Vertonghen & co can learn from Bill Nicholson

Mt Tottenham, Bill Nicholson, who passed away on October 23rd 2004 was Tottenham through and through.

Vertonghem & co can learn from Bill Nicholson


The players of today could learn a thing or two from Bill Nicholson. The things he said in his day are still true today, perhaps Pochettino should sit them down, recall them from our history and explain what he expects, what we expect.

"If you don’t have to drag yourself off the field exhausted after 90 minutes, you can’t claim to have done your best."

Last season players almost gave a hop, skip and a jump off the field. Fans demand 100% effort yet when Tim Sherwood tries to pick players who will give him 100% effort the fickle fans moan. The biggest case of double standards you are likely to see. Next season the players may not have much choice under Pochettino!

"Spurs have got to be the best in the land, not the second best."

Fine words Bill and we entirely agree, but if the players are giving second best why is it some fans still want them picked, and even worse, now want to give them the captaincy?

"It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory."

Success is about aiming for the pinnacle and if you don't achieve lofty goals you will still have been successful. The aim is to win the Premier League, if you fall short you should land a Champions League place. If you aim for the Champions League and fall short you should end up in the Europa League.

I'm not entirely sure what our policy is to domestic Cups though, are we trying to win them or are we participating and seeing what happens?

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"It's magnificent to be in Europe, and this club - a club like Tottenham Hotspur - if we're not in Europe.... we're nothing. We're nothing."

It is important to be in Europe for exposure around the world. There are plenty of fans who don't want European football, believing, probably wrongly, that it will make a big difference to our finishing position in the Premier League, but it has very little affect on Everton.

They will of course point to Liverpool but I'm afraid that is simplistic nonsense. There were several factors that catapulted Liverpool up the league, having a season learning how to play the Rodgers style and most importantly the use of a Sports Psychologist to ensure they approached every game as if they were playing Manchester United.

That more than anything contributed to their success. Their philosophy was go out and win the game then hold the lead, our policy is to go and and not lose the game, then see if we can win it in the second half. By that time Liverpool had already won most of their games.

"Any player coming to Spurs whether he's a big signing or just a ground staff boy must be dedicated to the game and to the club. He must be prepared to work at his game. He must never be satisfied with his last performance, and he must hate losing."

Isn't this the minimum we expect, did we get it last season? No, and that raises questions about the players we have signed. I'll try when I feel like it is not the attitude of a winner, it's the attitude of someone who takes part, the attitude of an unlucky loser beaten by someone better, someone with the right attitude.

It has nothing to do with luck.

"The public can't be kidded. They know what they want to see, what is good and what is bad and what is just average. At least I believe they do."

How very true Bill, yes we do know what we are watching by and large, we can see a lack of effort, we can spot the player giving 100% but not having a good day, we know the players who are going to give it there all and those who may not. We know the good, the bad, the average.

"There's no use being satisfied when things are done wrongly. I want perfection."

Things being done wrongly seems to have been a Spurs trait over the last few years when the team have mentally buckled and bottled promising positions. We should not still be waiting to finish above Arsenal, that should have happened and Arsenal should have been missing out on the Champions League.

Now we have missed our chance, now they have started to get stronger and now they are starting to spend money on top players. By bottling it we have made our task now all the more difficult and we have allowed Liverpool to hurtle past us as well.



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