• Premier League

Friedel slams 'ignorant' Barthez

ESPN staff
September 21, 2012 « Pacquiao would consider Hatton fight | Chartbeat test »

Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel has taken to Twitter to hit back at Fabian Barthez after the former Manchester United keeper expressed his surprise that the American was keeping fellow Frenchman Hugo Lloris out of the Spurs team.

Lloris joined Tottenham on transfer deadline day for £11.8 million but has yet to establish himself ahead of Friedel in Andre Villas-Boas' starting line-up, and made his first start in goal for the club against Lazio in their Europa League opener on Thursday night.

When asked about the situation Barthez offered a withering assessment of Friedel, believing Lloris to be incontrovertibly better than the 41-year-old.

"He is one of the best five goalkeepers in the world," Barthez said of Lloris. "He is quicker than Friedel, he jumps higher and his is very strong mentally.

"What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I'm not worried about him. He will become the mainstay of the club. Hugo won't be distracted, he is a worker. Tottenham will not leave him on the bench for long.

"Nothing surprises me in the world of football. We're talking about Hugo here," added the World Cup winner. "He deserved the same reception as Zlatan Ibrahimovic [at Paris Saint-Germain] when he arrived at Tottenham."

Friedel, who has made a record 308 consecutive appearances in the Premier League with Blackburn, Aston Villa and now Spurs, took to Twitter to hit back at Barthez's criticisms.

"Just saw Barthez's comments," Friedel tweeted. "I normally don't comment on such crap but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must.

"Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name."

Andre Villas-Boas has not yet indicated which goalkeeper will start against Queens Park Rangers, but Friedel has done little to merit losing his place after fine performances against Norwich, West Brom and Reading already this season.

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