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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Levy and Pochettino set the bar higher

Levy and Pochettino set the bar higher

The UEFA Europa League has been a trophy we needed to be in, but one we have never fully committed to winning. European football is essential for top clubs, it is a minimum requirement for players who need it to gain experience and practice against different opponents and different tactics.

Anyone wishing to play international football, and most players want to play for their country despite what their fans want, require the exposure it gives. The French manager has told his players they have to be playing each week and playing in Europe, if not you jeopardise your international career, which ahead of a European Championship in France is not a sensible path to take.

It may be ruthless, but you have to be to be a winner. France wants to give themselves the best possible chance of winning so they set the bar high just to get into the squad. England, on the other hand, has players playing who can't even get a club game. Kieran Gibbs, for example, played at left-back ahead of players playing every week. Hardly surprising then that Spain were on a different planet.

France are setting the bar high, England are setting the bar low. Filter that down to club level and to Tottenham, we either set the bar high and weed out those who don't make it, like Fazio, Townsend, Stambouli, Capoue, Kaboul, Adebayor, Lennon or you continually fall short.

You have to do that in all areas which is why discipline is so important. You fall short of the high standards of discipline required and you are punished, more than that you question your very right to be in the squad. There are now question marks over your mentality, your desire, your commitment, you have to prove yourself again so any outburst is counter-productive. You go further down the line, further away from an opportunity than you were before. 

You could leave, but that would involve a step down, less chance of being in Europe and even less chance of winning anything. You may play every week but for what, mid table mediocrity. English players are more interested in money generally, why else do so few go abroad to lay, where they can get into Europe easier and have a greater chance of winning things? Money, the Premier League pays bigger wages, if a player wanted success he would go abroad and seek it.

Fortunately, we are Tottenham supporters and we have a chairman who has turned us into a club on the cusp, a club challenging and one being built to challenge on a more level playing field. That is quite some achievement when you consider the state of the seventh richest club, Newcastle United, in the country. Even the Levy haters have to admit he has been brilliant in building the club while the rest have floundered.

Like France though, Tottenham have set the bar high. To be successful on the pitch you have to first be successful off the pitch and we are in the next phase of growth, it is almost within touching distance and that creates its own problems because patience now becomes a major issue.

Levy is far savvier than the fans complaining about him and Pochettino is a cut above the fans complaining about him, for whom progress is a foreign word. Now we have standards replacing hope, we have mentality orientated players instead of money mercenaries.

This season we seem to be taking the UEFA Europe League more seriously, getting into it was important, getting out the group was important, now winning the group is important and then we can target it. 

We have more of a chance now than we have had in years of breaking into the top four because Pochettino and Levy have set the bar higher. 

Stats suggest Spurs will finish above Chelsea - Chelsea will not make the top 4
Shots leading the league - a look at shooting, Spurs are the most accurate team in the league and Harry Kane the most accurate striker
Lloris: A punching analysis - link to an excellent article that reveals Lloris punches more than any other keeper in the top 5 European leagues

Christmas will be here soon and you don't want to leave your shopping to the last moment, pop across to where you'll find nearly 4,000 gifts for the sports mad. It is easy to shop for a sports lover.



  1. You could leave, but that would involve a step down, less chance of being in Europe and even less chance of winning anything.

    What do we win exactly ?????

  2. Footballers wish to play in Europe, most of the Premier league doesn't, that is a step down. Most of the Premier League pay less wages, that is a step down, you need to expand your thinking, life is so much better if you do.

    1. Again what do we win exactly???

  3. You have to improve before you can win things. The pair have raised the standards to build us into a position where we can. That building is quite clear to see.

  4. We need to improve dramatically, as 15 years of building has brought 1 trophy who knows 30 years we might have 2

  5. Fortunately it is clear to see we are improving. We have built an environment that allows for success, something we haven't had in the past. This process started in 18 months old with the off field progress longer. Clinging to the past to drag us down isn't going to help anyone. What is in the future is all that matters, the past can't change future results.



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