Tottenham veterans set for White Hart Lane exit?
Tottenham opinion: The futures of Brad Friedel, William Gallas & Scott Parker lie away from White Hart Lane
The 2012/13 Premier League season has seen some tremendous performances from Tottenham's players, including Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembélé, Aaron Lennon and of course the mercurial Gareth Bale.
With a younger generation of talent coming to the fore at White Hart Lane, where does this leave the stalwarts of Tottenham? Where does this leave Brad Friedel, William Gallas and Scott Parker, and could their futures lie elsewhere?
Friedel is a consummate professional and a steady performer. A string of strong performances last season helped Spurs into fourth place while continuing his amazing run of consecutive appearances. However, despite being number one at the start of the season, France's first-choice 'keeper, Hugo Lloris, has overtaken him to become the club's undisputed number one.
Friedel was and still remains a great shot stopper, however the arrival of Lloris has shown him up in several aspects of his game. Friedel likes to stick to his line whereas Lloris is a 'sweeper keeper', which suits the pressing high line that Andre Villas-Boas likes. This desire to stick to his line was shown by Luke Varney’s goal for Leeds in the FA Cup, where Friedel failed to close down the angle by leaving his line.
From crosses, Lloris commands his area and is not afraid to come and commit, as shown by his collision with Swansea City star Michu at White Hart Lane. Friedel tends to rely on his defenders which can create confusion in the box. The majority of fans will feel that a new backup goalkeeper is required or that youngster Jordan Archer is promoted to the first-team squad next season after some impressive performances on loan at Wycombe, with Friedel taking on a coaching role, if he decides to retire.
Gallas has always divided Spurs fan's opinions, and he doesn't help his cause. With two minutes to go during Tottenham's 2-2 home draw with FC Basel in the Europa League, Gallas walked off the pitch and down the tunnel, allegedly 'injured'. With no substitutes remaining, Spurs were forced to see out the game without a full compliment of players.
No real signal to the bench, no on pitch treatment, just a slow, sulky walk off the pitch leaving the White Hart Lane faithful flabbergasted. Everyone knows about the attitude of Gallas and how on pitch tantrums and off-field dramas have surrounded him wherever he has been.
However, these have been masked by the fact that in his day he was a great versatile defender who read the game well, tackled hard and could play his way out of trouble. Now at Spurs for his second season, fans have seen none of the traits that made him a solid defender for Chelsea and Arsenal.
This will in all likelihood lead to Gallas leaving the club in the summer with Spurs investing in a new centre-back or promoting a youngster such as Zeki Fryers or Milos Veljkovic.
Sandro has been a key component in the Tottenham midfield this season. His midfield partnership with Moussa Dembélé kept the team ticking over and made fans forget about the loss of playmaker Luka Modric to Real Madrid.
When injury cruelly ended his season, Parker had to step in and take charge of the midfield. However, age and a lengthy injury lay-off have severely impacted on his effectiveness within the team. His tendency to take lots of touches and turn in a 360 degree circle slows down the play when Spurs often like to counter attack quickly.
As the season draws to a close you cannot help but feel this may be the last time you'll see Parker playing consistently in the first-team, as Sandro is due to return at the start of next season and AVB may well look to invest in a new midfield enforcer.
The future for the Lilywhites looks bright with a crop of young talent coming through, including Bale, Lennon, Dembele, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson - providing they can keep hold of them all. That means the old guard will all inevitably move on to allow the youngsters to grow and take on more responsibility and for the future of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, that is vitally important.
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