Future in doubt, that's how to respond

Nacer Chadli is flavour of the week with fans and press after his two goals for Tottenham in the 4-0 demolition of Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Future in doubt, that's how to respond


He was one of the 'Summer Seven' who were so disappointing last term, not because there were so many new arrivals, not because they had to get used to a new league, but because the managers they were working under didn't play a system to get the best out of them. Under Andre Villas-Boas Chadli and the others new arrivals were stuck in a rigid system that didn't suit him or them. He was played wide as a winger which is really not his forte. He had scope to cut in but in a limited channel and without midfield runners had few options.

Back in March he openly admitted he hadn't been good enough in his first season in the Premier League and he hoped he would be given the time to show Spurs fans what he could do, a second chance almost.

“I have not shown all what I can do at Tottenham. I can do a lot more. I think I just have to adapt as much as possible. I think I can do it better. 
“Tottenham bought a lot of players this summer so it was a bit different for everybody to play in the new league. It was not so easy because it’s very different, a different way to play. But with time I think we will adapt to the league. The more we play together, the better we’ll be.”

When a new player arrives and struggles you have to look at him and ask if the ability you thought was there is there, or if there is a deficiency in his game the league has exposed that would be difficult to rectify. If the player has ability but just hasn't shown it yet then you have to decide whether he is suited to the system.

We have a new head coach of course so now we have a new system, which seems to suit him. The noises coming out of the training ground were that Pochettino was happy with him and would rather let other players go, like Townsend or Lennon.

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Chadli, like Erik Lamela, is a player who starts wide but comes inside to cause problems and create shooting chances. He isn't an out and out winger, we rarely play with that position now. To give him a label you say he was an attacking left sided midfielder as opposed to a left winger.

“For me it’s better to come off the left wing and get into a central position when we have a cross because I can finish it off - or sometimes I can move out to the right. I think it’s good for me. 
"When the full-backs go high, there’s no point in me staying there, high on the wide side, so I have to go into the box. I’m tall and Ade’s tall and we try to make the difference.”

Within the Pochettino system he interchanges positions with his fellow attackers so can pop up on the right, he scored his first goal from that area, or centrally from where he scored his second. The system is all new to him as he explains.

“I came back from the World Cup and nobody said I could leave. I didn’t have the best time last season, but I didn’t want to leave it like that. I would rather have taken my chances, stayed here and shown what I can do.
“Last season I struggled with injury at the start and physically I was down. It became a very hard season and I was disappointed with how it went - I wanted it to go much better.
“Now I am looking forward and with the new manager coming in it gives me a fresh start. We all know what we have to do on the pitch and what it takes to play in the Premier League.
“We have Emmanuel Adebayor at the top and then behind him, we have me, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, who are all encouraged to change position during the game. That makes it very difficult for opponents to choose which one of us to pick up.
“It is a new way of playing and effectively we have three No.10s - that is good because we can also get the full-backs into forward positions and at times we can have five players supporting Ade when we go forward.”

The opening line of that statement, 'I came back from the World Cup and nobody said I could leave', rather shows that he was concerned that may happen which can affect players in two ways. You either respond and work to prove you deserve another chance or you go into your shell with self doubt and let worry take over, under which circumstances you won't produce your best.

An element of that affected Lamela last season as he has openly admitted, but when he was recovering fitness this summer he has responded in very positive fashion. Now it's as if we have just signed an exciting new player. Chadli has responded positively too. We wait to see what Paulinho is going to do when he's fit.

Looking ahead it is a difficult game against Liverpool who humiliated us twice last season. It is early days for the new system and it will be a stern test that gives us and Pochettino a good idea of where we are at. Chadli wants to put right what went wrong back then.

“Liverpool showed last year they are a good team and we have something to make right against them. I played in the home game and the 4-0 one at Anfield and they were not the best parts of the season. 
“But you have to learn from the experience of those games, however bad it was at the time. It was difficult to lose like that - I had never lost like that before and hopefully we can learn from it.
“We are confident and we showed that against QPR. We made it easier for ourselves by scoring early on, but after that we created a lot of chances and that was good."

Will the game be a reality check or will it boost our confidence, I can't wait to find out.



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