Friday 25 May 2018

Pulis rates Tottenham's chances

Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes Tottenham have a realistic chance of challenging for the Barclays Premier League title this season.

The Potters play their opening home fixture of the 2010-11 campaign tomorrow against a Spurs side with lofty ambitions after they broke into the top four last term to earn a shot at qualifying for the Champions League.

Their manager Harry Redknapp has already stated his aim of building on that with a push for the Premier League title and Pulis feels it is achievable with the goalscoring threat Tottenham pose.

"You look at Tottenham and the quality and depth that they have got, and I heard Harry talking in pre-season about them being title contenders," Pulis said.

"I think they have got a great chance, I really do. I just think they have got goals everywhere.

"If you look at the team, the centre-halves will score off set-plays and they have midfielders - whether it's central players like Tom Huddlestone and Luka Modric, or wide players like Niko Kranjcar and Aaron Lennon - who score goals.

"And then the four forwards, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe - it's not too bad is it?"

Stoke will be looking to nullify Tottenham's attack tomorrow after getting their season under way with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Wolves last weekend.

Among those aiming to make amends against Spurs is midfielder Matthew Etherington, who struggled to establish himself at White Hart Lane during a four-year spell there and hopes to put in an eye-catching performance against his former employers.

"When you play your old team you look to show them what they have missed," said Etherington, who left the London club in 2003.

"It was a frustrating time, without a doubt. I went there as a young lad from Peterborough and didn't really get a chance if I'm being honest.

"At the time of the move I was really, really excited. Simon Davies and I moved from Peterborough and going straight to a Premier League club was massive for us.

"There were some great players there at the time like David Ginola, some Tottenham legends, and we learned a lot from them.

"Simon went on and did very well in the first team, but I was in and out.

"I had a few good games, but things didn't happen for me at the time. But that happens in football and you move on."

Etherington subsequently enjoyed a more successful period with West Ham before joining Stoke, where he was named player of the season for 2009-10 and has this summer signed a new four-year contract.

"Things are going really well. I've signed a new four-year deal which is brilliant, and that shows how happy I am here," he said.

"Hopefully I will carry my form on from last year - that is where I want to go to again, playing really well week in, week out, making assists and scoring goals."

Press Association

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