STEF HAS NO MERCY FOR OLD FREUND HUGHTON
NORWICH v TOTTENHAM Kick-off 7.45pm
STEFFEN FREUND will be reunited with his old pal Chris Hughton tonight.
But there is no room for sentiment in the competition that provided the German his finest achievement at Tottenham.
Hughton was assistant boss at Spurs when Freund arrived at White Hart Lane in 1998 and it was his job to help the newcomer settle in.
Language was the biggest problem, so Hughton taught Freund the basics – and the swear words! “Of course, he taught me all the bad words,” said Freund. “And the football language is important for a player.
“He helped me a lot to know ‘corner flag’ and ‘set-pieces’ and all the things which helped me to settle.
“When I signed it was before Christmas – in Germany you have a break at Christmas and New Year – and then I came in, one training session, and then I played against Sheffield Wednesday without any English words.
“That’s why Chris was really helpful for me.”
Freund was in the team when Spurs won the League Cup in 1999 and he still keeps his shirt from the victory against Leicester at Wembley.
He is now in the position Hughton held at White Hart Lane and will face the Norwich manager tonight at Carrow Road.
Tottenham have been knocked out at the first hurdle of the competition in the previous two seasons but manager Andre Villas-Boas is taking it seriously, even if he will make changes.
Freund has confirmed it will be a strong side, with some of the squad rotated.
French keeper Hugo Lloris did not play in the last round at Carlisle but is in the frame to test himself against top-flight opposition.
Emmanuel Adebayor would have started but is a doubt with sickness and a back injury.
With Man City already out and one of Chelsea or Man United getting dumped tonight, Spurs see this as a trophy they could win this season.
Hughton is ready to shuffle his pack and keep his Canaries fresh too.
“There will be changes – how many I don’t know yet,” he said.
“I have to say that where I’m fortunate is I have got good options and we are not the type of squad that has got a best 11.
“We’ve got a lot of players. When you look at Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson and Andrew Surman, these are all lads who have been regular starters. I will mix it up a bit.”
CURSES! Freund learned all the English swear words from Hughton