December 13 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, August 30, 2013
He’s had to wait eight months for a first Spurs goal but Lewis Holtby admitted that he’d always wanted to pay homage to Jurgen Klinsmann and claimed that his thunderous strike and diving celebration were made sweeter by his return from injury.
A knee problem delayed the former Schalke midfielder’s summer preparations and meant that last night’s 3-0 qualifying Europa League second leg victory was his maiden appearance for Spurs this term.
He capped off his start by breaking his goalscoring duck in spectacular style, finding the top corner from outside the penalty area and then emulating the Tottenham and Germany hero’s famous self-deprecating diving celebration.
“When I got the goal it felt so fantastic because being out for nine weeks and missing pre-season was a hard summer,” Holtby said.
“I always said that when I scored my first goal for Tottenham I was going to do a tribute to Jurgen Klinsmann because he was a legend here.
“I thought he had big balls when he did that. I thought of doing it and it really worked.”
The goal rounded off an 8-0 aggregate scoreline that saw Spurs book their place in the Europa League pool stages where they will face FC Anzhi Makhachkala, FC Sheriff and Tromso in Group K.
It saw a number of second string players feature while Jermain Defoe rattled in a first half double that saw manager Andre Villas-Boas confirm afterwards that the striker would not be sold before the transfer deadline on Monday night.
Holtby said: “I was pleased that he scored twice.
“It was good we could get a chance and game time. I think we showed the gaffer that everyone is needed at the club and everyone is ready to play the big games.”
Holtby signed from Schalke in January this year and made 17 appearances in his first season in the Premier League but there have been reports that he could be sent out on loan with Spurs set to sign Christian Eriksen from Ajax.
However, the 22-year-old insists competition is all part of the day job.
He said: “When I came to Tottenham I wanted to improve my game and make a step further. I knew that Tottenham was going to make a big step and Tottenham is turning out to be a very, very big club in Europe.
“If you see what type of players we are getting in, to be a part of that just makes your game better.
“If you want to win things you need a squad like that. I accept that, big time.”