News with views from the No1 Spurs website

Monday, 4 January 2016

It should be music to our ears

I see website after website trying to jump on the mentality bandwagon simply because Mauricio Pochettino has mentioned it. Where were these people before, why had they not been writing about it since before Andre Villas-Boas arrived? It was patently obvious the club didn't have a winning mentality and patently obvious Daniel Levy was searching for a manager that could bring it to the club.

Unfortunately, we have our own dark side, Darth Vadar fans with plastic for eyes who think money grows on trees. Running a business is a little more complex than spend, spend, spend understanding the importance of the business side to the football side would aid the learning process. How can you be a plastic fan, a cheque book fan, if you don't also promote having a successful business, the two go hand in hand?

This website, as regular readers know, places great store by winning mentality. People with a winning mentality achieve more than those who don't. It is pleasing to see that some are now grasping its importance and that it is one of the pillars of success. The club had to be educated, the fans have to be educated.

Hugo Lloris spoke about it many times last season and was always staying with us this summer given he had found a manager who was a soulmate to his philosophies of the game. Federico Fazio spoke about mentality then too, which at least shows us we are trying to buy players with the right mentality now.

The game against Everton, where we produced the best half of football Spurs fans have seen in many a year. It ended even when we went behind to a sucker punch. Eriksen was unaware Baines had seen where Walker was going to play the ball, Walker was unaware Baines was charging towards Eriksen. The Everton full-back won the ball far too easily and sent a long ball to Lukaku. 

Ben Davies was caught ball watching  and was simply following the flight of the ball, waiting for Vertonghen to have his aerial tussle with Lekaku. Davies was blissfully unaware Aaron Lennon was cutting inside for any knockdown so that when it arrived he was in acres of space and davies was out of the game.

It was a poor Walker pass, a poor piece of work by Eriksen, poor vision and positioning from Davies.

Apart from that though we hit the post, hit the bar and saw a brilliantly take Dele Alli goal from yet another long Alderweireld pass. The fact that this isn't the first time we have used this tactic shows that it is a training ground routine.

Just like my recent post discussed, far more football comes from the coach and the training ground than fans believe, the game isn't just eleven men go onto a field and make it up as they go along. If they did they would lose 99 times out of a 100. A team with a plan will beat a team without a plan on virtually every occasion.

What we are seeing is the players coming to terms with off the ball running. You can only pass a ball if you have someone to pass to, therefore, those without the ball have to think like chess players, they have to think several passes ahead. That can and is being instilled on the training ground. Spurs had the great push and run side, this is a pass and move side playing, if you want to call it that, the Tottenham way.

The game is about angles. You move to give the player on the ball an option to pass the ball to you. the more players who do that the more options a player makes. At times it has to be that individual, but at other times, such as when passing forward, pre-set passing patterns come into play. Thus, we move upfield with pre-determined or off the cuff passing and movement. It is important that we sign intelligent players who can cope with the amount of knowledge they need to take on board.

We have to sign the players with the fight mentality to want to learn, both on and off the field, it isn't any good just wanting to play football and having skill. Under Pochettino, we have started to sign the right type of player, the player with the mental capacity, the football intelligence to take our style, our philosophy on board.

Before AVB arrived I had mu eureka moment, it was then I grasped we needed a young side who grew together and that with our financial limits that was the only way to compete until we could increase our revenue. It was then that I felt I linking that to a winning mindset could produce results. It has been a road of education where abuse has been hurled, but then gratifying when you see the penny drop with others.

We will always have our plastic brigade, the Cheque Book Charlies who only know designer name footballers, the fan who therefore has no justification for complaint when his wife or daughter wants a designer handbag and designer clothes.

You read Twitter or forums now and you see a greater understanding of the reality of our situation, you see fans now starting to believe in Pochettino and what he is putting together. he and Levy have formed the team we have needed at the club for us to progress.

Success isn't built overnight, especially if it involves learning how to play the game with more pre-determined moves and movement than one is used to. First you have to learn the basics, find out what works for you as an individual, refine your off the ball movement, learn to read the game better, improve your vision and awareness, understand the role of your teammates while taking onboard the workings of pre-determined moves.

It isn't easy, a player has to see the move ahead of times, see the trigger, understand which move is taking place ad perfect their role within it. a player with football intelligence is going to grasp this quicker than a player who struggles with all the information he has to digest. Buying the right player, instead of any player, becomes of paramount importance, sign a player who can't take all this in and you have signed deadwood.

Mistakes will be made, even with players who have the right mental attitude, I think we can place Fazio in that category, Stambouli couldn't take it all in, Capoue, but then there are the Dele Alli's of this world, keen to learn and take everything on board.

Pochettino was right, we did drop two points and as someone with a winning mentality myself it was music to my ears to hear they were not playing te customary music in the dressing room after the game. Dropping those two points hurt them and that will make them stronger.

To say we are heading in the right direction is a massive understatement, we are on the right track, we ate doing what winners do now and we are doing it with belief, not because that is what winners do. Total belief makes you do the right things, but you need a coach who appreciates all the traits of success and provides you with the tools to achieve it.

Pochettino has certainly waved his magic wand over the club, some of our fans are feeling the benefit too. If they then advocate the same successful thinking then we build an environment surrounding the whole club, an environment of success.

The players are in that success bubble, fans can help power it along.

Two points dropped and not a dent in belief, that is progress, that is belief, that is the new Spurs.


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