Well, it happened a little faster than even I expected.
We told you two weeks ago that the Hugo Lloris momentum was already rolling downhill, gaining that unstoppable force. We said by mid-October that Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would acquiesce and make the change, replacing American incumbent Brad Friedel with the French international recruited and signed for Spurs duty on the recent transfer window’s last day.
Well, we almost made it. Until mid-October, that is. (The prediction is at the bottom of this post, in case you don’t believe me.)
Lloris was in goal Sunday for Spurs 2-0 win over Aston Villa. That means Friedel’s long, record run of 310 consecutive Premier League starts is kaput. It was a darned impressive stuff, though; the stretch of starts in one of the world’s top leagues goes back to May 2004.
Villas-Boas called it a “rotation.” Whatever. But he did say Friedel handled the news professionally:
Obviously Brad was disappointed but as a great professional he ended up accepting the decision. We respect his performances and I’m sure he will be back in the team as soon as possible.”
Hmmmm. Clean sheet for Lloris. Win for Spurs. Plus, it sounds like Lloris has been throwing some low-level little French hissy fits for lack of a solid, starting spot.
Friedel may indeed get the starts in Europa League or in cup games in England. But it sure looks like the switch has been made, like there’s a new goalkeeping sheriff in town for Spurs – and he speaks with the French accent.