Saturday, 4 July 2015

Encouraging news from Dembélé

Mousa Dembélé may not be happy with his game time at Tottenham and is frustrated but as fans we are sometimes frustrated with him.

He is a quality player who should show more quality, he should shoot more, for instance, his shot time stat of one every 105 minutes is woeful and his forward passing statistic is low as well.

He has played in several positions as Mauricio Pochettino tried to decide how he could best be utilised within a system that prefers passing to dribbling. perhaps that wasn't achieved. As a number 10 he doesn't shoot enough and as the link midfielder you want to see more in attack again. In our system and with his physical qualities he could perform the defensive midfield role that has a stronger defensive element, would he be happy doing that though.

On a positive note, Dembélé has not moaned in the media and he embraces the fact that improving the situation is down to him to warrant more game time. He gave these encouraging thoughts to the London Evening Standard and Belgian publication Sporza.

"After my holidays, I will talk to the boss and my future at Spurs. We will see.  
"I've played so few minutes, it is a big disappointment to me. At one point I showed what I've got and I thought I took my chance, but as quickly again I fell out of the team. 
"Do I get little credit at Tottenham? Yes, I have that feeling at times, but it is ultimately down to me. I have to stay positive. I am still confident."

The massive point in all that is 'it is ultimately down to me' not I need a run of games but an admission, an understanding that it is the player himself who must do even more to force his way back in. That is exactly the attitude that many Spurs fans are looking for from him. If he does that then he can become an even better player and that's good news for Spurs.

Is there more Pochettino can do to make him feel values, yes probably if feels he isn't getting the pat on the back we all need sometimes. Within the meeting, which is a fairly standard affair and not the 'demand' as it's portrayed in some areas, Pochettino will need to explain how he sees the Belgian international's future role and what aspects of his game he can work towards improving to play a more significant part.

As long as Dembélé can see a road ahead there shouldn't be a problem, if he can't see how he can change his situation then he will become restless, so the meeting is an important one between the two.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Feuding dressing room

Problems arise at every club in every dressing room at every level of football. from the Sunday park, through youth academies to the first teams of professional football clubs. They happen at Spurs, they will always happen at Spurs, just as they will everywhere else. How then can we deal with a dressing room feud?

Seeing the signs and being proactive rather than reactive is the main aim. Naturally with a new club that becomes a little more difficult as you have to learn the characters in the dressing room for yourself. There may not always be signs, of course, it may just kick-off in a changing room when something has triggered a frustrated emotion.

Only the players there know the ins and outs of the November issue It seems pretty obvious it was about effort and buying into Pochettino's tactics. A set of players were perhaps perceived not to be pulling their weight and have hardly played since.

There are always heated debates in changing rooms, you are dealing with passionate people in a passionate sport and hopefully, many in that changing room have a winning mentality. I will reiterate for new readers that a winning mentality is doing everything you can, to understand how to improve as a player. fit the club best, the system and put it all into practice. We'll call these, group one, the likes of Gareth Bale, Ronaldo, Kane, Lloris. A winning mentality is trying to be the best you can be, winning games is just a part of that. The off the field work wins games on the field.

Put those people in a dressing room with group two, people who don't have that passion for being the best they can be and you are going to have arguments when things go wrong. A winning mentality finds it difficult to understand a player without a winning mentality and equally the latter group see the winner as perhaps obsessive, certainly different. It can create division, equally it can be a happy camp if the mutual respect is there.

Each will think they are doing their best, but actually only one group is, the second group just don't know it and can't see it. The second group therefore, would probably not go to see a sports psychologist, they would think of it as mumbo-jumbo, the first group would embrace them.

A group one player will accept group two players if they are trying their best, even though they are not using all the elements somebody from group one would, extra training, specialists etc. If a team works for a star then that star has to really appreciate the effort the team are making for him, if he doesn't the team will want him out, sparks will fly.

The coach has to work with and understand both groups, plus the dynamic between them. When he has grasped that then he can read the signs in the air and proactively stop any trouble before it becomes an issue. We have had our fair share of problems over the last few years and it seems we have decided enough is enough, a bunch of you are going come what may.

Generally we now have a happy camp and want to introduce people within that who are going to fit the environment. That has to be an element of our assessment of potential new players.

To deal with the problems that have arisen a coach has to increase communication and decrease anxiety. Communication should cool a situation and aid understanding. Understanding decreases the tension levels and then resolutions can be found that otherwise wouldn't be accepted. Importantly, issues can then be resolved, resentment or other negative feelings dissipated and not held on to.

The bottom line is the coach will decide what is best for the team, whether two players are feuding or not, the team comes first. A player has to accept that or leave the club really as he won't be anywhere near the team.

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Now only a year left on Vertonghen's contract

With the passing of June 30, another year has expired on players contracts and there are consequent, as of 1 July, a whole host of players entering the final year of their contracts.

Rhe Bosman ruling has now meant that the list of players entering their final year is the single most important piece of information during a summer transfer window. Having only a year left on the players contract deflates his value significantly, thus clubs can pick up players who they wouldn't be able to buy at full market value.

Morgan Schneiderlin is being sold by Southampton with two years left on his contract because he refuses to sign a new deal and the club want to, therefore sell him when his value is high, next summer it would be half what it is now. In the summer of 2014 Jan Vertonghen refused to sign a new contract. The press suggested he had been promised the captaincy, which in the end he wasn't given. Despite there being a two-year option on his contract that can only be exercised if both parties agree, a club can't force a contract on a player who doesn't want it and a player can't force a club to employ if they choose not to exercise the option.

I took a lot of stick from Everton fans yelling about an option in his contract which is entirely irrelevant if the player or club refuse to agree to exercise the option. His value does not increase by having an option because in effect it is meaningless until it's signed. He like Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Emmanuel Adebayor, Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard and Aaron Lennon are in the final year of their contracts and their market value to other clubs is thus diminished.

Agents, players and clubs all know a player's value is deflated and use it to snap up a perceived bargain while for some individuals it is a way a club demonstrates they are not wanted, they don't offer an extension.

Spurs are discussing new contracts with Jan Vertonghen and Alex Pritchard, the future of Tom Carroll remains unclear while the club want Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Aaron Lennon to leave. Will some sign, will some go, it's a waiting game, we'll see.

Tottenham target 27 goal Mitrović

In a not unexpected move considering interest from Manchester United and Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur have made an enquiry for Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrović.

I wrote about the 20-year-old (21 in September) Anderlecht striker twice recently with news that Louis van Gaal was a big fan and Newcastle United had reportedly had a bid of £15 million (US$23.34m - AUS$30.19m - €20.73m) accepted. he has been watched by clubs all around Europe with Southampton, Swansea City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and ourselves just a few from the Premier League.

Dubbed the 'Serbian Balotelli' he is thought to prefer a move to a UEFA Champions League club so we would need to convince him Spurs is the right destination. The Serbian international, he already has 13 caps, scored 27 goals with 5 assists in 50 games in all competitions last season, a goal every 155 minutes.

Sport Italia journalist Alfredo Pedulia reveals Tottenham have now made a strong move for the young striker. Below are the Tweet and Article link.

Mitrovic, inserimento del Tottenham. Ora la Roma può decidere di accelerare

Article Link

The Belgian Pro League has produced many good players and Spurs fans were asking why we can't uncover players like Christian Benteke, yet now we are trying to do so are complaining about not being fed a diet of stellar name signings. This young striker has done everything asked of him so far and is ready for the next step up.

Related Articles: 
Best young Belgian Pro League talent to watch
20yo Aleksandar Mitrović 27 goals this season - (includes video)

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