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Monday, 8 February 2016

High velocity thinking

Watford’s manager, Quique Sanchez Flores, describes facing Tottenham Hotspur as like playing animals.

“For me, it’s the best [team we’ve played]. We play twice against [Manchester] City, twice against Tottenham, twice against Chelsea, and I think this is the more complete team. 
“It was impossible... we try to train a lot, and try to take care [of] a lot what happens in transition. We know perfectly what we want to do when we [recover] the ball, we try to play, but it was impossible. It was impossible because they are like animals there, trying to beat and [recover] the ball as quick as possible. 
“You need high velocity in thinking and playing, and it was impossible today. 
“They [the Watford players] know that we were playing against an amazing team. They recognise that this may be the best team we play this season. When you are on the pitch and the level of the other team is better than you, the most important thing is to recognise it.  
“We tried to survive. We had an option till the end because at 1-0 everything is possible in football, but that was the only good news for us.”

The most important line, the most revealing in that statement is “You need high velocity in thinking and playing, and it was impossible today."

Don't give the opposition time on the ball is a time honoured phrase in football but it is usually used when one player has harassed another, not when one team has harassed another for 90 minutes. That is effectively what Spurs do, it's what Barcelona did. You select your moments when you have the men to do it and then pounce. player after player has to make an instant decision without thought and that can lead to one making a mistake, that's all it takes.

The opposition are almost in panic mode, offloading the ball because they have no time to decide what to do with it, they are in a defensive mindset as opposed to a creative attacking one, which means you have the advantage at that moment. It won't work every time, but if you keep doing it you'll get your share of rewards and, more importantly, you will be in the opposition's mind, they will be worried about you constantly, again giving you the mental edge.

Mental pressure causes fatigue, fatigue causes mistakes. Spurs approach is applying mental pressure, it takes it off ourselves and places it on the opposition. When you have watched us this season and we have gone behind we haven't looked as if we are under pressure, we no longer panic because we believe in ourselves and our approach. The result is we have secured more points from behind that any other side, that shows just as much of a winning mentality as winning 1-0 does.



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