Gomes settled at Spurs
Heurelho Gomes feels he has finally adapted to life at Spurs after enduring teething problems at the club.
Last Updated: 02/02/11 3:44pm
Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes feels he has finally adapted to life at Tottenham after enduring teething problems at the club.
It has been a rocky road for the Brazilian since his £7.8million arrival from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in 2008, with a series of early high-profile mistakes earning him the nickname of Spurs' 'dodgy keeper'.
But after a poor start to life at Tottenham, Gomes has proved his critics wrong to become one of the Premier League's best No.1s.
"When I arrived, everybody was talking as if it was just my problem but it wasn't," Gomes told the London Evening Standard.
"The team were not doing so well. I wanted to keep playing, even though I was injured, because I thought I needed to prove something, given Tottenham paid so much for me.
"I never felt it was the wrong decision to come. I was very comfortable at PSV, winning all the titles, all the fans perceived me as a hero. But I wanted new challenges, to show my style.
"I kept working hard, that is my style. Now I've adapted, I'm feeling at home and I have no more problems."
Gomes says the support and patience of manager Harry Redknapp was crucial in helping him settle into life at White Hart Lane.
He added: "Harry told me, 'Don't worry. Just continue to work hard as you do. We are not going to put a time limit for you to improve or overcome these initial problems. I know you're a quality player and you're going to get it right.'"
Gomes featured during PSV's defeat to AC Milan in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2005, and will face his old foes again in two weeks' time when Spurs travel to the San Siro in the last 16 of this year's tournament.
The keeper has not only backed Tottenham to overcome the Italians, but added they should not be ruled out of lifting the coveted trophy this season.
He said: "In England, all the teams know each other, everybody is trying to avoid defeat; everybody is more defensive. In the Champions League, everybody is playing more open.
"We are playing our best football in the Champions League. The club with the most desire to win it can get there. We at Tottenham have it. I do believe we can win the Champions League."
Gomes feels Welsh ace Gareth Bale, who bamboozled Inter Milan's defence in the European group stages, will be crucial to Spurs' bid for the title.
He added: "Before the game Maicon [Inter's right-back] asked me about Bale. He said, 'We've seen him in a few games and he's very fast. So tell me what to do with him?' I told him 'Yes, he's a great player.' After the game, Maicon told me, 'Wow, he's not fast, he's like a flash, a thunder, he's so, so quick.'
"Even though I'm friends with Maicon and Lucio [Inter's other Brazilian defender], I was happy they were taken for a ride by Bale. In the Champions League we can go more forward, and that's what I think made it more difficult for Maicon and Lucio to deal with Bale. Because of his speed, he has real quality in attacking the ball."