Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tottenham must change their mentality to become champions

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Oct 2017

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I really like Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and the style of play his team produces. However, yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United maybe sums up why the north London side will not be Premier League champions this season.

Pochettino has built a very impressive team at Tottenham. However, despite challenging for the Premier League title for the last few seasons, there seems to be a lack of confidence in their ability to get the job done.

Never looked like winning at Old Trafford

Watching Tottenham play at Old Trafford, I had the sense that the north London side never really believed that they would record a victory. Granted the absence of star striker Harry Kane no doubt hamstrung their efforts at winning the game.

However, the team from north London struggled to get out of their own half for large periods of the second half. United tend to dominate home games against most teams. However, if Tottenham wants to be champions they have to be more ambitious at places like Old Trafford.

While United boss Jose Mourinho has been criticised in the past for ‘parking the bus’ in big games. More often than not though his team pick-up positive results in said games. His skills as a tactician are why the Portuguese boss has collected so many medals during his managerial career.

Pochettino as a boss has picked up some very good results in career so far. However, the Argentine has won just once in 16 attempts at the grounds of top six teams. I never really had the sense that was going to be twice at Old Trafford, especially in the second half when they rarely threatened David De Gea’s goal.

Need to win a trophy

Pochettino has built a very good team with far smaller resources than his rival bosses. Not only are Spurs a good team they play attacking and attractive football. No doubt, Pochettino has done a fine job in north London.

The side from north London have very little to show for all their team building. The last trophy Tottenham won was back in 2008 when they lifted the League Cup. Nine years without a trophy is a long time for a club that wants to join the elite.

For all Tottenham’s good football and praise, when it comes to substance and trophies won they are still behind the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea in winning trophies. Even much-maligned neighbours Arsenal have won the FA Cup three times in the last four seasons.

If any of those other teams went nine years without a trophy there would be a major inquest and talk of crisis. Winning trophies comes with the territory of being one of the elite clubs. For Tottenham to enter that bracket they need to win a trophy at some point.

They are out of the League Cup. Manchester City seems to be in red-hot form in the Premier League, so Spurs odds of 14/1 to win the title this season look understandable at this point in time.

Winning the Champions League this season looks like a massive long shot for Pochettino and his team. That leaves the FA Cup, which a number of the big clubs have started taking relatively seriously in recent years.

Tottenham unlikely to win the league this season

I would love Tottenham to win the title, as I like Pochettino. I also like the way that he has built a team without having to spend billions of pounds. However, I hate to say this, but Tottenham are highly unlikely to win the Premier League title this season.

Manchester City are in the sort of form where they will be very difficult to stop. Granted the Citizens started last season in similar form. However, Pep Guardiola’s side seems are a far complete team this time around.

Not only are they playing free-flowing attacking football, they have learnt how to defend, yesterday’s 3-2 win at West Brom apart of course.

When Manchester United have everybody fit and firing, the Red Devils should pose a threat to their City rivals for the title, if, that’s a big if the Citizens slip-up.

Eventually, Tottenham need to move to the next level and a change of mentality is needed for that. If they do not, then their star players may well believe the grass is greener at one of Spurs so-called rivals. Then all the recent hard work could go down the drain.

Can Tottenham win the Premier League title this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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