‘He’s a winner’ – Pape Matar Sarr admits Tottenham teammate is hugely influential 

Pape Matar Sarr has admitted that he and his teammates look up to Cristian Romero, praising the Argentine for his character and his leadership qualities.

Romero has quietly been having an incredible season but the Argentine has perhaps not been getting the praise he deserves, partly down to the fact that Tottenham’s defensive unit has been quite leaky over recent months.

However, internally at Spurs, they certainly recognise the centre-back’s value, with Ange Postecoglou singling him out for praise after the North London Derby and admitting that he wants his other players to have some of Romero’s mental toughness (Goal).

Cristian Romero
Credit: @shooting.practice on Instagram

Pape Matar Sarr is a big fan of Cristian Romero

When asked about Postecoglou’s words about the Tottenham vice-captain, Sarr told Sky Sports: “The coach is absolutely right. Romero is a really hard worker. I often say he is a warrior. He’s a winner and he absolutely hates to lose.

“In terms of his mentality, out on the training pitch and in matches, it is always the same. That’s just how he is and he is certainly one of the leaders in the dressing room with the energy, commitment and determination that he brings to the team.

“It is something that helps us get across the line sometimes. When you look at the match against Arsenal, it’s not easy to put in that performance like he did in the second half. But he’s like that. He’s a winner and I’m really happy for what he brings to this team.”

The numbers suggest that Tottenham are among the poorest sides in the Premier League when it comes to defending set-pieces but Postecoglou has remained adamant he does not see it as a major issue.

The Australian has repeatedly reiterated that he will not spend too much time on the training ground working on set-pieces defending as that is not what is going to help Spurs bridge the gap with the best sides in the Premier League (Daily Mail).

However, Sarr acknowledged that he and his teammates have to be more switched on when defending corner kicks and free-kicks.

The midfielder said: “When it comes to set pieces, it’s not just us. All teams have difficulties with set pieces at the moment because teams are so good at them that every set piece presents a chance for a goal.

“We all need to focus on this aspect. Defending set pieces is something that requires an awful lot of focus and we are aware of that. We need to take our responsibilities and make sure we do the job out on the pitch because certainly in training we are doing everything we need to and working really hard to make sure we are up to the challenge.

“The difficulty is that out on the pitch, there is another team and they have also been working on that aspect of the game really hard. We just need to make sure we are fully concentrated on it.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While having a strong mentality is undoubtedly key to becoming a top side, I often find that intangibles like mental resilience are overused as an explanation for the struggles of various sides.

Even if all our players had a similar mentality to Romero, I do not think we will win too many games playing the way we currently are as it is simply a fact that teams have tactically adapted to our system and now understand how to exploit its weaknesses.

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