“When I first came here, in my head, the plan was to stay for the long run, it wasn’t a stepping stone to get me somewhere else or to go from one club to another, I signed here to stay here. I want to say a big thank-you to the chairman and the manager for putting their faith in me. It’s been a long stay here but a very enjoyable one, I’m fully enjoying it. This is my second home now, and I’m happy to commit my future to Tottenham Hotspur.
"I love the Club, it’s welcomed me with open arms, and I have to say thanks to the fans as well, they’ve been fantastic to me. Now we, as players, have to drive this Club to where we should be, and where we know we can be.
"I can remember coming down from Sheffield with Kyle Naughton, and meeting up with the squad (on a pre-season training camp) in Devon. I remember at the time there was myself, Naughts, Pascal Chimbonda, Chris Gunter, Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton, so a lot of right-backs to get past! I had to bide my time, but I believed in myself and worked hard, on and off the field, to get to where I am now.
"The April 2015 mishap? That injured spell was tough for me but in hindsight, it was probably beneficial because I got to look at my game, know where I was going wrong and sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward. I did that. Now, people know my game, know my strengths and weaknesses, so it’s more difficult and I’m coming up against even better players. I feel I’m playing good football at the moment, I still think there is more to come and I still want to improve and be as best as I can be in my position. If I can get a few more goals and assists, that’s what I’m working on.
"For work ethic, desire, hunger and togetherness, it’s definitely the most exciting team I’ve been involved in. There is an exciting future for Tottenham Hotspur. We’ve got a lot of younger players here, I’m one of the older heads now! I’m fully enjoying it, I’ve signed a new five-year deal, and I’m fully committed to the squad, the Club, and I want to see us going to where we should be, and win medals along the way".
We have had to endure so many players seeing us as a stepping stone because we were always the nearly men, we were always the best of the rest. If a player couldn't get a move to a top club then h would join us and put himself in the shop window. As we couldn't compete on wages there was always only ever going to be one result, the player would leave for a bigger club.
That is why we had to formulate a strategy that tackled that and it wasn't simply building a new stadium to get us financially nearer the financially big five. We needed a manager that could improve players, not just knit players into a team. There is a significant difference, if you build a team and have a crucial element taken out of it then the club goes backwards unless it can spend a fortune to replace the individual, however, the club couldn't afford the wages, even if it could afford the transfer fee. On top of that, the top players want to be where they can win things and not in a team trying to break through.
It was a constant fight. With a manager who can improve players as well as knit a team together, you can take a team who are nearly there to the next level. Some fans didn't see that we needed a coach with that ability and therefore couldn't understand why you get rid of coaches who look as though they may be doing a good job, however, none were also building for the future, another prerequisite for a top coach.
Players are of different standards, well so are coaches or managers whatever you want to call them. Some have the ability to run the football side of a club from youth development to building a side to man management to transfer activity and some can't handle all that. Some can only handle the first eleven. The title manager implies that you manager and football is a big business, you need to be an able manager who can organise several departments, not just your immediate own.
A manager has to help young players grow, teach them discipline, you don't want them doing a jack Grealish and falling asleep on the streets of Tenerife with a packet of cigarettes, he is a player to avoid, hardly a role model for the young.
Kyle Walker has not been blameless, he has done a few things he shouldn't and had his ups and downs of form. Now he appears to have matured and become a very important member of the team. The club have had to stand by him at times and believe in him, even when an element of our so called supporters were trying to drive him out.
He is one of the senior players at 26 and his game is probably better now than it has ever been. He makes less mistakes now because it isn't acceptable, the standards have been raised at last. We now aim for the top, not just to get a top four slot and that sets standards for each player to achieve.
Those who know little about top level sport try and belittle what it takes to achieve success. It happens in all walks of life, the unsuccessful always tell you what the successful people do doesn't work, which clearly is nonsense. Successful people use belief as the cornerstone of everything, without it, they don't achieve anything, Leicester City could not have won the Premier League title without belief.
Trying wins nothing, total belief that you can achieve something gives you a chance. Man went to the moon because of belief, Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile because of belief at a time when it was thought no human being could run that fast.
Mauricio Pochrttino is instilling that belief in the players, shame he can't educate those so called sup[poeters who simply slag the club off all the time. They may follow a recipe of failure but their outdated ideas have no place in the modern game where we now understand a lot more about sport science and psychology.
A coach doesn't want negative people anywhere near a team for a reason. Positive psychology breeds success, negativity doesn't, so why would you trade in it if you profess to want success!