Two days after U.S. keeper Brad Friedel ripped former French national team keeper Fabien Barthez as "ignorant and disrespectful" for saying Hugo Lloris, the Bleus' current No. 1 in goal, should be starting for Tottenham instead of him, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas backed Friedel, saying he has no intention of changing keepers.
Lloris, one of the top keepers at Euro 2012, joined Tottenham on the final day of the summer transfer window from Lyon and was expected to replace Friedel in goal, but Villas-Boas immediately said Friedel, in his second season at Spurs, was the No. 1 choice.
Friedel, who has made a record 309 consecutive Premier League appearances since 2004, started in Spurs' 2-1 win over QPR on Sunday. Said Villas-Boas afterward, "We've made Hugo alert that whenever Brad has a bad game, we won't pull a change. These things need to be taken very carefully, but we don't bow to Hugo's dimension and talent. At the moment we are paying respect for a player who is performing very well and at the right time, we will think about it. Hugo is an extremely good professional. He wants to come back but he is competing with Brad for the position. He will have his chance very soon."
Barthez, who won the World Cup with France in 1998 and has worked with Lloris as a goalkeeping coach, told Le Parisien newspaper: "Lloris is one of the five best goalkeepers in the world. He is faster than Friedel, he jumps higher and he is very strong mentally. What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I'm not concerned. He will become the centerpiece of the club. Hugo is a calm guy, a good worker. Tottenham will not let him stay on the bench for a long time."
Friedel tweeted in response: "Just saw Barthez comments. I normally don't comment on such crap but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must. Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name."