The controversial International friendlies, which Harry Redknapp labelled as ‘crazy’ will not be the same view shared by Robbie Keane and Michael Dawson. Keane won his 100th cap for Ireland in last night’s 1-0 loss to Argentina at the new home of Irish football, The Aviva Stadium – while Dawson won his first cap for England.
Ireland captain, Keane, played the entire 90 minutes of the friendly, which saw Argentina field a strong side, containing the likes of Lionel Messi. Keane spoke of the delight of bringing up a century of international caps for his country: “It was a proud moment for me and my family,” he said. “It would have been nice if we had topped It off with a draw or win but it wasn’t to be and we move on now for the [Euro] qualifiers.” Keane also described the recent transfer talk surrounding him as ‘boring’ and wants to distance himself from any possible move away from the club.
The only Tottenham player in the England squad was Dawson who played 45 minutes against Hungary. He took the place of the out of form John Terry and settled into the game quickly. However, Dawson committed himself to a challenge close to the half way line, which allowed Hungary to counter and score from a deflected cross – via the legs of Phil Jagielka. Dawson had appeared to have cleared the ball of the line but the linesman didn’t agree and the goal was given. The mistake did not mar the 26-year-olds debut and treasured his first cap: “It was great to be running out there at half-time to win my first cap having been given the nod to get my shirt on.”
The centre half also spoke about the incident which led to the Hungary goal and looking forward to the game against Manchester City on Saturday: “I am always critical of myself, I have high standards, and I put the goal down to myself as well,” he said. “Everybody’s been saying that it shouldn’t have been a goal but it came from me and that will stick. But that’s life, you’ve got to move on and Saturday will come soon enough.” Redknapp will no doubt be certain of Dawson returning to the squad with no ill effects from the game and raring to go against City.
On the transfer front, not much else has changed at White Hart Lane. Ashley Young’s representatives have said that the England winger is set to stay at Villa. Any move for the player would have been difficulty for both parties as Young’s wage demands were higher than what Spurs would ever dream of offering. Celtic have joined the race to sign out of favour Man City striker, Craig Bellamy but the Glasgow club are looking for a loan move, which the Eastland’s club are not willing to agree to. Other than that, Redknapp has not announced any further transfer targets ahead of the new season but more additions are likely to happen in the future. In regards to players leaving the club, winger Andros Townsend has joined Championship side Ipswich Town on a season long loan deal while Dean Parrett joins Plymouth Argyle on a month’s loan.
Looking ahead to the opening game against Man City, Tottenham have many reasons to be cheerful ahead of the fixture. City have lost to Spurs more times than they have to any other Premier League club since the leagues establishment. Gareth Bale is likely to play following his ‘suspicious’ withdrawal from the Wales squad and Ledley King is set to start in defence with Dawson. A win on Saturday will provide the team with plenty of confidence going into the season and the fixture against Young Boys next week. The long season starts now for Redknapp and his players.