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Friedel remains No. 1 in Spurs goal
by Paul Kennedy, September 3rd, 2012 8:23PM
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TAGS:  americans abroad, england, france


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Overshadowed by the signing of Clint Dempsey from Fulham was Tottenham's acquisition of another player with potentially big implications for another American.

Spurs signed Hugo Lloris from Lyon for $19 million, but first-year Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas warned there is no guarantee the French captain will supplement Brad Friedel as the starting keeper.

Friedel has not missed an English Premier League game since the end of the 2003-04 season, a record string of 307 games in the nets, and at 41 shows no sign of being ready to step aside.

"When you transfer, it's not written in the contract that you have to play," said Villas-Boas. "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."

On Saturday, Friedel earned man of the match with three big saves to help Spurs salvage a 1-1 with the Norwich City.

Lloris joins a goalkeeping corps that also includes a pair of veterans, Brazilian Huerelho Gomes and Italian Carlo Cudicini.

Last season, Friedel started all 38 EPL games, while Gomes, 31, and Cudicini, 38, were used in the three cup competitions Tottenham was entered in.

Lloris, by contrast, is only 25. He already has 38 caps for France and was one of the few French players whose reputation was enhanced at Euro 2012.

French national team coach Didier Deschamps did not kindly to Villas-Boas' statement that his captain and starting goalie would not necessarily be playing in the EPL.

"Lloris did not appreciate Villas-Boas' statements," he said. "I saw what Villas-Boas said. If I comment on this, it is going to echo on the other side of the Channel, but it surprised me. I'm not going to create a problem that I'm not part of, but if it happens [Lloris doesn't start] then it will be worth talking about. You all know the value of Hugo. I do not know what will happen but I hope everything goes well for him."

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