Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur’s players were dragged into the era of Juande Ramos with a double training session yesterday. Arriving first and leaving last, the head coach put his charges through their paces for the first time, with a warm-down in the morning and a practice match in the afternoon.

Only on a few occasions since pre-season have the players been asked to do a double session, which are used to accelerate fitness levels. Ramos also wanted to use the extra time to get to know the players, but it was a first contrast with the regime of Martin Jol, the former manager. The Dutchman used to have the players do one session of light training on the day after a match.

During a meeting with the squad, Ramos explained his football philosophy, theory and tactics, emphasising the positives from their spirited display in the 2-1 defeat by Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane on Sunday. He will drip-feed some of his ideas over the next few days but did not want to suffocate the players with too much information so soon before they play Blackpool at home in the fourth round of the Carling Cup tomorrow. Ramos is expected to play a full-strength team in a competition that offers a place in Europe that could be beyond Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League.

The Spaniard will leave nothing to chance at the club’s training ground in Chigwell, Essex. One of his former players once put sticky tape over his mouth in protest at the severity of pre-season training. At Seville, where he was coach for two years until last week, he employed a psychologist to establish belief among the team and the Tottenham players can also expect a new diet regime. The Seville players drank vegetable smoothies at half-time.

“He came into the dressing-room for one minute,” Radek Cerny, the goalkeeper, said. “It was good to see as everyone was very disappointed after the match. He went around the room and said, ‘Come on guys, heads up, you have to play for not 60 or 70 minutes but 90 minutes.’ It is important he comes in and does something straight away, gets the confidence across to the players, because there’s not a lot wrong right now, apart from maybe a few things at the back.”

Ramos was assisted yesterday by Gustavo Poyet after compensation was agreed with Leeds United for their former assistant manager. Poyet, a Uruguayan, will be charged with translating some of the more complicated tactics from Spanish while Ramos improves his English. Poyet retired in 2004 as a player after three years at White Hart Lane and became an assistant at Swindon Town before joining Leeds.

The pair will want to address some of the gaping deficiencies in the Tottenham team: the slack, unconnected central defensive partnership and the lack of combative and creative midfield players.

Any additions may not come from Seville, however, after Ramos was given a hands-off warning about his former players. “Seville does not want to sell any of its stars,” José MarÍa del Nido, the Seville president, said. “The English clubs, who look at our players, should know that when we want to keep our players, we do. Tottenham will get the response they deserve. I doubt they have the money to buy [Daniel] Alves and [Frédéric] Kanouté.”

Del Nido claims that Tottenham have offered only £200,000 in compensation. “I can assure you that we will pour all of our energy and all of our force into making sure that Tottenham pay the consequences of this situation,” he said. “This is a situation that they have illegitimately provoked. We will do everything in our power and use all the means at our disposal to make sure of that.”

FORMER Tottenham Hotspur striker Fredi Kanoute has praised Juande Ramos.

Kanoute worked under Ramos during their time together at Sevilla, where Kanoute flourised after being given a confidence boost by his former boss.

"He just gave me confidence since I've been here," Kanoute told Revista de la Liga.

"He has always given me the confidence I needed and that's it. He just said to me that I have to play how I know my best.

"He gave me quite a lot of freedom on the pitch also to do whatever I want."

He added: "Maybe this is someone who is on the pitch, who works on the pitch every day.

"He's there to give advice. He's very serious in his job and he's not the kind of man who likes to speak a lot about his job, but he's doing it well."


Tottenham have confirmed Leeds assistant manager Gus Poyet will move to White Hart Lane as first team coach.
The 39-year-old former Spurs midfielder will be one of two first team coaches with Marcos Alvarez, working under new head coach Juande Ramos.
Poyet has left Elland Road with the club's best wishes after Leeds agreed an undisclosed compensation package with Tottenham.
Leeds granted the London club permission to speak to their assistant manager yesterday morning following an official approach for the Uruguayan.
A Leeds statement read: "The club would like to thank Gus for his efforts over the past 12 months and wishes him every success in his new role.
"He leaves with the best wishes of everyone connected with the club."
Poyet arrived at Leeds in October 2006 as number two to former Chelsea team-mate Dennis Wise.
The pair had forged a managerial partnership the previous summer at Swindon where they had steered the Robins to the top of Coca-Cola League Two.
Former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Poyet, who retired as a player after three years at White Hart Lane in 2004, has been an integral part of Leeds' unbeaten start to the season as the Yorkshire club look to challenge for promotion despite being hit by a 15-point deduction for financial irregularities.


Juande Ramos has signed a four-year deal to become the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, replacing Martin Jol who was sacked on Thursday.
Ramos, 53, resigned as Sevilla coach on Friday and Spurs have asked Leeds if they can invite Gus Poyet to work as Ramos's assistant.

Ramos said: "It is a squad any coach would be excited to work with. There is the potential to achieve great things."

Newspaper reports suggest he will be paid up to £6m a year by Spurs.

Ramos will be at White Hart Lane for Sunday's Premiership clash with Blackburn and will take charge of Spurs for the first time for Wednesday's Carling Cup visit of Blackpool.

Tottenham must now negotiate a pay-off to Jol and a compensation package for Sevilla.

Ramos led Sevilla to the Uefa Cup title in each of the last two seasons and into the Champions League for the first time after they finished a close third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona last year.

He also won a European Super Cup, a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup for the Andalusian club.

"This has been the hardest decision of my life," he said after leaving the Spanish club.

"My time at Sevilla has been the most important period of my life personally and professionally. I will be eternally grateful."

And in a statement released through the Tottenham website, he added: "I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work as head coach at Tottenham Hotspur, a club with a great tradition and history.

"Ever since I started my coaching career I have wanted to work in England. It is my sincere hope that I can repay the faith the Spurs board has shown in me.

"I am looking forward to meeting the players.

"I was hugely impressed with the Spurs fans both home and away when Sevilla played Spurs last season and it will be a privilege to be the coach of this club with the huge support it enjoys both at White Hart Lane and throughout the world."

Marcos Alvarez, 36, who worked with Ramos at Sevilla, will also join the Tottenham coaching staff.

Ramos's contract with Sevilla had been due to expire at the end of this season and Manolo Jimenez has been promoted from youth team coach to replace Ramos until the end of the season.

Spurs sporting director Damien Comolli said: "Juande's arrival is great news for Tottenham Hotspur.

"He brings with him a wealth of experience, a proven track record and a winning pedigree.

"Now is the time for us to regroup and look to deliver the results and performances that everyone associated with the club wants to see."

Ramos's appointment brings to an end a lengthy pursuit by Spurs.

They were revealed to be interested in recruiting the Spaniard in the first week of the season when officials met him at the Alfonso XIII hotel in Sevilla.

He steps into the vacancy left by Jol, who was sacked following a disappointing start to the season which has left Spurs third from bottom.

Full name:
Juan de la Cruz Ramos Cano
Age: 53
Managerial career:
Alcoyano (1993-94)
Levante (1994-95)
Logrones (1995-96)
Barcelona B (1996-97)
Lleida (1997-98)
Rayo Vallecano (1998-01)
Real Betis (2001-02)
Espanyol (2002)
Malaga (2003-04)
Sevilla (2005-07)
Trophies: Uefa Cup (2005, 2006)
Super Cup (2006)
Copa del Rey (2007)
Spanish Supercopa (2007)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stadium plans in advanced stage, Kemsley resigns
Tottenham Hotspur have announced record turnover and profit for the last financial year.
Last year's UEFA Cup campaign, when Martin Jol's side reached the quarter-final stage, and successive fifth-placed Premier League finishes, led to the club posting a turnover of £103.1million for the year ending June 30 2007, up £29million on the 2006 figures.
Operating profit before football trading and depreciation increased from £4.6million to £32million while operating profit before training totalled £29.7million from £2.4million for the previous year.

The club's profit before tax increased massively to £27.7million from £600,000 with retained profit for the year £18.9million.

Chairman Daniel Levy insists the club will continue to prioritise investment in team personnel plus stadium and training facilities.

"All parts of the business have continued to perform well to produce record revenues and profits," he said in his chairman's statement.

"Cash generation has been strong. Our priorities for the club are focused on continued development of the first team where we have built an exceptionally talented squad, progressing our state-of-the-art training centre and the development of an improved, larger stadium."
Here we reproduce the whole part of Levy's speech regarding the training facilities and the stadium:
There is no doubt that our two key capital projects, the Football Training Centre (First Team and Academy) and the Stadium are fundamental features of our future plans for the Club.

A new planning application has been submitted for the Football Training Centre at Bull's Cross, Enfield. The recent purchase of Whitewebbs Sports Club has provided the opportunity to significantly remodel the layout and design of the site, leading to a positive planning balance, a better proposal, one which will have less impact on the Green Belt land, with only 3% comprising of buildings.
In light of this, we have withdrawn our appeal of the previous application and are currently seeking the support of all our stakeholders for the new proposal. The Centre will be important in sustaining the Club’s position in domestic and European competition, developing home grown talent, which in turn benefits the national team, and in extending the benefits associated with professional football to the wider community through an extensive and innovative community outreach programme to be delivered by The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
The Planning Committee of the London Borough of Enfield will meet to discuss this application in November 2007. Our hope is that we are able to achieve consent at local level for this facility, which is not only in the interest of the Club but addresses local and national agendas as well as providing a potential training facility for the Olympics.

Our review of Stadium options is now substantially complete. I can report that a limited number of potential sites have been identified in the London Boroughs of Enfield and Haringey including the expansion possibilities of the existing stadium. These obviously remain highly sensitive on commercial grounds, but we are now working to a timetable that will see us commit to one option during the first half of 2008.
I am delighted to announce that Tony Winterbottom, who worked for the Mayor of London as the Executive Director of Regeneration and Development at the London Development Agency, joins a team which is headed by myself, supported by your Finance Director, along with a multi-disciplinary group of architects, transport consultants, heritage specialists, planning consultants and a host of other experts to bring this project to fruition.
The team will work in conjunction with The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation with respect to community affairs. In addition we are in discussion with Council bodies, the LDA, Transport for London, the GLA, the Mayor’s office and local and central government officials. There has been initial consultation with supporters and their representative groups and this will be an ongoing process".

Meanwhile, Tottenham have confirmed vice-chairman Paul Kemsley has left the club. The Chairman revealed Kemsley has resigned from his position as non-executive chairman to focus on his business interests in the United States.

"It is with regret that I announce the resignation of Paul Kemsley as non-executive vice chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Co Ltd with effect from this year's forthcoming general meeting.

"Paul has recently expanded his property business interests in the United States and feels that inevitably his time spent overseas will impact upon his ability to fulfil his role with the club. Paul has worked with me for the past six years at the club and I thank him for his advice and counsel during this period."
Mr Levy had this to say about matters on the pitch:
"Player movements in the latter half of the year have been far less than in previous years, an indication that much of the rebuilding of the squad has been achieved. Last season saw us integrate a number of new players who have since settled well and now embark on a second season in European competition.

The following players have joined since we last reported: Darren Bent, Gareth Bale, Younes Kaboul and Kevin-Prince Boateng for the First Team; Adel Taarabt’s loan became a permanent move; Hossam Ahmed Mido joined and departed. Exciting younger players to join our Academy included Yuri Berchiche, Danny Rose and Dean Parrett.

Danny Murphy, Reto Ziegler, Mark Yeates and Emil Hallfredsson left the Club and Rodrigo Defendi, Rob Burch and Charlie Lee were released. We wish them all well.

I am pleased to report that, during the year, sixteen of our First Team professional players were called up to represent their respective national teams and this reinforces the continued quality of our current squad of players.

Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas were both offered and signed new, extended contracts. We very much hope Jermain Defoe will also extend his contract with the Club. We have progressively introduced an increased element of performance related remuneration into player contracts designed to reward success.

Our Academy re-structuring continues to produce excellent results. During last season five graduates from the Academy moved to professional contracts as third year, full-time players. A further seven moved to the Development Team under Clive Allen at the end of the season. The same period saw eight Academy scholars called up for international duty, along with six of our schoolboys. Most notably Thomas Pekhart who at 18 has played for the Czech Republic in the U20 World Cup in Canada.

The Academy participated in four international youth competitions and was successful in winning the prestigious Verona tournament. During the pre season our U18s won the Eurofoot tournament, this age group being a flagship group for the Academy with players showing potential for the First Team.

Our pre-season tour of South Africa was a great success. We enjoy strong historical support, enhanced by the previous tour in 2003 when we supported the South African bid to host the 2010 World Cup. The team returned from the tour victorious in the Vodacom Challenge. The players undertook several corporate social responsibility visits and were congratulated on their contribution throughout the tour. Their behaviour and conduct made them a credit to our Club.
An extended association was established with South Africa with the announcement of our partnership with SuperSport United, a Premier Soccer League (PSL) team owned by SuperSport, that will see the Clubs’ academies working together. It represents an excellent opportunity for coaching exchanges and the development of talent both for ourselves and also for the benefit of the South African game. SuperSport is one of the largest broadcasters in Africa, broadcasting to 57 countries and the relationship will result in extensive coverage of both the Club and the joint academy throughout the continent."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

We have been drawn against Anderlecht, Getafe, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Aalborg BK in Group G of the UEFA Cup.

We will open our UEFA Cup Group Stage campaign with a home fixture against Getafe on Thursday October 25 (8.45pm Malta Time).

This will be followed by a trip to Tel Aviv to take on Hapoel on Thursday November 8 before Match day three brings the visit of Aalborg to the Lane on Thursday November 29 (8.45pm Malta Time).

For our last group game we travel to Belgium for the encounter with Anderlecht on either Wednesday December 5 or Thursday December 6.