Ryan Nelsen reveals what's wrong at Spurs

I came across an interesting read, interesting because what Ryan Nelsen says about his time at QPR could equally apply at Spurs today.

Ryan Nelsen reveals what's wrong at Spurs


Toronto FC boss and former Spurs player, Ryan Nelsen was talking about a his time at QPR in the 2012/13 relegation season with all the big money players they had.

“It was an amazing learning experience for me.

“It was an environment that probably players were getting paid too much for potentially their mentality to win."

I have talked a lot about mentality, simply because it is so important, without it you simply haven't a hope of success. Buying players with the right mentality is so important that everything should be done to get it right and that includes running potential signings past a Sports Psychologist.

Here you have a former player telling you the same thing, mentality vs money. Tim Sherwood clearly felt there were to many money players in the dressing room and not enough winners. Fans who understand the importance of mentality supported his honesty and set of fans who don't or didn't like the way he did it were against him.

Since then no matter what he did or said each group would look for the aspect that fitted their opinion and couldn't see an alternative point. He stood no chance despite only four teams gaining more points during his time in charge.

Former New Zealand international who Harry Redknapp bought to Tottenham for six months as centre-back cover continued:



“Young guys probably on too much before they had earned it.”

“Everybody tried their best to get the mixture right, but it just didn’t jell. It was just wrong.”
 


It's hard to get across how a winning mentality is different from someone who tries their best, who would tell you they are giving 100%. What separated the two is the desire to improve. A winner like Garth Bale works hard every day to improve his game, a trier trains without the same goal. In the heat of battle the winner will perform, the trier will have a 50/50 chance of performing.


Have too many triers in your team and not enough winners and the winners carry the triers, paper over the cracks. If there are simply not enough winners then things just don't click, you have a bunch of individuals who have limited what they can do because of their mentality so when something extra is needed they don't have it.

Former boss Harry Redknapp, the only manager to take Spurs into the Champions League wrote in his autobiography ‘Always Managing’ that when he took over at QPR it quickly became apparent that Nelsen was his best player.

“Within weeks I had worked out that my best player was Ryan Nelsen, a 35-year-old New Zealand international — and he couldn’t wait to get out.

“‘You’ve got no chance,’ he told me. ‘Not a prayer. This is the worst dressing room I’ve ever been in in my life. You haven’t got a hope with this lot. I don’t know how you solve it.’”

So it proved, QPR were a shambles and had all these highly paid players yet still got relegated.

Cast your mind back to the season we have just had and start listing the winners and the triers in your head, the winners will be a short list. If you have a winning mentality and you see trier mentality around you why would you stay?

Unless the tries learn to change their mentality, and that would take work with a Sports Psychologist, then winning is impossible. You can only win a trophy when the number of winning mentalities in a side outnumber the trier mentalities. The more you have the more chance of success.

Those with winning mentalities therefore congregate at the biggest clubs and earn the biggest money because they want to be surrounded with like minded players.

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For a club like Tottenham to join the big boys we have to overcome the barrier we have to buying players with the right mental attitude. Look at someone like David Bentley, plenty of talent but mentally useless, more interested in collecting his wages and having a party. Where is he now? He's 29 and nobody wants him.

Young players do grow up, Giovanni Dos Santos another with great talent but more concerned with nightclubbing than playing football. A change in mentality with a bit of maturity and he is starting to produce the goods more often now.

Anyone can make mistakes but what fans don't look at is why a player makes a mistake. Is the player trying to create something, such as Walker playing the ball for a goal kick when passing it too hard for Lennon to run onto inside the full-back. That kind of mistake is justified. he was trying to be creative. That the type of mistake a winning mentality makes.

If the mistake is down to concentration such as Chiriches pass against Sunderland to give Cattermole an open goal then that is the kind of mistake a triers mentality makes.

Now I'm not putting either player in either group there merely using them as examples. We would be split into which group we would put them in depending upon our preferences whereas players need to be looked at objectively.

Louis Van Gaal is a dictator, you do it this way or you leave the club. he is a winner, there are strong grounds for saying Andre Villas-Boas is a winner but came up against a bunch of triers being carried by some winners. Perhaps he was unlucky in the fact we got rid of winners and bought triers, because our recruitment system isn't as it should be.

Whoever comes in as our next manager has the same problem, can this bunch of triers be turned into a group with a winning mentality and how long will it take to weed the duds out.

We know Frank de Boer has a winning mentality, does Mauricio Pochettino? For me the only option is a proven winner.


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