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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Vertonghen & Fazio

Jan Vertonghen is away with Belgium at the moment on international duty but is enjoying life at Tottenham once again after his unhappy time last season.



Life hasn't always been a bed of roses as Tottenham, it all started well, then Andre Villas-Boas had a few too many spats and lost the dressing room before interim manager Tim Sherwood upset a large section by telling them a few home truths.

Barcelona had Vertonghen on a list of possibles if they couldn't get their main targets while Spurs offered him a new improved contract. There has been no announcement that he has signed it yet so may be he is waiting to see what happens before he commits himself further. If happiness is his criteria then the coaching staff are doing a good job because he is enjoying his time at Tottenham once again.

He reveal that the new Head Coach Daniel Levy has brought in is very punctual and is detailed in his approach. He is pleased that he is getting plenty of individual attention and reveals video analysis is used extensively in training. He began a press conference recently by answering a question about how Tottenham were doing right now.

"We started well, we did well in Europe in the first two games and was positive before the Liverpool game of course. We got a little set back, we didn't play very well, Liverpool were a better team to be honest and we want to bounce back next week. I think we have a good team that can do that. 
"We are working very hard, Mauricio Pohettino's training works us very hard and I hope we can come back on track next week."

He was asked if he was enjoying working with the former Argentinian international centre-back.

"Yes, a lot, he's doing a lot of individual stuff with me, a lot of video work and I like working with him, it's good. He's very punctual and in the details so yeah I'm liking it."

He was then asked if he though Pochettino would be able to get the best out of the players who arrived last season.

"Yes, if you see what's happening now with Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Lamela, they are all doing very well now and I hope we can continue doing that."

The Liverpool game was a learning curve, it has only been a couple of months since Pochettino and his coaching staff arrived at Tottenham and for World Cup players like Vertonghen they have had even less time working with him.

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It's hardly surprising his philosophies are not second nature to the players after only 3 games and we will have to be patient to see the full benefits, something not all of us are.

An important aspect will probably be how his partnership with Federico Fazio develops, because the tall Argentinian centre-back hasn't been bought to sit on the bench. Having just won the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla it would be prudent to use that winning experience in the side, especially as we have sold our leader and the main man tasked with dealing with an aerial threat.

Clubs don't seem to like us buying their players for some reason. Sporting Lisbon moaned and their president refused to wish Eric Dier well when he saw him on the training field before he left and then the Sevilla president banned Fazio from the Spanish clubs stadium. They are rather childish responses from grown men.

Players move clubs all the time, it's a fact of life and if you are going to try to put massive buyout clauses in contracts, as is the custom in Iberia, then it's hardly surprising that some players and their agents work the system to their advantage and refuse to sign new contracts.

By only offering a pay rise which is linked to a huge increase in buyout clause you are almost blackmailing a player, even if all you are doing is protecting your investment. In practice it's not protecting an investment, it a method to prevent players leaving. That would be fine if players were sold at market value but we saw with Musacchio that that is not always the case.

It amounts to legalised slave labour but on excellent wages. That is all in the past for another transfer window and we can look forward to Fazio and Vertonghen lining up beside each other at Sunderland, at least I hope we can.

Kaboul is nowhere near the level we require at the moment and we'll be needing a centre-back decent in the air to deal with the aerial threat we will face.



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