Skip to main content

News

  • GHALY READY FOR THE OFF
Subscribe to newsfeed 

GHALY READY FOR THE OFF

Posted on 13 March 2006  - 12:00

We won't have to wait too much longer for a glimpse of our new signing Hossam Ghaly in action as the midfielder has been back in training - having recovered from the groin injury that has delayed his introduction - and is set to feature for our reserves against Portsmouth tonight.

We won't have to wait too much longer for a glimpse of our new signing Hossam Ghaly in action as the midfielder has been back in training - having recovered from the groin injury that has delayed his introduction - and is set to feature for our reserves against Portsmouth tonight.

The Egyptian international was a January transfer window capture from Dutch side Feyenoord, where he spent two and a half years in the Eredivisie following his switch from Al Ahli in his home country. The 24-year-old took the first steps on the road to a professional career at home town club Biala, where he stayed from the age of nine to 14 before continuing his football education at Al Ahli. After three years of youth team football in Cairo, he made the breakthrough into the senior ranks and, four years later, he was Europe-bound.

The quietly-spoken Hossam possesses – although he denies it – an excellent grasp of the English language and despite his frustrations over not being able to make an instant impression on arrival, he remains prepared to be patient when it comes to finally being ready to start playing again.

"I have been training with the team, I am not feeling pain anymore and feel fit," said the winner of 19 international caps. "To play games? I haven't played for two months now so I will probably have to take it slowly, train more with the team and play with the reserves for one or two games."

Given the fact that players are generally reluctant to assess their own merits or offer descriptions of their playing styles, Chris Hughton was happy to step forward with his take on the impact of Hossam at Spurs Lodge.

"Hossam is very much back in training, but we need to get him to the stage of match fitness," reasoned Martin Jol’s assistant.

"He is certainly a good footballer, that is for sure, and the fact that his English is good is always a help. As a personality he endeared himself to the other players straight away and Mido being here was obviously a benefit.

"Of course, what we are interested in is what he can do on a football pitch. I have enjoyed watching him in training, there is no doubt he has an ability on the ball and I am really looking forward to him getting match fit and playing some part in the run-in we have to the end of the season," added Chris, who is confident the player possesses the robustness to cope with the demands and intensity of the English game.

"That is what we will find out. If I look at the signs in training, he certainly hasn’t shied away from any of the physical aspects of the game, whether that be the running or putting himself about. Where it really matters is playing for the first team – home or away – in front of big crowds when the stakes are an awful lot higher.

"The signs are good though."

For his part, Hossam is finding the adapting to life in a new country a smooth transition so far and it is a football culture he has long wished to be a part of.

"It is good here, everyone is nice, friendly and helpful - on and off the pitch. I like it here.

"I have watched a lot of the games and have known about Tottenham since I was young. I had a big interest in English football and knew a lot about the club, even more since Mido came to play here. Everybody in Egypt has been watching the games since then.

"Tottenham is a big club in Europe and everybody knows the history and it appealed to me."

Hossam’s career in Holland took a short while to get off the ground as the bedding in process took a little longer than he anticipated, before seizing his chance and public acclaim seeing to it that he remained in the Feyenoord starting XI.

"For six months of the first year I didn't play, was always a substitute and came in for only one game against PSV and played right back.

"When I got my chance I played in the rest of the games, the spectators liked me and I stayed in the team.

"The year after under Ruud Gullit I was in the team until I got injured and played all the games this season until coming here.â€Â

It was under the management of the former Chelsea and Newcastle manager that Hossam encountered Spurs in opposition. In the pre-season ahead of the 2004-05 campaign, Tottenham and Feyenoord travelled to Seville to take part in the Kappa Cup and the Dutch side snatched victory in a game the midfielder well remembers at the Olympic Stadium.

"Yes, I played and we won 2-1,†he recalled before revealing his reasons for changing sides.

"I always wanted to play in England because it is the best league in Europe now. I like the way English teams play, they play fast and hard with everyone moving.

"I think it will suit my style of play and that is why I decided to move. I feel I played enough to prove myself in Holland and wanted to test myself more."