Alnwick the odd one out as Redknapp eyes Pletikosa deal
BEN Alnwick looks certain to leave Spurs after Harry Redknapp pointedly declined to mention him in his list of goalkeepers. Redknapp this week reiterated his desire to sign Croatia international Stipe Pletikosa...
By Ben Pearce
BEN Alnwick looks certain to leave Spurs after Harry Redknapp pointedly declined to mention him in his list of goalkeepers.
Redknapp this week reiterated his desire to sign Croatia international Stipe Pletikosa as competition for Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini.
The Spurs boss believes that he will need three good goalkeepers this season as the Lilywhites plan for a historic Champions League campaign.
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But as the manager ran through his list of custodians he tellingly declined to mention Alnwick, who became Spurs' No2 last season after Cudicini's motorcycle crash in December.
The 23-year-old made the match-day squad in every game for the rest of the season, appearing on the bench on 33 occasions during the campaign and starting the last game of the season at Burnley.
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"Pletikosa, that's a possibility," said Redknapp this week. "We're looking to take a loan there. "I've got Gomes and I've got Carlo, which is good, but the young lad David Button is going out on loan so I feel we need three keepers.
"Carlo is coming back from a bad accident so we don't want to leave ourselves short. We'll be looking to bring another keeper in to give us three goalkeepers."
Redknapp has never rated Alnwick and his suspicions were confirmed in the second leg of the 2008/09 Carling Cup semi-final, when the 23-year-old had a nightmare at Burnley's Turf Moor, conceding three times and leaving Spurs on the brink of elimination.
In all, Alnwick has made just three first-team appearances, conceding nine times. He returned to Turf Moor on the last day of the 2009/10 campaign, and shipped another four goals as Spurs' triumphant season ended in a 4-2 defeat.
Alnwick did not make the pre-season trip to America and 21-year-old Button played the second half of Sunday's 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon.
It seems unlikely that Alnwick will appear for Spurs again, and Redknapp admits that Jonathan Woodgate's long-term groin injury may have finished his Tottenham career as well.
According to new Uefa rules, Spurs must submit a 25-man squad list for league and European matches on September 1, and Redknapp concedes that Woodgate is struggling to make the cut.
"Woody's nowhere near at the moment," said the manager. "He's nowhere near kicking a ball. He's been out for a year, been to America and Australia, but he's still nowhere near.
"I just couldn't put him in my 25. It's impossible at the moment. If he doesn't start playing before the start of the season he's got no chance. You can't have somebody in who's never going to play. If he's not going to be fit... He's got to really prove that between now and the end of the season.