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Monday, 15 February 2016

An important barrier crossed for Wimmer

Kevin Wimmer passed his test on Sunday against a top line attacker and a top Premier League team. He was bought from Germany with a reputation that had him among future stars. 

He was expected to develop into a high-class centre-back, it's why we bought him. He fitted in with our player strategy, buy young players who can develop into high-class performers. It makes me laugh when discussing strikers and you hear Spurs fans suggesting players like Charlie Austin or Shame Long. They are limited, they are never going to be high-class strikers, in which case they are not good enough for us.

We bought Federico Fazio after Hector Moreno broke his leg. At 28, Moreno is too old now and Fazio, who has won two UEFA Europa League cups made far too many mistakes. He wasn't what we had hoped so we are moving him on. Kevin Wimmer then steps up to the plate.

Quite why people were suggesting that Eric Dier moved back to centre-back when Jan Vertonghen was injured I don't know. He has been brilliant as a defensive midfielder so why change your midfield and your defence when you have a centre-back waiting to play? I wrote that was folly at the time, you have to trust the players you have bought to do their job.

Wimmer has had an introduction against some mid-table sides before his big test. Pochettino talked after the game that this win meant more than three points to his side. It did, it cemented belief that they can go on and win the title, it cemented belief that we can go anywhere and win. Belief is everything, everything stems from belief, without belief success is impossible.

It drives motivation and, therefore, drives work, that drives achievement with fuels the belief. For the team, for the club, it was a great win, but for Kevin Wimmer it was great win too. He crossed a barrier, he was tried against the best and he came through, his personal confidence will have been boosted and the fans will have more confidence in him. The last thing he needed was negative fans. We have our share, we sit two points off the top of the table in second and there are still people who want the man that has taken us there to be removed.

Toby Alderweireld has shown himself to be the best centre-back in the Premier League this season. He has formed a sound partnership with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen and now Wimmer has slotted seamlessly alongside him. He has not only proved to the supporters he can play at the level we require, but he has proven it to his fellow squad members, they can now have enhanced faith in him. It cements that belief once again.

That is crucial for his own game, he doesn't have to worry about his partner, which can cause errors. The side can afford no passengers, Wimmer showed he was no passenger and it means next season Pochettino can rotate defenders for various competitions if needed.

If Jan Vertonghem and Toby Alderweireld played in the Premier League, then Kevin Wimmer should lead the defence in all cup competitions and the UEFA Europa League. Presumably, Cameron Carter-Vickers will be the fourth choice centre-back next season and the group games of the Europa League offer an opportunity to give him game time and develop him.

The game today is a squad game, it isn't a team game anymore. Usually, 14 players are used and Pochettino uses substitutions t give players that extra little bit of rest. It takes 24 hours for the body to recover from a full 90 minutes game, taking a player off after 60 or 70 minutes reduces their recovery time and keeps them fresher.

The full-backs are rotated, we can now say we have three centre-backs, a variety of midfield players who can change positions. The squad is slowly being pieced together, a striker is next this summer.

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1 comment:

  1. Hopefully there will be no Europa League fixtures next season!
    I guess we are just conditioned into thinking that's the best we can hope for...



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