Didier Deschamps, the France manager, claimed that Lloris was “disappointed” by those comments but Villas-Boas had made it clear that his new goalkeeper must be patient. Villas-Boas even admitted that he was undecided whether Lloris would be on the bench tomorrow given that he will have only trained twice with his new team-mates.
“He will definitely be in contention after the game against Reading because he will also have more time with the team,” he said.
With Clint Dempsey also joining training for the first time yesterday and Emmanuel Adebayor and Moussa Dembélé both signed after the season had started, Villas-Boas admitted that his preparations had been affected by all the late deals. “It’s a pity in the end that we have concluded four of these deals almost during the season so you are not preparing for it in a proper way,” said Villas Boas. “But, looking ahead to the games we have, the players will get more acquainted with each other. The problem is we have not had a lot of time to work with the team.”
On Lloris, Villas-Boas stressed the long-term gain for Tottenham of acquiring a goalkeeper who is only 25 and already among the best in Europe. “It was a good opportunity for the club to add more competition in that position and we felt it was the right moment in preparation for our future,” he said.
“Tottenham’s interests come before any single person or player at the club. Things will definitely happen for him if he is patient because he is a player of massive talent. Brad has been excellent for the team and he is a leader. It’s an easy decision right now. Brad knows he has one more competitor and that competitor is a massive talent, but the shirt is his at this moment because he deserves it.”
Villas-Boas said he had spoken with Lloris and that the keeper was prepared to fight for his place. He also denied giving Lloris any guarantees about his starting place when he was signed from Lyon two weeks ago. “He understands the position, he is fine,” said Villas-Boas. “The future is his at this club. He told me, ‘I’m here to compete and I’m here to prove that I’m the best’. When you hear this from a player you know that the commitment is there.
“Hugo has succeeded in competing against the best goalkeepers in France for quite some time. There is no contract where you have to be entitled to a first-team place. We don’t work like that at Tottenham and no team in the world works like that.”
Villas-Boas also has the options of Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes, although he has held discussions with Gomes about the possibility of going out on loan.
With Tottenham yet to win this season, Villas-Boas accepts that there is pressure. He believes that the team’s new style will emerge more clearly once that first win has been achieved. “At this stage we have not made any dramatic changes in our style of play,” said Villas-Boas. “It is important to gain confidence with the first win.”
Scott Parker, a major loss from Tottenham’s midfield this season, should return to full training in 10 days.