Confidence encourages players to produce their best. They have to be mentally free from baggage and even though Jan Vertonghen hasn't yet signed his contract extension, it isn't affecting his performances the way Christian Eriksen's did his at the start of the season.
As soon as he signed his game leaped back to where it was last season. Vertonghen has been Mr. Consistent though, there have been errors of course, everyone makes errors, but he is part of the meanest defence in the Premier League, indeed in Europe.
The Belgian international believes Spurs are of the best sides so far this season.
“We’ve shown it again [without Alderweireld]. It started with Harry and people said it about Hugo [that the team would suffer without them]. But Michel Vorm came in for Hugo and he showed it against Liverpool and Eric Dier showed it against Leverkusen [in central defence]. There is a strength to this team, especially after this window, when some great players came in.
“We can miss almost everyone, although obviously not eight or nine players. The squad is so strong and we showed that against Leverkusen in a performance without Toby, without Kyle. I think we have as strong a squad as any in the Premier League. Obviously, some other teams have exceptional talents but we have them as well. It’s a sign that we can miss everyone, almost. It shows the strength of the team.
“Previously, we might have lost that game to Leverkusen but now, we can draw. Sometimes, you have to take a draw. These are games that we might have lost a couple of years ago but now, we can get a draw that can get us qualification for the next round. We showed some real maturity against Leverkusen.”
Safe in the knowledge that he is expected to sign a new contract in the next couple of weeks some have suggested that his comments are a hint he will sign a contract extension! There is little reason for him to move, he is a first-choice player and the team are competing at the top with real chances of lifting trophies. The squad is young and he has the responsibility of being an old head helping to bring them along.
The media have tried to create a rift between him and Pochettino but our Argentinian manager has consistently said that if a player needs to be told somthing tough to improve hisgame he'll tell them. Being winners is about constantly improving so even in victory there are still things to work on, like our finishing fir example.
The mental strength of the squad improves with experience and last season will have helped them understand about pressure. How you handle it is the key to everything, thus far, apart from the Wembley wobble, they have handled it well.