So we witnessed another defeat; Manchester City 4 Spurs 1; we could analyse it and come up with excuses. Such as; we missed a penalty, and two of our goals were conceded by penalties. We had a player sent off. Then there is the league table. I did say awhile back that either Chelsea or City will win the league, and they are first and second, respectably, at the moment. Between City and ourselves Southampton and West Ham are lurking, surely they will not be able to continue their remarkable runs (we beat Southampton, who beat Sunderland 8-0, and of course our victory over the Hammers at Upton park on the opening game of the season, so that is ok then). Then there are Liverpool, United, Arsenal, and Swansea who are one point above us; it is looking better, isn’t it?
The last couple of seasons we have been relying on other clubs to fall so that we could climb up the league table. The truth of the matter is, is that we are not good enough. We definitely need another striker or two to join us in the January sales… however, and in the meantime…
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said of the match: “I think the first penalty after we scored made it difficult for us. We played 70 minutes when we were always in the game. Manchester City have very good players. The result was bad but there are a lot of positives to take. The first penalty for me was ridiculous but we need to accept the decision. We need to review the game – my feeling was it is not a red card. A lot of things happened. It’s difficult to analyse.” He then said, “We always believed it was possible to get a point.”
First, we should not be talking about a point, but winning. That is a defeatist attitude. Do you think managers’ of top clubs talk about draws or defeats? They instil positiveness in their players. That is how Bill Nicholson built his great teams – and was part of a great team (league champions 50/51). Football is also a psychological game. It is not just about fit bodies, but being in the right frame of mind as well, so that the players can cope with the rigors of top-flight football.
Pochettino also said that City “have very good players.” Yes; but what about our players? Does he not think we are equal to them? The players will read what he said and just those words alone will knock them back. What he should have said, yes, they have good players, but so do we. What we think, the media think or even the readers of this article think is unimportant. It is about creating and sending out subliminal/ subconscious and conscious messages to his players. Get them to believe they are equal or just as good as the best teams in the land (if not the world).
He then makes other excuses; shit happens. However, he should always be thinking of the next match, building up his team with confidence. He should have said we SHOULD HAVE WON. Not “have got a point.” Pochettino has a philosophy; that philosophy should also include building a mental steel bonding that runs through the psych of his team.
Now read what the Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “It’s a very good victory for us. It is always difficult to come back from the international break. We played well, we scored four goals, and I do not know how many chances we had. We must now start to think about Champions League. We are going to Russia [to face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday] to win. For me it is a good pressure to win all the games when you have a good team. We made five or six changes. I trust a lot in this squad.”
He talks his team up. As other great managers do. Mark Hughes, before the game against City (a couple of weeks ago), talked his players and team up. They beat City 1-0, and at their ground, to-boot. City can be defeated, just not by us. Stoke may not have the money or the strength of clubs like City, Spurs, Arsenal, United and Chelsea, but what Hughes lacks in financial support, he makes up for it by instilling a belief in his players that they can win. The same can be said of Ronald Koeman, Southampton’s new manager. Even Pochettino, at Southampton, last year, talked up his players. So why is he not doing it now, at Spurs? Is he already pissed off that a great club like Spurs did not bring him the players he wanted? What he expected from a club like Tottenham.
Are we not better than clubs like Southampton, West Ham, and Swansea, who are above us? The players we have are a lot better than the way they have been playing; all they need is a confidence and a belief in themselves, which can easily be instilled by their manager.
In the next couple of weeks we have got some less demanding teams to face (that is less demanding than Liverpool or City, well, in theory), so it would be nice if Pochettino got his philosophy into gear, along with building up his players psychological strength, and win all those games. That is eight games, and then we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 3rd of December. Simples! By then our (that is the teams) steel, backbone and psychological potency will be no match against José Mourinho wonder boys. And before you all start laughing, last season Sunderland went to Stamford Bridge and took Mourinho’s undefeated home record away from him. The same team that got thrashed by Southampton 8-0. Of course, we are talking Spurs here, so we might be just looking up our own rectum to see if the sun truly does shine between the cracks. No doubt, you all will be shouting “what a load of fantasy/ bullshit etc.” Possible (or more than possible). At the same time, you will be hoping that dreams do come true. I am sure that Pochettino will be hoping that his philosophy will eventually come right and he will reap the rewards that a top club like Tottenham Hotspur can bring him. But then again so did AVB and Sherwood hope that it will come right in the end, and look what happened to them.
Until next time, enjoy (or not, depending on the results).
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