The table is a fixation for fans, but if players constantly monitor it each week it can have a mental effect on their performance. As a coach Mauricio Pochettino has been training the players to think correctly and that means to look to the future, the past and talking about the past can't change it. The big issue is where he wants to take the team and the players wanting to go in the same direction. The goal is clearly an initial title and a secondary option qualification for the UEFA Champions League.
Football has changed, gone almost is the tackling we used to see in yesteryear, now it is all about possession and players staying on their feet. If you go into a tackle anything can happen, if you are on your backside you are out of the game, whereas if you stay on your feet you have a greater chance of directing or dictating where you want a player to go or play the ball.
The blocking and intercepting side of the game has increased in importance, as you have more control over events. Blocking passing lanes has become an art that is practiced and honed on the training ground. It is an as important part of the game as anything else now, more important than the number of tackles won.
The game is very much about the team in our system rather than the individual. Each player has to move to block passing lanes so other players can surround the player with the ball and win back possession. If one player doesn't block a passing lane then the opponent has a get out of jail option and the system falls down.
The object of our system is to win the ball and counter attack quickly in numbers. For that you don't need flying wingers, moving the ball at speed is far, far quicker than running with it. We have to develop our decision-making skills at those times and take the right option more often than we do. That will come with experience as we learn from our mistakes. If we dally then the opposition have time to gather themselves and we fall into the passing sideways game.
It is at those times that the pressure is on a player to do the right thing, play the right ball at the right weight, that other players make the right runs. We saw it again against Arsenal in the opening moments when Son got to the by-line and crossed the ball over the six-yard box, Kane should have been there poaching but he had stopped for a ball pulled back, something our attackers tend to do. We do not seem to attack the six-yard box much still.
Let's see what happens against West Ham next.