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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Can we regain the toughness of last season?


Success breeds success, it breeds a feeling that helps to carry you along and that feeling right now isn't the same as it was last season. Then we had a determination and an added steel about our game. For the first time in donkeys years we seemed to have a mental toughness to battle results out and not cave in under pressure like we did against Manchester United at White Hart Lane, being 3-0 up at half-time and losing 5-3.

We are not the only side who had players playing during the summer so we can't use that as an excuse, even if we do have more English players than other sides and thus have to deal with the media and nations pressure for failure.

I have seen a suggestion that the signing of Moussa Sissoko for double his worth and on high wages is a kick in the teeth for the morale of others. This was always a fear when bringing in a high earner. In our structure he shouldn't be on any more than £60K a week, I can't believe he is on £90K as reported by some journalists. That simply wouldn't make any sense. Has he put a dampener on morale? he isn't a bad player, especially when you look back at some we have had Anthony Gardener, Gilberto and Paolo Tramezzani for example.

There was in-house rumours during the summer that Christian Eriksen was expected to sign a new contract but that he might not be here in a years time. If that is the case is that having an effect on his performances? Not being 100% behind what you are doing takes the edge off a game and he is clearly still not playing to his best. He admitted he could have done more for the second Chelsea goal, so why didn't he, where was he? Moses should never have had that room there should have been someone tracking him, aware that Wimmer had moved across. Where was Son Heung-min? Mentally we were not switched on enough to the game.

Has the self-belief we had last year taken a beating with the Chelsea result last season and the shambles at Newcastle United. Has that been added to with a long run without a win and injuries to key players?

Vincent Janssen hasn't been the instant hit but has shown a tremendous willingness to work hard. Robin van Persie scored 5 Premier League goals in 26 appearances in his first season in England and followed that up with 5 in his second in 24 games, he didn't turn out to be too bad a striker! Jansen needs time to adjust his game to our style. You buy a player assuming they can do it, some can, some struggle. I think he'll come good and perhaps we'll see more from him in the second half of the season, but at the moment his game time is bits and pieces, which probably isn't helping.

The first half against Chelsea showed not too much is wrong but it was rather like a traditional game against Chelsea with them waiting fir us to make a mistake, which we always used to do and did again.

The Swansea match will be an important game to see how we perform.



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