Tag Archives: maribor

Tottenham fans care more about football than racism, says Society of Black Lawyers

Spurs fans care more about football than kicking racism out of the the game, claims Herbert
Society of Black Lawyers maintain call for 'criminal convictions after November 20'
'Small minority' of Tottenham fans to blame for 'anti-Semitic' chanting, says Herbert
'Their love of football is greater than their desire to deal with anti-Semitism', adds SBL chief
Tottenham have refused to comment on the matter

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UPDATED:

12:26 GMT, 9 November 2012

The Society of Black Lawyers hit out at Tottenham and the Football Association after repeating its threat to go to the police over what it regards as anti-Semitic chanting at White Hart Lane.

Spurs fans sent an open message of defiance to the SBL on Thursday night when they chanted 'We'll sing what we want' and 'Yid Army' throughout the club's 3-1 home win over Maribor in the Europa League.

Despite being a club with a traditionally large Jewish following, Tottenham fans often refer to themselves as 'Yids' or the 'Yid Army' in chants during the club's matches.

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

'We'll sing what we want': Spurs fans were in defiant mood on Thursday

Although Spurs claim otherwise, the
SBL say the phrase is anti-Semitic and they have vowed to complain to
the police under the Public Order Act if supporters continue to use the
chant beyond the November 20 deadline it has set.

The SBL had monitors at the north
London ground on Thursday night who heard the chants and this morning it
reiterated its commitment to report any such action to the police
should fans continue their actions.

'We are not going to let go on this,' SBL chair Peter Herbert said.

'After November 20 there is a potential that people will get a criminal conviction. If they want to run that risk then fine.

'We are serious. We aren't in this
for sensationalism. We think the vast majority of Tottenham fans are
sensible and do not engage in anti-Semitism.

'It's a very small minority who obviously don't care about any offence.

'Their love of football is greater than their desire to deal with anti-Semitism.'

Tottenham refused to comment on the
matter. The London club stick by the statement they released on
Wednesday which read: 'Our guiding principle in respect of the “Y-word”
is based on the point of law itself – the distinguishing factor is the
intent with which it is used ie if it is used with the deliberate
intention to cause offence. This has been the basis of prosecutions of
fans of other teams to date.

A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Flying the flag: Herbert has launched another attack on Tottenham supporters

'Our fans adopted the chant as a
defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect
anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any
offence, they use it as a chant amongst themselves.'

Herbert believes the club have been
misguided over the issue and claims fans can be prosecuted regardless of
whether the songs are intended to cause offence.

'Under Section Five of the Public
Order Act it doesn't matter what the intent is of the individual or the
crowd, if the words cause harassment, alarm, or distress to anyone
watching then that is sufficient,' Herbert said.

Three and easy: Defoe scored a hat-trick in Tottenham's win on Thursday

Three and easy: Defoe scored a hat-trick in Tottenham's win on Thursday

'If a crowd of men were walking down
Tottenham High Road singing the Y-word causing offence they would be
arrested. It doesn't make sense that they can make White Hart Lane a
no-go area for law.'

Herbert ridiculed Tottenham's
statement and claimed the SBL has widespread support for its campaign
from within the Jewish community.

'We have no doubt there will be complaints (to the police),' Herbert added.

'If the Met Police say they are going to look at prosecutions then there is a good chance it will stop.

'Tottenham's statement is
indefensible. I think if you went to the United States, Canada or South
Africa and you made a statement like that you would face ridicule and
condemnation.

'It is a very sad day for English football when clubs feel they have to defend a term of abuse.'

Herbert also accused the FA of a lack of interest in the Tottenham matter.

'This is an appalling abdication of
responsibility by the FA,' he said. 'It's a complete disgrace that they
have stayed silent on this.

'There is an inertia from the FA over racism and anti-Semitism.

'You can't go and complain about racism and anti-Semitism in Serbia and then have it happening in your own back yard.'

Spurs fans chant "Yid Army" at Europa League clash with police backing

We'll sing what we want! Spurs fans chant 'Yid Army' at Europa League clash… with police backing

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 8 November 2012

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Jermain Defoe's hat-trick gave Tottenham fans even more to sing about after the Metropolitan Police reassured them they will NOT face prosecution for using the word 'Yid' in matchday chants.

London's police force agreed with the club and their supporters that the 'Yid Army' songs are not anti-Semitic.

Scroll down for video

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

SPURS STATEMENT

'The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

'Our guiding principle in respect of
the “Y-word” is based on the point of law itself – the distinguishing
factor is the intent with which it is used ie if it is used with the
deliberate intention to cause offence.

'This has been the basis of
prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant
as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect
anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any
offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves.

'The club believes that real
anti-semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers
is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that
requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where
we seek greater support to eradicate.'

Spurs fans often sing songs featuring the expression, and did
so during their Europa League
clash against Slovenian side
Maribor at White Hart Lane, where
a stunning treble from Defoe gave
them a 3-1 win.

Before kick-off, a smattering of
supporters in the South Stand sang
'Yid Army' and, after a third-minute
corner for Spurs, the chant grew
louder with the whole end joining
in. Then, in clear protest at the criticism levelled at them, Spurs fans from all corners bellowed: 'We're Tottenham Hotspur, we'll sing what we want.' Another round of 'Yid Army' then followed.

The club released a statement defending their fans' right to use the expression. It read: 'Our guiding principle in respect of the “Y-word” is based on the point of law – ie. if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence.

'This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it as a chant among themselves.'

The Met have advised Spurs that chants such as 'Yid Army' will not lead to prosecution on the basis that it is used with no 'deliberate intention to cause offence'.

Spurs' conversations with police came after the Society of Black Lawyers threatened to report Spurs to the police if they were not seen to be doing more to ensure the term is no longer used.

Hat-trick hero: Jermain Defoe

Hat-trick hero: Jermain Defoe

SUPPORTER COMMENT: SORRY BUT THE Y-WORD BELONGS TO US

As a youngster growing up supporting Spurs, it took me some time to realise the word 'yid' was an offensive racial slur. I'd never heard it used in a derogatory sense at White Hart Lane, only ever as a collective term – yid army – and as a positive identifier.

If a player was good, he was a yiddo.

But its significance soon became apparent. Though far from the abhorrent gas chamber hissing of some away fans, it's still sensitive. Context is important, though, and its reclamation as a positive term at the ground should not be ignored.

The Society of Black lawyers says use of the word yid, including the tone adopted by Spurs fans, amounts to casual racism. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps simply substituting the word would be the answer. But Spurs fans are unlikely to take kindly at being told what to do by an external body, especially as it is largely considered a positive, rather than offensive, chant.

David Baddiel tried to stamp out its use by Tottenham supporters but, despite his own Jewish faith, the views of a Chelsea fan were never likely to be accepted by the Spurs majority.

If the word yid really is to be kicked out of White Hart Lane, it would need concerns to be raised from within the Spurs-supporting community, rather than outside pressures.

Andrew Magee, life-long Spurs supporter

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Spurs 3 Maribor 1 – match report: Jermain Defoe hits hat-trick

Spurs 3 Maribor 1: Defoe hits hat-trick to reward AVB's faith after Lloris gaffe

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 8 November 2012

It seems Andre Villas-Boas does not have the stubborn streak we once thought he might. Spurs fans had clamoured for Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor to play together in a 4-4-2 formation and that is just what their manager gave them.

Defoe responded with a hat-trick but Tottenham, once again, made hard work for themselves, conceding a sloppy goal after 40 minutes thanks to an error from Hugo Lloris. It leaves Villas-Boas’ side second in Group J with two games to go.

The Spurs manager described the match as a ‘defining moment’ in his team’s Europa League campaign but the same could apply to Tottenham’s domestic fortunes.

Hotshot: Defoe fires the opening goal past Maribor keeper Jasmin Handonovic

Hotshot: Defoe fires the opening goal past Maribor keeper Jasmin Handonovic

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon (Falque 90), Huddlestone, Carroll, Bale (Mason 86), Defoe (Dempsey 82), Adebayor. Subs not used: Cudicini, Gallas, Sigurdsson, Livermore.

Booked: Bale, Carroll.

Goals: Defoe 22, 49, 77.

Maribor: Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac, Cvijanovic, Mertelj (Dodlek 89), Filipovic, Ibraimi, Tavares (Komazec 76), Beric. Subs not used: Pridigar, Vidovic, Mezga, Potokar, Viler.

Booked: Mejac.

Goal: Beric 40.

Referee: Antti Munukka (Finland).

Europa League tables, fixtures and results

Spurs were chasing their first home
win in more than a month last night and had mustered just two wins in
seven matches at White Hart Lane prior to NK Maribor’s visit.

It was the first time Villas-Boas has
named both Adebayor and Defoe in his starting XI and only the ninth
time the pair have started together for Spurs. Last season under Harry
Redknapp, they began eight matches together and guess what Tottenham
won seven of them.

It makes sense when you think about it; this classic big and small striking partnership.

A classic partnership maybe, but not
necessarily a harmonious one. As Gareth Bale whipped in a cross from the
left in the seventh minute, the ball was poked on towards Defoe by
Adebayor. As the England striker’s attempt at an acrobatic volley
bounced off the turf, Adebayor chided him for not spotting the return
pass. Defoe simply shrugged.

It was Adebayor’s time to hit the
turf six minutes later when he went to ground under pressure from Arghus
after a neatly threaded pass from Aaron Lennon. Finnish referee Antti
Munukka was not impressed and neither was Arghus, who made a diving
motion with his hands as play restarted.

Main men: Both Gareth Bale and Defoe were in exceptional form

Main men: Both Gareth Bale and Defoe were in exceptional form

Yet the chances kept coming,
generally courtesy of Bale’s left foot. A 17th-minute cross from the
Wales winger was just a touch too high for Defoe, but the striker
anticipated another inviting delivery five minutes later, stealing in
front of Aleksander Rajcevic brilliantly to find the bottom right-hand
corner and put Spurs ahead after 21 minutes.

Adebayor then found the target with a
delightful chipped effort, which was correctly disallowed for offside
but Spurs reverted to this season’s type by conceding the softest of
goals.

Hotshot: Defoe fires the opening goal past Maribor keeper Jasmin Handonovic

Hotshot: Defoe fires the opening goal past Maribor keeper Jasmin Handonovic

When Kyle Naughton passed the ball
back to his goalkeeper, Lloris tried to dribble it past Robert Beric
only for the striker to intercept and knock the ball in with his right
foot. It was an absurd back- pass but the Frenchman should not have been
so ambitious.

Fabrice Muamba made an emotional
return to White Hart Lane at half-time, thanking Spurs for their support
after he collapsed on this pitch last March.

Howler: Hugo Lloris failed to deal with Kyle Naughton's poor backpass, leaving Robert Beric with a gift of a goal

Howler: Hugo Lloris failed to deal with Kyle Naughton's poor backpass, leaving Robert Beric with a gift of a goal

Howler: NK Maribor players celebrate after Robert Beric scored their first goal

Howler: NK Maribor players celebrate after Robert Beric scored their first goal

Howler: NK Maribor players celebrate after Robert Beric scored their first goal

Face like thunder: Naughton reflects on a hospital ball to his keeper

It was a poignant moment as the
former Bolton midfielder tearfully tried to explain his gratitude and
need for closure. Amid the rumblings of discontent from fans, perhaps it
brought a sense of perspective, too.

It took only four minutes for the
atmosphere to lift again as Tom Carroll and Defoe combined to score
Spurs’ second. The young midfielder’s one-touch pass set Defoe free and
his left-foot shot flew past Jasmin Handanovic in the Maribor goal.

Emotional scenes: Fabrice Muamba returned to the White Hart Lane pitch - the scene of his cardiac arrest last year - at half-time

Emotional scenes: Fabrice Muamba returned to the White Hart Lane pitch – the scene of his cardiac arrest last year – at half-time

Emotional scenes: Fabrice Muamba returned to the White Hart Lane pitch - the scene of his cardiac arrest last year - at half-time

Yet Spurs still failed to take
command, quickly conceding a soft free-kick from which Beric was unlucky
not to score. Adebayor then mistimed a volley after a beautiful chip
from Bale beat the offside trap.

The Villas-Boas master plan, though,
worked out nicely, Defoe adding his third in brilliant fashion after
77 minutes. Tom Huddlestone picked out Bale on the left and Defoe
pounced in the centre to finish off a thrilling Tottenham
counter-attack.

Crunch time: Maribor's Martin Milec goes in hard on Gareth Bale

Crunch time: Maribor's Martin Milec goes in hard on Gareth Bale

Familiar face: Former Tottenham player Jurgen Klinsmann - currently coach of the USA - sits next to chairman Daniel Levy (right)

Familiar face: Former Tottenham player Jurgen Klinsmann – currently coach of the USA – sits next to chairman Daniel Levy (right)

Mousa Dembele could be fit to face Arsenal

Dembele dodges operation on hip and could be fit for Arsenal clash at Emirates

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 7 November 2012

Mousa Dembele will not have an operation on his injured hip and could return for Tottenham's north London derby against Arsenal, according to Andre Villas-Boas.

Dembele has become a big hit with Spurs fans for his excellent performances in midfield, but the Londoners have had to do without the Belgian for the last five games after he aggravated an old hip complaint while on international duty.

Villas-Boas said last Thursday he feared the 25-year-old could have to go under the knife to cure the problem – something which would have ruled him out for up to six weeks.

Close: Mousa Dembele (left) aggravated a hip injury while on international duty but could be back for Tottenham's clash with Arsenal

Close: Mousa Dembele (left) aggravated a hip injury while on international duty but could be back for Tottenham's clash with Arsenal

But a second scan on the injury confirmed that surgery would not definitely heal the problem and Villas-Boas has therefore decided to put the player on a course of physiotherapy that will see him miss games against Maribor and Manchester City, but he could be available to face Arsenal in 10 days' time.

The Spurs boss said: 'We could either give him surgery immediately, but there is no certainty it will cure the problem, or he could rest, have manual therapy, train in the swimming pool.

'That allows the player the possibility of return within 10-15 days, so we are taking that option at the moment, without having the surgery.'

Whilst knowing he could have Dembele back for the Arsenal game is a boost, not having the player available for the team's next two games does disrupt Villas-Boas' plans.

Tom Huddlestone, fresh back in the team after a year-long ankle injury, has looked sluggish compared to Dembele, who offers drive and composure in the centre of the park.

Tottenham have won just one of the five games since the Belgian suffered his injury but Villas-Boas is confident he has the strength in depth to cope.

'We had good games without Mousa,' the 35-year-old said.

'Against Chelsea we lost Gareth Bale and Mousa and we gave them a run for their money even though they were on an amazing run.

Preparations: Andre Villas-Boas was in training without Dembele on Wednesday ahead of his side's clash with Maribor on Thursday

Preparations: Andre Villas-Boas was in training without Dembele on Wednesday ahead of his side's clash with Maribor on Thursday

Ready to start: Emmanuel Adebayor (left) is likely to begin Thursday's match for Tottenham

Ready to start: Emmanuel Adebayor (left) is likely to begin Thursday's match for Tottenham

'We had extremely good games against Southampton and Norwich. Good players are missed but this squad is full of good players.

'I don't think it has affected the tempo and dynamic – it's more important to have players fully concentrated and motivated.'

Villas-Boas is likely to play Huddlestone and Jake Livermore in midfield for tomorrow's game against Maribor, providing the latter overcomes an ankle injury.

Another man who is likely to begin the game, which Spurs desperately need to win, is striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor has not started a match for the club since he signed from Manchester City this summer, with Villas-Boas preferring to use Jermain Defoe as the team's target man.

Adebayor's lack of game time has led to suggestions the striker wants to leave the club, but Villas-Boas played down those claims on Wednesday.

Centre of attention: Gareth Bale will be hoping to continue his fine run of form for AVB

Centre of attention: Gareth Bale will be hoping to continue his fine run of form for AVB

'Certainly there is no interest in selling or loaning (Adebayor),' the Tottenham manager said.

'We brought him in this season, unfortunately for him it hasn't been working out in terms of injuries.

'We have full belief in Adebayor, he is one of the greatest strikers in the world. Sooner or later he is going to be back in the squad.'

Villas-Boas made winning the Europa League one of his priorities when he joined Spurs this summer, but his team have registered three disappointing draws so far against Lazio, Panathinaikos and Maribor.

With an away game in Rome next up, Villas-Boas has no doubt about the importance of Thursday's clash against the Slovenian champions.

'Even though a defeat doesn't mathematically disqualify us, it is a game we have to win,' he said.

'We are in this competition to win it.'

Back in the swing: Tom Huddlestone will deputise in Dembele's place

Back in the swing: Tom Huddlestone will deputise in Dembele's place

Clint Dempsey looking for Tottenham to bounce back

It's time to start again, says Dempsey as Spurs look to recapture form

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 27 October 2012

Clint Dempsey is hoping that Tottenham get back on track on Sunday against Southampton after an exciting start to the season hit the buffers in the past eight days both at home and in Europe.

The 29-year-old forward, signed from Fulham over the summer for 4.5 million, has played a full part in Tottenham’s action-packed season so far, including his first and so far only goal for his new club at Old Trafford where Spurs beat Manchester United for the first time in 23 years.

A win at home against Villa followed before last weekend’s home defeat to Chelsea and then Thursday night’s disappointing draw in Slovenia against Maribor which leaves them with some work still to do to ensure qualification into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Raring to go: Dempsey (right) is set to feature at Southampton on Sunday

Raring to go: Dempsey (right) is set to feature at Southampton on Sunday

Three days on and a trip to St Mary’s will examine how much gas there is in the Spurs engine against a Southampton side at the wrong end of the table but a team that is scoring goals freely.

‘It’s always difficult on the road in the Premier League and it will be on Sunday because Southampton are clearly a good team that have shown that they can score goals,’ Dempsey explains.

‘After playing on a Thursday night on the other side of Europe you just have to make sure your body is right and that you are taking care of yourself in the way you need to.

‘All you can control is how well you rest, rehab, take ice baths and train. You must stay sharp and be able to give your best effort. It’s a busy schedule but every team has to deal with it. We’ll just have to keep plugging away.

Happy memories: Dempsey and Villas-Boas celebrate at Old Trafford

Happy memories: Dempsey and Villas-Boas celebrate at Old Trafford

‘What’s important is that we bounce back from the loss to Chelsea. Before Chelsea we were on a good run of form and hadn’t lost in seven games. We’ve been good on the road and it’s vital we get as many points as we can to keep ourselves in the top five.’

Dempsey’s move across from west to north London has so far proved to be a success, although he is not fully satisfied.

‘I’d like to be scoring more goals but it’s good to contribute,’ he admits.

‘The win at Old Trafford, was a bit special and to get an assist in the Villa game to Aaron Lennon was good.

‘I just want to try and contribute more and make more of an impact, but I am happy to be here and hope there is more to come.’

Down and out: Spurs were beaten 4-2 by Chelsea last weekend

Down and out: Spurs were beaten 4-2 by Chelsea last weekend

As for Tottenham’s European adventure Dempsey remains upbeat, despite a frustrating night that ended with a 1-1 draw against the lowly Slovenians.

‘At least we ground out a result,’ he says. ‘We showed character to get back in the game and put ourselves in a position where we are still right there in the group. The group remains very tight and there is everything to play for. We’re taking every competition seriously, including Europe. We want to do well in everything.’

And that definitely includes the Premier League as Southampton may discover for themselves on Sunday afternoon.

Liverpool v Anzhi, Maribor v Tottenham, Newcastle v Club Brugge live

EUROPA LEAGUE LIVE: Maribor v Tottenham – the action from the Ljudski as it happens

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UPDATED:

16:51 GMT, 25 October 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Europa League as Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle reach the halfway point of their respective group matches. Spurs travel to Maribor at 6pm, while the Reds and Alan Pardew's side follow at 8.05pm when they host Anzhi and Club Brugge respectively. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Maribor v Tottenham (6pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Maribor: Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic,
Arghus, Mejac, Mertelj, Cvijanovic, Mezga, Tavares, Ibraimi, Beric.
Subs: Pridigar, Filipovic, Komazec, Ploj, Viler, Dodlek, Lesjak.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker,
Vertonghen, Naughton, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Townsend,
Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Dempsey, Gallas, Falque, Livermore, Smith,
Parrett.

Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)

Click here for all the latest scores and live tables from the Europa League

17.49: One of those was a 3-0 win over Panathinaikos this season though…

17.47: From OptaJoe:

2 – NK Maribor have won just two of their previous 15 European games on home soil. Struggle.

17.44: Elsewhere it's worth keeping an eye on Andros Townsend on Tottenham's left flank.

Confidence is something he doesn't lack but knowing when to pass is not his strong point.

Spurs fans will be hoping he doesn't end up down more dead ends on the wing this evening.

On a random note I think he is a dead ringer for F1 driver Lewis Hamilton too but I guess that isn't that important.

17.41: Speaking of Sigurdsson this game is big for him personally too. The Icelandic midfielder has made a quiet start since joining Spurs this summer and looks far from the player that rifled in crucial goals for Swansea last term.

The 23-year-old could do with a confidence building performance where he features heavily in the attack.

17.38: Gylfi Sigurdsson certainly knows what's at stake this evening. The attacking midfielder commented in this piece from Simon Peach on the importance of Tottenham bouncing back from last weekend's defeat to Chelsea.

17.35: The players are warming up in Slovenia in what looks like a chilly evening. It's good to see Tottenham going with a reasonably strong line-up.

17.32: That doesn't leave many options on the bench either for Spurs. Clint Dempsey provides an option in attack but there isn't much else in terms of ammunition for Villas-Boas.

17.29: No Emmanuel Adebayor or Gareth Bale either for Spurs, with the former still struggling with fitness and the latter on paternity leave.

17.26: Michael Dawson misses Tottenham's Europa League clash with NK Maribor this evening due to a migraine.

The 28-year-old had been expected to start for Spurs, who make three changes to the side that started Saturday's 4-2 defeat to Chelsea.

Hugo Lloris replaces Brad Friedel in goal for the Group J fixture, while Kyle Naughton and Andros Townsend come in for William Gallas and Clint Dempsey. Aaron Lennon captains Spurs at the Stadion Ljudski.

17.23: Full line-ups from the Ljudski:

Maribor v Tottenham
Maribor: Handanovic, Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac, Mertelj, Cvijanovic, Mezga, Tavares, Ibraimi, Beric. Subs: Pridigar, Filipovic, Komazec, Ploj, Viler, Dodlek, Lesjak.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Dempsey, Gallas, Falque, Livermore, Smith, Parrett.

Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)

Missing out: Michael Dawson is absent for Tottenham through illness

Missing out: Michael Dawson is absent for Tottenham through illness

17.20: Also Spurs fans, do you fancy free tickets to see your team at White Hart Lane

Then check out our competition in association with Thomas Cook Sport here for full details on how you can see Andre Villas-Boas' men take on Wigan next month.

17.17: Before we focus fully on Spurs, don't forget to stay with us after this game for Liverpool and Newcastle's live matches against Anzhi and Club Brugge respectively.

Brendan Rodgers hasn't made this competition his priority at Anfield but he has served up a couple of cracking games so far.

17.14: Maribor as you may expect don't have a rich European pedigree but it was only last season that they faced English opposition in Europe.

They lost to Birmingham home and away in this very competition and don't forget City are a Championship side – so if Spurs don't win tonight then I don't think they ever will.

17.11: So no Michael Dawson for Spurs, has he dropped further down the pecking order Evidently not – he misses tonight's game through illness.

17.08: It's time for Spurs to deliver in this competition following two draws they really should've won.

They were unlucky to see harsh referee decisions rule out three goals (at least one should've counted!) against Lazio while they only had themselves to blame for not beating the most disillusioned Panathiniakos side in living memory.

Maribor are the minnows in this group so failure to secure three points tonight and it's an uphill struggle for the last three games.

17.05: Tottenham starting XI:

Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Sandro, Lennon, Townsend and Defoe.

17.00: Well I guess it's up to our Europa League trio to prevent English football leaving this European week with its tail between its legs.

We'll see Liverpool and Newcastle later on but first up it's Tottenham…although I'm not entirely sure they're the team we want to rely on following Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City's respective Champions League defeats. Either way the team news from Maribor's Stadion Ljudski is on the way.

Yet to get going: Aaron Lennon (right) and Tottenham have recorded two draws so far

Yet to get going: Aaron Lennon (right) and Tottenham have recorded two draws so far

Emmanuel Adebayor happy at Tottenham, insists Andre Villas-Boas

Adebayor is happy at Spurs, insists AVB… despite leaving striker behind again

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UPDATED:

05:52 GMT, 25 October 2012

Emmanuel Adebayor is happy at White Hart Lane, according to manager Andre Villas-Boas despite dropping the striker for Tottenham's trip to Slovenia.

The 28-year-old Togo striker is said to be frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities this season under the Portuguese boss.

He joined Spurs on a permanent 5million deal from Manchester City earlier this summer following a successful loan spell under Harry Redknapp last season.

Bit part: Adebayor has featured only four times - each from the substitutes bench - this term for Tottenham

Bit part: Adebayor has featured only four times – each from the substitutes bench – this term for Tottenham

But since Villas-Boas' arrival in north London, Adebayor has made only four substitute appearances this term with England international Jermain Defoe preferred in attack.

Adebayor has officially been rested for Tottenham's Europa League clash against Maribor yet Villas-Boas felt compelled to insist the player is content with life at the Lane.

Left behind: Andre Villas-Boas says Adebayor suffered a back injury in training

Left behind: Andre Villas-Boas says Adebayor suffered a back injury in training

'Is he happy I think so,' said Villas-Boas. 'He was massively happy last year at Tottenham.

'Right now things are going excellently for Jermain Defoe, so it's difficult for Ade who did so well last season. But a player of his dimension is always threatening to come in, so I’d say he’s pretty happy.'

Villas-Boas revealed he hopes to include the former Arsenal forward in his plans for this weekend's Barclays Premier League visit to Southampton, should he recover from his injury setback.

'Adebayor has a pain in his back that he's had for quite some time. He had it last season too,' he added.

'He felt it in training after the Chelsea game so he hasn’t travelled with the team.

'The assessment we do gives us the chance to count on him for the trip to Southampton on Sunday, because there isn't a lot of time between the games.'

Paul Gascoigne invited to watch Lazio v Spurs

Gazza guest of honour! Lazio want England legend at Europa League match against Spurs

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UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Lazio will invite Paul Gascoigne to their Europa League match against Tottenham in Rome to celebrate the link the former England star created between the two clubs.

Gascoigne joined Lazio from Spurs in 1992 and entered the club's folklore – his first goal for the club was a last-gasp equaliser in the Rome derby.

Memories: Lazio want their former star Paul Gascoigne as a guest against Spurs

Memories: Lazio want their former star Paul Gascoigne as a guest against Spurs

Lazio's general manager Maurizio Manzini, who had the same position at the club in Gascoigne's time, said they would like the 45-year-old to attend the game in Rome.

Lazio and Tottenham have never played a competitive game before, and have been drawn together in Group J along with Greek side Panathinaikos and Maribor from Slovenia.

Manzini said: 'Tottenham is a team Lazio knows very well, a great team with great traditions and we are very familiar with White Hart Lane starting from the time we had Paul Gascoigne.

'There is always a corner of Tottenham in our hearts. He is a mythical figure for Lazio fans and very popular in general in Italy.

'I remember the Atalanta ultras, who had a reputation for being really tough, opened an enormous banner with a picture of a huge bottle of beer saying “This is for you Gazza”.

'I hope we will have the chance to see him in London and for sure we will invite him to the match in Rome.'

Gascoigne has struggled to deal with alcohol problems since retirement but his agent said earlier this summer that he has embarked on a health drive.

Perfect 10: Gazza became a Lazio hero with this goal in the Rome derby

Perfect 10: Gazza became a Lazio hero with this goal in the Rome derby

Manchester City quoted 12m for Nathan Redmond

How much! Blues aim to fend off City interest in teen Redmond with 12m asking price

Manchester City have been put off a move for up-and-coming Birmingham winger Nathan Redmond after the Blues slapped a 12million price tag on his head.

The Premier League leaders were last week considering a January move for the 17-year-old, but at about half the price now being asked for at St Andrews.

Redmond burst onto the scene in August 2010 when he became Birmingham”s second youngest debutant at the age of 16 years and 173 days.

True Blue: Nathan Redmond is rated as highly as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

True Blue: Nathan Redmond is rated as highly as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The tricky wide man has featured seven times in the Championship this term, while also excelling in the Europa League, including an assist in a man of the match performance against Maribor earlier this month.

After that game, Redmond said: “It”s one of the better games I”ve played. I”m constantly trying to develop my career and training with the first team week in and week out is helping me do that, so every chance I get in front of the fans I”ll take it.”

The teenager is rated as highly as 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who last summer joined Arsenal, and cash-strapped Birmingham believe they have every right to ask for the same transfer fee – 12m – secured by Southampton, according to the Daily Mirror.

Harry Redknapp clashes with Irish fans after trial jibes as Spurs crash out of Europe

Harry snaps! Redknapp clashes with Irish fans after trial jibes as Spurs crash out

Night to forget: Harry Redknapp saw his Spurs side crash out of the Europa League in Dublin

Night to forget: Harry Redknapp saw his Spurs side crash out of the Europa League in Dublin

Harry Redknapp has clashed with Irish fans making inflammatory chants about his forthcoming trial.

The Tottenham manager is understood to have responded with a clenched-fist gesture after being goaded by Shamrock Rovers supporters in Dublin.

Tottenham went out of the Europa League despite winning their final group game 4-0.

But the clash was marred by several instances of chants taunting Redknapp over his pending court appearance.

Redknapp is believed to have snapped midway through the second half, making an angry gesture at the home fans.

When asked if had made an obscene gesture towards the Rovers fans, the Spurs boss tried his best to play down the row.

“Not really. Did I make an “obscene” gesture No, I didn”t make… No.”

He added: “I have spent enough time in Ireland to know what lovely people they are.

Four star: Spurs enjoyed a heavy win but still failed to progress in Europe

Four star: Spurs enjoyed a heavy win but still failed to progress in Europe

“If you go and meet them afterwards they are probably lovely people. But they get together and shout a load of nonsense and that is football. That”s life. I don”t hold any grudges.”

Nevertheless, the incident could leave the 64-year-old facing a misconduct charge if UEFA deem the gesture to have been offensive.

Young guns: Redknapp again fielded an inexperienced Spurs team

Young guns: Redknapp again fielded an inexperienced Spurs team

Redknapp was warned over his conduct by the FA earlier this week for criticising referee Chris Foy after Tottenham”s 2-1 defeat at Stoke.

Birmingham City also went out despite beating NK Maribor 1-0, finishing third in their group behind Bruges and Braga.

Old heads: Defoe, Pienaar and Kaboul were among the senior players on show

Old heads: Defoe, Pienaar and Kaboul were among the senior players on show