Results for michael dawson

Squad Assessment: Centre-backs

9:33 am
Well we have taken a look at the goalkeeper and the full-back so time to complete the defence and take a look at another problem area, the centre of defence.

As we have established the defence was not up to standard and not the right type of player for the system we are now playing, thus it needed to be upgraded and reshaped. Both full-back areas and the goalkeeping situation have been addressed for the long-term, so where do we stand centrally.

In brief, not brilliantly.

Three centre-backs were highlighted as being available for sale, however no sale could take place until we had lined up a replacement. The three identified were Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches.

Since the days of Harry Redknapp we have had problems in the centre of defence with injury and his solution was to bring in old players to cover, William Gallas, Ryan Nelsen. Short term fixes don't resolve a long term problem though, just delay it. Steven Caulker came through and wanted to play football rather than be part of a squad so left for Cardiff City and has now moved on to QPR and Harry Redknapp again.

Injuries and an unsuccessful purchase has meant Mauricio Pochettino, himself a former centre-back for Argentina, had had to begin the process of rebuilding the area for the long term.

Michael Dawson was deemed to slow to play a high line, Younes Kaboul while quick enough simply hasn't recovered any sort of form at all after his injury. He also only has a year left on his contract now, the club haven't offered him a new one, while Vlad Chiriches didn't adapt to the Premier League. He got worse as the season went on, as well as getting drunk and having injury problems since.

Mauricio Pochettino likes his central defenders to have different qualities so it would depend who we bought in as to who would leave. The two main targets we had we couldn't secure. Dejan Lovren joined Liverpool for £20 million for Champions League football while Hector Moreno of Mexico and Espanyol broke his leg at the World Cup in Brazil early in the summer.

Our third choice was Mateo Musacchio, good on the ground but weaker in the air, his arrival would have seen the departure of Chiriches as a like for like replacement, however Villarreal wanted 76% of the transfer fee for a player they only owned 35% of. That scuppered that deal.

We then had to move onto our fourth choice target, Federico Fazio, who had won the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla and lost the UEFA Super Cup to UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid. He is tall and thus good in the air but a bit slow on the ground, in other words a taller and we presume upgraded version of Michael Dawson.

Thus it was of the three players available for transfer, all three of whom arranged deals to move in principle, it was a Michael Dawson replacement we eventually signed.

In addition we started planning for the future by bringing a young 20-year-old centre-back for the future, Eric Dier. He has had to be thrown in at the deep end and has coped rather well. Had their not been a World Cup this summer he would not be playing now but circumstances have been kind to him and he is doing better than I expect even Pochettino had hoped.

Our situation now is that the centre-back pairing will be Federicio Fazio and Jan Vertonghen. Depending upon the Premier League opponent and the problems they pose Pochettino can then choose between Kaboul's strength, experience and power, Dier's youth, pace and ability on the ball or Chrirches composure with the ball at his feet.

The FA Cup and League Cup, together with the UEFA Europa League will provide opportunities for those three to play fairly regularly, especially with Dier currently occupying right-back, duties he will have to share with Kyle Naughton. That is going to take him a little out of the equation at centre-half as we can't overburden him, we need to manage his game time with periods of rest.

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Kyle Walker out until December

The fact that Kyle Walker is still injured after 6 months and just undergone surgery, meaning he'll be out for another 3 months, has meant that we could not afford to let a second centre-back leave. If Dier is to be required at right-back until he returns we needed 5 centre-backs instead of four. Thus there has been a short term stay of execution for Kaboul or Chiriches.

We could have bought another central defender of course but I suspect Pochettino still wants Hector Moreno, he was one of our first choices as we know, so it is quite possible we go back in for him in January when he has recovered and the winter transfer window opens. Alternatively we could wait until the end of the season, it will depend how we are coping.

We have a first choice pair but after that we have problems, one is needed at right-back, one hasn't adapted to the Premier League and one hasn't found any sort of form in 2 years. The area remains a weakness for a side aspiring to be in the top four, but everything can't be resolved in one window. For now though we have to hope Fazio and Vertonghen do not get injured, which will mean limiting their involvement in the UEFA Europa League group stages.

Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches may well be assigned the task of seeing us through that safely and then reassess the situation in January.

It's a new season so the slate gets wiped clean, the past is the past, the future is what counts. Just as Danny Rose will be assessed and is being assessed on what he does now, so will and are Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches.

Regular readers will now I belive Chiriches has many aspects to improve, he played against AEL Limassol and didn't have mush to do but what we did he did comfortably, which was a good start having been out for so long. If the pair click into form and improve this season great, but it's down to them and their performances on the pitch to prove they can still have a future.

Squad Assessment: Centre-backs Squad Assessment: Centre-backs Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:33 am Rating: 5

Dawson proved everyone wrong - Goodbye Mr Tottenham

12:30 pm

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has written about Michael Dawson, a player they were slagging off and then saying how wonderful he was after he had left, glad to say I wasn't one of them. Now that the dust has settled you don't need me regurgitating his career stats, instead I'll content myself with a memory.

Under Andre Villas-Boas he was told he wouldn't play much and he could join QPR if he wanted. Boy did he make the right move turning them down, they were relegated, instead he said I'll fight for my place. Spurs were playing a high line defence, dropping points and shipping goals. Injuries forced AVB to pick Dawson, a player everyone said he was too slow to play the system.

The result, from the 25th November Tottenham went on a 14 game unbeaten run that included games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, ended by an infamous Walker back pass and a stupid penalty at Liverpool. Spurs lost just 2 games in 26 with Dawson in the side, that was the 2012/13 season. We ended that season with more points in a Premier League season than we had ever achieved before.

People were still writing rubbish recently that he was crap during that recent period, that he didn't make a difference, sorry but these people know little about football, blinded by their own petty hatreds.

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The perception is that he has refused to leave Spurs, the reality is that Spurs can't let players go until we have lined up a replacement and we can't line up a replacement until we have arranged for a player to go. Dawson was told his chances would be limited, in other words you'll be fourth choice centre-back. His words to the official site, no doubt reproduced everywhere show that he chose at this stage in his career to go and play football.

Fair play to him. A part of Tottenham has left, now we are left with the here today gone tomorrow merchants who couldn't give a brass monkeys about you and me. Where is the next Dawson, not the player but the man with the passion, the man who is Spurs? We are left with a group of players who are like the 'friends' you meet on holiday for two weeks and never see again.

The man, the character, the passion, the desire, the joy and the pain. Daws we will miss you.

Dawson proved everyone wrong - Goodbye Mr Tottenham Dawson proved everyone wrong - Goodbye Mr Tottenham Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Levy provides major backing to Pochettino

8:30 am
Incredibly Spurs could after all be changing three centre-backs this transfer window. I say incredibly because I speculated whether we would in an article at the beginning of the window but drew the conclusion that changing three would be a huge risk, two I could easily see happening, but three!

Levy provides major backing to Pochettino

The heart of any defence is a vital area so to bring in three centre-backs without Premier League experience is asking them to adapt quickly and indeed hoping they do. That path is fraught with danger as we saw when Andre Villas-Boas bought Vlad Chiriches. He has been an unmitigated disaster, one flash piece of skill blinded a section of fans, the rest of us simply thought here is a liability waiting to happen.

None other than Ledley King, the best centre-half we have produced in 50 years said he should cut out the risky stuff one-on-one. A centre-back who can't head the ball is always going to struggle in the most physical of leagues. Chiriches was a certainty to go this window.

Michael Dawson has served the club for 9 years and loves the place. He never fails to give his all, even if his all these days is no longer to the level we fans demand. If we are defending our box then he is your man, if we are playing a high line he is not. That doesn't suddenly make him a bad player overnight, simply one that isn't suited to our new system.

On the plus side for Michael is the fact he has 2 years left on his contract as that means he could still command a fee next summer, while his intended regular defensive partner over the years Younès Kaboul only has one year left.

Kaboul is better suited to a high line defence, having more pace than Dawson and is good in the air. He has a terrific season 3 seasons ago when for the first time he cut the regular mistakes that were part and parcel of his game. Then injury struck against Newcastle and we haven't seen the same player since. What has returned in his place is the old Kaboul, the mistake or two a game that will lead to goals.

Against West Ham he ran around like a headless chicken at times when the Hammers had corners, he didn't seem to know what to do and was waiting to see what would happen before reacting to it. A reactive defender is always going to come off second best in the long run, defending is about reading the game and anticipating and at the minute Kaboul has lost it.

With just a year left on his contract, this summer offers the last chance to get a transfer fee for him. In January he could arrange a free transfer for himself in the summer, so he'd be unlikely to go in the winter window when just a few months later he can go for free and maximise the wages he can command.

Younès Kaboul therefore looked a prime candidate to go this window. Hull City, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Sunderland all want Dawson, Spurs have agreed a deal with Roma for Chiriches and Lazio have offered £4.79 million ($7.95m - €6m) or Kaboul where Levy wants £6 million ($9.94m - €7.51m) so a last week deal is on the cards.

Surely Spurs wouldn't change all three would they? Two of them you could see but only leaving one central defender with experience of playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, like I say it's a risk, a big risk. It seems though that it is a risk we are going to take to sort the problem position out once and for all.

Regular readers will know the player I wanted in was Eric Dier, he has joined us and looked completely at home, although it is early days. At 20 though he is one for the future, someone to build a defence around and provide us with central stability.

Federico Fazio is seen as a virtual certainty to be joining, even Sevilla believe he is joining Tottenham and left him out of their La Liga game as a result. I have to say I applaud their sporting director who said he is worth more than his current release clause but that's football as opposed to the Sporting (Lisbon) chairman who had a public whinge that Dier left cheaply as a result of his buyout clause.

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Two in, two of three out seemed to be the order of the day but it seems another player on our list we may well attempt to bring in as well. Fabian Schär is a 22-year-old playing for Basle and the Daily Mirror report that Technical Director Franco Baldini went to watch him play Sion last week.

If we already had our two in Dier and Fazio then there would be little point in Baldini going to watch Schar, one of the scouting team would keep an eye on him. The fact Baldini went suggests he would want to quietly sound out the club to see if a late deal was possible.

I have heard rumblings that we haven't made any major signings therefore Levy isn't backing Pochettino, which is of course pure nonsense. Levy has backed every manager, those who think he hasn't don't understand the complex world of football transfers.

Bringing in three centre-backs though is a major backing, you are ripping the defensive heart out of a side that has been good enough to finish fourth and fifth consistently and replacing it with untried, unproven, untested alternatives.

He has of course also bought a new right-back so Kyle Naughton can leave next summer and a new left-back to challenge Danny Rose. Next season we could see a completely new back four playing for Spurs.

If that isn't providing major backing to your manager then nothing is.

Levy provides major backing to Pochettino Levy provides major backing to Pochettino Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Dawson transfer agreed in principle with Hull City

5:50 pm
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has revealed that they have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Tottenham captain Michael Dawson for a fee previously believed to be £4 million ($6.63m - €5.01m).

Dawson transfer agreed in principle with Hull City

Dawson has been at Spurs for 9 years and loves the club, something that needs to be seen more at Tottenham. The like of Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane just making their way into the team have that same passion.

The idiotic Spurs fans who have abused him should hang their heads in shame, he may no longer be of the standard we require but nobody can doubt he gave his all for the club and that is all any fan can ask of any player, give us your best, give us 100%. He did.

He joins Jake Livermore who we sold to Steve Bruce's side earlier this summer for £7 million + £1 million ($11.6m + $1.66m - €8.76m + €1.25m) of add-ons and Tom Huddlestone who joined them last summer for £5.25 million ($8.7m - €6.57m).

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It was a Tom Huddlestone shot today for 10 man Hull that was saved by the Stoke keeper only for Jelavic to turn in for the opening goal in their 1-1 draw to Mark Hughes managed Stoke City.

All that remains is for Dawson and Tottenham to reach agreement on a settlement package, he is entitled to the last 2 years wages of his contract, that will be resolved this week.

Dawson transfer agreed in principle with Hull City Dawson transfer agreed in principle with Hull City Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:50 pm Rating: 5

Dawson to Hull deal close reveals Bruce

11:53 am
Hull City have come back in for Michael Dawson with Tottenham lining up Sevilla's Federico Fazio as a replacement.

Dawson to Hull deal close reveals Bruce

Sevilla sporting director, Ramon Rodríguez Verdejo, has confirmed that Federico Fazio is on his way to Spurs, which with the form of new purchase Eric Dier has allowed Mauricio Pochettino to offload two central defenders.

Steve Bruce has told David Burns at Radio Humberside today that the club are now close to agreeing terms with Dawson, who will want Tottenham to pay out his contract if he is to reluctantly leave. Those negotiations are ongoing but with Spurs needing to remove players from their books a deal is expected to be reached this week.

Burns sent out this tweet earlier.

David Burns @bbcburnsy
Hull City's Steve Bruce tells @RadioHumberside they're close to agreeing terms with Spurs Michael Dawson.

Former Manchester United centre-back Bruce went back in for the 30-year-old last week and also confirmed to the local press he was trying to get the former England centre-back again when discussing his transfer targets.

“That’s another [Dawson] where we are nibbling at and we’re hopeful we can progress it."

He has since told Radio Humberside that the deal is close, the fee will be in the region of £4 million. As soon as his agents can sort out an exit package from Tottenham the deal should go through.

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Tottenham have agreed a deal with Roma for the transfer of Vlad Chiriches so the four centre-backs for the new season look like being Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio, Eric Dier and Younes Kaboul.

Michael Dawson has been a tremendous servant to Tottenham in an era of mercenary players just stopping off for a quick buck and when he departs every fan should be thanking him for what he has done and wishing him well for the future.

Dawson to Hull deal close reveals Bruce Dawson to Hull deal close reveals Bruce Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:53 am Rating: 5

Michael Dawson to QPR

10:30 am
The Sun today have copies a story in another paper earlier and simply changed one of the players but it is still ill thought out nonsense.

Michael Dawson to QPR

They claim Spurs are offering QPR Michael Dawson and Andros Townsend for Harry Redknapp's 27-year-old French international striker Loïc Rémy. Reporters get paid a bloody decent wage to make up this garbage.

As everyone knows we spoke with Rémy at the start of the window and agreed things with him but he wanted to wait for a top four club, fair enough. He has a release clause in his contract set at £8 million (€9.97m) for a club in the top four and £11 million (€13.70m) for a club outside it.

Last summer Tottenham were quoting teams £8 million (€9.97m) for Andros Townsend and nobody would pay that, now after a season where an injury to Aaron Lennon in the first game meant he got a run in the side, a selection, performances and goals for England, his value will have doubled at least.

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Townsend will be in the £15 million (€18.69m) bracket, at least £4 million (€4.98m) more than Rémy would cost so that swap deal isn't on and to suggest we would also throw in Michael Dawson in fantasy. Hull City and Crystal Palace were prepared to pay £4 million (€4.98m) so that's at least £19 million (€23.67m) for an £11 million (€13.70m) player.

Perhaps they thought of putting Harry Kane in the story but as he signed a new 5-year contract they had to replace his name with someone else.

Can you see Daniel Levy offering that!

Michael Dawson to QPR Michael Dawson to QPR Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

Michael Dawson to remain Spurs captain

11:00 am
Tottenham offered Michael Dawson for sale but he didn't want to go to the clubs on offer, but he was not the only centre-back being offered around.

Michael Dawson to remain Spurs captain

While Dawson was interesting Hull City, West Ham and Crystal Palace Vlad Chiriches was being offered around Italy and Younes Kaboul was also made available.

Spurs knew all three would not leave but it seemed to be a question of which two first. Now with just over 3 weeks left they are all still at the club and websites wondering who was going to be the new captain are looking rather foolish. No experienced centre-back has been brought in as yet and so Dawson is not for sale at the moment.

Captain Dawson remains captain Dawson, that's the message from new Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino. He thinks there is nothing to talk about where matters of captaincy are concerned.

“Still Michael Dawson is here and he is our captain. For me it is not a problem to choose the captain. For me, Michael Dawson is here and while still here is the captain. It is nothing to talk about.”

Privately he has been assured he will keep the captaincy if he can prove he deserves a place and pre-season so far has suggested he is at the head of the queue with Jan Vertonghen to start the first game in just over a week.

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As yet Tottenham have not made him available for sale, potential deals are discussed and Hull City are still interested with Sunderland also emerging as an interested party but until Spurs give the green light Dawson is remaining at White Hart Lane.

Michael Dawson to remain Spurs captain Michael Dawson to remain Spurs captain Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:00 am Rating: 5

Plenty for sale, none leaving, Spurs struggle again

2:30 pm
As ever in a transfer window Tottenham are having trouble shifting players, we are one step away from the top money clubs and for some players therefore, as high as they are ever going to get.


All players want to play at the highest level they can and earn as much as they can. When we buy them we pit them on contracts far better than they had before and that creates us problems. When we realise the players isn't good enough or isn't what we want any more we try to sell them.

The players then says, hang on a minute any step is going downwards, I'm not interested, I only want to go upwards, but they aren't good enough. Foreign clubs in general, apart from the top teams, can't match our wages. The result is the player sticks around and collects his cheque.

David Bentley and Heurelho Gomes are two prime examples, players more interested in the money than actually playing football. Both refused countless moves. Bentley even left it so late that he had to go and loan and found he had lost it, he ability wasn't there any more. That speaks volumes for what he was doing on the training pitch, going through the motions.

Gomes simply refused to move, the odd loan spell, where we would have still been paying most of his wages, but otherwise happy collecting £50,000 a week. Nobody else was going to pay him that so he simply didn't move.

The main players up for sale now are:
Michael Dawson - Hull City, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Ham
Kyle Naughton - Sunderland, Swansea
Younès Kaboul - Lazio, Fiorentina
Vlad Chiriches - Milan, Fiorentina (offered to Southampton)
Nacer Chadli - (offered to Southampton, PSV Eindhoven)
Sandro - Napoli, Roma, Inter

Plenty of interest but why would Michael Dawson want to take a step down to Hull, Sunderland, Palace or West Ham? If you add to that he is due a testimonial in January and has two years left on his contract then his reasons to move diminish.

In pre-season he appears to be first choice over Kaboul to partner Vertonghen so it would appear there could be plenty of game time for him even if the club do sign another experienced right sided centre-back.

Why would Kyle Naughton go to Southampton and Swansea when there are only 5 outfield players who played more than him and Kyle Walker isn't fit? He may have another opportunity to show his worth, should he throw that away?

He looks certain to start against West Ham in just over a week and probably against probably against QPR on the 24th. From his point of view he has a chance to establish himself with the new boss and then decide at the very end of the window how much game time he is going to get.

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Younès Kaboul has a year left on his contract so could leave for free in a year and maximise his wages as a result of their being no transfer fee. he may be hoping for a one-year contract extension and a chance to prove his fitness and with to Pochettino.

I find it unlikely he would sign a one-year deal and Tottenham are not going to offer him longer, at the moment he doesn't deserve it. To compound matters we are asking for a high fee, £6 million for an injury prone player who has had one good season in 2011/12.

Vlad Chiriches failed to adapt to the Premier League and his lack of aerial ability will always be an issue, but we over paid for him and want out money back. His transfer value has reduced rather than increased and nobody wants him at the price we want. Interested parties will be hoping that waiting until late in the transfer window will force us into selling at a loss.

Nacer Chadli we have offered to PSV Eindhoven, why would he go to Dutch football, it's a downward step from the Premier League and the wages are much lower, it's hardly an enticing prospect. PSV may well accept him plus cash for Memphis Depay but Chadli won't!

Southampton would be a possibility but again they can't compete on wages so after a season why would he want to take a big pay cut? He'll be hoping to force the club to keep him and try and prove his worth.

Sandro made it plain he was happy to move to Italy and there are plenty of clubs interested in his services, unsurprisingly, however they want him at half price which is totally unrealistic and unless Morgan Schneiderlin is signed he isn't going anywhere anyway.

Plenty for sale, none leaving, Spurs struggle again Plenty for sale, none leaving, Spurs struggle again Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

Kaboul to Lazio in last few days of the transfer window

6:30 pm
Speculation surrounding which Spurs central defender will leave or whether more than one will leave. At first it was Michael Dawson, then Younès Kaboul or Vlad Chiriches and finally Jan Vertonghen.

Kaboul to Lazio in last few days of the transfer window

It is not as simple as which is the worse, sell them. The non-home grown rule rears its ugly head with Tottenham currently having their full quota, you can only name 17 aged over 21 in a Premier League squad. The experienced centre-back we are looking to bring in now are aged around 25 or 26 and are non-home grown.

We fully expect Schneiderlin to come in late in the window and he is home grown with Sandro, Capoue or Dembele leaving, all non-home grown. To bring in a new centre-back we have to shift one we have and Vlad Chiriches is the one we are trying to move.

However it may be Younès Kaboul that is the one to leave if we can't shift Chiriches.

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Corriere dello Sport report that Lazio are interested in Younès Kaboul who has a contract with us until 2015 which, according to the Italians he has no intention of renewing. Now I suspect something is lost in translation there and it actually means he hasn't been offered a new contract yet, if one is going to be offered.

The choice for Tottenham is clear, you either offer a new contract or you sell now while you can get a fee. Allowing a player simply to run down his contract and leave for free is bad business. We are trying to bring in Argentinian Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal who is a right sided centre-back.

If we already know about interest in Kaboul from Lazio, and we are bound to, then it could mean we have decided he is going to be sold after the season has started. Following on from that then Dawson would probably stay for another season and we move for Mexican Héctor Moreno next summer after he has recovered form his broken leg.

It would be madness to buy a centre-back who has never played in the league, have a youngster who has never played in the league, with Vlad Chiriches who has flopped in the league and Jan Vertonghen. With two new centre-back to the league we need two experienced centre-backs proven in the league.

Corriere dello Sport say Lazio are costing out the deal expected to be £3.99 million (€5m) to £4.79 million (€6m) but that they hope they can negotiate a lower price in the last few days of August.

Kaboul has not recovered form after his long term injury, indeed he has only ever had one good season at Spurs. He may well recover form this season but he was awful last season and failed to convince the club he should be offered a new contract, without one a sale looks likely. If we fail to bring one in then we may offer a one-year extension.

It won't please many fans but I think Dawson will be here for another season and further I think he'll start against West Ham.

Kaboul to Lazio in last few days of the transfer window Kaboul to Lazio in last few days of the transfer window Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:30 pm Rating: 5

After Sherwood it's back to blandness

9:30 am
After the honesty of Sherwood its back to the usual tedium when talking to the media it seems, simply saying the right meaningless words as pre game interviews show.

After Sherwood it's back to blandness

Adebayor of course missed the North American tour so it's an important game for him to show the manager how he can fit into his system in match conditions. He then gives the usual respectful platitudes about opposition, even though they have sent a second team to the game.

“It’s an important game. We’re all here getting ready for the season. Celtic are a good club, they have done well in Scotland and they’re competing in the Champions League. 
“Physically they will be ready, mentally they will be ready and tactically they will be ready, so we just have to show how good we are and keep focused and keep the momentum going.”
Let's compare that with club captian Michael Dawson's words about the game in Finland today.

“Celtic have had the Champions League qualifiers but we’ll be going there as part of our preparations for the season, which is starting in two weeks’ time. 
“The pre-season matches are all about getting to know the philosophy of the new Head Coach and the way he wants to play. We’ll be professional as usual and continue our hard work.”
Kind of stating the obvious, it's all about philosophy but adds a little to Adebayor's comments and what was it Tom Carroll said earlier, before he knew he was staying with the Under 21 squad for the Dagenham & Redbridge tie the same afternoon as the Celtic game.

“Minutes are vital for all the lads. I thought the Tour to America and Canada was good – obviously I played the first game in Seattle and was fairly happy with how things went and then I was involved in the second half in Toronto. 
“We now go on to the game in Helsinki. Celtic are a good side so it will be a good challenge for the lads and I’m sure it will be a different test to what we came up against in the States.”

That is the best bit of nothing of the three, it will be a different test, I think we can all figure that one out for ourselves, couldn't we at least have something instead of blandness all the time, who asks these pointless questions t elicit such eloquent answers?

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These are words to our own reporters not the outside media, can't we come up with something better than this? At least Erik Lamela gave us something a little better, a little more personal and having a little more feeling about it.

“I am happy with my situation because I had a long injury and now I can train normally. The Tour went well and I feel good. 
“This pre-season is very important for me, for my fitness and I’m hoping for a big year. 
“I think I can play better than I did last season and I hope this happens for me and for the Spurs fans. I would love to do well for them.”

It will be onto the Internet and hunt down a live stream today to watch the game and enjoy more of Erik who is going to sparkle this year and surprise the rest of the Premier League, he's going to be an exciting one to watch.

After Sherwood it's back to blandness After Sherwood it's back to blandness Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:30 am Rating: 5

Sat 2nd Aug D Day for Chiriches Spurs future

10:30 am
Tottenham need new centre-backs, that is clear and was agreed in the first post appointment meeting between Daniel Levy, Mauricio Pochettino and Franco Baldini.

Sat 2nd Aug D Day for Chiriches Spurs future

Vlad Chiriches agent is trying ti get him a move to Italy, Michael Dawson is wanted by clubs but its proving difficult to move him on, unsurprisingly as it involves a step down and Younes Kaboul didn't show any sort of form at all last year.

It's a major weakness that needs two new recruits, of the clubs targets, one has a broken leg and another is believed to have already agreed a deal with us. Part of that deal for the youngster will no doubt include a guarantee of a set number of games.

Arsenal have just signed Calum Chambers from Southampton with the promise of 20 games next season, it's quite common practice. However until we move out a centre-half we can't bring one in and give him any game time. Three of our centre-backs are non-home grown and will therefore have to be in the Premier League squad. We will be paying their wages so we'll have to play them leaving any new signing twiddling their thumbs as things stand at the moment.

For now we have to play with what we have and Michael Dawson looks no nearer the exit door than he did at the start of the summer transfer window. He was fully involved in the North American tour and thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I said before the Tour that North America is a great place to go and it was fantastic again. We’ve a massive following in the States and Canada and you could see that in Seattle, Toronto and Chicago. The support was incredible, not least the noise from the fans in Chicago on Saturday! 
“It’s been entertaining to see different places. Fish throwing in Seattle was a new experience for me and I managed to catch one! 
“We’ve had two wins and draw but it’s not about the results, it’s about our fitness and working to the new system the gaffer wants to play. Overall it’s been what you’d expect, hard work, tough games and great to see the fans again. Now it’s on to Helsinki.”

He doesn't sound like he is anywhere near the exit door either. I would fully expect Vlad Chiriches to be the first man leaving. He was pulled out of the pre-season tour with apparently a pain in the back, he has had a back problem for months now. Transfer window injuries are common to prevent injury! Chiriches may well be genuinely injured or he may have been pulled out the tour so he doesn't get injured and then can't be sold.

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The Helsinki game may tell us more about his Spurs future and if he has one. If he plays no part in the Celtic international club friendly that then his future at the club is thrown into grave doubt. He would not have experienced Mauricio Pochettino's system under match conditions, hardly ideal going into a new season when he have been at the club all pre-season.

There would be only one pre-season game left after the Celtic game and if he has been with us the whole pre-season and not figured, he clearly isn't wanted. The club are also trying to sell Michael Dawson but he is playing a big part in pre-season so will understand the system in match conditions. That suggest of the two the Romanian is the one most likely to leave.

Saturday August 2nd might well be a revealing day, D Day for Chiriches Spurs future.

Sat 2nd Aug D Day for Chiriches Spurs future Sat 2nd Aug D Day for Chiriches Spurs future Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 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

Ambassadors Ben Davies, King, Friedel, er Dawson?

8:30 pm
Figuring out the strategy of Tottenham Hotspur is not always the easiest of pastimes and we have made new signings in Ben Davies and Michel Vorm.

We seem to be leaning towards ambassadors now, we have Tottenham legend Ledley King who gets to jet all round the world shaking hands, sampling local cuisine , taking coaching sessions, giving autographs and countless other things. It's enjoyable work when you get into it.

Then we have Brad Friedel, at 43 he is coming to the end. Against Toronto he showed that it takes him longer to dive now and that split second is crucial, it's finally time to hands the reigns over to someone else, that now being Michel Vorm. So what next for the coach who has finished his A badge, it's ambassadorial time.

Before he wanders off into coaching or management he is the clubs US ambassador for the next year, we are beginning to sound like the government here. He can do the Ledley bit in a rapidly growing marketplace and promote Tottenham Hotspur. He has been all over the place since last season doing interviews, appearing on TV, Brazil, Ireland, the USA. Football is almost getting in the way.

Is that it? No, we have only gone and signed another ambassador, this time a Kick It Out ‘Next 20’ ambassador.

The ‘Next 20′ initiative was which launched in October 2013 and entails 20 young football stars from across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League (WSL) spread key messages of equality and inclusion.

Ben Davies gave a quick sound bite when he joined.

“I think it’s a vitally important component in our society at the moment to get Kick It Out’s message across to young people.”

There you have it if you want to sign for Spurs you have to have an ambassadorial role of some sort, or we'll find one for you.

Michael Dawson is of course our Club 18-30 rep looking after all the whipper snappers at The Lane, who is going to be Daddy when he has left?

Despite popular opinion I can confirm that Chirpy and Michael Dawson are not one and the same but the side do look to be getting a bit young.

We have been linked with Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa, perhaps he could become our Dutch ambassador, we have quite a few nationalities, perhaps we are trying to get one of each as marketing tools, forget the football, marketing where its at.

Ambassadors Ben Davies, King, Friedel, er Dawson? Ambassadors Ben Davies, King, Friedel, er Dawson? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Dawson awaits severance package agreement

10:30 am
The Michael Dawson situation is at a stalemate. Spurs want to sell Dawson, Hull City want to buy Dawson and Dawson has wrongly been accused of refusing to leaving wanting t try and prove his worth to Pochettino.

Michael Dawson Spurs captain

Hull City have agreed terms with Dawson, a player doesn't agree terms with a club if he has no intention of leaving, what would be the point?

Steve Bruce is naturally frustrated and wants the deal to be completed as soon as possible but the matter is out of his hands and he can only sit and wait.

“It seems a bit of a stalemate at the moment. It’s not for me to broadcast what the problems are. 
“Transfers take time and we’re just going to have be a bit patient.”

A fee has been agreed with Spurs, Spurs have told Dawson he is not part of the plans, Dawson has obviously accepted that and negotiated a deal. So what's the problem?

Well the club captain has been with us since January 2005, minutes before the winter transfer window shut. The former England Under 21 skipper joined us from Nottingham Forest and has gone on to win England B caps and 4 full caps.

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He lifted the League Cup in 2007/08 and won Player of the Year in 2009/10. In January he is due a testimonial for 10 years service so leaving now means he would miss out on a pay day. I can understand why he would compensating for moving right now when he could have a testimonial and move next summer when he will have one year left on his contract.

It would appear we do not want to give him a golden handshake in which case he is under contract and staying put. If Spurs want his wages off the bill and a place free in the squad then Daniel Levy will have to come to reach agreement on a severance package.

In the meantime Dawson will continue to give his all as he always has done.

Dawson awaits severance package agreement Dawson awaits severance package agreement Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

Are Tottenham on the brink of ruin?

4:30 pm
Should Tottenham be taking a short-term or long-term approach to team building and transfer strategy.

Are Tottenham on the brink of ruin?

Fans fall into two camps, those that accept a club policy and look at things through that strategy and those that want every players to be the finished article now, a trophy now.

In the former approach you have a strategy that you follow. At Tottenham the strategy is to build sustainable long-term success, developing homegrown youth. That means buying youngsters for the academy but also buying young players for the first team squad who will appreciate in value.

That entails getting bargains, that entails buying players with one or two years left on their contracts. It rarely entails paying top price for a player in their prime, there is no profit in it and it's risky, if the player doesn't deliver in the manner Roberto Soldado hasn't then you are stuck with an asset you can't sell.

Andre Villas-Boas and Mauricio Pochettino are managers who have bought into this strategy. They develop the current team while developing players internally to add to the first team. Our transfer purchases last summer indicate this approach, even if some were expensive, Lamela was expected to increase in value.

Look at all the players we are linked to realistically and 90% are young. With any transfer rumour the first thing to do is look at the age of the player, that will give you a good idea if their is any truth in it. Add the fee into that, think the club strategy and you'll have a good idea if it's a reporter just making something up.

The other approach is the I want proven ability for a team right now. This is an approach characterised by Harry Redknapp. Each club he has been add he has bought free transfer and loan players in their 30's. Building for the future is hardly considered.

He accepts a club can't play fortunes for a top player so he scours the loan market, the older players who have been their and done it, who give everything for one last hurrah. He simply recycles these players over and over again, always reinventing parts of the side.

As one 30 odd year old gets too old they are replaced by a younger 30 odd year old. It's a disaster waiting to happen approach which will have small periods of success when you have the right combinations.

Of course the third approach is to have deep pockets and simply buy success but we are not in that position and as QPR found, unless it is at the top level it doesn't always work, the heart has to be in it.

The highly successful Barcelona team played with high technical levels and non-stop movement. These are elements of the Marcelp Bielsa approach, Pep Guardiola was a disciple in the same way Mauricio Pochettino is.

They provide a modern the benchmark for a basic style of play for Tottenham which then needs a sustainability element added. For Barcelona they can go out and purchase but they also develop homegrown and have a very successful academy.

The rise and success of Spanish football, not just Barça's recent success and Spain's Euro 2008, 2012 and 2010 World Cup triumphs but the success of Spanish clubs in Europe is down to the development of youngsters.

Since 2005 in the Europa League Sevilla have won it 3 times, Atlético Madrid 2 times, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol have been runners-up (to Spanish clubs).

The only nation that comes anywhere near that success is Portugal who adopt a similar policy with their youngsters. Porto won the competition in 2003 and 2011, Benfica have been runners-up in the last two years while Braga and Sporting have been runners-up once each.

The rise is linked to the number of games Spanish youngsters play. They learn playing, not by doing drills, because that doesn't teach game sense

Prior to revamping its youth structure, Milan looked at clubs like Ajax and Barcelona, studying their structure to see how they developed so many players from the youth squads to the first team.

The future for football clubs is home grown players.

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The cost of youngster and players in general is astronomical. Luke Shaw's fee as absurd for what he has achieved. The game can't afford to go on raising the price of players and ploughing so much of it's income into players pockets.

Developing your own players saves your club those exorbitant fees. being a club known for developing young players and giving young players a chance will help to attract the best youngsters into the academy which of course has long term benefits.

Spurs strategy for the youth development of home grown players. Tim Sherwood was an advocate of bringing players through the youth system and in his short tenure he opened the eyes of many supporter and showed them there is talent here if you'll give it a chance to develop.

Michel Bruyninckx is a coach who trained the European Elite Referees, has worked with a string of the very top clubs developing professional players and educating their coaches in youth development with an emphasis producing better players through improving the mind.

“I think many top clubs are understanding that going to the highest level requires a balanced long-term vision and going back to more homegrown players with a clear club label.

“Science is unravelling more and more the secrets to deliver high-performance players. Mentally-balanced players that stay together for many years and have the grit for many hours of deliberate practice and play will show again how our social network can have an influence on football development.

“Aren't the team coherence and format of Barca and Bayern Munich the best examples?”

Club identity is important and having role models for the youngsters to look to is important for their development. Nabil Bentaleb, Andros Townsend, Harry Kane are all role models for the next generation but they still need a father figure or two, for want of a better word.

None are ready to assume the mantle and be the club focal point, indeed selling Dawson leaves the club without a focal point. The latest news is that he looks likely to leave for Hull City for £4/5 million.

A little piece of identity is chipped away to pay for the mercenaries we will now be supporting, the players playing for their wage packet and not the club. We saw last season the effect that has and the lack of long-term thinking may have an impact in future years.

Michael Dawson currently fills that role together to a far lessor extent with Aaron Lennon, two players many of our fans want rid of every transfer window. Someone like Paulinho or Adebayor are quality players but you'd hardly hold them up as role models for the youngsters, both have a traits you don't want the youth developing.

If the club has this long-term strategy then it has to encompass the whole club, not just an element here and an element there. Figures like Michael Dawson are a totally undervalued part of that and if he is to depart then new role models must be developed.

Without them you take away the identity aspect, the youth will develop without a bond and will simply leave for other clubs, much in the way Southampton youngsters do.

The sustainable long-term homegrown approach is the right one but every element must be in place for it to be as successful as we would all like it to be.

Unfortunately now the club is in the brink. It stands to lose it's identity in favour of becoming a buying selling club, a club for mercenaries to come to for a few seasons and leave, a club for Berbatov, Modrić, Bale, here today, gone tomorrow players.

What we get left with is the mediocrity as we look for the next set of mercenaries and hope they will develop some feeling for the club. The youth must be developed but the club must retain it's identity and have a father figure, a focal point to rally around.

Nobody is going to rally around a Roberto Soldado or Erik Lamela figure, they are here for 5 minutes in the big scheme of things. Fans will idolize them of course but that's not the same thing at all, they do nothing for a clubs identity. We have a strategy but we have missed a rather important chunk out of it.

How can we complain about a turnaround in managers if we are encouraging a turnaround in players?

Selling Dawson is a mistake, we will be left with a bunch of kids with no feeling for the club. Yes he has had his day but yes he can still do a back-up job and we have certainly needed back-up centre-backs in the last 5 years or more.

No doubt there will be an increase in fake badge kissing to pretend a feeling exists. If you are conned by that meaningless public relations exercise more fool you.

“I think many top clubs are understanding that going to the highest level requires a balanced long-term vision and going back to more homegrown players with a clear club label.

“Aren't the team coherence and format of Barca and Bayern Munich the best examples?”

Where is that focal point for that clear club label? Who is the leader or do we now just hold up mercenaries as role models to the youth coming through? We would be giving them the wrong message.

Time will tell if we are going to pay the price for our folly.

It's a topic that requires discussion from as wide a section of supporters as possible so do share and let others have their say.

Both sides have valid points to make but who will be the club focal point without Dawson.

Who is Mr Tottenham, who epitomises what Tottenham Hotspur stands for?

Does football give way to business again?

Are Bale, Bebatov and Modrić what the club now stands for? Do well son and you could get a transfer somewhere else!

Are Tottenham on the brink of ruin? Are Tottenham on the brink of ruin? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:30 pm Rating: 5

Selling Dawson turns Spurs into a club for mercenaries

10:30 am
Hull City have come back in for club captain and centre-half Michael Dawson.

Selling Dawson turns Spurs into a club for mercenaries

As revealed in the recent article Hull to renew interest in Dawson the East Yorkshire club have targeted the Spurs captain after missing out on free agent Joleon Lescott.

Steve Bruce, a former title winning centre-back with Manchester United, knows all about central defenders and has long been an admirer of Michael Dawson. Now with Spurs looking for replacements, Héctor Moreno and Dejan Lovren top the Tottenham wanted list, there is an opportunity to try and take him to Hull City.

Hull have opened talks and are looking to sign Dawson for £4 million. The former England international is now 30 and is Tottenham's longest serving player having been with us for 9 years. He is under contract until 2016 and his departure would rob the club of some of it's identity.

Tottenham would simply become a temporary home for mercenaries. The club desperately needs to find a new breed of stalwarts. Steven Garrard, John Terry, Ryan Giggs, who do you name at Tottenham if Dawson were to leave? Ledley King plays no more and retains status but on the playing side who would you associate with Spurs?

Aaron Lennon has been with us since 2005, Benoit Assou-Ekotto since 2006, Danny Rose since 2007, Kyle Walker since 2008. Jermain Defoe would have been Dawson's natural succsessor but he's gone, the mantle falls on vice-captain Aaron Lennon who despite his years service you wouldn't call Mr Tottenham.

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Do the club need a Mr Tottenham? I think we do so I'd be all for keeping Dawson as a back-up centre-half and the club captain, even if it means having a different on field captain. Would the extra responsibility bring more out of Lennon though?

There may be some of you out there fooled by the fake public relations inspired gesture of kissing the badge, an attempt to show 'love' for the club. Sorry but fans know, a player doesn't need to kiss the badge to show us, Michael Dawson doesn't need to kiss the badge every game, we know he feels. We know he wants to be here with us, not after the next pay packet somewhere.

Don't kiss the badge and then show no loyalty, that simply makes you a con artist, a fake, a fraud. Show the passion, the desire on the pitch, you'll get the bond, if you are genuine rather than just a mercenary here for the money.

It seems more important now than ever that we bring youngster through from the academy so we can retain some identity. He may not have been here long but Bentaleb is a product of that academy and has the right fight, spirit you need in a leader.

He has that winning attitude and is someone Spurs fans can rally round more so than Harry Kane, who has been here longer, but doesn't have the same leadership qualities, neither does Tom Carroll.

We want to produce a production line of talent, that's the aim but for me you need a leader, a player for the youngsters to grow up saying I want to be like him, not right I'm here, who is going to pay me the most? You have to build in the youth a sense of identity, an affinity with the club not just assume it'll be there and to do that then you need club identity and role models.

QPR, West Ham and Crystal Palace could all well be interested if Tottenham do indicate they are willing to sell Dawson. At the moment Dawson is on holiday and hasn't spoken to the club over his future so it's all press speculation. QPR tried to buy him in 2012 but Dawson wanted to stay at Spurs and fight for his place, I have no doubt he will want to do the same again. That is exactly what we need in players.

What Mauricio Pochettino wants, mercenaries or identity, we'll have to wait and see.

Selling Dawson turns Spurs into a club for mercenaries Selling Dawson turns Spurs into a club for mercenaries Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

Hull to renew interest in Dawson

10:30 am
Hull City will turn their attention back to Michael Dawson after missing out on Joleon Lescott.

Hull renew interest in Dawson

Michael Dawson is back on the Hull City radar as they also look to add to their former Spurs contingent by signing Jake Livermore. The club report on their website that they have a greed an undisclosed fee with Tottenham for Livermore, although it is known Crystal Palace were willing to pay the £6.5 million Daniel Levy was asking for.

Hull already have Tom Huddlestone and their manager, former Manchester United centre-half Steve Bruce, is a big admirer of Dawson. With two years left on his contract Daniel Levy may want around £5 million for his 30 year-old club captain.

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Bruce wants an experienced centre-back to join 29 year-old Curtis Davies and 25 year-old James Chester after 36 year-old Abdoulaye Faye was not offered a new contract when his existing deal ran out.

Hull City had tried to sign free agent Joleon Lescott after he left Manchester City but the former England international has signed for WBA. Bruce has turned his attention back to Michael Dawson and will begin negotiations hoping to convince Daniel Levy to let the former England international go for £3.5 million.

Hull to renew interest in Dawson Hull to renew interest in Dawson Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5

The centre-back candidate fact files

10:30 am
Mauricio Pochettino, Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini identified three main areas of the squad that needed improving this summer.

The centre-back candidate fact files

One those three, striker, left-back and centre-back, two were identified as the main priorities, centre-back and left-back. Fábio Coentrão from Real Madrid was the chosen man last summer and failure to sign him meant a starting berth for Danny Rose at left-back.

In a previous article the Spurs Left-back Candidate Fact Files I took a look at the candidates from a statistical point of view. There is one new addition to that list now in Brazilian Marcelo, like Coentrão from Real Madrid.

Time then to move on to the centre-backs and look at our options, starting with existing players and then our targets.

Jan Vertonghen remains first-choice but the future of the rest remains in doubt. There is plenty of interest in club captain Michael Dawson and he seems to be emerging as the favourite to leave. Fiorentina have made an offer to Younès Kaboul while Vlad Chiricheș's agent is also negotiating with the Italians who have a centre-back we are interested in, Stefan Savić.

It's quite possible two centre-backs could come in during this window. Dejan Lovren, Stefan Savić and Héctor Moreno seem our preferred options with Steven caulker as the back-up.

We have however been refused permission to talk to Lovren so have conducted preliminary negotiations over Savić. Pochettino and Baldini were in Spain to discuss a potential Moreno deal last week. We have a first refusal option on Caulker. Relegated Cardiff City are in debt still owing us money from his purchase last summer.

Existing candidates centre-back

1. Jan Vertonghen
27 years-old (28 on April 24th) Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.89 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £20 million (€25.02m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Jan Vertonghen is the first-choice left sided centre-back who plays left-back for Belgium and doesn't like playing there for Spurs. A quality defender he let himself down badly last year with a series of displays that said I can't be bothered.

Injured at Anfield he looked delighted to be coming off and didn't play again for the rest of the season. Spurs fans will be expecting him to return to the quality defender we know he is, with his head in the right place.

Vertonghen made 23 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 9 chances. He had a 83% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 20m and won 67% of his duels. He made an average of 7 defensive actions and made 3 defensive errors. He received 4 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

2. Michael Dawson
England (home grown qualified)
30 years-old (31 on November 18th) Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £7 million (€8.76m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Club captain Michael Dawson will be 31 in November. He rarely seems to be injured while all about him are on the treatment table. An old fashioned defender in as much as he throws himself in the way of everything while today's crop stick out a leg or even worse turn their back so precious doesn't get hurt.

Too slow to play a high line he proved everyone wrong in 2012/13 when he stopped a leaky defence and last season had constantly changing partners to worry about who were either coming back from injury, not interested or unable to adapt to the Premier League. Unsurprisingly it wasn't his best.

Dawson made 32 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 7 chances. He had a 82% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 56% of his duels. He made an average of 11 defensive actions and made 4 defensive errors. He received 7 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

3. Younès Kaboul
28 years-old (29 on January 4th) Younès Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.90 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2015
Transfer Value £7 million (€8.76m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

A quality defender who for one reason and another has only ever managed to give us one decent season. Has left Spurs in a dilemma having failed to recover any sort of form last season after his injury against Newcastle in August 2012.

He only has a year left on his contract so can leave for free next summer. Do Spurs give him another year in the hope he can recover form and thus earn a new contract or sell him now?

Kaboul made 13 appearances last season scoring 1 goal and created 6 chances. He had a 73% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 59% of his duels. He made an average of 8 defensive actions and made 5 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 2 red cards (one rescinded).

4. Vlad Chiricheș
24 years-old (25 on November 14th) Vlad Chiricheș (Tottenham Hotspur)
1.84 m (6ft 0in)
Under contract until 30th June 2018
Transfer Value £10 million (€12.51m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Vlad Chiricheș totally divides opinion, some overlook all the errors and see the ball playing skills, some overlook the ball playing skills and see all the errors. His agent claims he hasn't adapted to the Premier League and that the Italian league might suit his style of play better. If the club agree with that view then he'll be on his way, but Pochettino like a ball playing centre-half.

Chiricheș made 17 appearances last season scoring 1 goal and created 5 chances. He had a 89% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 21m and won 54% of his duels. He made an average of 7 defensive actions and made 2 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

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Transfer Targets - Centre-back

1.Dejan Lovren
24 year-old (25 July 5th) Dejan Lovren (Southampton)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2017
Transfer Value £15 million (€18.77m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Reports suggest we immediately asked Southampton to talk to Lovren when we took Pochettino from them and were refused, he promptly handed in a transfer request by email that Southampton have not responded to. Clearly a top target then and I suspect the noises about Champions league are just to get away from the Saints.

Liverpool hold a strong interest but if the Lallana situation is anything to go by (Southampton added an extra £10 million to his transfer fee) then the Croatian will be overpriced.

Lovren made 31 appearances last season scoring 2 goals and created 4 chances. He had a 82% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 22m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 11 defensive actions and made 1 defensive errors. He received 7 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

2. Steven Caulker
England (home grown qualified)
22 year-old (23 on December 29th) Steven Caulker (Cardiff City)

1.91 m (6ft 3in)
Under contract until 30th June 2017
Transfer Value £8 million (€10.01m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Transferred last summer to Cardiff City he has a clause in his contract giving Tottenham first option on buying him back. The Welsh sides relegation, debt and the fact they still owe us money from his purchase means he would be a cheap option to return to White Hart Lane in much the same way Younès Kaboul did when returning from Portsmouth.

Again Liverpool are interested in a player who on stats you could argue is the best of the candidates. Spurs are in need of finding a new stalwart for the club, a player to become the new Mr Tottenham, every club has them, perhaps he should now become ours, once Dawson goes there is not a figure to take his place.

Caulker made 38 appearances last season scoring 5 goals and created 9 chances. He had a 74% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 21m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 12 defensive actions and made 0 defensive errors. He received 1 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

3. Héctor Moreno
26 year-old (27 January 17th) Héctor Moreno (Espanyol)
1.84 m (6ft 0in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £8 million (€10.01m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Mauricio Pochettino signed him from AZ Alkmaar for Espanyol and he promptly became Player of the Season for the Spanish club. He knows Pochettino's style and the Argentinian knows him so with stories that he and Baldini were in Barcelona with Espanyol representatives does indicate we are trying to sign the Mexican international who caught the eye against Brazil.

His stats are not particularly impressive, particularly the duels won but his displays for Mexico suggest there is a sense of being able to read the game and anticipate trouble. Has the knack (which is down to reading the game) of being in the right place at the right time. No premier league experience but all our signing can't flop in their first season.

Moreno made 32 appearances last season scoring 1 goals and created 7 chances. He had a 78% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 23m and won 47% of his duels. He made an average of 8 defensive actions and made 1 defensive error. He received 8 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

4. Stefan Savić
23 year-old (24 on January 8th) Stefan Savić (Fiorentina)
1.88 m (6ft 2in)
Under contract until 30th June 2016
Transfer Value £9 million (€11.26m)

The centre-back candidate fact files

Was signed by Manchester City when he was only 19 and clearly wasn't ready for the Premier League yet. Has since gone to Italy and re-built his reputation as a quality centre-back.

Fiorentina are interested in taking Younes Kaboul and have been discussing a possible move for Vlad Chiriches with his agent so he would make a cheap option. He would have to prove he is ready for the Premier League, but is wanted by a host of top clubs which suggests he has improved significantly.

Savić made 31 appearances last season scoring no goals and created 3 chances. He had a 89% passing accuracy, an average pass length of 20m and won 58% of his duels. He made an average of 10 defensive actions and made 1 defensive error. He received 5 yellow cards and 0 red cards.

Quick Stats Guide

Jan Vertonghen - Premier League
Appearances: 23
Goals: 0
Chances created: 9
Passing accuracy: 83%
Average pass length: 20m
Duels won: 67%
Average defensive actions: 7
Defensive errors: 3
Yellow cards: 4
Red cards: 0

Michael Dawson - Premier League
Appearances: 32
Goals: 0
Chances created: 7
Passing accuracy: 82%
Average pass length: 23m
Duels won: 56%
Average defensive actions: 11
Defensive errors: 4
Yellow cards: 7
Red cards: 0

Younes Kaboul - Premier League
Appearances: 13
Goals: 1
Chances created: 6
Passing accuracy: 73%
Average pass length: 53m
Duels won: 59%
Average defensive actions: 8
Defensive errors: 5
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 2

Vlad Chiriches - Premier League
Appearances: 17
Goals: 1
Chances created: 5
Passing accuracy: 89%
Average pass length:21m
Duels won: 54%
Average defensive actions: 7
Defensive errors: 2
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 0

Transfer Targets

Dejan Lovren - Premier League
Appearances: 31
Goals: 2
Chances created: 4
Passing accuracy: 82%
Average pass length: 22m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 11
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 7
Red cards: 0

Steven Caulker - Premier League
Appearances: 38
Goals: 5
Chances created: 9
Passing accuracy: 74%
Average pass length: 21m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 12
Defensive errors: 0
Yellow cards: 1
Red cards: 0

Héctor Moreno - La Liga
Appearances: 32
Goals: 1
Chances created: 7
Passing accuracy: 78%
Average pass length: 23m
Duels won: 47%
Average defensive actions: 8
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 8
Red cards: 0

Stefan Savić - Serie A
Appearances: 31
Goals: 0
Chances created: 3
Passing accuracy: 89%
Average pass length: 20m
Duels won: 58%
Average defensive actions: 10
Defensive errors: 1
Yellow cards: 5
Red cards: 0

Swiss international Fabian Schär may be added to the list, at the moment hs is merely of potential interest with Mauricio Pochettino still to assess the 22 year-old Basel player before making a decision.

The centre-back candidate fact files The centre-back candidate fact files Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:30 am Rating: 5
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