeki Fryers to play in Europe?
Sherwood is keen to send players out on loan to gain valuable first team experience and play competitive football. With Spurs troubles at centre-back and Kyle Naughton not being the ideal understudy for Danny Rose I felt it would be a good time to see Zeki Fryers play on Thursday out in Ukraine against Dnipro.

Perhaps Sherwood is thinking along the same lines. He is not afraid to throw youngsters into the mix, 19 year-old Nabil Bentaleb is one of the first names on the team sheet and Harry Kane has been getting cameo roles. Perhaps now is the time for Zeki Fryers to step up and learn the ropes in Europe.

The 21 year-old was originally to be signed from Manchester United but they wanted to much money so he went for a small fee to Royal Antwerp instead and joined us 4 months later from there. United complained but there was little they could do.

He left United because he wanted game time but Sherwood had to speak to him about his attitude last season whilst he was still in his old job overseeing player development. If Tim is now blocking his move it would appear he has taken Sherwood's advice on board and changed his ways. If so he could be the next player to emerge from the successful Development Squad.

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Zeki Fryers to play on Thursday? Zeki Fryers to play on Thursday? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Spurs left sided weakness

9:00 pm
The season is one week away and Spurs have a major problem, no fit central defenders.

The situation is to put it mildly is far from ideal, with Dawson, who didn't take part in a training ground friendly yesterday against Enfield Town, arguably the only central defender likely to be fit for Saturday.

We are going to have the situation again where Spurs start the season with a weakened eleven through injury and not getting players through the door in time.

There is a week to go to get in a left back but it is looking increasingly likely that we are going to have to play Zeki Fryers and Danny Rose on the left hand side of our defence. That is a huge concern and a big weak spot.

Any manager worth his salt will devise a game plan to attack us in that area. Fryers will probably have to deputise centrally, with Vertonghen highly unlikely to make it back from injury in time, although he retains some hope. Ball and Stewart don't have the experience required, not that Fryers has much either.

Kaboul and Sandro, as expected, are not fit which weakens the spine of our side but it's the left where we are likely to concede if we do.

Danny Rose has huge trouble with the ball played inside him as we have seen in the pre-season friendlies he has played. He is not sure whether to step up, go with a runner or stand his ground, whatever he has chosen so far hasn't worked. The problem is his positional play, he is to far from his central defender, he needs to shorten the gap between them.

If the player on the ball  hasn't been pushed in midfield then Rose needs to make him play wide. Aaron Lennon worked on last season and is working on in pre-season cutting in behind the full-back to a ball played inside him, which is exactly how Rose gets caught out regularly.

A player will often look down at the ball before he plays the pass, so as a defender if you can read the game you'll know what's about to happen and can move that split second earlier to prevent it. If you can't read the game then you are simply reacting to what has already happened and you will struggle. If you combine that with allowing the ball to be played inside you, you are on a hiding to nothing and that's Rose's biggest weakness.

The main principle of 4-3-3 defending is to not ball watch, cover dangerous space and keep an eye on your opponent while adjusting, you want to push them, where you want them and not let them dictate to you.

The responsibilities of the full-back defensively are:
a) Quick pressure on the ball when wide forward is in possession
b) Strong and confident tackles; no diving in
c) Stay compact to support central defenders and close down dangerous space
d) Provide depth and balance on opposite side of attack; cover for otherʼs mistakes.
e) Scan the field to make certain all players are marked; no ball watching!

The responsibilities of the central defenders are:
a) Constant communication with back line; play as one
b) Delay central attack, don't dive in; be strong and decisive tackling
c) Quick pressure on he ball with partner in supportive space
d) Stay compact in centre, cover dangerous space
e) Cover for outside defenders if they are beat
f) Be strong in the air clearing high balls

If the gap between full-back and central defender is to big that creates problems for the defence.

Zeki Fryers is a left-back so playing on the left of central defence (Dawson plays right) part of his role is covering for the left back. He is inexperienced centrally so it is hardly surprising the pair of them are disjointed in their approach and not functioning as a unit. Espanyol tomorrow will be another opportunity to develop a little more understanding, if Rose and Fryers play together.

There is another option and that is to play Kyle Naughton. In the behind closed doors friendly against Enfield Town Naughton played left-back for the whole 90 minutes while Rose got 45 minutes as a right-back. In the pre-season games Rose has featured but I have a feeling that Naughton may well start left back a week on Saturday, if not against Espanyol.

He is not ideal either but at least he had some experience there for us and AVB last season. We have to make the best of it and Naughton is probably a better defender than Rose, whilst Rose might offer more when attacking. Naughton has greater defensive positional sense, without which any full-back will struggle and Fryers will need the strongest defensive left-back we have.

Somewhat surprising therefore that Benoit Assou-Ekotto has hardly been seen in pre-season. It doesn't take a genius to work out AVB doesn't like him and when he has occasionally given him a little bit of game time Benny has sometimes gone through the motions. But in the squad as it is at the moment he is the best we have and surely his experience would be of huge benefit to Fryers.

The other option is to buy an experienced left back and reports suggest Fabio Coentrao will be signing next week for around £13 million, but no point in counting chickens until it happens, fingers crossed it does though.

Newly promoted teams give it their all at the start of their Premier League adventures and Palace are going to be on the box as well. We can not afford to be stumbling against sides like this but our weakness on the left and then from set pieces is a concern. It gives them an opportunity they shouldn't have.

One tactic to counter the threat is to push the player with the ball inside in midfield. If we are playing 4-3-3, and that's not a certainty, Dembele on the left of a midfield three and Chadli would have to work together to stop them exploiting the weak spot in the system, out wide. Pushing the opposition more central gives us a numerical advantage and makes defending easier then.

Last year Everton used a tactic effectively, drawing us to our right with a winger staying wide on the left touch line and then Leighton Baines playing long cross field balls to him level with our penalty area, he then had time and space to attack our left back. It's a tactic I can see Crystal Palace using, give a winger time and space to run at a defender and potentially you are in trouble, it's exactly the situation we would want to get Lennon into.

Up until now we haven't seen Paulinho and Dembele together so hopefully the Espanyol game will give us an indication of how we'll be playing this season. I'll be enjoying the game but I'll also be looking to see how we deal with our left sided weakness.

Spurs left sided weakness Spurs left sided weakness Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:00 pm Rating: 5

Does signing Daniel Opare make sense?

9:34 pm
There are claims we are looking at Daniel Opare, a 22 year-old  full-back from Standard Liege. He is primarily a right-back but can play on the left. The fact that he is right footed doesn't make him an ideal candidate to overlap from left-back, the defensive position we are looking to fill.

The Gunners were linked with the Ghanaian international in February last year and now it is believed new Technical Director Franco Baldini has recommended him to Andre Villas-Boas. Opare may only cost about £1.3 million (€1.5 million) but with Walker cemented at right-back and Adam Smith coming through it would seem a strange signing.

There are doubts about Zeki Fryers and Danny Rose, but surely we would be looking for a specialist left-back and preferably left-footed. However quotes from the player would suggest we are truely interested.

He said: "I am flattered by the interest of Spurs. They are a very good team in England I will jump at the chance to join them if they reach an agreement with my current club.

"I know there is a long way to go yet and also the level in England is a lot higher than in Belgium, but I think I can play there at a good level.

"If I get the chance to play for a team like Tottenham I will take it."

Opare came through the Real Madrid academy and played for the Spanish sides reserve team before moving to Standard three years ago. Is the Premier League his next stop.

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Does signing Daniel Opare make sense? Does signing Daniel Opare make sense? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:34 pm Rating: 5
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