With the closure of the transfer window looming large, the varying approach to acquisitions and departures at these two clubs was demonstrated on Saturday. Tottenham manager Juande Ramos admitted to being somewhat in the dark over the comings and goings at his club. They have been strongly linked with former Chelsea midfielder Tiago, Lyons' Brazilian forward Fred and Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing, with England forwards Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe possibly set to leave.
Defoe was made captain for Saturday's win over Sunderland, but Ramos was unable to shed much light on his transfer situation. "I'm in training every single day and calls that come in or offers that come in for players are matters that I don't attend to," he said. "I have not thought about [whether he will be here at the end of January]. I assume so because he's with us now."
Sunderland are in a different situation. They've lost their last eight away games and desperately need to add some quality to a side which gifted Spurs the lead inside two minutes on Saturday. Despite having seen transfer targets Robbie Savage and Matthew Taylor escape his grasp, manager Roy Keane refused to become downbeat about the transfer situation.
"I'm not that frustrated about the transfer window," he said. "In an ideal world you'd like people in the first week of January but I'm relaxed because I've no real control. If a few targets come off then fantastic but that won't make or break Sunderland football club. I won't be pushed into a corner."
Had Spurs lost this game then they would have been just one point ahead of Sunderland. As it was, their victory came courtesy of an Aaron Lennon goal after 111 seconds. The England winger stabbed a Jamie O'Hara cross past Craig Gordon in the Sunderland goal. Spurs should have put the game to bed in the first half, but missed several clear-cut opportunities. Sunderland fought back in the second-half and had it not been for a number of saves by Radek Cerny – again starting ahead of Paul Robinson in the Tottenham goal – then the outcome would have been different.
Robbie Keane is the only one of Tottenham's frontline who hasn't been linked with a move away from the club, and fortunately for them he is also their most prolific goal-scorer. His injury-time goal on Saturday settled the game and was his 100th in a Tottenham shirt, which puts him alongside such luminaries as Jimmy Greaves, Cliff Jones, Martin Chivers and Teddy Sheringham in reaching this milestone.
Sunderland are becoming increasingly adept at achieving the kind of moral victories of which Roy Keane so despaired during his playing career with the Republic of Ireland. Whether it's referees' decisions or simply not getting the rub of the green, they are emerging from games with credit but no points to show for their efforts. It's not a situation that Roy Keane likes to be in.Reuse content