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Keepers Week

Posted on 12 June 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Hans Segers gives his assessment of how our goalkeepers shaped up last season - starting with Paul Robinson...


England's number one made quite an impression in his first season at the Lane.


Robbo missed just four games last term - he was rested in the Carling Cup at Oldham and Bolton - and looked certain to complete an ever-present campaign in the Premier League until he suffered a knee injury against Aston Villa on May 1, ruling him out of our last two fixtures.


Sven Goran Eriksson was certainly impressed. Robbo is now see as the man in possession of the England goalkeeper's shirt having taken over from David James for the World Cup qualifier against Poland in September. He played the next six internationals and only that knee injury against Villa let James back in for the end of season tour of America.


Robbo's form was naturally a source of some satisfaction for coach Hans - he insisted when Paul arrived that was determined to make him England's best, so it was mission accomplished.


"I'm absolutely over the moon with the big man," reflected Hans. "It was a new challenge. At the start of the season I sat down with him and we went through a few bits and pieces, talking about his ambitions and what I wanted from him.


"I said to Paul ‘in two years time I want you to play in the World Cup for England’ and within four or five months, he was England’s number one goalkeeper.


"That was a big bonus because it was something we worked towards.


"He’s focused day in, day out. He wants to be the best and you can see that in his attitude in training and his performances.


"I’ve said before 70 per cent of goalkeeping work is now with your feet so the kicking is a huge part of it now and his kicking ability is the best around.


"The power he can generate is incredible - from one step he can launch it from one end to the other. I felt I could kick a ball during my career but the way he kicks it, I’m nowhere near it. He can kick it, receive it and sees the bigger picture.


"The thing is he’s only 25 and his peak is to come. He has so much more in locker. That is what we’ve been working on, He’s getting quicker, leaner and his technique is getting better and better.


"Paul is quite a character and his personality on the pitch is how he is off the pitch. He’s a friendly, open, honest guy and nothing is too much for him.


"He’ll talk to anyone and that is his strength as a person.


"People love him — especially behind that goal! When you get thousands of fans singing ‘England’s number one’ at you, suddenly you become two inches taller."