Graham and Swansea warm to the challenge
Sunday 07 August 2011
Swansea wrapped up their preparations for their first season in the Premier League with a superb strike from one of their new signings and lined up another new goalkeeper.
Their manager Brendan Rodgers said the club have agreed a fee of £1.5 million for FC Utrecht goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who is in the Dutch squad for their midweek friendly against England at Wembley.
After the departure of Dorus de Vries to Wolves, Rodgers signed Jose Moreira from Benfica but adding Vorm would strengthen competition for the goalkeeping spot. "We have agreed a fee [for Vorm], obviously personal terms are still to be agreed," Rodgers said. "We hope he is a player we can get an agreement on."
The 27-year-old goalkeeper would be a sixth summer signing for Rodgers, who was delighted by the form of one of his other newcomers. Danny Graham put in a fine display in the friendly match against Betis at the Liberty Stadium, scoring the only goal and his first since his £3.5m move from Watford. He settled the match in the 63rd minute with a wonderful turn that took him past his marker and a deft lob over the goalkeeper.
"It was a brilliant goal," Rodgers said. "You don't see many people finish like that and when they do they are Premier League players."
The question for Tottenham players is whether they think they are Champions' League players. After a taste of Europe's premier club tournament last season, Luka Modric thinks he is and wants to prove it at Chelsea. Perhaps to show him how much he would be missed Spurs fans gave him an ovation when he came off the bench in the second half at White Hart Lane to help turn around a friendly against Athletic Bilbao.
In a disjointed first half display, Spurs lost Steven Pienaar to what looked like a groin injury and they fell behind just after Modric's arrival to Mikel San Jose's goal. Another Spurs substitute, Gareth Bale, broke down the left to cross for Peter Crouch to equalise and Aaron Lennon set up Jermain Defoe to make it 2-1. Niko Kranjcar then missed a penalty.
West Ham boosted their squad for their attempt to regain Premier League status by signing John Carew, the veteran Norwegian striker who was a free agent after leaving Aston Villa.
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