Spurs stars face six games in 18 days at start of 2011/12 season
Tottenham face a hectic start to their 2011/2012 campaign
Tottenham’s internationals face a hectic start to their 2011/12 campaign, with SIX highly testing games in just 18 days.
England take on Holland on Wednesday August 10 amid a host of international fixtures, just days before the start of the Premier League campaign.
Spurs will kick off their season at White Hart Lane for the third season in a row, hosting Everton, before facing the first leg of a Europa League play-off tie on the Thursday night.
A difficult start to the Premier League season continues with a trip to Old Trafford, which is followed by the second leg of the Europa League play-off in midweek – and then a home clash with Manchester City on August 27.
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“That’s one of the toughest starts I’ve had in all my years as a manager,” said Harry Redknapp.
“Everton are a strong side and always difficult to beat, United at Old Trafford is as tough as it gets and then City at home makes for a difficult start.”
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Gareth Bale agrees, although he feels that Spurs may benefit from facing some of their biggest rivals in the first two weeks.
“Everton is always a tough game and the two Manchester teams are amongst the best in the league, but getting them early might just be good for us,” said the Welshman. “Hopefully we can get into our rhythm early and get positive results.
“If we start well it will make teams sit up and take notice and getting points on the board from those matches would be great for confidence. It would set us up for the rest of the season.”
Given that the European ties are scheduled for Thursdays, the following meetings with the Manchester clubs are sure to be moved from their current Saturday slots.
The schedule doesn’t get much easier after that, as Redknapp’s side go away to Wolves – where they have struggled for the past two seasons – before taking on Liverpool at the Lane.
However, Steven Pienaar is looking no further ahead than the opening fixture with Everton – the club he left in January.
“It will be the first time I’ve faced Everton since moving to Spurs. I’m looking forward to it and I hope we take all three points to get a positive start,” said Pienaar, who helped the Toffees to a draw at the Lane last October.
“It’s always difficult when you face your old club but you have to stay focused. It’s a game that will test you mentally because you know all the players, the staff and what that club is all about.
“It’s the first game of the season and our supporters will want us to go all-out, especially at home.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs