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Tottenham’s Pre-season: Preview Of What’s To Come

After what seems an eternity in the thrall of Sky Sports News and their incessant pimping of Modric across London, it’s finally time for the boys to pull on their new shirts (they’ll be wearing the more appealing Investec sponsored ones for this competition) and get on the pitch.

The squad have had a fantastic reception arriving in South Africa for the Vodacom Challenge which starts today when we play Kaizer Chiefs. ESPN are showing the game which kicks off at 2pm. Our second game is on Tuesday 19th against the current South African champions, Orlando Pirates. That game kicks off at 7.15pm and is again on ESPN. The two South African teams will then play each other on Thursday for the right to face us in the final. You’ll be surprised to learn that ESPN are also showing this game and its at 2pm on Saturday 23rd.

Obviously the media focus of this tour, as it’s been all summer, will be on Luka Modric. Will we play? Will he do so happily? Has Dawson been giving him lessons in loyalty? It’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going to happen and it seems unlikely we’ll be hearing from the Croatian himself.

One person it was pleasing to see in South Africa was club ambassador and legend Gary Mabbutt. Mabbsy was part of South Africa’s bid team for the 2010 World Cup and spoke of how pleased he was to be back in the country with Spurs. Fans should be pleased that there are still some respectful and honourable men representing the club.

Kevin Bond will be in charge of the team for the first game, with Harry Redknapp joining up with the squad on Sunday. With us yet to really trouble the transfer market almost all the faces will be familiar. Brad Friedel will undoubtedly make his first appearance for Spurs and we are guaranteed to see more of Bongani Khumalo in his home country. Steven Pienaar will also be given plenty of opportunities to show us what it is he actually does and why he’s paid so much.

The first teams next fixture will be back in England. We will be helping Brighton celebrate the opening of their new American Express Community Stadium. Catchy name. It’s sure to be a great day for fans of both clubs and hopefully Spurs will be able to showcase some new talent by this point. Please.

The final friendly for the first team is Athletic Club Bilbao’s visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday 6th August, kick off at 5.15pm. ITV4 are covering the game which is great news for many fans. Not so much the ones who bought tickets for a 3pm kick off. Not that anyone gave them a second thought in making the decision to switch the time. Bilbao should provide a good test in the final warm up before the real action kicks off. Javi Martinez who was most people’s man of the tournament in the Euro Under 21′s is one player to look out for. Another is perennial Spurs target, Fernando Llorente.

There are also a number of Spurs XI friendlies taking place over the next three weeks. Two games in Portugal in the next few days get things underway. Saturday 23rd July the XI are away to Barnet, kick off at Underhill is 3pm. On Tuesday 26th the team travel to Stadium MK to play the Dons with a 7.30pm kick off. On Friday 29th Leyton Orient play host, kick off at 7.30pm at Brisbane Road.

Friendlies are never a great guide to how seasons are going to turn out, if they were Giovani Dos Santos would now be double World Player of the Year. They should however be a chance for the squad to find fitness whilst bonding with any new team mates. It’s the last part of this that Spurs have seemed to struggle with for a number of years. With many added distractions,  this summer is even more disjointed. Perhaps it could be that this will create a siege mentality among the players and help them pull together to prove that our appearance in the Champions League wasn’t an Everton like one-off.

At least it’s some football. Nearly the real thing.


Submitted by Stuart Watts from THFC1882


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