Spurs defender hails his ‘humble’ new team-mate
Steven Caulker says Hugo Lloris has shown great humility and patience in his early days at Tottenham, and he believes that Spurs’ new goalkeeper is already proving his worth.
Lloris’ position has been the cause of great interest, given that Andre Villas-Boas has kept the �8million France captain on the bench in the early weeks of his Lilywhites career.
The 25-year-old had to wait until yesterday’s home clash with Aston Villa to make his Premier League bow – and even that was a surprise selection.
However, Caulker insists there has been no hint of an ego from the deadline day signing – and he feels that Lloris showed all of his qualities as Tottenham kept their first clean sheet in the league.
“He’s been very humble, he’s been a good character amongst the boys,” said Caulker. “He’s had to be patient as well with Brad playing fantastically well, so the gaffer gave him the nod for his first Premier League start and he did really well.
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“Hugo’s learning English and he’s coming along really well. He made a fantastic save [from Gabriel Agbonlahor] when they had a one on one and he’s really proving his worth.
“My French isn’t great but the communication was fine. He understands the English that he needs to know and he was very vocal.”
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Meanwhile, Caulker enhanced his own burgeoning reputation with his first ever Tottenham goal to break the deadlock against Villa – although there was more than a touch of fortune about the opener.
“Obviously I didn’t know much about it,” said the defender. “Jermain [Defoe]’s hit it, it’s come off me and has gone in the back of the net so I’m delighted to get my first Premier League goal and delighted to get the win.
“Did Jermain try to claim it? No, he pointed me out and gave me credit. I was over the moon.
“The main thing now is that I’m going into the international break having played in the team. I’ve played in a few games now and my confidence is up. I have a couple of big games for the Under-21s but I’m confident that we can get two wins there.
“We’ve had a few injuries [at Tottenham] and that has given me the opportunity. When I came back [from Swansea] the manager said I was in his plans so I have to trust that and be patient, and so far it has worked well.
“It’s a fantastic squad. The manager has come in, he’s brought a few youngsters in, myself included, and he has pushed a few of us forward. It’s a good mood amongst the camp and I hope that continues.
“You want to know that if you are playing well and you’re training well you will be in the team. It’s not nice when there is favourites. I think AVB has brought that into the team and I’m happy.”
Villas-Boas and his assistant Steffen Freund have been tipping Caulker for the very top, suggesting that the prodigious 20-year-old is set for a bright future with England.
“To hear that from the boss is fantastic,” said Caulker. “You always have to have that self-belief that you can go all the way. That’s what I’m in the game for.”
And the giant defender has also paid tribute to his fellow centre-back William Gallas.
“He’s obviously a very experienced centre-half,” said Caulker. “There are about 15 years between us so he talks me through the games and before the games he settles my nerves as well, so he’s a great person to play alongside.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs