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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The little things matter

The words of Mauricio Pochettino after we were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League were echoes of my own that I have been writing about for a few years now.

Those in the game know it isn't about the skill of a players, there are hundreds of skilful players, it is about how each player handles the mentality of the game.

"We need to improve our mentality and be ready every game. From the beginning of the season, I said our challenge was not physical, it was tactical - to manage your mind and to play on Saturday and then Tuesday or Wednesday."

Tactically we were superb against Chelsea in the first half, we were tactically great against Arsenal too, changing how we play each time. When we control games like that we have to create and take chances.

I just wonder if the players are in a mindset where they are all carrying out a tactical plan and not taking personal responsibility for creating and scoring goals. It is almost as if one doesn't want to make a mistake so is passing the buck to another player. We need everyone looking to create and score goals.

I think back to Isco when he came on against England at Wembley, he rescued a game in injury time and secured a draw, not just with his goal but with his incisive passing prior to the goals. You don't see that in the Tottenham team at the moment.

There were times in the Chelsea game where, if Eriksen had had his head up and looked around, he could have played in an unmarked Kane and Son, both, who on separate occasions, would have had a clear strike at goal from inside the box.

Vision is everything, another skill I have frequently written we need to improve. Statistical studies have proved it makes a difference training players to have vision. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference, although mentality is no little thing, it's the biggest element in football there is.


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