Born winner Gomes is hungry for success at White Hart Lane
BY PAT MOONEY HEURELHO Gomes is a character – a strong one on and off the field. And Tottenham s new goalkeeper, nicknamed the Octopus, insists he can cope with the switch from the Dutch league to the Premier League, despite Spurs dismal start to the season. The Brazi
HEURELHO Gomes is a character - a strong one on and off the field.
And Tottenham's new goalkeeper, nicknamed the Octopus, insists he can cope with the switch from the Dutch league to the Premier League, despite Spurs' dismal start to the season.
The Brazilian keeper, an £8 million replacement for Paul Robinson from PSV Eindhoven, could not be blamed for either of Sunderland's two goals at the Lane on Saturday when the Lilywhites crashed to a second successive defeat.
"I am not afraid of challenges, because I was born to win," Gomes told Ham&High Sport.
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"Any place can be a graveyard, it can also be a place of success. I have won at least one championship or cup per season, and I intend to carry on that record. We have to aim for the championship, even if that is not realistic."
Already, Gomes has become a firm favourite with the Spurs fans - just as he was with the supporters of PSV.
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"The first thing is to be established at the club," he said. "Once I've done that the conquests will come later.
"The main thing is to play well, then you are going to be popular. I like to warm to the public."
And part of his pre-match warm up is pumping himself up and down on the crossbar.
"The thing I do with the crossbar is not about stirring up the crowd or whipping up fervour," he said. "It just gets me going. But I know the fans enjoy it."
Gomes, who made his name at Ceuzeiro in Brazil before moving to PSV, is no stranger to Tottenham fans.
Last season, he was outstanding in Spurs' exit from the Uefa Cup, saving the crucial Jermaine Jenas penalty in the shoot-out of their last 16 tie in Holland.
Indeed, at Eindhoven the 6ft 4in tall Brazilian was a larger than life character with the Dutch fans.
"Eindhoven is a small place compared to London, and where I lived was near a school," he said.
"The students knew and were constantly ringing the doorbell to ask for autographs.
"But there were times when we were sleeping or needed to rest so I put up a sign saying, 'come back later, we're sleeping'. They would call at 2pm, which is the best time for sleeping."
While his predecessor Robinson was recognised as one of the best kickers in the league, a feature of Gomes's game is his preference to use raking, accurate throws to start attacks.
"It is natural and there is no special training for that," he explained.
"I might have a particular forward in mind that I want to throw the ball to and the aim is to reach them.
"It is more precise getting the ball to them than kicking it and I can throw it just as far. In fact, there was one time when I threw it all the way to the opposition goalkeeper.
"But I just like to be quick, both for the high ball and on the ground. I like to cut out crosses and physically I am prepared for that.
"You also have to say what is necessary on the field.
"I like to give reassurance to the defence and to let them know they have someone good behind them. That's what I do."
Gomes's self-confidence is likely to be needed on Sunday when beleaguered Spurs travel to the Bridge in search of their first points of the season.