Answering Mike Steede’s questions this week is ‘Heroes’ from www.tottenhamhotspurs.tv:
1. What are your feelings about Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid and your thoughts on the player himself?
He isn’t worth £85 million, probably £60 million, but when a team receives an offer that’s too good to turn down, it’s too good to turn down! In the end, the money was used to strengthen in areas that needed strengthening. For example, adding depth in midfield and up front.
I have no hard feelings with Bale and wish him all the best.
2. Do you think the money spent this summer has been spent wisely? Do you think you can be stronger without Bale?
I would say that we are stronger. Lamela is touted as the like-for-like replacement. Eriksen is the type of player we lacked last season after selling Modric. So yes, it was money well spent. Soldado will, eventually, find the back of the net soon. He’s been unlucky, particularly the Sunday before last when facing a focused goal keeper.
3. Adebayor is still at Spurs and will train with the reserves going forward. Do you think Villas Boas has taken the right approach with this player?
There’s more to this than meets the eye; what that is hasn’t reached the newspapers. It’s similar to Hutton and Bent playing in the reserves: it’s a sign that he’s no longer wanted.
4. Recent reports from the police suggest that if Spurs’ fans use certain words to describe themselves in songs or chants those fans will be arrested. I see this as political correctness gone mad. How do you feel about it?
I’m disgusted that political correctness is interfering with supporters and how we support our team. Dave Cameron had spoken publicly, saying that Spurs’ fans shouldn’t be punished because those words are not said maliciously. Top man!
5. The footballing landscape, with regard to the top four, has changed radically this season. Can Spurs take advantage of this and force their way into the top four this season? If not, where do you think you will finish and why?
Manchester City lost against Cardiff. We won. Manchester City beat Manchester United. Liverpool lost against Southampton. Spurs are keeping clean sheets. Like all seasons, football is strange and hard to predict. I think we can finish in the top four but it’s all open right now.
6. Christian Benteke not only stayed at Villa but signed a new and improved deal. Do you think Spurs should have signed him in the summer or do you think the price was too high? How good a player do you think he will become?
It’s too early to call. He played well last season and there are doubts as to whether or not he can repeat that this season. The same could have been said about Bale. Benteke would have fitted in at Spurs but, as in life, we move on. We did and eventually got Soldado (untested in the Premier League, unlike Benteke) for £3 million more than Benteke’s valuation. Benteke is four years younger than Soldado and has scored from open play this season.
7. Aston Villa’s record so far this season is P7: W3, L2, D1. It’s not great but considering the opposing fixtures last season we have three more points and a 0 goal difference (it was -11 last season). Where do you think Villa will finish the season?
Top ten because of what I said earlier about the Premier League being open and unpredictable.
8. Paul Lambert approach to signings at Villa is to opt for ‘young and hungry’ players while ignoring, or being priced out of the market for, more experienced players. Do you think his approach is the right one?
We’ve done the same in signing Eriksen and Lamela. Now we can develop them and sell them on at 24, like we did with Bale.
9. What are your feelings about Aston Villa as a club and what do you think of our fans?
I was at the shop near the Bullring last Saturday. The fact that I walked in and looked around shows I have no ill feeling towards Villa fans. They were scary to face during Martin O’Neill’s management spell. Sadly, Villa teams are not so scary nowadays. No disrespect.
10. If you could take any player from Villa with the exception of Benteke who would it be?
Weimann and Albrighton, please.
11. Finally, what is your prediction for the game?
Aston Villa 0 – 1 Spurs. I can’t see us conceding, to be honest.
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