Monday, 2 May 2016

Walker and Dembele an example to all

Walker and Dembele an example to all

Kyle Walker in a recent interview expressed the comments that should be music to every Tottenham fans ears. He said he wants to be the best he can be.

“I’m probably my biggest critic. I’m a perfectionist. I want everything done right. When it’s not done right, I’m not happy. Ask my missus, she probably takes most of it. I want to improve, I want to be the best I can be. It’s a short career.”

Now that may not sound much to many, but just as Mousa dembele took responsibility last season, Walker is demonstrating the winning mentality we need and have needed at Tottenham. It isn't enough just to want to win games, you improve as a player by wanting to improve.

That sound daft I know, every player wants to improve don't they? Well, no, many simply go through the motions, Dembele is a prime example, coach after coach saw great things in him but they never came out until Pochtteino gave him the option by leaving him out last season. You either improve or you leave, Dembele to his credit came out and said it was his responsibility he wasn''t playing and he did something about it. I think we would all agree he is now playing the best football in his time at Spurs, he has to maintain the standard to keep others out.

Walker says he is his own worst critic and hates getting things wrong, he too has had to pull his socks up as it were, after his injury gave him time to assess his future. he is not longer a kid, at 25 he is an experienced Premier League footballer now and his game has improved this year too. That comes through making a mental shift and having the internal motivation to want to improve, then you do what it takes to improve. Players like that improve faster than players who are relying on omeone else to improve them and are just doing as they are told.

“At the start it was horrible. Horrible. When you reach the first team as a professional, it’s kind of like, ‘If you want go and do gym, do gym. If you don’t, you don’t have to’. But when he came in, gym was compulsory.”

You can see it throughout the team, Vertonghen has returned to his best, Rose, mason, Alli, Kane, lamela, Eriksen, Dier, the list goes on. Whoever joins this summer will have to have the same mentality or they won't survive.

As I keep saying, talent isn't enough.

Croatian young star Krizmanic is catching the eye

Croatian Young Star Krizmanic Is Catching The Eye

We scout a lot in Croatia and the surrounding areas where perhaps bargains are still to be had. We have ha several Croatian players, Harry Redknapp said he loved them, they worked hard and didn't complain.

The most notable is probably Luka Modric who left us to join the world's number one club, with whom he promptly won the UEFA Champions League, netting Spurs an extra £5-million bonus.

We have tried without success to buy several players in the meantime and there is another making waves out there, earning rare reviews. He is Tomislav Krizmanic who is captain of the Croatian Under-15 side.

The Dynamo Zagreb teenager won the Player of Tournament trophies at the Under-15 Nike Premier Cup, held last month and won by Dynamo Zagreb and the Under-15 Iserlohn Tournament won by Borussia Dortmund in January. You can read a tournament report by translating this page.

The Iserlohn tournament contained 11 Bundesliga sides, Borussia Dortmund, performed more FC Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Bochum, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Cologne, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96 and second division side Fortuna Dusseldorf. In addition FC Basel, Rapid Vienna and PSV Eindhoven also took part. To be named Player of the Tournament is some achievement.

Just a few days ago he was in the Croatian Under-15's lineup that defeated the USA 2-1 in the opening match of the 2016 Tournament Delle Nazioni in Slovenia.

He is a youngster we will be watching closely to see if this initial promise develops as he goes through the age groups. Scouting players is often an investment for the future.

Young German keeper Karius being watched

Young German Keeper Karius Being Watched

Young German keeper Karius being watched

The end of the season draws close and the transfer window draws ever nearer. Clubs have been watching potential purchases for months, years in some cases. Some are with a view to buying now, some just to monitor.

One player being heavily monitored whenever he plays is 22-year-old (23 in June) German goalkeeper Loris Karius who plays for SFV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga. He has recently signed a new contract until 2018 but is being watched by a dozen Premier League clubs alone.

Karius wants to build his stature in Germany before a potential move to England so is one for the future. He was in fact on the books at Manchester City for 3 years before moving to Mainz in January 2012 on a free transfer after going there on loan in August 2011.

"England would be a dream, but first I want to have a good resume in the Bundesliga."

Poch staying gives Spurs an elevated status in the transfer window

Pochettino Staying Gives Spurs an Elevated Status in the Summer Transfer Window

Poch staying gives Spurs an elevated status in the transfer window

Kyle Walker showed in his comments that the Tottenham players had been sworn to secrecy over Pochettino agreeing a new deal. When you work with someone every day you know what is happening at a football club, just as agents do.

“I’ve been waiting for someone to say that for ages now. He’s said it. Thank God for that! I’m over the moon about that.”

Those were his words when the news was eventually releasd by Pochettino just as the daft PSG story was getting the Chinese whispers treatment. That all stemmed from one reporter responding on radio to a question about who his choice would be is Laurent Blanc was sacked.

He said Pochettino and pointed out that years ago he had said he'd be happy to return one day. That morphed into daft stories questioning Pochttino's future so before they got out of hand once again he quashed them.

That also helps our transfer policy too, we are discussing potential moves with players and they naturally want to know if Pochettino is going to be staying and will wait until we have Champions League football before making any decisions.

We have bargaining chips that we didn't have before and we are a more favourable proposition now than we have been for the last 10 years. The team we have will be staying together, the players love Pochettino and he loves his players if they toe the line. Step outside it and you get isolated, you then have to back down and prove your worth and commitment on the training ground or you have to leave.

We are looking at a bright future under Pochettino and this could be an interesting window given our elevated status now. Reports suggest he is going to be the highest paid manager in our history, hardly surprising as prices always go up, bit like the dadt title they give pictures that make the most money, how can a film in 1950 gross what a film does today, its rather meaningless.

Still he won't be on a cheap wage, the 5-year deal he is going to sign is believed to be worth 5m-a-year, which will no doubt include all the bonuses for finishing positions, trophies won, qualification for tournaments and so on. An actual basic wage would be a different figure alltogether.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Umtiti flattered by Pochettino interest

Umtiti Flattered by Pochettino Interest

Umtiti flattered by Pochettino interest

Tottenham have been linked with a move for 22-year-old (23 in November) Samuel Umtiti, the left-footed central defender or left-back at Lyon.

He was asked about the interst of Tottenham but suggested Barcelona or Real Madrid as his preferred options.

It's flattering that Pochettino is interested in me, it's a coach I appreciate and his team is performing. I want to finish the season well, that's my priority. I look at all the championships but I think the Spanish league is over me, over my qualities. I like it so much Barça than Real. "

With Jan Vertonghen and Kevin Wimmer having proved themselves in the Premier League a left-footed central defender is not top ofour priority list, we require a right-footed player to replace Federico Fazio and play the diagonal balls that Michael Dawson and now Toby Alderweireld plays.

Amazing how people used to complain when Dawson played them but not when Alderweireld plays them, rather shows a lack of understanding of the game. Dawson didn't have Dele Alli making runs to pick out but the principle of switching play to a player in space is the same.