If you believe the rumours (and as Spurs fans we really should have learned not to by now), the club is about to meet the buyout clause for the Corinthians midfielder Paulinho. From the little I've seen of him he looks like a fine player -- the type that could both complement Sandro and step into his shoes when he suffers his annual long-term injury. While Paulinho is capable of playing the defensive midfielder role, there is much more to his game. The Brazilian football expert Jack Lang has likened him to Bryan Robson, due to his all-action style, surging runs into the box and aerial ability.
At this time of the off-season, before anyone has been bought or sold, every Spurs supporter seems to have an opinion on who should come and who should go. When people say that Scott Parker's usefulness has ran out, or that now is the time to cash in on Jermain Defoe, then I'm inclined to agree. Those players are old enough for us all to be able to form a proper opinion on their merits. - Modric urges Bale to join him at Madrid What surprises me however, is how many people are willing to offer their judgment on Tottenham's very youngest players.
It's fair to say that you'll never have a bigger hero than the one you had as a kid. For me, that idol was Glenn Hoddle. When I fell in love with Spurs, he was the team's poster boy and naturally it was his image that adorned my bedroom wall. For those of you who are too young to see the great man in action for Tottenham, search for his name on YouTube and watch a video entitled 'Glenn Hoddle Tribute'. You will be treated to three minutes and 39 seconds of sublime skill, set appropriately, to Carly Simon's 'Nobody Does It Better'.
It’s still not official yet, but it does seem extremely likely that Franco Baldini is about to join Spurs as Technical Director... or Director of Football... or another title that will no doubt sound quiet impressive. If I'm sounding vague it’s because these positions still feel slightly alien within English football, where once the manager ruled over all aspects of a club. I'm slightly nervous about the appointment, despite thinking the position a necessary one and having no reason to believe that Baldini won't be up to the job.
For a long time the youth setup at Spurs was a complete waste of time. After a period in the nineties when Tottenham's youth side churned out the likes of Ian Walker, Sol Campbell, Stephen Carr, Luke Young, Ledley King and Peter Crouch, years passed without anyone coming through the system to make it as a top player. Every now and again we'd get all excited about a prospect like Lee Barnard, who couldn't stop scoring for the reserves, or Mark Yeates, who was hailed as the 'new Paul Gascoigne'. They would go on to have careers in football, but not at the top level.
Hands up who actually thought that was the end of that, when Tottenham announced that Gareth Bale would be staying at White Hart Lane next season. These matters have a habit of taking on a life of their own. The club might be determined to keep Bale, but that's not going to stop his agent talking up a possible move. - Perez: Bale 'born to play for Real' The player himself might have finished the season determined to stay at Spurs, but no one could blame him for having his head turned when you've got Zinedine Zidane claiming that he's the best player since Pele.
I don't normally pay too much attention to the transfer tittle tattle that appears in the press and online media. We all know that nothing quite guarantees eyes on copy like a juicy transfer rumour. There is a thrill to reading about the players that might be wearing your club's colours next season, which is comparable to having a snoop through your dad's wallet at Christmas time and finding an itemised receipt from a toy shop. So until I see a picture of a new signing holding up the Spurs shirt and revealing to the assembled media that it's always been an ambition of his to play for Tottenham, I tend to not get particularly excited.
The dust has settled and the football supporter's innate ability to forget about last season and look forward to next has kicked in. So how do Spurs ensure they don't miss out on the Champions League next season? One advantage that Tottenham can make their own next season is stability. Three of the four teams that finished above Spurs last season will have new managers. You would expect Chelsea to be stronger if it's Jose Mourinho at the helm, but Manchester United are likely to be weaker and Manchester City are anyone's guess.
Due to the importance of Sunday's games, my editor at ESPNFC suggested that I bash out the match report on the road, rather than waiting til I got home to put finger to keyboard. As I begin writing pre-match, I'm anticipating the day will prove to be a topsy-turvy, rollercoaster ride that at various times will have me in states of wild jubilation, nausea-inducing nervousness and deep depression. - Randall: Last stand not enough for Sunderland - Delaney: Reflections on Spurs' narrow miss - Dawson: We thought that we had done enough - Villas-Boas: Bale will stay at Spurs As such I've decided to document the day in broken-down diary form to fully capture the events leading to Spurs' 1-0 victory and the resulting emotions.
If my last column was a sign of a man accepting his fate, this one is where he desperately clutches at some straws, so that he can go into Sunday with a small iota of hope in his heart. Here are my five reasons for Tottenham fans to be cheerful, as we go into battle with Arsenal, fate and lady luck once again. - Vaughan: Bale has no off-days Tottenham always beat Sunderland at home The first part of the equation that needs to click into place is for Spurs to actually win their game against Sunderland.
When I'm not writing about Spurs for ESPN, I can often be found offering football betting advice to any gambling company that is willing to pay me. One of the golden rules of football betting is not to put your money on a team that have nothing to play for. This is especially true when their opponents have everything to play for. So forgive me if I don't remortgage the house tonight and put the proceeds on Newcastle getting a result against Arsenal. Just like last season, I fully envisage an anti-climatic afternoon at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with both North London clubs gaining wins.
Tottenham Hotspur continue to be frighteningly bad at defending set pieces. Some things never change. One thing that certainly has been transformed of late is the form of Spurs' match winner at the Britannia Stadium, Emmanuel Adebayor. - Adebayor, Dempsey deliver in Spurs win The Togolese striker bagged the winner against 10-man Stoke City when it looked like Andre Villas-Boas' men were going to end up recording a frustrating draw. The 2-1 victory puts the pressure back on Arsenal, who face FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic at the Emirates on Tuesday night.