When Tottenham Hotspur signed Hugo Lloris for a measly sum of £8 million it was widely considered to be an excellent bit of transfer dealing by Daniel Levy and co. At just 25 years old he is a relative baby in goalkeeping terms. Tottenham is a case in point; with all 3 of Spurs other custodians 10 or more years older than the Frenchman. What Lloris brings then is pedigree. From his time at Nice he was touted for future stardom, albeit with tempered caution after the faltering career of Mickael Landreau, a similarly peddled Franco-super star in the making whose career stuttered at Paris before finally getting back into gear at Lille.
After taking huge strides in his career after signing at Lyon he became France’s number 1 and eventual captain after impressive performances at the Stade Gerland.
Yet, despite not catching a ball in anger at The Lane, he appears to have already fallen foul with the gaffer. Upset about the comments that he was not the automatic number 1 Hugo will reportedly pursue an explanation on the topic with his new boss upon returning from international duty.
So if Hugo Lloris thought he was going to waltz into the first team at Tottenham he must have been doing so as a result of any of these three things.
A: He was told so before signing.
B: He is extremely confident in his own ability, and reputation.
C: He hadn’t done his research.
I think it could be C because if he had he would have discovered Brad Friedel stood in his way.
A man with a proud tradition of consecutive games, he simply does not get dropped. After an imperious display against Norwich caused the ‘upsetting’ comments that seemed to dent the delicate ego of Les Bleus’ captain so effectively you realise that despite being 41, he is still one of the best in the league.
In Hugo’s favour he is one of the more modern goalkeepers that teams crave so much these days, not only an excellent shot-stopper but also good with the ball at his feet and an intelligent reader of the game. But to use an analogy from Hugo’s first talent of tennis, of which he could have pursued professionally, he makes quite a few unforced errors.
Much hype has surrounded the signing but even at 25 Hugo is far from the finished article and despite his flair and confident demeanour he is not quite as good as everyone seems to make him out to be. His agent said he is one of the top three keepers in the world …. Neuer, Casillas, Valdes, Hart in my eyes even Vorm, Courtois, ter Stegen and Begovic are of a higher standard currently.
It’s a signing for the future of course with the ageing hands of Brad Friedel eventually having to give up, unless he is bionic which I am beginning to think is not beyond the realms of possibility. Then Lloris could step up and make the grade as Tottenham’s number one.
Instead of complaining about not automatically being number one ahead of one of the finest goalkeepers in Premier League history he should instead use the opportunity of being surrounded by three, very different, but all highly experienced goalkeepers to help improve his game regardless of his position in the first team.
If not maybe he should pick up the tennis racquet again.
So what do you think? Lloris or Friedel?
image: © mr-football