As the two Harrys – Winks and Kane – emerged from deep inside the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, what was so striking was there sense of belonging writes Jeremy Wilson for The Telegraph.
The article kicks off saying Kane agreed that the players felt like “equals on the pitch” against their illustrious opponents and Winks enthused how Mauricio Pochettino handled the pressures of such an occasion.
The article quotes Winks saying about Pochettino :“He always reiterates: ‘Just go out there, play and enjoy it’. It gives me massive confidence. He also has this natural demeanour. You want to do well for him because he’s a fantastic manager and great person. When you step into the Bernabeu you realise the history. It’s special, a bit overwhelming but it’s still a game. It was important to take that emotion out and just go for them as I would any other player.”
The article goes on to talk about the perfect balance between self-belief and humility that both players showed especially Kane, who again demonstrated how grounded he is in response both to Zinedine Zidane describing him as “complete” and his almost fan-like desire to exchange shirts with Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Positive comments help – I use it as motivation,” the article quotes Kane as saying. He continued: Ronaldo’s a big role model. I’ll frame his shirt. I gave him mine…but I don’t know what he’ll do with it.”
Wilson continues, describing Pochettino’s delight at how his players handled and enforced the surprise adjustments to the team’s strategy,that we already know about Spurs ability to play with a three, four or five-man defence but what no one expected was the curve ball of having two up top when Fernando Llorente’s name appeared on the team sheet.
Kane is again quoted, saying: “He told me what he was thinking of doing and I agreed.He wanted to go on the attack, didn’t want to drop off, defend and get a 0-0.”
Wilson describes it as a bold move and that Pochettino felt that it surprised Madrid. He also says it reflected what has been a very deliberate transfer strategy of assembling a squad that isn’t huge but versatile in having players who can perform many different roles.
The article then talks about another strength for Tottenham and that is the gathering momentum around the clubs wider project, that there is a sense of feeling that Spurs can now consistently establishing themselves among the elite.
The article refers to how Pochettino repeatedly references that both the stadium and the team are at an exciting point of “construction” and that he implied, drawing at Real Madrid was just another step in this project.
Poch said:”It is something we were missing; this feeling to compete at the highest level. We have reinforced our ideas.”
Kane now expects this result to act as another catalyst for the group. “It was a big statement,” he said. “It will give us confidence because we’ve shown we can do it against the best team in the world.”
There is a great sense of excitement and good feeling around the club, to be challenging as we are is something to behold and the foundations are in place for big success to come.
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