DARREN ANDERTON Q&A: FORMER TOTTENHAM GREAT TALKS ALL THINGS SPURS
The Ex England and Tottenham man talks exclusively to Sportingbet about transfer targets, Pochettino’s prospects, Danny Rose’s controversial comments and much, much more.
On Tottenham's current transfers:
"Above transfers, the most important thing for Tottenham was to keep everyone and it's a shame to see Kyle Walker go, but Trippier is ready to step in and take his position.
"Tottenham do have to keep strengthening, even if it's not their first eleven, with the Champions League they need a strong squad, it's not just about the 11 players, but Spurs need to bring in a couple more quality players and freshen things up a bit.
"I don’t know too much about Sanchez and it's a different test for him in the Premier League. Tottenham defend properly and don’t take chances so Pochettino would have wanted someone who fits into that role.
"Pochettino will want Alderweireld to play along side Sanchez to learn as much as possible, he's the perfect manager to work with young players."
On Pochettino as a manager:
"Pochettino has made every player at Tottenham better and everyone says how good the players are, but it's because Pochettino has improved them. He makes everyone work hard but it clearly pays off throughout the season.
"I'm a massive fan of his high intensity training, which really shows its worth during Christmas. You only have to look at last year when Spurs were comfortably beating everyone over that period.
"Players that leave Tottenham won't perform to the same level they were at when they were at Tottenham. When they haven’t got a manager like Pochettino pushing them as hard as they can go and being on their back the whole time, their performance levels will drop.
"It's vital that Tottenham keep Pochettino, because if players start to leave, then he could get disillusioned himself and want to leave, so they have to keep this team together.
"Levy will have to have 100% faith in Pochettino and will give him what he wants, with everything he's done and the way the club is moving forward he can't afford to break that up. So I'm sure that wherever possible Levy will back Pochettino's transfer targets."
On whether the wage structure works for Tottenham:
"There's always going to be offers coming in for your top players and Tottenham have got players that could walk into other teams, and of course with there being so much money, players heads will be turned.
"Its something that needs to be addressed, the players Tottenham have to be paid the value they are worth. When someone offers you a lot more money, the likelihood is you are going to be tempted. All players have values, Kyle Walker, as a right back, has gone for £50 million and is earning a hell of a lot more money somewhere else. So it is definitely a worry!"
On Danny Rose talking to the media and the future for him:
"Danny Rose should have definitely kept his thoughts in-house, but he has answered the questions he was asked truthfully, so you can commend him for that.
"People will say that he should be happy with the money his on, but it's not big money compared to Man City, Man United and Chelsea and Tottenham are a big team now. The main problem is that players definitely won't be earning the same money at the club as similar players in other teams.
"Pochettino will only want players at the club that are there for the cause, and Rose will have to continue doing the business on the pitch. If he does, then Pochettino won't have a problem with that, but if he takes his foot off the gas, the boss will definitely have a problem with him.
"If Tottenham are to continue with two wing backs and Rose can come back from his injury the same player, I wouldn't want anyone else there and I wouldn’t want him to move on".
On Tottenham not paying the top money so potentially falling out of the Top 6:
"Tottenham are at risk of falling out of the top 6 if they don't spend the money that others around them are spending. The players that Spurs are lucky to have at the moment wouldn't be turning their heads if they were earning the same amount the others around them were".
On Players staying at the club:
"The club has a lot of young players in the England team, and whilst they're away on international duty, they will have players from other teams trying to turn their head and asking them to join them. Suddenly the player's head is turned and they lose focus.
"With Kyle Walker leaving, if one or two more players decide to leave, then others will start to think whether they want to stay. So it's very important to lock down the players that are there".
On players leaving if Tottenham don’t start winning trophies:
"Every player wants to win things and represent their country. Danny Rose has said that he doesn’t want to look back at his career without winning trophies. So for players that is a worry that that may not happen, and to be classed as a top player through history, people will look at what you have won as a player.
"I never regretted staying at Spurs despite interest from Manchester United and I wouldn’t go back to change that, but winning trophies is what it's all about and that's the main regret – that I didn't win more."
On Toby Alderweireld not signing a contract:
"There could be a chance that Tottenham have signed Sanchez as a replacement for Alderweireld. Toby gives an 8 of 10 performance every week and they need to break the bank to keep him. The quality of the team has improved since he's been there and Vertonghen's performances have improved so much having him alongside. For me, it's most essential that Spurs keep hold of Toby."
With Walker leaving and Danny Rose's comments, will Tottenham's defence be as solid this year:
'I think Kyle Walker is a great athlete and was flying last year, but I believe Tripper is ready to fill Kyle’s boots. I believe that he most certainly has the potential and quality to step into that wing back role.
"I remember watching him at Burnley and being incredibly impressed. For him to recapture that form, he needs to be playing regularly so this is his chance to shine and I believe he will have a great career at Tottenham."
On playing at Wembley and moving into their new stadium:
"The pitch size at Wembley should be a positive for Tottenham, not a negative. It can be very energy-sapping but Spurs have a fitter team than any other in the league so it shouldn’t be a problem. You should see the team excel in the last phases of the game. But you're lacking the atmosphere that White Hart Lane had, you simply cannot replicate that.
"I don't believe in the Wembley curse – Tottenham’s group in last years champions league turned out to be much more difficult than expected, with people not knowing just what a good team Monaco were. It's important for Tottenham to get that first win and stop people from talking about their form at Wembley. I'm sure that's on the player's minds.
"With the quality that Spurs have, they need a good home record this season if they are to go one better and that starts with Burnley this weekend. If they don't win that, then you start to wonder if it's an issue.
"It won't get easier for Spurs, players will see the game against Tottenham at Wembley and be more up for it than they would any other game, players love the chance to play at Wembley - not just because it's Wembley but because it won't be as intimidating as White Hart Lane, so players will have more confidence."
On where Tottenham will finish:
"I think Tottenham will finish in the top four and it's important for them to attract the very top players. Man United and Man City have spent a lot of money along with Chelsea, but I feel that Arsenal and Liverpool won't finish in the top four this year.
"Over the last two years Tottenham have been the most consistent team in the league and that's why Manchester United under Ferguson were so special, they were consistently fighting for the title every season. They have to get that habit of winning games and nicking late goals to show that they can win the league."
On future players that Tottenham could sign:
"I think Ross Barkley will still sign for Tottenham despite other interest. I think the comments from Ronald Koeman were strange, Ross Barkley is a fantastic player, but I think he needs a manager that will love him and improve his game, like Pochettino, and coming to Tottenham will be the perfect pillar for him.
"However, with the current setup, Ross will struggle to get into the team. I think if Barkley comes he'll want some reassurance that he'll be playing, but for me, I don’t know how you can change that front three of Kane, Alli and Eriksen – it's arguably the best front three in the league.
"It's difficult. Barkley wants to play, but I'm sure Spurs fans would be very upset if Alli or Eriksen were dropped, as they play in the same position. If he does join and one of the other players leaves, they could go anywhere they wanted. Dele Alli is worth a fortune.
"They will want to play every game and won't want the manager chopping and changing just to accommodate everyone".
On Kane having someone to rival him and long-term commitment:
"Son did a fantastic job last year when Kane was injured, banging in goals left right and centre and for me he really got Tottenham's season going.
"Tottenham need another top centre-forward in case Kane does get injured, but a £60/70 million player isn't going to come in and sit on the bench."
On Kane having some competition for his place:
"I think most players need to have competition to improve their game, but I don’t think Kane needs it. He's young and hungry and I think the fact he went out on loan so often to lower league clubs when he was younger, it's really toughened him up – especially mentally as he's got so much belief in his ability and desire to be at the top. He's a dream for a manager as he's always got his foot on the pedal.
"Harry's the top man at the club and the one player they can't afford to lose. I think he loves the club and wouldn’t want to force a move, but if Real Madrid or Barcelona come knocking, he could go."
On Dele Alli's improvement:
"He's such an intelligent player with great ability. I think he can definitely go on and beat Lampard's scoring record if he stays in the Premier League.
"He a fantastic player to watch, always trying different things. He loves a nutmeg and maybe he tries that too often at times.
"He does have a little edge about him that can get him in trouble, but you can't take that out of his game, or he'd then have to take his foot off the gas a little and you want him at full pelt.
"That edge is something he'll have had from a young age, coming from the lower leagues he'll have taught himself to toughen up and take big challenges. He's very mature for his age. He proved how much he's come on against Newcastle United. He was getting kicked all over the place, got stamped on and then gave the best possible response by scoring a goal.
"When things aren’t going well, he's always going to have that frustration about his game, as he wants to be the match winner – but when players start to man mark him or try to rile him up he will get frustrated."
On the future of Eric Dier:
"He had a fantastic year before Wanyama came in, so I thought the signing of Wanyama was harsh. As a player if you have a great year, you should be rewarded for that but Pochettino went out and bought Wanyama, which he probably sees as a bit of a kick in the teeth. Dier has got on with it though, which has meant he has been used as more of a utility player, which isn’t great for his career. Wanyama was brilliant last year so you can't argue too much with the Pochettino.
"Dier wants to be a defensive midfielder and after playing so well for England in that position, he won't want to play centre back, he'll want to be a defensive midfielder.
"Eric could have quite easily gone to United this year, but Levy made sure that didn’t happen, but he'll want to play. He won't kick up a fuss, but if he can go and be a regular in another team you couldn't blame him for leaving – no matter how much he loves the club".
On what a successful year for Tottenham would be:
"They have to stay in the top 4. United look like they've gone to another level from last year, I think Man City are brilliant going forward but I don't think their defence is good enough to win the league.
"Tottenham finished second last year so they have to be aiming for first this year, it's a big ask but finishing top three would be a great achievement, especially playing at Wembley. A domestic cup would be a bonus".
On the new stadium plans:
"It's been a great story for the club, to see what they've done, but they need to improve and the new stadium improvements are a great way of showing that. If they want to carry on bringing in the same types on players they did this summer, then they'll need to show these players what direction the club is going in and their future plans for the club".
On their current transfer Activity:
"Ake was a massive coup for Bournemouth. I personally feel that he could have got a lot of games at Chelsea this year, with their current situation and have to say I'm very surprised they have let him go. He's obviously enjoyed his time at the club and it's a big statement for him to leave Chelsea to come and play for the Cherries.
"Defoe is a massive signing, he may be getting older but he's still sharp – he's probably the best finisher I've ever seen. Bournemouth's style of play will suit Defoe very well as they go out to win games and play very openly. Sometimes they play too openly against the bigger teams and have come unstuck, but they go out every week to win games and score goals."
On who will start upfront for Bournemouth:
"It could be the time for Defoe to start playing upfront. Wilson's going to struggle to get back to the level he was at before he was injured and Defoe will want to be playing week in week out and he'll score goals.
"Wilson will be happy to stay and get fit again, but he'll want a good run of games and if he doesn’t get into the team he'll get very frustrated. He's one of the main reasons Bournemouth are in the Premier League and will want to get back into the team.
"Eddie is very level headed, he won't go out and make any rash signings, but the pressure to win every week is intense and once you lose two games in a row it becomes panic stations, along with the pressure from the media on every game and every signing. I think managers sometimes go for an older player who is coming towards the end of their career, which isn’t right, but he's got it spot on with Defoe".
On the future for Bournemouth:
"I think Bournemouth's main aim will be to stay in the Premier League and Eddie will be looking to push on, but staying up would be the main aim, moving up the league is another level with the money needed to do so".
On bringing back Jack Wilshere:
"Jack Wilshere came into the team not thinking he was the main man and mixed well with everyone. I think Eddie will be looking to bring in someone with a little more energy, as he plays such a high pressing game with high intensity, so that could be why he hasn’t pursued bringing him in full time – I think it would be a surprise if he came back. Jack's main aim will be trying to get back into the Arsenal team and he won't get back to his best until he's playing games".
On how the season has started and the current squad:
"There are some players that haven’t hit their best form yet, but when they do they will be fine.
"I think the signings that have come in this year are a lot better than last year. I don't think we’ve seen the best of Jordan Ibe at Bournemouth yet. They've let Gradel out on loan again as well and I think the three players they've brought in are great replacements."BET NOW