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Thread: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

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    Arrow Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11



    Henry: Praised by Wenger

    WENGER: HENRY CAN BE A MANAGER

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Thierry Henry has all the qualities to one day forge a successful coaching career.
    The Gunners record goalscorer was yesterday one of three club legends to be honoured with a commemorative statue as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations, with former manager Herbert Chapman and also captain Tony Adams, who led Wenger's men to the double twice, each receiving a similar tribute.
    Henry - who left for Barcelona in June 2007, where he would go on to lift the Champions League before moving to the Major Soccer League in the United States with New York Red Bulls - has been back at Arsenal to keep up his fitness levels.
    Wenger feels like many of his former players, the 34-year-old - who netted 226 goals as the Gunners won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice - can make the transition into the dugout when he eventually hangs up his boots.
    "I must say, many players I have managed have qualities to be managers. Patrick [Vieira] or Thierry can all be managers," said Wenger.
    "But let him first be a player - his career is not over. After that you have to learn the job.
    "It is like any other job. You need to learn the team, how to handle people.
    "You do not stop being a player and become a manager the next day. It doesn't work like that.
    "It is a different life from a player. You have to dedicate your life to the team. Players have to make that choice."
    Wenger was himself not an outstanding player, and worked his way up through the coaching ranks with Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan before being a then somewhat controversial appointment at Arsenal in September 1996.
    The 62-year-old accepts "there are many ways to do it", but that perhaps being parachuted into a top job purely because of your playing status may not always be beneficial.
    "To go in straight away under massive pressure is maybe not the best way of getting used to dealing with the players," Wenger said.
    "It will be him to decide. I encourage every player who has a positive philosophy to be a manager. They can bring something positive to do the game. They can influence people's lies in a positive way.
    "It is a choice that has to come from deep inside."
    Wenger - who has a bronze bust of himself already in place at Emirates Stadium - added: "It is a good base to be a great player, but there are many other ingredients. I do not rule it out. They can be great managers."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Luka Modric: Going nowhere in January


    REDKNAPP ADAMANT MODRIC WON'T LEAVE

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists there is "no chance" of Luka Modric leaving the club next month.
    Modric was at the centre of a tug of war between Chelsea and Spurs this summer, with the Blues launching at least three bids - the largest thought to be 40million - in an attempt to prize the Croatia playmaker away from White Hart Lane.
    Despite their persistence, and a public plea to leave from the player himself, Spurs refused to budge and Modric has since gone on to play a pivotal role in helping the Londoners launch an unlikely assault on the Premier League summit.
    Redknapp's men are third in the table, just seven points behind leaders Manchester City after going on an 11-match unbeaten run which has included 10 wins.
    With Chelsea and Manchester United struggling for creativity in midfield, Modric continues to be linked with a move to either club, but Redknapp is adamant the diminutive Croatian will not be leaving the club when the transfer window opens next month.
    "The chairman has come out and said that he is not for sale so he is not for sale," Redknapp said.
    "We need him here. He is a big part of what we've done so far this season. The good form we have been in, he has played a massive part in that, so we are not going to rip our team to pieces halfway through the season.
    "We are in there scrapping (for the title). We've got half a chance and he has done great for us so we don't want to lose him.
    "We are not going to lose him and he is definitely not going anywhere in January. No chance."
    A frustrating run of results had left Chelsea on the brink of Champions League elimination, and in danger of drifting out of the top four.
    And despite three consecutive 3-0 victories, questions remain about Andre Villas-Boas' ability to lead the west Londoners to glory.
    The pressure on the 34-year-old Portuguese was evident on Wednesday when he took a swipe at his critics in a rant in which he also accused the media of pursuing an agenda against the Blues.
    Redknapp, a seasoned professional with 28 years' worth of management experience, thinks Villas-Boas' outburst was ill-advised, and warned the former Porto manager that there are other people, such as under-fire Blackburn boss Steve Kean, who are in a far worse predicament than he is.
    "How would you like to be Steve Kean? Look at what he has been through," Redknapp said.
    "He hasn't complained about being victimised has he?
    "He celebrates with Yakubu after they score a goal and the fans start booing him.
    "When you're not winning that goes with the territory.
    "You've just got to get on with it. It's no good complaining. It doesn't help. It only gets worse. The only way to stop it is to win."
    Manchester United and City both suffered embarrassing exits from the Champions League this week and will now take part in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
    Redknapp knows the difficulties of playing in the Europa League having watched his second string struggle in the competition.
    Defeats to PAOK Salonika and Rubin Kazan - a side based 450 miles east of Moscow - have left them with only a slender chance of qualification to the knockout stages with one game remaining.
    Despite it handing him a good opportunity to give some of his reserves valuable game time, Redknapp feels City and United will find it hard to get to grips with the Europa League.
    "It just messes the whole week up really," said Redknapp, who takes his team to Stoke on Sunday.
    "Your whole week is upside down. You play Thursday night, you come back Friday and you play on Sunday. It's just not the way to prepare for a game and how can you get knocked out of the Champions League and drop in to the Europa League?
    "If you get knocked out the FA Cup, you don't go in to the semi-final of the Carling Cup do you?
    "It's unbelievable. I don't understand it."
    Tottenham will set a new club record for the Premier League era if they stretch their unbeaten run to 12 matches at the Britannia Stadium.
    Gareth Bale (foot) and Jermain Defoe (hamstring) missed training on Friday and are doubtful while Ledley King is unlikely to play as he is struggling with a knee injury.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11



    Villas-Boas: Hits out at Neville


    AVB CONTINUES NEVILLE WAR OF WORDS

    Andre Villas-Boas' war of words with Gary Neville continues to escalate after the Chelsea boss let rip at the former Manchester United captain's criticism of his side.
    Player-turned-pundit Neville has been outspoken in his assessment of the Blues' deficiencies in recent weeks and Villas-Boas hit out at the ex-defender for a second time after Tuesday night's Champions League win over Valencia.
    But that minor rant was nothing compared to the furious tirade unleashed by the Chelsea manager on Friday afternoon when Neville's name was brought up again.
    In what had until that point been a mild-mannered press conference to preview Chelsea's crunch Barclays Premier League game against Manchester City on Monday night, Villas-Boas struggled to mask his outright contempt for the recent comments made by Neville.
    "I'd say this to his face with most pleasure," said Villas-Boas, who watched the televised build-up to Tuesday's match during which he claimed Neville had suggested he would not want to be in the Chelsea dressing room.
    "What does he know about the Chelsea dressing room? What does Gary Neville know about our dressing room?
    "How can you imagine what is going on in the Chelsea dressing room? How can you know?
    "Have you been here? Do you know where Cobham is? You don't even know how to get here!
    "You can't speculate and invent on things that are going on, based on assumptions or informants or speculation. Some people can have more or less an idea. But not him. He cannot know.
    "I'm normally indifferent, not watching on the telly to see what these people say.
    "But I was watching the television at that moment, and I was gobsmacked."
    Chelsea's home defeat to Liverpool almost three weeks ago saw Neville claim defender David Luiz had played like he was being controlled by a 10-year-old using a PlayStation.
    Villas-Boas said: "You cannot approach a top Brazil central defender saying he's commanded by a kid with a PlayStation. That's ridiculous.
    "He plays for the team with most (world) titles, so be careful with what you're saying."
    Luiz, who cost Chelsea 26.5million from Benfica in January, has been a regular target for criticism, the latest focusing on his last-man challenge on Demba Ba in Saturday's 3-0 win at Newcastle.
    Villas-Boas said: "Nobody tried to focus on the fact that maybe Demba Ba was offside in the David Luiz challenge. Nobody took that option.
    "They all wanted to give him the red card straight away.
    "(Newcastle boss) Alan Pardew made a big scandal out of this but the guy is offside.
    "Maybe the linesman should have done his work - and maybe Pardew was lucky!
    "He even got a free-kick which Ryan Taylor could have scored from, and I got a yellow card and a player suspended.
    "So maybe, now, I should get the player and the card rescinded, because it was an offside the linesman didn't give.
    "And this is the same manager who got a (controversial) penalty at Old Trafford to get a 1-1 making a big scandal out of this.
    "And then it was 'It got their player (Steven Taylor) injured, because David Luiz wasn't sent off' - come on!"
    Neville is the latest big-name pundit to fall foul of Villas-Boas, who has also taken umbrage at criticism from Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness since his appointment as Chelsea boss.
    "Most of these people we are speaking about have a direct past related to single clubs, which are their favourite clubs, which in the end brings a likely biased position in their opinion-making," Villas-Boas said.
    "Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes nothing."
    The 34-year-old added: "Comic criticism and the lack of in-depth criticism from top ex-professional players, when they take the route to the ridiculous, I think I have a word to say.
    "When they opt for words as we've been seeing, in the past, I have to be aggressive."
    Villas-Boas scoffed at suggestions he was being oversensitive, claiming Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini - who he will pit his wits against in Monday's Barclays Premier League clash - had been just as upset by former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann branding his side "boring".
    Villas-Boas said: "We've just seen that Mancini reacted to what Lehmann said about City, which was completely out of this world as well. He opted to do that.
    "I could discharge these people but not when what they say is ridiculous."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11



    Ferguson: Doesn't expect a lot of signings


    FERGIE WARNS AGAINST WINTER DEALS

    Sir Alex Ferguson has cautioned against Manchester United supporters expecting a sudden influx of January signings following this week's Champions League exit.
    Debate amongst fans about the reason for United's stunning slide from beaten finalists in May has centred around the midfield.
    Many felt it was lacking quality even before Paul Scholes' retirement in the summer, and injuries to Tom Cleverley and Anderson, plus Michael Carrick's suspension forced Ferguson to rely on 37-year-old Ryan Giggs and teenage rookie Phil Jones as his central midfield partnership in Basle.
    The fact that Ferguson revealed to MUTV Cleverley may be able to start light training next week after having a protective boot taken off was a positive sign.
    However, at times this season, even Wayne Rooney has been used in that area of the field, with mixed results.
    It seems like an unsustainable situation, especially for a club of United's standing.
    However, Ferguson is not convinced the quality he requires will be available mid-season.
    "It is very difficult to buy players in January," he said.
    "You don't just want to buy any player simply because it gives you another one. You want to buy someone who can make a difference.
    "We have only had maybe four or five signings in my time here in January. It is not a consistent route for us simply because of all the disadvantages."
    The disadvantages are even more complicated this year because United are still familiarising themselves with the rules of the Europa League.
    For United, that means they would be allowed to add one player to their Europa League squad who has played in the Champions League this season, as long as it was not for one of the other seven clubs who have been dropped into the secondary competition.
    "It is not easy to get players in January," said Ferguson.
    "I am not quite sure if you went for a player if he could play in the Europa League. There is criteria there in the sense of playing in the Champions League and whether they could play in the Europa League.
    "There are a lot of issues there but there is nothing in my mind at the moment."
    Ferguson has made January signings though.
    Andy Cole and Louis Saha for a start, also Diego Forlan. And two of his best buys, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic, were signed a month after their last unscheduled Champions League group stage exit six years ago.
    "At the time we were looking to get players in who were important in certain positions," said Ferguson.
    "After Denis Irwin retired it was very difficult to get a left-back with quality. Patrice was the one we identified.
    "Nemanja is a lad I went to see in Paris three or four years before that when he played for Serbia against France.
    "But they played with three centre-backs and I was unable to really get a feel that he could play in a back four.
    "He went to Russia and played in a back four there, so we knew there wouldn't be a problem and decided to go for him."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11



    Roberto Martinez: Will not be sacked


    WIGAN WILL NOT SACK MARTINEZ

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has been assured his job is safe even if the Latics suffer relegation from the Premier League this season.
    Chairman Dave Whelan insists he will not part company with his man in the dugout and believes the club's supporters will continue to back the Spaniard.
    Wigan are currently propping up the pile after winning just two of their 14 encounters in the top flight so far this season.
    Despite their troubles this term, which follow on from last season's dogfight when survival was only secured on the final day of the season, Whelan has vowed to stand by Martinez.
    "Sacking him isn't even a consideration. Roberto is a fantastic, honest manager who knows our strengths and weaknesses," he told The Independent.
    "There will be no way I will sack him. And if we did get relegated to the Championship I have every faith in him to get us promoted again.
    "It is a partnership at a football club, everyone has to realise that. You have to have partnerships to succeed between manager and players and manager and boardroom.
    "Wigan have that. We're the smallest club in the Premier League but I would say there is no doubt about it that we are the happiest out of the 20.
    "We have patient supporters, which helps. There is a faith in what we have and I don't want to see that change."
    Whelan admits that Wigan need to improve their squad in January, but warned that Martinez will only have funds to invest if players are sold in the transfer window.
    He added: "If Roberto was given a basket of money he would definitely put it right and if he sells a player in January he will get that money for signing someone new.
    "We need bigger, better and stronger players as we look to improve."
    The DW Stadium supremo feels that they have not had the rub of the green this summer, with the recent draw at home to Blackburn when the visitors scored after Morten Gamst Pedersen took a corner to himself still rankling.
    "We have been incredibly unlucky this season and that isn't Roberto's fault," he said. That decision was the worst one I've seen in all my years in football.

    "It doesn't balance itself out over the season and these calls have a huge bearing on the table at the end of the season."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11



    Roman Pavlyuchenko: Linked with a move


    REDKNAPP WON'T LEAVE HIMSELF SHORT

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists he will not let Roman Pavlyuchenko leave the club next month unless he has already lined up a suitable replacement for the Russia striker.
    This week Lokomotiv Moscow were the latest in a long line of clubs to be linked with Pavlyuchenko, who wants to leave White Hart Lane in order to boost his chances of playing for his country at Euro 2012.
    The arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor, and the excellent form of Rafael van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe, has meant Pavlyuchenko is yet to start a Barclays Premier League game this term.
    The 29-year-old has played most of his matches in the Europa League but, with Spurs now on the brink of elimination from the competition, the forward's chances of getting more game time to persuade national coach Dick Advocaat that he merits a place in Russia's Euro 2012 squad are receding by the day.
    Several clubs could bid for Pavlyuchenko when the transfer window opens in January, but Redknapp does not want to damage his side's chances of a top-four finish by leaving himself short of strikers.
    Redknapp said: "If we let Pav go we'd leave ourselves short. If he decides he wants to go and the club get a good offer then we've got to be ready to replace him from somewhere."
    Spurs have been linked with a number of strikers in recent months, including Chelsea's Didier Drogba, his transfer-listed team-mate Nicolas Anelka, and Brazil international Leandro Damiao.
    Redknapp also hinted that he would launch a new bid for Bolton and England centre-half Gary Cahill last week, but the Spurs boss denies that he has given chairman Daniel Levy a January wish-list.
    "We (Redknapp and Levy) talk about players all the time, but I couldn't sit here and say we've got targets. We haven't," the 64-year-old said.
    Redknapp faces a big dilemma about who to play up front alongside Adebayor at Stoke on Sunday.
    Van der Vaart's stellar displays were key in helping Tottenham turn around their season, but Defoe has prospered in the Dutchman's recent absence through injury, scoring in successive games.
    Defoe missed training with a minor hamstring problem on Friday, but should be fit for Sunday, leaving Redknapp with a tough, but pleasant call to make.
    "It's a nice problem to have," he said. "They have both been scoring when they have played.
    "Rafa was in great form, scoring lots and every time Jermain has played he has scored.
    "Whoever has come in has come in has done well and the team has been playing well."
    Whoever does play up front, they are likely to come up against former Spurs centre-half Jonathan Woodgate.
    Woodgate made just 65 appearances for Tottenham during his three-and-a-half-year spell with the club thanks to a series of serious injuries.
    Redknapp regularly spoke of Woodgate as one of the best centre-backs in the country when fit, but a groin problem meant the defender was only able to play once in his last 15 months at Tottenham, and he was released in the summer.
    "I was sorry to lose him," Redknapp said. "But you can understand the club's point of view. You're paying his wages every week but he had barely kicked a ball all year.
    "If it would have been same this year it would have been a nightmare so I couldn't argue that we shouldn't release him.
    "I'm glad he is playing. I was hoping that he would go and do well somewhere because he is a fantastic fella. You wouldn't meet a better player than Woody.
    "He is a top player when he is fit."
    Spurs will move six points clear of Chelsea with a victory on Sunday and they also have the chance to break a couple of records.
    Avoiding defeat will mean they have gone 12 league matches unbeaten for the first time in the Premier League era, and a win will see them record seven straight victories for the first time since 1967.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Luka Modric: Won't be sold


    REDKNAPP WON'T SELL SPURS STARS

    Harry Redknapp has warned Chelsea and Manchester United they will be wasting their time if they bid for Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric in January.
    Tottenham managed to hold on to Modric this summer despite receiving at least three offers from Chelsea for the Croatian, the biggest reported to have been 40million.
    Despite pleading to move to Stamford Bridge, Modric remained at White Hart Lane, and he has since gone on to play a big part in helping the club go on the 11-match unbeaten run which has catapulted them to third in the Premier League.
    Reports suggest Chelsea will renew their interest in the 26-year-old when the transfer window opens next month as they attempt to kickstart their title challenge, while Modric's creativity would give United the edge they currently lack in midfield.
    Redknapp is currently busy formulating an unlikely title bid of his own, however, and does not want to undermine it by losing Modric, or any of his other stars.
    "We won't be selling our best players or anyone we want to keep in January," Redknapp said.
    "We are keeping our best players and if anything we will be adding to the squad not selling.
    "That's the message from me and the chairman [Daniel Levy]. We won't be weakening this squad.
    "If one or two positions open up where fringe players want to go then we will look at that but we are not going to sell our best players or anyone we want to keep."
    Redknapp's admission that he could be willing to let a couple of players go is likely to fuel speculation over the likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko, Heurelho Gomes and Sebastien Bassong.
    All three want to leave to get more first-team football, and Redknapp has been linked with a number of replacements already.
    The Spurs boss would not rule out bids for Bolton defender Gary Cahill or Chelsea's transfer-listed duo Nicolas Anelka and Alex.
    "Alex is good player but he is not a player who we have made enquiries for," Redknapp said.
    "I've always been a big fan of Gary Cahill. I have tried to sign him a few times. He is a good signing for somebody if he leaves.
    "Anelka is a good player as well. All three are good players. I wouldn't sit here and say I wouldn't be interested in any of them.
    "It depends on what happens here."
    Tottenham are just two points behind second-place United, and have a game in hand.
    The Red Devils, and leaders Manchester City, both suffered embarrassing exits from the Champions League this week and will now take part in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
    Redknapp has never hid his dislike of the Europa League and criticised the format of the competition.
    "How can you get knocked out of the Champions League and drop in to the Europa League?" Redknapp said.
    "If you are knocked out, you are knocked out. What are you doing going in to another competition?
    "If you get knocked out the FA Cup, you don't go in to the semi-final of the Carling Cup do you?
    "It's unbelievable. I don't understand it."
    Redknapp knows the difficulties of playing in the Europa League having watched his second string struggle in the competition.
    Defeats to PAOK Salonika and Rubin Kazan - a side based 450 miles east of Moscow - have left them with only a slender chance of qualification to the knockout stages with one game remaining.
    Despite it handing him a good opportunity to give some of his reserves valuable game time, Redknapp feels City and United will find it hard to get to grips with the Europa League.
    "It just messes the whole week up really," he said.
    "Your whole week is upside down. You play Thursday night, you come back Friday and you play on Sunday. It's just not the way to prepare for a game.
    "Half the teams play their reserves and you are going off all around the world to play. It's not ideal.
    "It is almost a punishment for them (United and City)."
    Tottenham will set a new club record for the Premier League era if they stretch their unbeaten run to 12 matches at Stoke on Sunday.
    Gareth Bale (foot) and Jermain Defoe (hamstring) missed training on Friday and are doubtful while Ledley King is unlikely to play as he is struggling with a knee injury.

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Nicolas Anelka: West Ham transfer target


    ALLARDYCE ADMITS ANELKA INTEREST

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed his interest in signing Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka.
    The forward is set to leave Stamford Bridge after having a transfer request accepted by Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas.
    Anelka is thought to have agreed a move to Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua and will quit West London when the transfer window reopens in January.
    However, Allardyce, who worked with Anelka at Bolton, admits he is keeping tabs on the striker's situation, although he concedes he would only move for the 32-year-old on a free transfer in the summer rather than next month.
    "If Nicolas is available, I'd be massively interested," Allardyce told The Sun.
    "I've not contacted Chelsea and am just looking at the situation with January looming.
    "It would be an end-of-season pursuit rather than next month.
    "We need to get into the Premier League - and then we'd have a better chance of signing someone of Nicolas' quality."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Harry Redknapp - Hailed by Stoke boss.


    PULIS BACKING REDKNAPP FOR ENGLAND

    Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes the next England manager has to be Enlglish - and he reckons Harry Redknapp is the only man for the job.
    Redknapp is already the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Fabio Capello when his contract expires after next summer's European Championships.
    Pulis has regularly championed the cause of his friend, and Tottenham's form over the last two seasons has only strengthened that belief.
    "I've known Harry for a long time; he's a very good judge of a player as he bought me in 1986," joked the Potters boss, referring to his move to Bournemouth from Newport County.
    "It has to be an English manager this time and you look at everyone out there and his credentials are better than anyone else's.
    "For me there is only one Englishman who could really do the job and he is at the right time in his career - though Tottenham won't like me saying it.
    "He has everything. Man-management is important, especially today with the egos you have to deal with in professional football - he knows how to handle people.
    "He understands and recognises the game and how stressful it can be at times and how up and down players can be.
    "He gets the best out of players; if you look at his record it is absolutely fantastic.
    "He has gone to a club that potentially could be a top club and he took them close in the Champions League last year (reaching the quarter-finals) and they are a better side this year than last."
    The pair will come face-to-face at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday but it is only a fortnight or so since the last time they met.
    Early last month Redknapp underwent a heart procedure and during his convalescence Pulis paid a visit.
    "I went down and had a coffee with him a couple of weeks ago when he had his operation.
    "He was talking about football with passion as he always does.
    Pulis believes the signing of Scott Parker, who made a 5million move from relegated West Ham, has been pivotal to Redknapp's plans.
    "I read a quote the other day that this is probably the closest they have got to the 1960/61 side that won the double under Bill Nicholson," Pulis added.
    "The signing of Scott Parker has probably been the best signing this season as he has been outstanding.
    "Parker has knitted the group together and has kept it nice and solid and has been the difference between them winning and losing games.
    "He has definitely gelled both parts of the team together because they attack and defend much better and they are not as vulnerable as before.
    "But you can't isolate one player; they have Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon with fantastic pace and Luka Modric is a world-class player."
    Spurs are only a point behind second-placed Manchester United with a match in hand and Pulis believes they could be genuine title challengers this season.
    They have won their last six league matches and are currently the form team.
    "They are one of the top-four sides this year but I think Harry might be looking for more than that considering the way they are going," added Pulis.
    "This might be the team that pushes the two Manchester clubs for the title.
    "They are the form team and Tottenham will be looking for those clubs to slip up and give them a chance."

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    Re: Latest Transfer Update at 10-12-11

    Alex McLeish: Under pressure


    ALEX McLEISH: ASTON VILLA MUST IMPROVE

    Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is trying to ignore his critics, but is well aware of the price of failure in the Premier League.
    Some Villa fans, who were already unhappy at the summer appointment of the former Birmingham boss, are furious about a run of three games without a win or a goal.
    McLeish is coming under increased pressure as a consequence and, although he is trying to block out the doubters, he knows performances need to improve.
    Ahead of Saturday's match at Bolton, the Scot said: "I am not as doom-and-gloomy as some people are.
    "The social networks and phone-ins have evolved to make it a blame culture and knee-jerk culture. You have to deal with it and live with it - that is the way it is.
    "If I was to listen and read everything, my shoulders would be hunched.
    "Failure is monstrous. Margins of success and failure can be miniscule, but the consequences are enormous."
    McLeish knows the service to striker Darren Bent is one of the areas that needs to be addressed after statistics revealed the 18m man touches the ball on average just over 20 times a match.
    He said: "It is hard to find the right system in every game for every player. But we do need to get more support to Benty. We are trying to improve the vision of some of the players.
    "We have to get more firepower, strikes on goal and more corners and penetration.
    "We played two up against Spurs and got battered in midfield. When you don't see our wide men coming in from the side it can be frustrating because it is not as if we say, 'stay wide and don't go in the box.'"
    McLeish has also played down suggestions of a bust-up with Richard Dunne after the pair were pictured having an apparent row during last weekend's defeat to Manchester United.
    The Villa boss said: "There was some wee discussion about that, but no animosity."

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