Tag Archives: dempsey

Jermain Defoe injured: Ruled out of Tottenham"s next three matches

Defoe blow for Tottenham as injury rules striker out of next three matches

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:39 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:03 GMT, 3 April 2013

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has suffered a muscle injury which will keep him out of the club's next three matches.

It's a massive blow for Andre Villas-Boas's side who are fighting for a place in next season's Champions League and face FC Basle on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Defoe – who has 14 goals for Spurs this season – will miss the home-and-away legs against Basle and a crunch Barclays Premier League match with Everton at White Hart Lane.

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

Next up for Tottenham…

FC Basle (home, tomorrow, Europa League)
Everton ( home, Sunday, Premier League)
FC Basle (away, April 11, Europa League)
Man City (home, April 21, Premier League)

The north London club have a tough run-in of fixtures, but Villas-Boas is hopeful Defoe will return in time for the clash with defending champions Manchester City on April 21.

The Spurs boss said: 'Jermain has a
muscle injury and that’s probably going to take him out for the next two
games and maybe Basle away.

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

'If he can’t make Basle away he should be fit for the week that we prepare to play Manchester City. It’s a big blow. It’s the same muscle he had a small tear in last month, but it’s the other side (pelvic injury).

'It’s a big miss for us because he’s a player who represents a lot for us and he’s showed tremendous quality this season.

'You’ve seen us play with (Clint) Dempsey and (Gareth) Bale up front. We have been in periods where are strikers have been injured and we’ve coped with it – sometimes less successfully, sometimes more so.

'We’ll definitely have him back for the Man City game, so the negative of having an injury is not that bad.

'We’ll have the player back for the decisive moments of the season.

'He probably did it through a shooting exercise we set out prior to playing Swansea.’

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Brendan Rodgers wants four new signing to turn Liverpool into top four contenders

Liverpool want Williams, Ben Arfa, Ince and Gameiro as Rodgers targets four summer signings to seal Champions League return

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 13 March 2013

Brendan Rodgers has outlined his ambition to make four new signings this summer to give Liverpool’s squad the depth to become credible Champions League challengers.

Liverpool have made significant progress on the back of a positive January transfer window which saw them land Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho and Rodgers wants that to set a precedent.

He is eager to sign similar quality players in the close season and plans have already been put into place for the recruitment drive, with Rodgers wanting to have a number of options.

Top target: Brendan Rodgers wants to be reunited with Swansea's Ashley Williams

Top target: Brendan Rodgers wants to be reunited with Swansea's Ashley Williams

Feyenoord's Stefan De Vrij and Swansea captain Ashley Williams will be considered as potential new central defenders, while Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa, Tom Ince of Blackpool and Paris St Germain’s Kevin Gameiro will also come under consideration.

'There is no doubt there is a natural rebuilding that will come with the likes of Jamie Carragher going,’ said Rodgers. ‘I am happy with the squad if I can then put another three or four quality players to it. It is quality we are after, not quantity.

'If we bring in another three or four quality players to add to what we have got, then we have got a strong squad. Naturally there might be people who aren't playing who might want to think about going elsewhere, but at the moment it's a strong squad.’

Hatem Ben Arfa

Tom Ince

Wanted men: Rodgers is keen on Hatem Ben Arfa from Newcastle and Blackpool's Tom Ince

When Rodgers took over last summer, there was a feeling that Liverpool lacked a strategy in the transfer market, which contributed to the summer window ending in farce as they missed out on signing Clint Dempsey. It is why Rodgers feels it is imperative to have different options to go for.

'Of course you have an ideal target, but we are getting to a situation now where, for me, you have to have three players and if one doesn't come off you have to be comfortable with the other two – If you get one of those you are happy,’ said Rodgers.

'There is a lot of terrific work going on behind the scenes with the scouting department getting those lists together really. We never had that in the summer and what I had to go with was not what I knew but there were some key positions we needed support in.

Wanted: Paris Saint-Germain's forward Kevin Gameiro is a target

Wanted: Paris Saint-Germain's forward Kevin Gameiro is a target

'What I didn't want to do was to waste the club's money. I like to be extensive and know what we are bringing in, but also we did not have the time and that was the big issue. We are much better placed now. There is great collaboration that goes on between all the departments.

'January was a productive window for us and hopefully if we do the similar in the summer then it's going to be a real good place for us.’

If Liverpool maintain the form they have shown in recent weeks until May, they may yet sneak a place in Europe. To achieve that goal, they would need to finish fifth in the Barclays Premier League and defender Jose Enrique says beating Tottenham helped the squad clear a mental block.

Aiming high: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants the club to challenge for the Champions League

Aiming high: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants the club to challenge for the Champions League

'I didn't think we would win the game when Tottenham scored their second goal,’ said Enrique. ‘It is difficult to win these games. The statistics speak for themselves, look at how we have done against the top six teams this season.

'Of course, you always try to win every game, but in terms of our mentality we hadn't had good experiences of this type when we've been losing. But the team worked very hard and this is the important thing because when the team stick together you can see the results.’

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe may need surgery on a pelvis injury

Striker light: Spurs concern as crocked Defoe faces operation leaving AVB short up front

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

Jermain Defoe has been nursing a pelvic injury and was left out of the squad for yesterday’s trip to Leeds amid fears he may yet need surgery.

Defoe has been playing in discomfort for some time and after a blistering start to the season his form has suffered with only one goal in his last
eight games.

In pain: Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, grimacing during the game against Manchester United, may need surgery on a pelvic injury

In pain: Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, grimacing during the game against Manchester United, may need surgery on a pelvic injury

The Spurs and England striker was not expected to be fit for the Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United last week but was patched up and played 90 minutes, his 34th appearance of the season, because Emmanuel Adebayor was at the Africa Cup of Nations with Togo.

Defoe was able to train last week and the club were at pains to insist there was nothing wrong with him ahead of the FA Cup tie at Elland Road but there is clearly concern behind the scenes.

The striker has had an injection in the hope of being fit for Wednesday’s fixture at Norwich but the fear at Tottenham is that it nags away or worsens and requires an operation.

Top form: Defoe has scored 14 goals so far this season

Top form: Defoe has scored 14 goals so far this season

Andre Villas-Boas has tried to manage the issue carefully, hoping Adebayor might return quickly or that a striker can be signed in the transfer window but it has exposed a desperate lack of cover in a key area.

Spurs went into the season with only two specialist centre forwards, youngster Harry Kane on loan at Norwich and Clint Dempsey, an attacking midfielder who can operate up front, as he did at Leeds.

Tottenham have long been in pursuit of a striker. They are keen on Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo but have yet to strike a deal and they are interested in Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke although this is not something they can complete this month as he has already played for two clubs this season.

In need: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas (pictured) was forced to play Clint Dempsey up front in the loss at Leeds and has been searching for another striker

In need: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas (pictured) was forced to play Clint Dempsey up front in the loss at Leeds and has been searching for another striker

Manchester United stars wear Bugs Bunny pyjamas

What's up, doc United stars wear Bugs Bunny pjs on team-building flight to Qatar

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

23:14 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 20 January 2013

Manchester United stars prepared for their long-haul flight to Qatar by wearing matching pairs of Bugs Bunny pyjamas.

Sportsmail is, so far, unable to verify the reasons behind the decision, but with five members of the United team wearing the uniform, we can only speculate there has been a radical breakthrough in Manchester United's sports science department.

United are in Qatar for warm weather training, much-needed after their 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane was played out in the driving snow.

Chilling with Bugs: Robin Van Persie (left) and Alexander Buttner (right) lounge in their Bugs Bunny pjs on the flight to Qatar

Chilling with Bugs: Robin Van Persie (left) and Alexander Buttner (right) lounge in their Bugs Bunny pjs en route for a team-building trip in Qatar

When in Doha, the team are planning to focus on team-building exercises at the $1.3billion Aspire Academy.

They hope the trip will also aid recovery for the likes of Ashley Young and Jonny Evans, who are suffering from injuries.

United went in front with Robin Van Persie grabbing his 18th Premier League goal of the season, but were pegged back by a Clint Dempsey goal in the 92nd minute.

Ferguson was disappointed that Chris Foy did not award his team a penalty.

'It was a clear penalty,' he said. 'It was definitely a penalty. He has put his leg right in there.

'The linesman is facing it, I thought he had a very poor game, the linesman. I thought he was disappointing.

Breakthrough Andreson (left), Patrice Evra (right) and Nick Powell (behind) were also wearing the night wear

Breakthrough Andreson (left), Patrice Evra (right) and Nick Powell (behind) were also wearing the night wear

'We have got that history with him. He never gave offside with (Chelsea striker Didier) Drogba at Old Trafford when he was three yards offside.

'Everyone remembers that, I certainly do.' The Drogba incident came in a 2-1 win for Chelsea at Old Trafford in April 2010.

Ferguson felt his side had been let down again, with Rooney seemingly fouled only moments after replacing Shinji Kagawa.

'For me it was a poor performance from him, why he never gave a penalty I don't know,' Ferguson added. 'I think he had a shocking game today, he's had a bad game and we never got anything from that side of the pitch.'

Overall, though, he is happy with the way his team is performing so far this season.

'We have been to all the top teams' grounds so far,' he said. 'We just have Arsenal left and we think we can be pleased with the outcome of them all.

Sub-zero: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty

Sub-zero: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty

'We have got a healthy points total from them and it's another game out of the road.

'I wanted the game to go ahead today because we don't want a backlog and as it was, it proved I was right.'

United next play on January 26th in the FA Cup Fourth Round tie at home to Fulham.

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1 match report

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1: Dempsey dramatic injury-time equaliser cuts Red Devils' lead over City to five points

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

Clint Dempsey scored a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Tottenham at a snowy White Hart Lane.

Robin van Persie clinically headed home in the 25th minute and that looked like the winner all the way until the 92nd minute when American Dempsey converted Aaron Lennon's cross to snatch a point for Spurs.

More to follow

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto 64), Lennon, Parker (Huddlestone 80), Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe.

Subs Not Used: Friedel, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend.

Booked: Dawson.

Goals: Dempsey 90.

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Cleverley (Valencia 74), Kagawa (Rooney 62), Welbeck, Van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.

Booked: Carrick, Evra, Rafael, Rooney.

Goals: Van Persie 25.

Att: 35,956

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United adjusts his hat

Wrap up warm: Alex Ferguson looked uncomfortably cold at White Hart Lane

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Andre Villas-Boas admits he could still lose goalscorer Emmanuel Adebayor to the Africa Cup of Nations

'It's his choice': Spurs manager AVB admits he could still lose goalscorer Adebayor to the Africa Cup of Nations

By
Mark Bryans, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:17 GMT, 1 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:39 GMT, 2 January 2013

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was pleased to see Emmanuel Adebayor get his name on the scoresheet in the 3-1 win over Reading, but refused to rule out the possibility of losing the striker to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Adebayor scored Spurs' second goal as they recovered from an early Pavel Pogrebnyak header to secure a victory that takes them above Chelsea and into third place in the Barclays Premier League.

Tottenham skipper Michael Dawson levelled for the hosts with Clint Dempsey's deflected effort sealing the points late on, but it was Adebayor's goal after 51 minutes that stood out for Villas-Boas.

Big loss: Spurs face the prospect of losing Adebayor for the next two months to the African Cup of Nations

Big loss: AVB faces the prospect of losing Adebayor for the next two months to the African Cup of Nations

'It was important for him today to score,' he said. 'He had a couple of situations recently against Sunderland and Villa, it was important for him to get back into the goals.

'Strikers live off goals, it was important for him to score. You see him trying like Jermain Defoe, Clint, and how decisive he is also.

'They want to get in the box, they breathe off scoring goals and it will give him a boost for sure.'

Struggling: The Togolese international has only netted times this term for the White Hart Lane outfit

Struggling: The Togolese international has only netted three times this term for the White Hart Lane side

It was widely believed that Adebayor would stay at White Hart Lane as opposed to linking up with Togo ahead of the forthcoming African Nations Cup.

But Villas-Boas said he was still unsure over whether he would lose the former Manchester City striker in a fortnight's time and that the decision lies squarely with the player.

'It's a vulnerable situation, anything can happen,' he said. 'I've told you the player can still go, I understand it is still a possibility.

'It was always his choice, I'm not going to put pressure on him. We've left it to player to decide. If player wants to go, we respect the African Nations Cup.'

Adebayor (left) scored the second goal during Spurs' 3-1 victory over Reading today

Celebrate: Adebayor scored the second goal during Spurs' 3-1 victory over Reading today

Reading boss Brian McDermott saw his side put in a valiant effort against an in-form Spurs side and reckons Villas-Boas is building a good squad at White Hart Lane.

'I couldn't fault our players today,' he said. 'The discipline of the team, you have to come here with a certain way of playing and I thought we were going to get something today.

'You'd take a goal any time, it was a great free-kick and Pavel scored on rebound. They had plenty of possession, Andre has put a good side together, it has been building for a while, they have a really good chance – they're going to finish very, very high in this league.'

Andre Villas-Boas (Left) shares a joke with Reading manager Brian McDermott before today's game

Banter: Andre Villas-Boas shares a joke with Reading manager Brian McDermott before today's game

Pogrebnyak's early effort was his fourth league goal of the season but the Russian striker missed a glorious chance to level the match at 2-2 when he headed wide after Hugo Lloris had parried his initial shot.

McDermott bemoaned his side's luck and did not feel they deserved to lose 3-1.

'We had three opportunities at 2-1, if we'd got the second goal it could have gone either way,' he said.

'It is disappointing that one of the chances didn't go in, they were good opportunities – it wasn't really a 3-1 game, that didn't really tell the story of the game.'

Andre Villas-Boas rules out January transfer spending

AVB: I won't splash cash! Spurs boss rules out January move for Moutinho, Willian or Remy

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UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 23 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas insists he still has no plans to enter the transfer market next month despite seeing his team fail to break down a stubborn Stoke side at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham could have moved third in the table yesterday with a win over the Potters, but they had to settle for a 0-0 draw thanks to a frustrating rearguard action from the visitors.

Despite having fit-again Gareth Bale back in the side, Villas-Boas' team rarely threatened the away goal, and Asmir Begovic's only important save came in injury time when substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson tested him with a close-range header.

January sales AVB has ruled out Spurs making moves in the transfer window

January sales AVB has ruled out Spurs making moves in the transfer window

Villas-Boas said earlier this week that there was only a slim chance that he would make new additions to his squad in the January window, and he now appears to have ruled out signing anybody despite yesterday's stalemate.

Although he has been linked with the likes of Joao Moutinho, Loic Remy and Willian, the Spurs boss says the options he has in reserve are good enough to see his team through the rest of the season.

'I don't think we need to do anything,' said the Portuguese, who was missing Clint Dempsey yesterday due to a groin injury.

'We have Clint out. He is a massive player for us. He has had a big impact. He scored 17 goals last season so we have to count on him.

'He plays striker, plays wings and plays through the middle so he gives us that option.

'(Andros) Townsend the other day had a good game. Today we had opted for Sigurdsson coming in but I think we have options.'

Villas-Boas is keen to offload some of his fringe players next month, with Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Danny Rose all potentially heading for the exit.

Wanted men: Spurs have been linked with Moutinho (left) and Remy (right)

Wanted men: Spurs have been linked with Moutinho (left) and Remy (right)

Wanted men: Spurs have been linked with Moutinho (left) and Remy (right)

Another player who may be on the move is Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The 41-year-old, who has been displaced by Hugo Lloris as Spurs' number one in recent weeks, has been linked with a return to former club Blackburn.

He tweeted this afternoon: 'I know there has been quite a but of speculation regarding my future. All will be revealed in next couple of days:). Happy Holidays!!!'

Lloris has a relatively easy afternoon yesterday, with Stoke rarely threatening the home goal.

Tottenham threw everything at the visitors in the final stages, but Stoke lived up to their billing as one of the best defences around by shutting out Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe.

Shut out: Spurs failed to find a way through the Stoke defence

Shut out: Spurs failed to find a way through the Stoke defence

Shut out: Spurs failed to find a way through the Stoke defence

'Stoke have one of the best defences in Europe and they are very well organised. They don't make it easy for anyone,' Villas-Boas said.

'We gave them a run for their money and our players tried very hard. Sometimes you try everything and the ball doesn't go in the back of the net. We had a go and I'm very pleased with the players.'

Raheem Sterling signs Liverpool contract as Brendan Rodgers fires warning

Players' greed may scupper new deals, warns Rodgers as Sterling pens new Liverpool contract

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 21 December 2012

Raheem Sterling finally signed a new five-year Liverpool deal on Friday after months of negotiations.

The 17-year-old England winger admitted it was a ‘relief’ that talks had reached a successful end. ‘It was so frustrating that everyone thought I was not going to sign when you know deep down that you are going to sign sooner or later,’ he said.

And boss Brendan Rodgers has warned potential signings they will talk themselves out of a move if their sole focus is money.

Signed, sealed, delivered: Raheem Sterling agreeing his new contract with Brendan Rodgers

Signed, sealed, delivered: Raheem Sterling agreeing his new contract with Brendan Rodgers

Shake on it: Sterling with Liverpool boss Rodgers

Shake on it: Sterling with Liverpool boss Rodgers

A 12million deal for Daniel
Sturridge stalled this week after it emerged Liverpool will not pay his
agents’ demands for a percentage of any sell-on fee. It comes as part of
a clampdown on the amount of fees the club are paying to middle men.

Rodgers, though, is determined to be
just as careful in terms of the money that goes to new arrivals. He
pulled out of a move for Gylfi Sigurdsson in the summer because of the
terms being demanded and will not be afraid to do the same again.

‘You have to get hungry players in who want to work and want to fight to be successful – that is the biggest thing for me,’ said Rodgers, whose side face Fulham this evening for the first time since Liverpool’s very public pursuit of Clint Dempsey.

‘They will get a good contract coming here but if they want to argue over money, and other things that go around it, I don't want them here. In my experience those players will eventually let you down anyway.

‘So, for us, it is about getting players in who are hungry to succeed and to pull on the shirt. That's the simple message for any player coming here – you can't take the money and run. You have to earn the right to play for this club and to help us succeed.’

Raheem Sterling finally put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal yesterday after months of negotiations and the England winger admitted it was a “relief” that talks had reached a successful conclusion.

‘It was so frustrating that everyone (though I was) not going to sign when you know deep down that you are going to sign sooner or later,’ said Sterling, who has missed some training sessions this week through illness. ‘So it was just really good to get it over and done with. I'm happy with that.’

Tottenham Hotspur celebrate after Swansea win with a team gingerbread house challenge

Come dine with AVB! Spurs stars compete in Christmas-themed gingerbread challenge

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 18 December 2012

The Spurs boys were in good spirits after their 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday, with Jan Vertoghen scoring his first Premier League goal.

But they faced a different challenge when they were instructed to build gingerbread houses for Christmas, and artistically-speaking they found themselves slightly out of their depth.

Some took the challenge more seriously than others, particularly Team Two which comprised Michael Dawson, Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini.

Scroll down for video

Michael Dawson, Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini were determined to win Tottenham's gingerbread challenge

Michael Dawson, Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini were determined to win Tottenham's gingerbread challenge

There were some less than perfect
efforts, but they all seemed pleased with their creations anyway, with a
few of the lads getting distracted by the sugary treats.

‘I think it’s an abstract interpretation of our art,’ said Clint Dempsey of Team Three’s more original construction.

‘We take it to the next level. Anyone can follow directions but you’ve got to think outside the box.’

Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Jan Vertoghen teamed up for Tottenham's gingerbread challenge

Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Jan Vertoghen teamed up for Tottenham's gingerbread challenge

Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Jan Vertoghen teamed up but their artistic capability left a lot to be desired

Emmanuel Adebayor and his teammates in Tottenham's gingerbread challenge

Emmanuel Adebayor and his teammates took the challenge less seriously

Team One, led by Emmanuel Adebayor,
resorted to the dirty tactic of switching their own dilapidated house
for the expertly created house that they were all supposed to be
copying.

But in the end it was Team Two that triumphed, with a beautifully crafted and solidly built house that the Spurs catering staff picked as their favourite.

The winning house was taken to a hospital in Harlow, along with some presents for the kids.

Jan Vertonghen says Spurs can win without Gareth Bale

We can win without Bale! Vertonghen adamant Spurs not a one-man team

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 17 December 2012

Jan Vertonghen believes Tottenham's victory over Swansea proves they can flourish without winger Gareth Bale.

Spurs climbed to fourth in the Barclays Premier League after Vertonghen fired them to a 1-0 triumph with his first goal in the competition at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Bale has been sidelined for two weeks with a hamstring injury and failed to make the squad yesterday and Tottenham are criticised for their lack of penetration in the Welsh winger's absence.

Vertonghen scored the only goal in a hard-fought win over Swansea on Sunday

Vertonghen scored the only goal in a hard-fought win over Swansea on Sunday

But Vertonghen, a 12million summer signing from Ajax, believes Clint Dempsey has proved a capable deputy.

'Maybe we needed a little more width on the pitch but Clint has replaced Gareth very well, like he has done with all the strikers already,' he said.

'Of course Gareth is a world class player, but we did well without him.

'We have a big squad but have had too many injuries. But even without those players we've played quite well. When everybody comes back we'll have a very strong team.'

Vertonghen insists the victory has set Tottenham up for a Christmas schedule that begins against Stoke at White Hart Lane on Saturday and also includes fixtures against Aston Villa, Sunderland and Reading.

Tottenham moved level on points with third-placed Chelsea

Tottenham moved level on points with third-placed Chelsea

Bale has been out with a hamstring injury

Bale has been out with a hamstring injury

'We needed to win our two matches games, this being the first one. It's important to enter Christmas with a good feeling,' the 25-year-old said.

'We did okay against Swansea. We know Swansea are a good passing team but we put them under pressure and created a lot of chances.'

Just as pleasing as Spurs' third clean sheet of the season was their refusal to concede the type of late goal that has hamstrung them under manager Andre Villas-Boas.

In their 24 matches this season, they have been breached 13 times in the last 15 minutes and had their matches finished at 80 minutes, they would be top of the table.

'We've conceded too many goals in the last 10 minutes, we know that. We have to keep our focus for 95 minutes,' Vertonghen said.

'We talked about not conceding late goals and last week was a perfect example. We concentrated very hard.

'It would have been nice to win 2-0 but we didn't give them many chances.'

Six seasons spent at Ajax before joining Tottenham has conditioned Vertonghen to a winter break, but he is happy to change his routine and play over Christmas.

'I love the winter break and it would be welcome because of the amount of games I play,' he said.

'But it's tradition and there are amazing atmospheres on Boxing Day and January 1. I love playing football so I don't really care. My family will come over for a few days.'

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup saw no shame in the defeat at White Hart Lane.

'On a day when our passing game maybe wasn't at its best, we were really competitive until the last second against a really good team on their ground so I can't complain about the performance – we know we can't win them all,' he said.