A rejuvenated Ramon Vega has declared: "This is the best I've felt for two years." Our Swiss defender has been plagued by injuries and had to undergo operations on ankle problems in October and February of last season.
After successful surgery and a long rehabilitation period, including extra work in the summer, Vega finally returned after seven months out of action on our Scandinavian tour. He started again at QPR last Saturday and looked full of running - his surges forward were a highlight of the first half and caught the eye of manager George Graham.
"I feel good, pre-season has gone very well up to now and I hope that continues," said the 29-year-old. "To be honest, you can't describe the relief to be over the injuries. I still have to work hard and be careful but I'm concentrating, focussing and if I keep going like that I think I will have a good season.
"I want to do well first for the boss and then for the supporters. I want to play and want to win things at Tottenham."
Vega may have won his fitness battle - now he has to battle his way into first team plans again. Competition is strong at the back with Sol Campbell, Chris Perry, Ledley King, Anthony Gardner and adaptable Luke Young all around.
"I know I have to battle my way back into the manager's plans but this is not a problem. Everyone who knows me will know I like these battles. I have to demonstrate that I am still able to do it and I will do it again. I'm not afraid. I know my qualities and I have showed those qualities."
Unfortunately it was a long time ago now, perhaps the Worthington Cup Final. That is a nice memory to go back to, though. If I can pick up where I left off there I will be alright. I will continue to train hard and demonstrate to the manager and the players that I can play with them and win with them.
"I don't forget the supporters either. I hope they support me now because I need them, more than in all of the three years I've been at the club. I would appreciate that and I will do everything to give them something back."