Brad Friedel happy at Spurs
Brad Friedel insists he is happy at Tottenham and claims he knows nothing about Blackburn's interest in re-signing him.
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24. Brad Friedel
Hugo Lloris' arrival from Lyon means Friedel is no longer Tottenham's first choice, with Andre Villas-Boas preferring the Frenchman for five out of the club's last six games.
Blackburn, where Friedel spent eight years of his career, made an approach for the American two weeks ago, with the npower Championship side thought to be keen to appoint the 41-year-old as a player-coach.
Spurs rejected the bid and manager Villas-Boas insisted Friedel would not leave.
Perhaps to underline how much he wants him to stay, the Portuguese made Friedel captain for the 3-1 win over Panathinaikos in the Europa League.
Although he stopped short of refusing to rule out a move to Ewood Park in January, Friedel claimed following the victory that he is more than content with life at Spurs.
"I cannot answer questions (about a potential January move)," Friedel said.
"It's all hypothetical. Right now I am a Tottenham player and I am very happy here.
"I have no idea (about Blackburn's interest). When I was apparently contemplating doing a medical I was at home having Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
"What happens between club and club a lot of times players don't know. At the end of the day I am contracted to Tottenham and am concentrating on Tottenham."
Friedel insists he has a good relationship with Lloris, whom Spurs signed for £8million on transfer deadline day.
The American, who will be 42 when his contract expires at the end of the season, understands why Tottenham signed Lloris, but has warned the France captain that his performances will only improve now that he has robbed him of his spot in the team.
"There is no rivalry with Hugo, but do I thrive on competition? Absolutely," Friedel said.
"I wouldn't be playing at the age of 41 if I didn't.
"At every club I have been at for the last 21 seasons there has been competition for places.
"When I signed it was a two-year contract. I figured I would play last year. This year was unknown.
"They have been on the look-out for a long-term number one goalkeeper for a couple of years.
"The club is going to be around a lot longer than any of us so they have to get all their ducks in a row.
"This club wants to be in the Champions League. They want to be there every single year and they want to be trying to win trophies all the time so they continuously have to buy good players in every position."
Friedel put in a solid display in last night's victory, which secured Tottenham's passage to the last 32 of the Europa League.
Up the other end of the pitch it was the Jermain Defoe show once again - the England striker taking his season tally to 13 with a well-taken chip.
Alongside Emmanuel Adebayor, who also scored after missing the last three matches through suspension, Defoe looked sharp again, as he has done all season.
Overlooked for the majority of last season, the 30-year-old has blossomed under Villas-Boas this term. His hat-trick against Maribor last month moved him to eighth in Tottenham's all-time top goal scorer list.
Friedel thinks the former West Ham man should now be finally recognised as one of the best strikers in the history of the Barclays Premier League thanks to his exploits this term.
"He reminds me a lot of Robbie Fowler in his finishing because he has a really short back-lift," said Friedel, who played with Liverpool icon Fowler after transferring from Columbus Crew in 1997.
"When you have a really short back-lift, sometimes keepers cannot get their feet set. On top of that, he has got some power behind his shot.
"He is an exceptional finisher. He has got a finish as good as (Alan) Shearer, Fowler... all of them."