A spell on loan at Fulham where his countryman manager questioned his commitment to fight was a surprise to us but having returned to Tottenham with an uncertain future ahead of him. While with Fulham he would turn up and sit in the crowd for Tottenham's Europa League ties, posting the pictures on social media sites. That makes you think he likes it at Tottenham, he wants to be at Tottenham, many others would have sulked or looked for a move away.
Daniel Levy brought in Mauricio Pochettino with a remit of improving the team and improving the youth, to improve players like Lewis Holtby. He demands an extremely high level of fitness to be able to play the high intensity pressing game and not run out of steam over the course of a game. Holtby now seems to have a permanent smile on his face as if he is happy with life.
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The 23-year-old German has taken to the new managers training and tactics like a duck to water. He has stood out among pre-season and shouted select me. He has played as Erik Lamela's understudy on the right and played central. Against West Ham he is probably in a straight fight with Nabil Bentaleb for the defensive midfield role alongside Étienne Capoue.
“I think he’s a very good manager. I don’t want to compare managers as everyone has their own style, but he’s very positive - he wants to play attacking football, pressing football.
“It suits everybody at the club. Everyone’s happy with the way we train, the way we work, and he’s so ambitious. We’re very positive to go into the season and do very well.”
“I think, after last year’s performances against them, everyone knows what this game’s about. It’s about getting three points in the first game of the Premier League season, and it’s a big derby which means a lot to the fans.
“If we could win at Upton Park I think that would mean a lot to the fans, especially after last year. Everyone’s really up for it and we can’t wait to kick off.”
He is right there, after last season three points are needed to restore order, to get the season off to a start that inspires confidence for the next game and sends the fans to work with a smile on their faces.