Spurs transfer spree was 'a bit mad' says Jermain Defoe

Sep 5, 2012
Bill Mann

Meanwhile, AVB pays £11m for star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and then tells him to 'be patient'

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS's decidedly shaky start as Spurs manager in place of Harry Redknapp has been raising eyebrows on both sides of the English Channel, it seems.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has admitted that club's recent transfer dealings were all "a bit mad". Speaking ahead of England's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova on Friday, he said he was still trying to catch his breath after a frenetic few days that saw six players exit White Hart Lane and four new faces arrive.

"It was a bit mad," said Defoe. "You walk into the changing rooms, see the lads and don't know if you would see them the next day. It was funny."

On one occasion Defoe returned to the training ground from a dental appointment to discover Tom Huddlestone was on his way to Stoke City for a medical. That deal fell through but for Defoe it encapsulated the uncertainty at Spurs last week.

Defoe even admitted his own future at the Lane was up in the air until the very end of the transfer deadline. "Every day I would walk out of my house and fans would come up to me and ask whether I was staying," he said. "I would love to have turned round and say I was staying but I was not too sure. When you are unsettled, it is not good."

Though Defoe stayed loyal to the Lilywhites, they did lose two stars in Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart and the pressure is growing on Villas-Boas after a winless start to the season.

"We have good players and we have made some good signings," said Defoe. "It is important for us to stay together. When the new manager comes in with different tactics, it can be difficult. It takes time. It is a long season and we'll come through fine."

One of those new signings is French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who moved from Lyon in a £11.2m deal and was immediately informed by Villas-Boas that he will have to be patient.

"When you transfer it's not written in the contract that you have to play," Villas-Boas said after Brad Friedel had pulled off a string a good saves to earn Spurs a 1-1 draw with Norwich at the weekend. "He has to compete against three good goalkeepers and at the moment Brad is doing extremely well. He deserves to be playing and he'll continue to do so."

Those comments haven't gone done well with Didier Deschamps, coach of the French national team. "I saw what Villas-Boas said [and] these statements surprised me," said Deschamps. "Hugo did not appreciate the statements but if I comment, it will make an echo on the other side of the Channel. I'm not going to create a problem that I don't have today. If it happens, it deserves consideration."

Sign up for our daily newsletter