Ramos overrides Robinson's claim as first choice No 1

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The Independent Online

Paul Robinson's contre-temps with the Spurs manager manager Juande Ramos on Wednesday night centred on the Englishman's anger at being told so late in the day that he had been dropped for the Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal. It was not quite the "blistering row" that has been described in some quarters and Robinson will be more concerned at where the decision leaves his future.

The England international found out Radek Cerny was to play in goal before the game when he arrived at the Emirates stadium and had what was described as a "disagreement" with his manager over when the news was delivered. The feeling at the club is not that Robinson's career as No 1 is definitely over but that he will no longer be able to take it as a given that he is first choice.

Ramos has a habit of telling the players his team only in the last couple of hours before the game – a habit also shared by Rafael Benitez and Avram Grant. The Spaniard has already earned himself a reputation as a man who does not blink when it comes to leaving out big name players.

The big decision for Ramos will be whether he picks Robinson for tomorrow's game against Chelsea which would represent a far greater snub than dropping him for the Carling Cup game. Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax and Timo Hildebrand of Valencia have been mentioned as possible new signings though it seems that Spurs will wait until the summer.

Lassana Diarra's ambitious wage demands of more than £60,000 are pricing the France international out of a move away from Arsenal. The midfielder would be allowed to leave if the £5.5m valuation his club put on him is met. However, it is the salary that is posing a problem to prospective buyers.

Arsenal's Brazilian Gilberto Silva, who made a rare appearance against Spurs on Wednesday, said that he intended to stay at the club for now. It is thought that the 31-year-old will move in the summer when he will have only one year left on his contract.

He said: "I am conscious that the team is playing well, Mathieu [Flamini] and Cesc [Fabregas] are playing well but I will continue to do my job and the Carling Cup gives me an opportunity to show that I am capable to come back into the team."

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