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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Gary Neville solution is simple

Former Manchester United and England right-back Gary Neville, now an expert pundit on Sky Sports, has highlighted the two areas he feels are causing Spurs difficulties, but the solution to both is quite simple.

“I don’t think they should be judged the same as the other sides in the top six. One, is their net spend is £11m. To transform the mess Pochettino’s done in three years from where Spurs were to where they are now is a big job. 
“The second one is why I have a lot of sympathy for them – their average age. It’s the youngest in the division. 
“I’ve loved watching Spurs over the last three years, I think the coach is fantastic. He’ll be sensing they’re a young team, they need education, they need time to grow but they’re a bit timid in these matches. 
“When I watched them at home against Manchester City it was one of the best things I’ve seen. Then they go away from home and that belief and confidence saps from them. 
“They’ve got to mature as young players and develop that belief, because they’re better than what they’re showing away from home. I think there’s still a little bit of time, education, growing to do as a team. 
“But in the next 18 months Pochettino will want them to get to that point where they’re not timid in away games. Go for Liverpool, go for Manchester United, go for Manchester City. They can’t do it at home and then go away and not do it. But I’ve got a little bit of sympathy for them because of those two things.”

Once again a former player, someone who has won eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, three Community Shields, two UEFA Champions Leagues, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup, suggests it is belief that is missing from Spurs.

The small minded can mock belief but it is central to achieving anything in any walk of life. If the mind doesn't think something is possible, then it can't achieve it. Waiting for players to slowly develop a belief system, if they ever do to the level required to be a winner, is nuts, if there is expertise out there to do it faster. There is in the shape of sports psychologists, their job is to instil belief!

I don't understand why you would choose to take the long route when there is a shorter and more effective route to the top.


  1. One thing no one seems to mention enough is the pitch.
    Spurs play on a small pitch and it suits us but the moment we step on a big pitch our game goes to shite, look at Spurs at Wembley or Old Trafford or Anfield.
    Our new stadium will have a larger pitch (I presume, because it is modern) so Poch has to get the players used to the extra space instead of having them play through the middle and being so compact.

  2. The first thing this young squad needs is a leader on the pitch. Someone who can shout at them but also put an arm around their shoulders. Lloris can't do it from his position. It's all too friendly. That's not a bad thing, and if the team are playing well, adhering to instructions and tactics, with fitness and pressing levels at their maximum, and everyone 'singing from the same hymnbook', then young (and even senior) players who've bonded together can only improve the balance of the team even more. And that is what this Spurs side has on its day, and at full strength ..balance! Moreso than any other PL team! However, if our system is not operating well, then the two factors which should come into play are problematic for us. One is the lack of a leader on the pitch to encourage and cajole when we start creaking/splitting, and two, we have no 'flair' game changers. Our team balance when it is at the highest level shows ALL our players to be exceptional, and we don't really need individual (as opposed to team) players, but when things aren't going well, we don't have that Gazza, Hoddle, Ginola, Sheringham, Modric, and BALE who can do something out of nothing. I know Kane and Alli are exceptional players, but when our backs are truly against the wall, as at Liverpool, they or our subs rarely come up with something to change the course of the game. I don't think pitch size has anything to do with it. We play on different size pitches all the time, and there are rules governing max and min pitch sizes anyway. Anyway, we're not as bad as the Spurs side in the mid 1960s, when in the 65/66 season we won 18 and drew 3 of our 21 home matches in the League, yet won 1, drew 4 and lost 16 of the away games.



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