It would be fair to say that there were more than a few raised eyebrows when the Spurs team sheet was announced for Sunday’s game against Aston Villa, with Brad Friedel being omitted from the starting eleven for the first time in years. Following the decision to drop the American, Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that Friedel was disappointed not to be featuring, but understood the club’s reasons.
Over the last eight years Friedel has put together a simply magical run in the Premier League, having played 310 consecutive fixtures. Considering the fact that he has hardly put a foot wrong this term, there was great surprise when Andre Villas-Boas declared that summer signing Hugo Lloris would be starting the game against Aston Villa. Of course, considering Lloris’ superb reputation in world football such news really wasn’t a major concern for supporters.
Nevertheless, some were questioning whether or not AVB had finally caved into pressure from the Frenchman to be made the No.1 following his big money move in the summer. Over the last few weeks there has been intense speculation suggesting that Lloris has been unhappy in his deputy role and he has not held back in several interviews with the media.
However, the move obviously didn’t seem to hinder Spurs, with Lloris keeping a clean sheet as the club cruised to a 2-0 win over Villa. Speaking after the game, AVB revealed his reasons for the bold move. He said, “We wanted to give a continuous run of games for Lloris bearing in mind the Panathinaikos match and two France games coming up, so it keeps his form high and allows us to count on two great keepers. So we are fortunate that we can do this rotation. Obviously Brad was disappointed but as a great professional he ended up accepting the decision. We respect his performances and I’m sure he will be back in the team as soon as possible.”