News with views from the No1 Spurs website

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A manager singing from the right hymn sheet at last

Mauricio Pochettino has spoken to the clubs official website and there are some nice little gems in there, important pieces of news that I myself, as readers will know, place great store by.

Mauricio Pochettino Head Coach Tottenham Hotspur


First a quick recap of the major summer business for the first-team squad.

Tottenham Players In:
1. Michel Vorm from Swansea City
2. Ben Davies from Swansea City
3. Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon,
4. Federico Fazio from Sevilla
5. Benjamin Stambouli from Montpellier
6. DeAndre Yedlin from Seattle Sounders and on loan until the end of the MLS season

The exact arrival of 21-year-old American Yedlin has not yet been decided yet. Steffen Freund will be looking after him and he may well need a rest after two MLS seasons and a World Cup without a break. I suspect he'll have a holiday and then begin training, which will be pre-season ahead of the end of our season. We are unlikely perhaps to see him before next season so Kyle Naughton may well be around until then.

Tottenham Players Out:
1. Michael Dawson to Hull City
2. Sandro to QPR
3. Zeki Fryers to Crystal Palace
4. Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea City
5. Heurelho Gomes joined Watford at the end of his contract
6. Jake Livermore joined Hull City after his loan spell
7. Lewis Holtby joined Hamburg initially on loan
8. Tom Carroll joined Swansea City on loan

In addition, Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose and Harry Kane have all signed new long-term contracts while Jan Vertonghen has been offered a new contract but there has been no announcement that he has signed it yet.

That's a fair amount of business for a club who have supposedly done very little, quiet improvement is better than no improvement though. You do not have to sign names, as some fans seem to think, to sign decent players. Luka Modric was not a household name in England when he was signed and plenty suggested he was too small, not done bad for a little un.

All the words that have been coming out of the camp have suggested that Pochettino is happy with the squad, that doesn't mean he isn't happy to move players on. It means he is happy with whoever stays or goes from his agreed list. Those that remain he'll try to improve. So what has Mauricio actually said.

"I have always felt from the beginning that we did not need to make big changes to this squad. We believe in these players, they are great professionals and I am convinced of the quality we have in all areas."

From the outset he has been happy with the players bought by the club last summer, some may not be ideal, but they are quality players he recognises and he feels incorporating them into a cohesive system will bring out the quality they have.

"We were always certain that we would only make changes if we believed they would benefit us in the long-term. It is still early in the season and players are adapting to our style and tactics and I have been delighted with their response. We believe we can improve these players to get the best out of them and we are going the right way."

Now that policy differs from the Levy out brigade who want purchases for purchases sake, spending money the club doesn't have and risking everything in a gamble. If it flopped like it did last summer then the club would be ruined for the next few windows and put our position as a European club in jeopardy. Spending money does not guarantee success.

These fans conveniently forget that Pochettino has agreed player values and how much we should pay for each one. If you can't get them you move on to your next target, also why should any of these top players want to come to Spurs. We have very little to offer, we can't pay the wages of others, Radamel Falcao for instance in on £34 a minute ($56.04 - €42.75) at Old Trafford, £350,000 a week ($576,917 - €440,091).

Arsenal pay several players £140,000 a week ($230,826 - €176,036), we simply can't afford those sort of wages. Players like Micah Richards wanted £95,000 a week ($156,632 - €119,309) and he has hardly played for 2 years, Loic Remy the same plus Champions League football. Samuel Eto'o £65,000 a week ($107,159 - €81,633) for an old squad player.

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Pochettino has been using his system at Tottenham for three games, are fans seriously expecting him to wave a magic wand are cure all just like that, we have a noisy element who live in fantasy land. The World Cup players are only now returning to fitness.

"We were keen to strengthen our defence and I have been pleased with the way we have improved across this area. 
"Michel Vorm will provide additional strength to our goalkeepers alongside Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel and Luke McGee and we look forward to having him back at full fitness soon. 
"Ben Davies arrives as a young player with a wealth of experience already in the Premier League and we now have two outstanding, internationals vying for the left-back position. I’m sure they will be motivated to improve each other. 
"Eric Dier is a versatile and young player and we feel he has a lot of potential. We have followed him for some time and we think he can develop into a top defender. 
"Federico Fazio is an excellent signing for us - a positive influence both on and off the field.  He is a big and strong defender and will give us something extra in terms of presence, aggression and will to win."

Left-back and the centre of defence were the two major areas agreed upon by Pochettino, Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini at their first meeting after his appointment, that needed strengthening and that has been partially done. A goalkeeper to take over from Brad Friedel, the left-back position has been sorted, right-back for the future sorted and the centre of defence strengthened. There will probably be more strengthening there too in future windows.

It's the comments on Fazio though that are of significance. he 'will give us something extra in terms of presence, aggression and will to win.' The will to win is something sorely lacking at Tottenham, Dawson had it, but of the rest most you feel will try their best and we don't win it's oh well never mind. There is no hope with that mindset.

Losing should hurt and some of our players need mentally toughening up. Our youngsters can only but learn from a UEFA Europa League winner, Fazio has been there done it and picked up a major trophy. That determination is essential to any success we hope to have. Fazio will be more than just a towering centre-half for us.

"Benji Stambouli offers us versatility as well as quality.  He knows what it takes to win and will prove a tremendous addition in both defensive midfield and also in defence if needed. 
"We can also look forward to DeAndre Yedlin joining us next year.  He has shown he can perform at the highest level with his performances at the World Cup and he will strengthen us further in the future."

There it is again, 'he knows what it takes to win,' clearly Pochettino has seen that as a weakness at Tottenham and is bringing in players to address it. It seems we are looking for winners now not just footballers, something we have been guilty of in the past, there is a significant difference in mental make up of the two.

"We want to deliver exciting, attacking and pressing football and the range of forwards we have are extremely well-equipped to work within this system. We have quality and versatility in these areas so we are confident that they can play anywhere across the front line when called upon. We have quality throughout what is a balanced, talented squad."

Now you wouldn't expect him to say anything other than positives but our attacking layers can all score goals and we are not relying on one playmaker for creativity, Once the system has been learnt that will make us a more dangerous side.

It is early days but clearly in everything he says he is building for the long-term, building a future and that suggests to me that he is going to be around for a while. If Levy believes he has found the right man and no stone was left unturned when checking every detail about him, then he will be here long enough to build and supporters will have the stability they desire.



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