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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Overconfidence? Four points now

A seven point gap is too tall an order and while it is possible I do not see Leicester City failing to win all their remaining games, even then they could still win the title.

The first half disappointed me last night. Yes, there were times we were superb, we passing out of tight situations exceptionally, but I detected signs of showboating and that smacks of overconfidence and taking the opposition too lightly.

It was a lesson the players will have to take on board for next season. I have spoken of clinical finishing when we have won 2 or 3 nil, last night we needed some instead of the unlucky excuses of hitting the post twice and the top of the  bar. Winners do not make excuses, they look for reasons and look to how something could have been done better or differently.

Perhaps what we saw last night was a bit of evolvement. Three years ago I suggested we should get a group of young players together and play a system, like Swiss side Basel did against us, that the players could grow together with over time. We couldn't simply buy the top players, we can't afford their wages so another way had to be found. For me, that was retaining and developing youth and specialising in the mental side of the game, both pre and post signing. Regular readers will remember me writing a 12-part series on the topic.

That has come to pass and we have found the right manager to adopt that programme, as we have seen this season with success. At the start of the season we sought Champions League football and we are four points maximum away from it.

Tottenham are not the finished article, we are still learning, still developing. Was some of the play we saw in defence last night what we will see more of next season. Even in very tight situations there was a confidence to still play the ball, as the Spanish do and not simply clear it upfield.

In recent weeks some of our passing, some of the flicks players have been making have been sublime to watch, all the result of off the ball running and anticipation. I speak about players reacting to situations as being behind the game, these occasions show why. The team that is anticipating is the team in the ascendency. You still have to make something of those situations and that is where clinical finishing comes in.

We would hope Son Heung-min and Clinton Njie develop over the summer, I feel sure Son will, he may well be a little fatigued in his first season under Pochettino. Kevin Wimmer will have an important role next season to give Vertonghen a rest while the likes of Mason and Chadli will not have to contend with so many injuries hopefully.

We head in the right direction, even those numpties calling for Pochettino's head earlier in the season must admit that.


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