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Paul Stalteri Thread

Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 17:48:57 +0000 #1
Tks to drfan23 at Vs for headsup


When Martin Jol succeeded Jacques Santini as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur last autumn he gave a breast-beating speech, vowing to emulate the great Bill Nicholson and bring the glory days back to White Hart Lane.

Jol has gone on to build a young squad bursting with potential, studded with a few specifically chosen experienced heads, including Canada international Paul Stalteri.

The signing of Holland international midfielder Edgar Davids on a free transfer from Inter Milan was a major coup for Jol, but the less-hyped signing of Stalteri could prove just as important.

Jol's emotive address came just days after the late Tottenham manager, who delivered the league and FA Cup double in 1961 and two European trophies, had been remembered in a memorial service at White Hart Lane.

The Dutchman was not looking to abuse the situation when he made that declaration. He simply wanted to assure Tottenham fans that after years of upheavel those successful days can be recaptured and that he is the man to do it.

And Canada defender Stalteri has arrived at White Hart Lane determined to help Tottenham emulate his former club Werder Bremen in overhauling the established order.

Stalteri was a key member of the Werder Bremen side that shackled Bayern Munich's dominance long enough to win the Bundesliga and German Cup double in 2004.

And after just a few weeks in England, Stalteri has seen enough similarities to believe that Jol has indeed set the club on the road to glory.

"With Werder Bremen four or five years ago we had a good young team with loads of potential, we brought in a few experienced players and all of a sudden were at the top and won the championship. Hopefully we can do that here as well," Stalteri said.

"You can only learn from experienced players. We had the same thing in Germany. We had big signings come in who were used to winning.

"I think the manager has brought the players in to Tottenham with the winning attitude we need."

Jol's most frequent complaint last season was that his players lacked that killer instinct, that winning habit, that knowledge to close out a game.

Stalteri believes his experience as a proven winner will be the biggest asset he brings to Tottenham.

He spoke with Jol about his role as a senior player before signing and is looking forward to the responsibility of mentoring the likes of Wayne Routledge and Michael Carrick.

"That was one of the things the club and Martin wanted from me. He wants to build something for the future but it's difficult to win things with just youngsters," he said.

"At both international and club level I have played at a high standard so hopefully I can bring a winning attitude to a team that has loads of potential, help people believe in themselves, learn how to win and help us achieve things."

Stalteri is not the only thing that Tottenham and Werder Bremen's championship-winning team have in common.

The Germans were fired to victory by Brazilian striker Ailton, the hottest property in the Bundesliga that year with 28 goals.

Tottenham boast Jermain Defoe up front, a striker Jol believes is still improving and has the propensity to take next year's World Cup by storm.

Werder Bremen were driven by French midfielder Johan Micoud, a man Stalteri describes as the best player he ever played with.

Micoud was uncompromising and skilful in equal measure. For Micoud, read Davids.

Stalteri is not suggesting that Tottenham are capable of hauling in champions Chelsea or the Barclays Premiership's established powerbase immediately. Tottenham supporters have lived through enough false dawns to wonder whether the sun will ever rise again over White Hart Lane.

But the loss of sporting director Frank Arnesen to Chelsea this summer does not seem to have upset the apple-cart at all and Stalteri believes it won't be long now.

"I followed the Premiership next to the Bundesliga when I was in Germany and I knew about Tottenham, where they were going and what they want to achieve," he said.

"The club has been up and down for few years, but over the last year or so it has stabilised and I like the ambition of the club and what the manager has to offer. The biggest thing is that he wants to win."

Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 17:56:25 +0000 #2
From CBC website:

He's one of two Canadian soccer players in the top English league, the Premiership. Paul Stalteri plays for Tottenham Hotspur in London. He speaks with Shelagh Rogers about his life in soccer and experiences so far in the UK.

10 minute interview
supersjd2010-05-12 18:16:18 +0000 #3
Paul Stalteri one of my all time favorite Canadian soccer players.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 18:26:42 +0000 #4
Tks to Rupert at Vs for headsup

Stalteri fuels enthusiasm for Spurs' European quest

Canadian learned trade among Germany's élite

By Jason Burt

Published: 20 November 2005

Paul Stalteri doesn't know why he is nicknamed "Diesel" - "it's an all-right name for a wrestler or something," he says - but it probably has a lot to do with his powerful and efficient style of play.

He is also, as the sobriquet suggests, somewhat unspectacular. But in a Tottenham Hotspur squad brimming with youth and fragile potential, the arrival of a seasoned Champions' League player over the summer, and on a free transfer, represented an astute piece of business.

Stalteri's credentials are indeed impressive; he played an ever-present role in Werder Bremen's league and cup double the season before last, thereby becoming the first Canadian footballer to win a title in one of the five major European leagues. That can be added to his fame back home, where he has also earned 50 caps playing for his country, whose football fans - known as "The Voyageurs" - dreamed up the fuel-related nickname.

"It's actually a good place to go on vacation because no one bothers you," Stalteri says when asked about his profile in his hometown of Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto on the banks of Lake Ontario. "Football's not the main sport. The interest is still in basketball and hockey."

Stalteri himself is also into the latter - his hero is the legendary Edmonton Oiler Wayne Gretzky - but as one of three sons of an Italian immigrant father (a hairdresser by trade) it was too expensive to pursue. "Having two brothers, it was too much for us," Stalteri explains. "If one played, we all had to play. Instead it was football, which is much cheaper."

After being offered a university scholarship in South Carolina, Stalteri, who, to add to his exotic background, has a mother who was born in Guyana of Portuguese descent, opted to stay in Canada and play for the Toronto Lynx.

It was there that he was spotted by a Bremen scout, invited to Germany and offered a trial. His chances of succeeding were rated, by himself, at more than "1,000 to one" but, aged 20, he earned a contract. Still he had to wait almost three years for his Bundesliga debut.

"It took maybe 12 months longer than I would have liked," Stalteri says. "But it was probably the best thing for me. I learned my trade and so when my debut came I was really ready, mentally as much as anything." He made his mark. Playing as a makeshift striker against Cottbus, Stalteri scored.

"It was great to score. It's always fun," he says; he thereby became the first Canadian to do so in the Bundesliga. "I was playing in a number of different positions at that time. I think that I've played everywhere for Canada, although mainly in midfield." However, he concedes his best position is right-back, where he settled in Germany and where he has impressed this season.

"I try to be an honest player out there," Stalteri adds. "I think the fans recognise that. First and foremost I put the team before myself and my performance. My goal each week is to get a win, keep a clean sheet, and my performance goes from there."

At Spurs, now aged 28, he is as much valued for his experience as his ability. "I put in a lot of time in Germany and learned from some top international players over there and hopefully I can bring some of that over here," Stalteri explains.

He has noticed the differences between the Bundesliga and the Premiership. "A different pace," Stalteri says. "And scoring goals. They've been tough to come by in the League this year. Not just for us but in general. Probably in Germany we'd score two or three goals a game. And this year they've not come easy for teams."

Another difference, and an experience he hopes will be short-lived, is the absence of European competition. "It's fantastic to play Tuesday and Wednesday nights against the biggest clubs in Europe," says Stalteri, who made his Champions' League debut against Internazionale in September last year. "And that's something we have to strive to achieve. Hopefully we can qualify for the Uefa Cup this season, which may be a realistic goal for us, and then fight for that Champions' League spot a little bit more consistently."

Today Spurs face West Ham United, knowing they have to register a win to overcome the "setback" of losing to Bolton Wanderers before the international break. "I've got used to some big games in my career," Stalteri says when asked about the prospect of another London derby with added spice because of the four former Spurs players in the visitors' side and the two ex-Hammers now residing at White Hart Lane.

Stalteri's own decision to join Spurs, on a four-year deal, was an easy one, he says. His efforts were recognised by the Bremen fans, who held up banners of thanks on the final game of last season. "I was 27, almost 28, and my contract was up in Germany and I had had some great times there. But I have always wanted to experience another country and always wanted to play in the Premiership."

In fulfilling that ambition, he joins Fulham's Tomasz Radzinski as the only Canadians playing in the top flight here. "The interest is massive," he says of how the Premiership is followed back home. "I think there are four or five games live every weekend, probably more than in England. Because of the time difference, everyone watches while having their breakfast."

Despite that, and the fact that almost one million Canadian children play football, there is still no real system to encourage them into the game full-time. "You have to do it for yourself," says Stalteri, who has undoubtedly set a good example. After all, and with that nickname, few players offer more miles to the gallon.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 19:26:08 +0000 #5
Tks to Timotas at Vs for all his work below


Paul Stalteri - Tottenham Hotspur RB and Canadian National Team Star

Timotas: Firstly Paul, congratulations on your recent success at Tottenham. Here in Canada we have read reports of how you've fit in nicely and how adapting to the English game has been no problem for you. To begin...

Q 1: What is the main difference between the game in Bundesliga and the game in the Premiership? Which do you think suites your style best?

A: I think that the pace in the Premiership is a bit quicker and more direct than in the Bundesliga. It is also more physical than Germany and the referee lets the game flow a bit more. I like to think that both leagues suit my style in different ways, so I would not really say that one is better for me.

Q 2: What is it like to play against some of the worlds best players in the Premiership? Players such as Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, and Ruud van Nistelrooy?

A: It is a great challenge every week to go up against some of the best players in the world. There are many fantastic players in this league and I try to enjoy all the games as much as I can.

Q 3: Reading reports over here in Canada about your progress with Tottenham, it has been said that you have shown a lot of leadership at White Hart Line. How do you accomplish this?

A: I am not sure what the reports are saying, but I am at an age where I think that I can use some of my experience to help our team have a successful season.

Q 4: How do you feel the additions of yourself, Edgar Davids, and Jermaine Jenas have benefited Spurs this season?

A: I think that we have a very young team. The few additions to the team this year have helped give the squad a bit more experience.

Q 5: What is your opinion on the new Toronto MLS team set for 2007? Do you ever see yourself coming back to North America to end your career, perhaps in Toronto?

A: I think that if the team is operated at a top professional level then it could do very well in Toronto and that could only work to benefit young players in Canada. It is a very successful league in the states and I hope that the Toronto team will do well and be supported by the people. I am not sure when or where I will end my career, I am playing right now in England and I am really happy about that.

Q 6: As we know, the National team had a bit of a rocky World Cup Qualifying campaign with poor officiating, lack of preparation, etc. What do you think Canada needs to do to qualify for World Cup 2010?

A: We all know how difficult it is and will continue to be to qualify for a World Cup. We can only hope that we get off to a better start than the last campaign. We need to continue to get better and then you never know what can happen.

Q 7: A hot topic in Canadian soccer lately has been whether or not Julian De Guzman's younger brother, Feyenoord star, Jonathan will choose Canada or Holland. What is your understanding of this situation and which country do you believe he will lean towards?

A: I am not sure about Jonathan's situation, but I know his family and I think that they will help him make the best decision for his career.

Here are some additional questions from some Canadian soccer


Jeffrey S. asks:

Why have you opted out for most of the Canadian national team dates

over 2005? Being a senior member of the team, do you think that you

should have a role beyond just playing for us, namely setting an

example and helping Frank consolidate a new block of players?

A: The only reason I did not play in many games this year was due to the injury I sustained in the last game of my career with Bremen, had that not happened then I would have been available to play in many more games.

Ian Kennett asks:

Have you or any other members of the national team able to offer

Jonathan De Guzman any encouragement/persuasion to play for Canada?

Will you be playing against Austria?

A: I have not spoken to Jonathan about his situation. I hope be part of the squad for the game in Austria.

Nolando asks:

Now that you have proven yourself to be Premiership material, do you

see Tottenham as another step in your development, perhaps a bridge to Serie A or even a real Champion's League contender?

A: I have a long term contract with Tottenham and I am more than happy here. I have no thoughts about any other team or league. I would like nothing more than being part of something special here and help this club back to playing at the top of the league where their fans deserve to be.

Gwallace76 asks:

If you just had to pick one, who is the most talented Canadian Player

you have played alongside in the past? Also, based on what you've seen over the last few years, who do you think Canada's top prospect is?

A: That is difficult to say, I have played with many great players for Canada, I can't really say who is the best. And I think that Canada has many young players who could go very far in this game, so again it is hard to say who the most talented of them is.

End of Question/Answer Session with Paul Stalteri.

I hope you guys enjoyed his answers to a few of mine and others questions. I don't think you'd be able to get a hold of one of the top defenders in the Premiership and be able to ask them questions like this, so lets be thankful Paul is such a great guy



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