Kranjcar plans another date in Wembley romance
PUBLISHED: 10:45 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:45 07 September 2010
NIKO Kranjcar is urging Tottenham to show their fiery passion on Valentine s Day, as he aims to reignite his Wembley love affair. Spurs travel to Bolton in the fifth round of the FA Cup this Sunday, February 14...
By Ben Pearce
NIKO Kranjcar is urging Tottenham to show their fiery passion on Valentine's Day, as he aims to reignite his Wembley love affair.
Spurs travel to Bolton in the fifth round of the FA Cup this Sunday, February 14. And, having lifted the trophy with Portsmouth in 2008, the midfielder is keen to make another date with the world-famous London arena.
The 25-year-old suffered heartbreak on his last visit as England beat Croatia, who failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup, but he is eager to call again in the coming months.
"I've got great memories of Wembley - one disappointing one but altogether great memories and I'd love to go there again," he said. "Winning the cup is my best memory in England so far, for sure.
"Of course I was well aware of the FA Cup before I came to England. I think it is one of the only cups that is well respected all over the world. When you look at Spain or Italy it's not as important as it is here. Obviously when the FA Cup Final was on, and especially at the old Wembley, that game was always on television.
"I think there's always a good chance to have a good FA Cup run, for every team. Having won it with Portsmouth, that tells everyone all they need to know to know. That's the magic of that competition, that anyone can get to the finals, anyone can win it, and hopefully we can be the team to put together a great FA Cup run this year."
Kranjcar's memories of Wembley include a long-range goal that helped to seal a 3-2 win over Steve McLaren's Three Lions, and book Croatia's place at Euro 2008.
Spurs are just two games away, as the semi-finals will also be played in north-west London, but Kranjcar admits that the iconic arch will feel a million miles away as he stands in the tunnel at Bolton's Reebok Stadium this weekend.
"It's always a tough place and I think it's probably one of the last places that any player wants to go because you don't get a lot of football up there," he said.
"We know what they're about. Over the years I think they've been a very physical team in the way they play their football, and they've got great results with it so all credit to them for that. They've always been a well-respected team in the league.
"Obviously with all the passing and ball playing you have to work hard and graft, work hard on heading and second balls because you're going to get that at Bolton.
"But then again I said from day one, since I came here, that I believe we have the quality in the team and the quality in the squad that we can give anyone a game.
"And I've got a nice memory of my last game at Bolton, because I scored my first Tottenham goal there. Unfortunately we didn't get the three points but overall I think the [2-2] draw was a well-deserved result for both teams.