French centre-half Diakite has been linked with a move to Wearside for several weeks, as Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio looks for cost-effective quality on the Continental market.The 26-year-old is out-of-contract at Lazio in the summer and that has alerted Napoli, Juventus and several Russian clubs to his availability on a Bosman deal.But reports from Serie A suggest Sunderland have identified the 6ft 4in Diakite as a prime target and will look to make progress on the deal over the next week, with the threat of relegation now over.Milan-based agent Roberto De Fanti, expected to be confirmed as Sunderland’s new director of football, has been working on identifying players on the Continent since taking on a consultancy role with the Black Cats.Portugese winger Diogo Viana has been targeted, while French centre-half Valentin Roberge is close to sealing a Bosman move from Portugese outfit Maritimo.Sunday May 19 Chelsea v Everton Liverpool v QPR Manchester City v Norwich City Newcastle United v Arsenal Southampton v Stoke City Swansea City v Fulham Tottenham v Sunderland West Brom v Man Utd West Ham United v Reading Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa WHITE HART LANE - TOTTENHAM What Is It Like For Away Supporters?
Away fans are housed in one corner of the ground in between the South & West Stands, where up to 2,900 supporters (if demand requires it) can be accommodated, in the lower and upper tiers. If you have a ticket for the upper tier then prepare yourself for quite a climb to reach the away area. You are though rewarded with a great view of the action from this section and the leg room is ample. The facilities in this modern stand are above average. On the downside there is little space between the away and home fans. As you would expect there is plenty of banter between the two, but the stewards tend to take a tougher line on the away support. On my last visit a number of fans were ejected from the ground, plus there were repeated warnings to away fans to remain seated.
One strange aspect of sitting in the upper tier is seeing the Police Control Box directly above you, where a number of uniformed faces can be seen peering down on the away supporters. Although I have not personally experienced any problems at White Hart Lane, it may be wise to exercise caution around the ground and you may consider keeping colours covered. Expect to be searched by stewards on entry to the away section.
Where To Drink?
Due to a number of pubs going out of business in the area around the ground, the choice for away fans is now rather limited. Simon Hornby informs me; 'The best place for away fans to get a drink is the Harringey Irish club on the Pretoria Rd which is opposite White Hart Lane station. It has two large bars showing Sky Sports, offers reasonably priced food and you can also park there for £10'. Dean Palmer adds; 'When you get off the train at White Hart Lane, go straight out of the metal gates and walk straight down the road in front of you. After a couple of hundred yards there is a car park on the left hand side, and the social club is in there. There are always a few away fans in there, and kids are also allowed in there too'.
Tim Pick a visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers fan adds; 'We drank at the Elmhust on Lordship Lane (pictured right), which is about a ten minute walk away from the ground. It is large mock tudor style looking pub with 4 or 5 Sky Sports screens. There were home fans and away fans in colours mixing with out any problems. Prices were okay too (for London)'. Carsie a Spurs fan from Belfast recommends; 'The Three Compasses which is situated in Queen Street (behind Middlesex University), which is a five minute walk from White Hart Lane Station'.
It may be an idea to drink in Central London before the game and then take a train to White Hart Lane Station. There is a Wetherspoon outlet at Liverpool Street Station from where you get the train to White Hart Lane. If you decide to take the long walk from Seven Sisters tube station to the stadium, then there are a number of pubs along the way.
Steve Dobson adds; 'I also suggest that visiting fans with a thirst for real ale, consider catching the train from Liverpool Street and stop off at Hackney Downs to visit the Pembury Tavern. Good beer and quality food. From there it is only 10 minutes on the train to White Hart Lane. The pub is only a couple of hundred yards from Hackney Downs station on Amhurst Road'. The pub which is featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide has no less than 16 real ales on offer! The question is, will you still then make it to the match?
Inside the ground alcohol is served in the refreshment areas. This is in the form of plastic bottles of Carlsberg (500ml). But please note that alcohol is not served in the away section at half time.
How To Get There By Car And Where To Park
Leave the M25 at Junction 25 and take the A10 towards Enfield. Continue on the A10 through Enfield and at the roundabout with the Northern Circular (A406), turn left onto the A406 (Sterling Way). Turn right into Fore Road (the A1010) which becomes the High Road and you will come to the ground on your left.
On street parking is virtually non-existent around the stadium on matchdays as a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) is in operation which means that only local residents who have a parking permit and blue badge holders can park legally. The perimeter of the zone is up to a mile from the ground and this has led to some private car parks near to the stadium charging up to £15 for the privilege. If you do park around the area, make sure that you take notice of the advisory parking notices attached to lamp posts, as otherwise you may find that you car gets towed away.
By Train Or Tube
White Hart Lane Station is the nearest to the stadium, which is only a few minutes walk away. It is served by trains from Liverpool Street. Located at Liverpool Street is a handy Wetherspoons pub, plus a cornish pasties outlet opposite. Richard Crouch adds 'The best station to get to White Hart Lane from is Northumberland Park. Come out of the station and cross the road and you are in Park Lane. It is a ten minute stroll to the ground'.
The nearest London Underground station is Seven Sisters which is on the Victoria Line. The ground is about a twenty minute walk away, but there are plenty of buses running up Tottenham High Road to the ground. Chris Knibs informs me; 'Although there are plenty of buses, not many of them go past the ground. Those that do mostly have numbers that end in a 9, so take 149, 249, 279 or 349. You can also get a normal overground train from Seven Sisters to White Hart Lane station.