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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

No sign of Spurs fatigue

The interview by journalist Ben Pearce with Son Heung-min after the Crystal Palace game once again revealed the mentality it takes to be a winner and the mentality at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino. It is a mentality we have not seen for 30 years or more.

Stu D commented on an article about Dele Alli remarking that the players notice, need and appreciate the support they receive:

"Coys. Being a Spurs supporter for over 30 years, I've never been more connected to a Spurs team as this one. They are all working as one with no bad eggs. One game at a time and just trust in poch as he knows what to do. Just believe and keep on supporting and applauding the effort. Coys"

He and I are in the same boat, I have been a supporter for nearly 50 years. I have been through relegation and promotion, I witnessed the glory years, the headline news of Spurs signing two foreign World Cup winners, an unheard event of back then. Like Stu the connection with this team is something entirely different than with previous ones.

Plenty of Spurs sides have looked good, we have had a conveyor belt of highly talented and skilful players, but we haven't had a team with the mental up that sets them apart, like the Liverpool, Leeds United or Nottingham Forest sides of yesteryear. 

For those unaware Brian Clough and Peter Taylor took a Second Division side (Nottingham Forest) and transformed them to become European Cup winners (now the UEFA Champions League), league titles, cups and all with players few had heard of. They didn't spend big, although Trevor Francis was the first £1m player, they bought players who could play a role and constructed a team. They had to mentally believe or they would have got nowhere.

You listen to the fans who love to complain about the club all the time and you hear them moaning about the number of fixtures, the number of competitions. How are clubs ever going to complete a double with that sort of attitude? The answer is they are not, neither are they if they limit the scope of their achievements. Both are alien to a winning mentality.

Son remarks that he is relishing all the games, he just wants to play football and that he is team focussed rather than individually foicussed.

“I’m very happy. In Germany we have maybe two weeks’ holiday and we have the pre-season again and for maybe one month we don’t play. 
“This was very wrong for me and now it’s very good because we have a game every three or four days. I love to play football. It’s my first year here but it’s nice to be here to play on Boxing Day and things like that. 
“If we win I’m very happy but if we don’t… I know I can play much better and I can score more as well, but I have to try together with the team. I will be doing everything for the team.”
Nabil Bentaleb is fresh, Ryan Mason is fresh, Clinton Njie is fresh, Jan Vertonghen expects to return in April, Kieran Trippier is fresh, Rose and Davies have been rotated so neither of them nor Kyle Walker should be suffering from fatigue, Kevin Wimmer, Tom Carroll aren't fatigued, nor is Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela has been having rest. The talk of fatigue is misplaced when you take a deeper look and take into account the different demands on energy each position has. 

They sports science team monitor every player anyway to judge their fatigue levels, if Eric Dier was fatigued for instance he wouldn't have played at centre-back on Sunday, nor in another game. It is an easy excuse to trot out, but winners don't make excuses.



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