Seeing as the international break is upon football fans, To the Lane and Back will take this opportunity to analyse what is perceived to be Tottenham’s strongest starting XI, one player at a time.
Brad Friedel will be the first player to fall under To the Lane and Back’s microscope.
The American joined Spurs in July on a free following the expiration of his contract with Aston Villa, having spent three-years at Villa Park, playing every league game in the process.
Having made over 280 consecutive Premier League appearances, Friedel is well accustomed to the demands and rigours that comes with playing in England’s top tier.
Nonetheless, Spurs fans were skeptical about his signing, considering the goalkeeping veteran turned 40 back in May. With Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini both vying for the number one spot, the signing of Friedel was one the didn’t instil fans with confidence of the clubs transfer plans, many believing Ben Foster, formerly of Birmingham City, a better choice than the former Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool shot-stopper.
Nonetheless, the club persisted with bringing Friedel in, and even offered a two-year deal for his services. Many felt one would have been enough for a player who will be 42 when his current deal expires. However, fans are beginning to come round to the idea of Friedel being the clubs number one for this season at least.
His calmness behind the back four has given the defence a renewed confidence in their goalkeeper, made more critical by the fact that last season, the likes of Michael Dawson and William Gallas appeared nervous when Gomes came for crosses or any long ball or shot was sent his way.
Friedel has looked an astute signing by Redknapp and the ageing keeper has rolled back the years, making some truly groundbreaking saves that even the likes of Iker Casillas or Petr Cech would struggle to make.
With the 40-year-old starting, Spurs look calmer at the back and, the first two games aside, look more stable when on the back-foot. Any Spurs fans would be surprised if he doesn’t make it to 300+ consecutive games in the Premiership and at this rate, they look to be winning ones, especially if Spurs can continue their recent good run of four wins out of four in the league.