Jan Vertonghan dismissed suggestions Tottenham’s unspectacular start to the 2019-20 season is down to them going “stale”.
Before Saturday’s hard-fought 2-1 win over Southampton, Spurs had won just two of their first six Premier League games this season, while they went into that game on the back of a three-match winless run across all competitions.
Spurs have been plagued by suggestions some key players no longer want to be at the club and reports of frustration with coach Mauricio Pochettino’s training methods.
But Vertonghen – whose own future is uncertain – denied life at Spurs has turned stale, adamant there is a joyous mood at the club despite media speculation to the contrary ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League visit of Bayern Munich.
“I don’t agree,” Vertonghen told reporters when asked if Spurs had gone stagnant. “We improved every year. Last year we went to the Champions League final.
“Some new players came in and that keeps it fresh. I don’t see that it’s stale at all. I see plenty of joy in the dressing room. Everyone enjoys playing here.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!!! pic.twitter.com/rpLsekaEiP
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) September 30, 2019
“The mood at this point is good. It was a good win for us on Saturday. If you go down to 10 men and they score to make it 1-1, then we fought and really stuck together.
“We wanted to show who we are. If you see after the final whistle how happy we were, that’s how we are.”
Vertonghen’s Spurs contract expires at the end of the season and it remains unclear if he and the club will come to an agreement over a new deal.
The Belgian insists he is more than capable of playing at the top for several further seasons, though he is trying to not let such talk distract him.
“I’d prefer not to go into that, but there is always movement there, of course,” Vertonghen added.
“It’s my eighth season and I’m feeling great. Maybe the results didn’t come our way [at the start of the season], but they were tough away games and you always have to see how you bounce back from that.
“[My future is] not a distraction. I’m very aware of my age. I feel fairly young. It doesn’t distract me. I want to play as many games as possible. I’m very ambitious and I feel I’ve got a few good years left at the top level.”
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