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Monday, 16 May 2016

The end of the season could have been avoidable

You may wonder why I have been banging on about the importance of mentality in top level sport, a mentality that separates winners from unlucky losers, well, we saw it in the last four games of the season.

For the last few years, I have been suggesting we need a full-time sports phycologist working with the players. When everything is going well it is easy to motivate yourself and our players have been motivated for most of the season.

That's great, but that only gets you into a position, then when the pressure is at it's most intense, what can you produce then, that is when your mind reverts to default unless trained otherwise. That means less risk taking and more taking  the easy pass or staying behind the ball to ensure defence rather than attack.

We have seen the mental shift in the last four games. We bottled it against WBA, we were 2-0 up away from home at Chelsea, a place we haven't won in donkeys years and totally lost our heads in the second half, we shoved two fingers up to the fans at home to Southampton and conceded three goals to 10 men against Newcastle United.

That is not the attitude of winners, that is the mindset of players that still don't know how to win when the going gets tough. That takes experience, but it also takes learning and it takes those in coaching positions to appreciate the sports science out there in every field.

We have made significant progress, we are in the Champions League with a squad that can grow together, there are positives to take from the mess we had to witness at the end. Mauricio Pochrttino, as ever, was frank, we can't celebrate the season after that, it destroys all we have done. Pity the players didn't think of that when they went out celebrating last night if reports are to be believed.

Unwinding and getting it out the system has it's place , the timing leaves a lot to be desired. It was clear before the game to me, after the first-half of the game against Southampton that some players didn't care and had given up. When you haven't beaten your fierce rivals for 20 years, finishing above them matters.

Yesterday the players, not all I might add, showed no respect to the fans, showed no respect to the club history or to the rivalry that exists in London. It is clear Pochettino gave them a rocket at half-time but as soon as Sissoko dived they gave up again. Is that the trait of winners?

We could have been celebrating now, we should be celebrating now, had we worked on the players mentality we would be celebrating now. I'm afraid the coaching staff have to take their share of the blame for the train wreck finish again. It happened later than usual, but it happened.

That must be accepted and dealt with, it can not be allowed to happen next season as that would simply be complacency when the solution is so easy to implement.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, a winning mentality is not just about winning football games. Did you see the Arsenal players giving up because they had secured a Champions League place? No, they won 4-0. Hardly surprising they have won a couple of FA Cups recently and we have won nothing.

We have a lot to learn, we had better learn it quickly.


1 comment:

  1. You should change your blog name to Tottenham Hotspur Mentality News...!!!!



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