It was a huge statement of intent when Mauricio Pochettino announced his starting eleven to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The first was to leave out a totally fit and well Toby Alderweireld, who earlier this season and in previous ones and not only been Spurs’ best defender, but regarded as the best in the whole Premier League.
Poch instead stood by those players who have been performing well week-in-week-out, especially the very young Davinson Sanchez who has been deputising for the injured Alderweireld. The Colombian fully repaid his manager’s confidence, with an outstanding display against some of the top players around.
Secondly, despite the immense importance of the game, Pochettino left out almost fully recovered Harry Kane on the bench, until about 15 minutes from the end. He was basically telling the Chelsea camp, we can have you lot, without the best striker in Europe to help! As we all witnessed yesterday, Pochettino was spot on, and we had Chelsea.
Since the beginning of the Premier League era, no previous Spurs manager has been able to give their team the final, and most important part of their ‘make up’, and that is, of course, self-belief.
We started to see bits and pieces of it over the last two seasons, but they couldn’t see it through, yet again, but this season, the wins against Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, and now Chelsea (away), have gone to confirm that THIS Spurs side has finally come of age.
As a Spurs fan since 1967, like many similar ‘older’ fans, I’ve seen many Spurs sides come and go, always with high hopes, more often than not unfulfilled.
These kind of experiences gives a fan patience, and what has really disappointed me on several occasions this and last season, is halfwit, so-called fans, calling for Pochettino to be replaced when we didn’t play as expected, or even lost the odd game etc, these people are not ‘real’ fans.
Our current manager is in the ‘process’ of building a brilliant team, and building a team that’s going to last, takes planning, time, energy, money to a sensible extent, and most important of all, instilling ‘belief ‘ in the players themselves, that they can be champions etc, and giving them ‘belief’ in their manager, and his ‘long-term plans.
Like all Spurs fans, I would be really disappointed if we get to the FA Cup Final, only to lose, but I for one will not be calling for any players to be sold, and definitely not calling for one Mauricio Pochettino to be fired.
Spurs just need to see out the last 7 games, secure a Champions League spot, and it will have been another excellent season, if they can add that elusive piece of silverware as well, that would be the icing on the cake. COYS
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