No window arrivals for Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas insists he still has no plans to enter the transfer market next month despite seeing his team fail to break down a stubborn Stoke side at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham could have moved third in the table yesterday with a win over the Potters, but they had to settle for a 0-0 draw thanks to a frustrating rearguard action from the visitors.
Despite having fit-again Gareth Bale back in the side, Villas-Boas’ team rarely threatened the away goal, and Asmir Begovic’s only important save came in injury time when substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson tested him with a close-range header.
Villas-Boas said earlier this week that there was only a slim chance that he would make new additions to his squad in the January window, and he now appears to have ruled out signing anybody despite yesterday’s stalemate.
Although he has been linked with the likes of Joao Moutinho, Loic Remy and Willian, the Spurs boss says the options he has in reserve are good enough to see his team through the rest of the season.
“I don’t think we need to do anything,” said the Portuguese, who was missing Clint Dempsey yesterday due to a groin injury.
“We have Clint out. He is a massive player for us. He has had a big impact. He scored 17 goals last season so we have to count on him.
“He plays striker, plays wings and plays through the middle so he gives us that option. (Andros) Townsend the other day had a good game. Today we had opted for Sigurdsson coming in but I think we have options.”
Villas-Boas is keen to offload some of his fringe players next month, with Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Danny Rose all potentially heading for the exit.
Another player who may be on the move is Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The 41-year-old, who has been displaced by Hugo Lloris as Spurs’ number one in recent weeks, has been linked with a return to former club Blackburn.
He tweeted this afternoon: “I know there has been quite a but of speculation regarding my future. All will be revealed in next couple of days:). Happy Holidays!!!”
Lloris has a relatively easy afternoon yesterday, with Stoke rarely threatening the home goal.
Tottenham threw everything at the visitors in the final stages, but Stoke lived up to their billing as one of the best defences around by shutting out Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.
“Stoke have one of the best defences in Europe and they are very well organised. They don’t make it easy for anyone,” Villas-Boas said.
“We gave them a run for their money and our players tried very hard. Sometimes you try everything and the ball doesn’t go in the back of the net. We had a go and I’m very pleased with the players.”
Stoke, meanwhile, are now eight matches unbeaten for the first time since they earned promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth and Begovic all put in sterling performances to keep Spurs at bay, much to their manager’s delight.
Tony Pulis said: “You have to put things in to perspective. Some teams have a lot more than other people and our players deserve credit.
“Tottenham are on a different level to us. You look at what they have got, but if you’ve got good team spirit like we have got then you will have a chance against anybody.”
Stoke’s run has catapulted them up to ninth, just five points short of the top four, but Pulis is not getting carried away.
“We still need 14 or 15 points to stay up,” the Welshman said. “That will always be our priority – staying up. Then we’ll try to get a little bit better and better.”