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Stalteri: Tough Competition


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Kelly tells Spurs: 'No first team spot, no deal'

Tottenham right-back Stephen Kelly will refuse to put pen to paper on a new contract unless he receives a guarantee of regular first-team football.

The 22-year-old defender has spent most of the season as a fringe member of Martin Jol's Tottenham squad and admits that the frustration of not playing regularly is beginning to affect him.

The defender's contract expires at the end of the current season but Kelly is already thinking about the future even though the club have offered him a new deal.

He will make a final decision on whether to leave the club when he assesses his situation again in the new year.

Kelly is adamant the uncertainty is due to his desire to play more regularly rather than the money on offer from Spurs in the new offer.

'I love it at Spurs but will have to make a decision about my future if I'm not getting a game after Christmas,' said Kelly.

'My contract is up at the end of the season and there is a new offer but this is not about money. I was playing regularly last season. I'm capable of playing in the Premiership and want to show it.'

Kelly has struggled to displace Canadian right back Paul Stalteri at White Hart Lane this term having made 23 first-team appearances last season.

Stalteri has become Jol's first choice because of his international experience and Kelly clearly cannot see a future for himself beyond the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Jol has not revealed whether England striker Jermain Defoe will return to his starting line-up after being axed for last Sunday's clash with former club West Ham.

Jol's surprise move meant a rare starting place for Republic of Ireland international striker Robbie Keane. He has spent much of the season playing second fiddle to Defoe and strike partner Mido.

Jol acknowledges that Defoe will have been frustrated by his decision but he expects him to follow the example set by Keane and accept the situation.

'Jermain had a similar frustration that other players have if you leave them out,' said Jol. 'Robbie Keane was left out 12, maybe 13 times.

'There is not a lot between them. Robbie is a terrific and gifted player and Jermain is as well, so it's about making a choice. It is the same as Chelsea - Hernan Crespo is playing and scoring and everybody says he is good and then Drogba plays and everyone says you can't leave him out.

'Jermain has done well. He has scored a three goals and has many assists. Robbie is always motivated, he never moans and that is all credit to him. We have to wait and see as far as Saturday is concerned.'

Spurs have been boosted by the return to full fitness of winger Wayne Routledge who broke a bone in his foot during their opening game of the season against Portsmouth.

Routledge will not play any part in their game at Wigan but Jol is hopeful he will be challenging for a first team place next week.

'Wayne is fit but he will not be involved against Wigan,' confirmed Jol. 'But we hope to have him back next weekend.'

Routledge added: 'It's been a long, hard process but hopefully I'm at the end of that and now I'll be able to get more involved, play more games and see where that takes me.

'This is my first serious injury but I've learned from it and hopefully, I'll come back stronger.'


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I wonder how a Dutch coach would do in Canada where soccer is not the number one sport.Knowing these guys they would be very persistent in reaching this status and it would be interesting to see again knowing these guys,how they would deal with the media.Only number one matters in their minds.

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Very good articules coming out regarding Diesel. Very good articules.

Maybe I'm reading more into what's been put to print than there realy is but I detect (maybe) that there might be a feeling that there is just a bit more to Paul's quality then his footballig skills. I mean, we know Jol brought him in for his EURO experience, life working up through the trenchs, blah, blah, blah, but I just seem to get the feeling from the reports, and from the frequency with which he is noted by match commentators that he's becoming a real cog in the machinery of 'Spurs locker room. We all know of the strength of his character and Lord knows he can be a character when it comes to football (seems pretty damned laid back otherwise).

Again. Speculating and probably for no good reason either.

P.S. Woe is me. I sadly find myself following 'Spurs with interest these days. Seriously.

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I've been reading the Spurs' message board through BBC Sports for a while now, and have seen a real warming recently to Stalteri from a majority of Spurs fans. When he first started, there were a number of boo boys calling for his & M.J.'s head, but now, after a string of steady performances, he has as many fans as he does critics. It looks now as though the ones who are wishing Stalteri out are mainly Kelly supporters who feel he has been unjustly uprooted. Cheers guys.

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quote:Originally posted by CheetaP.S. Woe is me. I sadly find myself following 'Spurs with interest these days. Seriously.

This is why I have trouble supporting clubs abroad. I tend to favour Liverpool and Betis, but I sometimes don't really follow them, whereas I always keep up to date on the Canadians. I felt kinda bad for following Radzinski at Everton, but it's made me realise that my only "true" club is the Impact.

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A little bit more on Stalteri's influence on the pitchm (skip down to the end). Nice to hear his teammates appreciating him.

Dawson hails Walker impact

source teamtalk - Michael Dawson has paid tribute to former England defender Des Walker for helping him to become an emerging star at Tottenham.

Dawson played alongside Walker at Nottingham Forest and believes the veteran's role in his development is one of the main reasons behind his success at Spurs.

The 22-year-old Dawson has become one of the outstanding performers for Martin Jol's side this season after developing an almost telepathic understanding with defensive partner Ledley King.

Spurs are currently fifth in the Premiership and have one of the meanest defences in the league but the former Forest youngster has not forgotten the part played by Walker in his rise to prominence.

"I really enjoyed playing alongside Des," said Dawson. "He was always incredibly helpful. I mean, it is easy just to shout at young lads, but Des really looked after and stood up for me, he was always very precise and very constructive in the things he said.

"Even though he was very much my senior, we had a very honest, open relationship. In the dressing room, I could tell him exactly what I thought and he wouldn't just lecture me.

"That had a huge impact on me because it taught me firstly that you always have to communicate with your team-mates and secondly, no matter how old or experienced you are, you never stop learning in football.

"As a youngster just starting my career, I couldn't have asked for a better role model. At Forest, right from Brian Clough's European Cup-winning side to the present day, they've not just prided themselves on producing good players but ones who approach the game in the right manner.

"So right from the start I was always encouraged to express myself as much as possible and Des was once again my role model because he could to everything."

Dawson, an England Under-21 international, admits he is not afraid to speak out on the pitch if he feels it is necessary but it is the communication aspect he learned under Walker that has helped him the most.

"I suppose I am very vocal and forthright on the pitch," said Dawson. "So in that sense I always try to act like a captain would.

"I try to be positive and encourage rather than criticise, although obviously everybody has to be ready to take criticism ad and when it come.

"But I think that's important. One of the reasons why our defence has performed so well this season is because we all communicate well with one another.

"Paul Robinson (goalkeeper) marshals us all very well and right-back Paul Stalteri, with all his experience, obviously knows a lot about how the game should be played, so we always try to take heed of what he says and of course, Ledley is very inspirational.

"He's one of those players who leads as much by example as he does by giving out instructions."

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