I’m not someone who supports a player when they think they have a “right to play.” I suppose, though, that if you’re the first choice goalkeeper and captain for France, then it’s reasonable to assume that the club who have spent months and millions trying to sign you will want you as their first choice.
However, if that club currently has a goalkeeper who is performing as well as he ever did and was man of the match in his last start, then he too has reason to assume he might keep his starting position.
Within days of Hugo Lloris signing for Tottenham, the message coming out of the club was that Lloris could not immediately assume he would be first choice, especially after US veteran Brad Friedel kept Spurs in the game versus Norwich. Word then began leaking out that this was a situation that Lloris would not be too happy with. We won’t know who has the #1 slot until play resumes on Sept 15th.
What is also unclear is who actually wanted Lloris at the club. On one hand, Spurs already have three experienced goalkeepers who are all good enough to play in the Premier League. On the other, their average age is 37, and arguably none of them are what you would call “Champions League Standard.”
Word is that many of the summer signings at Spurs were being arranged before new manager Andre Villas Boas ever arrived. While it’s reasonable for a new manager to want a younger goalkeeper, there’s not a single Spurs fan who thought a new keeper was a priority. The fact that not one of the experienced keepers was shipped out shows that somewhere along the way, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.
I imagine that if Lloris can keep his powder dry for a little while, he will get the #1 spot. Friedel is old and wise enough not to kick up a stink. However, for me, this signing is symptomatic of how Spurs is being run at the moment. The chairman Daniel Levy lost faith in the old manager, but rather than back the new manager with the players he wants (Leandro Damiao & Joao Moutinho), he is pursuing his own players. Admittedly most of his signings have been good players, but should Villas Boas fail at Spurs, he can point to having to use unwanted players.
Since Levy has taken control of Spurs 11 years ago, he has hired seven different managers. Each one of those has introduced his own management structure, which has then been promptly disposed of when the next guy comes along. Levy needs to decide exactly what he wants, how he wants his club to operate, and he needs to stick to it.