There is no doubt that Toby Alderweireld has taken to the Tottenham Hotspur defence this season like a duck to water and it was heartbreaking to read his comments that it felt as though “the world stopped for a minute” as our Premier League title hopes came crashing down around us after the 1-1 draw against West Brom.
Alderweireld has been one of the shrewdest signings we’ve made in many a year. His Michael Dawson-esque ability to ping a ball 60 yards along with bringing an almost calming influence on his compatriot and fellow central defender Jan Vertonghen has helped us to become the meanest defence in the league.
I couldn’t have dreamed of just how big an influence he would be on our season when we went head-to-head with Southampton last summer to bring him to the club.
I’ll be the first to admit that it was more than disappointing to see us lose our chance to catch Leicester with such a poor performance against the Baggies.
Looking at the bigger picture and the positives – for us to be able to have Champions League football to satisfy the likes of Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane is a massive step in the right direction and something I would have happily taken before the start of this campaign.
Toby told the club’s official website: “The world stopped for a minute. You want to process it in that minute but you can’t find the answer. Everyone was devastated and you could have put a camera on anyone, it would be the same, every player, every member of staff, every fan.
“We deserved the win but sometimes in football, you don’t get what you deserve. It was very painful, especially at home and in the title race. If we played badly, you could accept it more, but we had to kill the game.
“It’s always difficult when it’s 1-0. That’s what we said, even at Stoke, we said ‘get the second and third goals’ because there is always a chance, a corner, set-piece, one difficult ball into the box. That’s what happened and it’s so disappointing. At that moment, it just hit me.”
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