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The Toe Poke

Friedel hits back at Barthez

Brad Friedel has called Fabian Barthez "disrespectful" after the former France goalkeeper expressed his disbelief at Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas' decision to keep the American as his No.1 despite the arrival of Hugo Lloris.

• Lloris pleased with Tottenham debut

Lloris signed for the North London club on transfer deadline day for a fee of around £12 million, but Villas-Boas decided to keep faith with the in-form Friedel for his side's 3-1 win at Reading on Sunday.

The France captain made his debut for Spurs in Thursday night's Europa League 0-0 draw against Lazio, but the Portuguese boss is expected to revert to Friedel, who has made 308 consecutive Premier League appearances, for Sunday's game against Queens Park Rangers.

Barthez recently made clear of his opinion on Villas-Boas' selection policy, sticking up for his compatriot.

"Lloris is one of the five best goalkeepers in the world,'' Barthez told Le Parisien. "He is faster than Friedel, he jumps higher and he is very strong mentally.

"What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I'm not concerned. He will become the centrepiece of the club. Hugo is a calm guy, a good worker. Tottenham will not let him stay on the bench for a long time."

Friedel, however, took offence at Barthez's words and launched a scathing Twitter attack on the retired goalkeeper.

He tweeted: "Just saw barthez comments. I normally don't comment on such c**p but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must. Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name.''