Tottenham need winners

The world is at calm, well it is in this quarter of Tottenham land. The results against Arsenal mattered, of course it mattered, but it didn't matter. What did matter was that the side deigned to make an effort.

Of course deciding when to try and when not to try means when you are putting some effort in the actual play at speed, the decision making, especially in the last third, is not practiced and thus can't be just turned on.

I have spoken about clinical finishing as an example before and for good reason, practice a skill, any skill and you become better, practice in an I couldn't car less way and you are not actually practicing, you are just honing mistakes.

To be a winner you practice with a determination to improve but when you are on the field it's 100% on every occasion not 100% on every occasion it matters. When you go through the motions in a game all you are doing is honing mediocrity, ingraining it within your psyche.

Tottenham Need Winners
Tottenham need players with a winning mentality
Thus when push come to shove and you are in a situation where you need to produce the right pass, Townsend cutting the ball back or across the 6 yard box for instance, you have not trained yourself to do so.

Invariably you play the wrong ball or play it badly, mentally you have not trained yourself to have composure under that pressure and you produce the wrong pass. The player thinks he has been unlucky, the fans think they have been unlucky, but the players who are winners, the former players who are winners, the managers who are winners know the truth.

Look at Liverpool, look at Man City, they don't ease off, if there is a chance to score more they score them. That attitude is why Sturridge is above Defoe in the England pecking order, his mental approach. Liverpool, Man City will bang in four or five regularly, we do it once in a blue moon even though we get he chance. That mental approach has to change before we will win anything.

The derided experts know what separates winners from the rest, they have been there, they have done it. Look at sales, companies who want salesmen like sportsmen. To become a top salesman takes determination, a desire to improve, a desire to be successful, the exact same traits a winning sportsman has. Any old sportsman is not good enough, it needs to be a winner.

The difference may seem small to you but I can assure you it is huge. Winners are worth their weight in gold, a team of winners and success is virtually guaranteed. Skill takes you so far, it's that extra component that makes the difference.

That extra component is what Tim Sherwood has been looking for. Who has it within this squad, who doesn't. You learn a little from games like Newcastle, watching who is still giving it 100% when the victory is secured and you learn when a player, or players are under pressure.

Benfica was a pressure game and some didn't improve their chances of staying. Arsenal is a game where nobody would allow you to give less than 100%. The players gained themselves and Tim Sherwood some breathing space, but only until Thursday when Benfica come around again.

The tie is an awkward one. The Portuguese press have said that the Benfica managers behaviour was because Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and that Tim Sherwood played a part in that. The Benfica manager wants to settle a score it seems which means he wants to give us a drubbing.

In the first-leg they were three times better than us, they ripped us apart time and time again. Only an Arsenal effort will be good enough out in Portugal, will we get it, well you tell me.

What is certain and what the players have shown, is that if we don't get it, it will be down to the players, they are the ones who will decide whether they bother to try or not, Tim Sherwood can't make them.

You can disagree with selections, you can disagree with tactics but not putting in 100% is entirely down to the individual, it is his decision, only he can decide what he will do, just as only you can decide what you do.

I fully get that fans need a scapegoat and Tim Sherwood or Daniel Levy are the chosen scapegoats but protesting with Levy out banners just demonstrated a lack of understanding. These people know little about running a business and know nothing about running a major company. They forget where we were and where we are, they know nothing about finances, they assume the grass is greener, they call to stop changing but call for change themselves!

Equally campaigning for Sherwood out just shows they haven't grasped that he is an interim manager yet, it also smacks of knowing very little about football. There are 5 teams with vastly greater income than we have, four of them are above us one is below. Football is a business, it is an entertainment sport, nothing more.

We don't have a divine right to be in the top four, we are not competing on an even playing field, we are the underdog, the challenger and underdogs usually lose. The FA Cup in the last 20 years has gone to a club with money on all but two occasions I think it is. Money matters, football finance matters.

Tottenham need winners
Tottenham need winners in the mold of Sir Alex Ferguson
Sometimes you have to endure pain when there is a longer term goal to aim for. Liverpool were going through exactly what we are going through now and they have come out the other side, yes they have more resources than we do but their fans were hurting as much as we are. Manchester United fans are getting a taste of it at Old Trafford with David Moyes given an average team to manage. Their managers were, are permanent managers, ours is temporary until our man is available.

Sir Alex Ferguson worked wonders winning a league title with an ordinary side which just shows the quality he possessed. Managers like that don't grow on trees.

Fans were happy when Andre Villas-Boas was appointed, he was the man for the future, for the long term. He turned out to be a dud. He may well have managerial ability but his manner behind the scenes does not fit with the British make-up. Alienating everyone and causing unrest at the club meant he had to go.

Tim is temporary, anyone who has ever thought otherwise is deluding themselves. When you have an interim manager he is there for one of two reasons, either to do his best with the side or to do that and analyse the squad.

Sherwood is no ordinary interim manager, he is staying at the club after he leaves the job. He will move upstairs and the future of each player will depend upon what he tells Daniel Levy.

Once you grasp that is his role, that is what he is doing then the results cease to be the be all and end all, the performance becomes more important.

There are 8 games to go, 9 if you count Benfica. Southampton (H), cue press stories about Spurs wanting Pochettino, Liverpool (A), cue press stories about Rodgers glad he chose Liverpool, Sunderland (H), WBA (A), Fulham (H), Stoke (A), West Ham (A), Aston Villa (H), cue stories about Spurs wanting Christian Benteke.

We lost against Arsenal because certain players have not done all they can to be winners, to develop as best they can a winning attitude. To win these big games Tottenham need winners, not triers.

I am going to be interested in our performance if we get 2-0 ahead in any of those games. Are we going to say OK we have done enough let's relax or are we going to be clinical and score four.

Unfortunately I don't think it will be the latter.

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