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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Tottenham: Carlo Cudicini's replacement

The biggest Tottenham story of the week concerned Carlo Cudicini and his horrific motorbike crash which left him with fractured wrists and pelvis damage. Whilst everyone felt sympathy for the popular stopper, the world of football hardly stopped turning as a result.

Amidst the wringing of hands, a view from America on Unprofessional foul suggested that motorbikes should be banned by athletes of all types, as is the case for many American sportsmen. The Spoiler suggested that there could be no insurance payout because "every Premier League footballer has a standard clause written into their contract, banning them from taking part in anything which could affect their ability to train or play". I'm not convinced that footballers would be able to train or play if they were not able to 'travel'!

One footballer who immediately sprang to mind for me was Matt Jansen. Jansen, you may remember, had already had a couple of multimillion pound transfer deals (including Crystal Palace!) and had been called into the England squad in anticipation of World Cup 2002. He didn't make the cut, but that summer he went on on holiday and was nearly killed in a motorbike crash in Rome. Jansen was 24 at the time and never rose to his previous heights. He is now 32 and playing for NPL Division One North side Leigh Genesis.

The Bleacher Report covered the obvious implication that another bid for David James may be the result - but there are some difficulties with approaching James. Firstly Pompey are not in the same financial crisis as in recent months when Spurs have been able to buy Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Niko Kranjcar by simply offering a reasonable amount of money. Pompey are now in a different financial crisis and the implications of relegation may be more obvious - offering £1m may not be enough. Spurs might need to offer £1.5m.

With Gomes in such good form will James automatically get picked anyway? Which could have profound implications for his involvement in the World Cup. A less well trailed loan move for one of Manchester United's reserve goalkeepers (England international Ben Foster or Poland international Tomasz Kuszczak) might be more likely.

Final thought for Cudicini himself, who is probably in some pain both mental and physical right now. A micro-blog on I Bleed Hotspur simply states "We’re all praying for you Carlo.".

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