Date: 4th July 2018 at 12:55pm
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I wrote an article a little while back about ‘belief’ in relation to our players. There can be no more proof of this belief than when Kane (for the second time), Trippier and Dier walked calmly up to take their turn in the penalty shoot-out against Columbia.

I don’t know who decides who will take the penalties in this situation but I do know that the players have to be willing to take them. It’s the World Cup. The whole world is watching. The pressure must be immense. Some players will take a step back, away from the firing line. Some will step forward, have faith in their ability, and trust in their destiny. Three Spurs boys did not step back! England had never won a similar contest in World Cup history. The people of England never forget and, when it comes to football, do not have a forgiving nature. Score and be a hero; fail and be media bait and scorned by a nation. It’s the way football works. Crazy!

All three of our players looked just about as worried as they would be going for a stroll in the local park as each approached the penalty spot. Looks, of course, are deceptive, but to their credit, they controlled whatever emotions were going on inside their heads and focused on the job in hand … just as they have been trained to do. There will be times in the future when things don’t go their way but that will never destroy the confidence and belief each have in themselves and in each other …. the confidence and belief reinforced from this one game.

There were six players, all borrowed from The Lane, on the park last night. Kane was magnificent, as was Trippier. Sanchez, who would have looked nicer in an England shirt, let neither himself, nor his team down. Dele had a quiet game and failed to make an impact …. did he return from injury too early? Dier was heading toward an average performance …. until destiny called. Rose entered the arena in the second half and did all he had to do.

Somewhere in the media I read a recent comment that there are too many Spurs players in the current England team. After last night I think it would be fairer to say that there is not enough. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a proud day to be an England supporter and an even prouder day to be a Spurs supporter.

England face Sweden in the Quarter-final. Personally. I believe Sweden is the easiest opposition left and should prove no barrier to England taking one of the semi-final berths. Kane must fancy his chances of increasing his goal tally against them and, if he does, he will be well on his way to the Golden Boot. After this competition Harry may not just be ‘one of our own’ …. he may go national!


170 Replies to “Confidence, Belief, Maturity; ‘England’s Spurs Boys’.”

  • Spurs penalty takers as cool as the Germans. Poch and co have produced the winning attitude, the winning mentality. Next season, wonderful new stadium….well! For now, delighted for Eric Dier and so pleased to see the press catching up with the fans assessment of Kieran Trippier. Danny Rose, well, nearly the winner and Dele, well, so few journos see the amazing things he does, the sheer intelligence of his quick passing, his defensive covering and as for Harry Kane, well, just another one season wonder….every season!
    Thought Sanchez has a good game and Barrios, well, a pain for the opposition but i wouldn’t mind him at The Lane. COYS!!1

  • Geofspurs nice article. What an emotional game. Right now I am recuperating from a heart procedure and almost did not survive the shoot out. Each time a Spurs player strode to the penalty spot I commented loudly…”don’t miss, or it will be Spurs fault!”. My joy after Pickford’s kick quickly evaporated when I saw Dier striding to the spot! Good grief! I don’t think I breathed until the ball was in the back of the net. Both my wife and I (she is also not well) erupted out of our chairs in absolute joy and relief and elation.

    Prior to the shoot out, I was cursing England for giving away the game. I didn’t think Harry had a good game. He was lost for much of it as no service was coming his way. Sterling was his usual selfish self and the team as a whole was playing at too slow a tempo. Maybe I’m being over critical but to me there was little evidence of urgency, creativity or drive. It seems that we are putting all our hope in set plays, which I personally think is foolish. We have skilled attackers like Rashford and Kane who are being under utilized as we are not playing to their strengths. On several occasions we had opportunities to counter and totally failed to take them. Had we started the game with Rashford, Kane and Lingard I think we would have had a better attacking setup. To me Sterling is just too interested in trying to dribble.

  • For me the greatest surprise of the WC this year has been the star performance of OUR TRIPPIER! Who knew he had it in him to be the primary taker of free kicks? His crossing has been superior to what he’s done at Spurs, and his PK in the shootout: wow. His our own! Let’s welcome him back to Spurs when the real football starts once again.

  • In case I am misunderstood for my second paragraph please note that I thoroughly enjoyed the game and did enjoy most of the individual players efforts. Pickford was excellent, our back line was competent except I think it is time for Rose to replace Young although that increase the pressure on Spurs. I thought McGuire had a decent game and was one of the few who seemed to want to take the game by the scruff of the neck and shake it up. Dele was Dele but not the brilliant one. Henderson was tough but lost his head too often. Tripps had a good game and is slowly becoming an undroppable player for England. Walker was inconsistent and had his one brain fart as he always does. I am being very critical I know but it is really how I feel after the euphoria of winning the game after almost seeing it slip away.

    I have to give credit to the Colombian team, although they played dirty it was the only way for them to contain our attack and they did do that. It was really up to the ref to set the tone early to stop it and he failed miserably. I doubt he will be given another shot at refereeing another game this WC.

  • The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Spurs lads for two reasons. Firstly for having the balls and bottle to submit themselves to the ordeal of taking penalties under trying circumstances, and secondly all 3 of them showing the quality and composure to take excellent penalties, that together with Ratchford’s effort, won it for England. Congratulations to all 3 of them, they have done credit to themselves and this club. Kieron Trippier is emerging from the opportunity afforded him in this WC as a RWB of outstanding quality.

  • Best of health to you and your wife jvd…

    I am now going to disagree with you…

    I thought Harry had a great game and, that’s apart from his coolness in his penalty taking…

    I thought that the entire England team played very well, when given the dirty, game spoiling tactics and cheating of the Colombians. They did their utmost to get in the way of any real football being played, either from them or England… If the Colombians had attempted to play some actual football for most of the match, they may have actually succeeding in beating England, fairly and squarely… Then again, England would’ve probably had more opportunity to shine anyway…

    That was a big, big win. And it may have not looked pretty but England did what they needed to win it and in very tough circumstances…

    The Tottenham boys didn’t let us down. And, that includes Davinson Sanchez…

  • Trippier has to be in contention for player of the tournament. He’s been superb! As for Sweden, don’t underestimate them. We seldom beat them and always go into games against them thinking we’re far better!

  • One thing I would say about this England team and indeed our teams of the past, is that they can hold their own in terms of football quality, but that they are seriously naive regarding the dark arts tactics that are part and parcel of tournament football. Last night Columbia players got 6 yellow cards yet still finished with 11 men why? This was because we weren’t cute enough to intimidate and wind up any one or more of them, to attract a second bookable offence, and a red card. The way they played and exploited an extremely poor and weak referee, was a lesson in breaking up the flow of the oppositions play, trying to spoil their concentration, and time wasting etc. These are the type of negative tactics that prevail in all tournament football, at both international and club level, used by the emergent and often weaker sides to try to bridge the gap to the better sides. You have to aware of this and if necessary fight fire with fire, especially when it is obvious that the referee is/ has lost the plot. It’s easier to beat 10 men than 11, Falcao and Barrios were prime candidates to be intimidated to get them dismissed. This lesson needs to be learned.

    • Agree with you wholeheartedly Frank. I was amazed at the referee for letting them get away with their intimidation of himself on several occasions, including getting right up in his face on a couple. Really was ridiculous. I enjoyed Kane’s calmness when the penalty was called. He just picked up the ball and calmly walked away from the commotion and got his mind ready to take the penalty. I am really hoping that their will be some after match bans issued by FIFA to ensure such displays do not recur.

  • I understand what you are saying Frank and at other times I may agree with you on all that. But, not this time.

    I actually think that England showed maturity and strength of spirit by not bowing down to the level of the Colombian antics and in mostly keeping it cool and fair… And it’s coolness that eventually won that game for us…

    It’s the officials that showed real naivety in my mind. Players should’ve been sent off. And, without the need for any England players to get involved at all in encouraging such decisions, as you have suggested… Especially with VAR at hand to prove the point…

  • Harry Kane last night gave a master class in playing the lone striker role. His hold up play, his work when we didn’t have the ball, his runs to make space for others, and his link up play, and his ability to attract opposition players, to draw fouls, and to get a penalty and numerous free kicks, and the coolness with which he despatched both his penalties was exemplary and an example to his own team, and indeed the rest of those still competing for this WC.

  • That Frank, I have to agree with… That to me is what Harry is and was all about last night…

    A captain, a Spur and an England player to be proud of…

  • Parklaneyido, we are much better than Sweden both individually and collectively, and it’s time we went out and proved it conclusively. I agree we have failed to do this in the past, but now they lost their only really world class player and talisman, they must be ripe for the taking or should be, so it’s up to this group of England players to get it done.

    • Frank, agree the England seem the superior team, but we both know that the superior team often loses. I also agree that Harry was magnificent yesterday as the lone striker. He did it all.

  • I thought Harry had a good game. he did a fair bit of work in midfield and led by example. Being the victim of 11 fouls would have made most players lose their composure …. but not this professional player!

    I’ve asked this question before, but can anyone give me a reason why Sterling keeps starting ahead of rashford. I just need one reason, any reason will do, so that I can get my head around it.

  • From a Spurs point of view I think all our players will come back better for the experience, mentally stronger and less likely to be phased by anything football throws at them. I’ve said before that the player I wish hadn’t been injured was Winks. To me there’s a bit of a disconnect between the attack and defence and Winks would have been that link man. There’s no point talking about his lack of experience, that pretty much applies to the whole squad. I am a bit worried about Ali. While I think he’s a better player than Loftus-Cheek I’d rather a fully fit Loftus-Cheek than a half fit Ali for the Sweden game.

  • I thought Sterling played well last night, Geof.

    He just needs to step it up a bit more to improve on his hard work and also perhaps do that something extra and special.

    And, I think there is a key to why Southgate plays Sterling ahead of Rashford…

    Sterling is non-stop, full of energy, makes some very good runs that will often open up space for others (Kane), and draws a lot of fouls himself. And, in spite of what many others have said about him, I think he is far from selfish in his overall play. I think his style of play is suited to GS’s overall game plan for England, more so than Rashfords exuberant and boyish nature…

    Rashford is still a wee bit naive imo and doesn’t quite have the strength and thrust of Sterling or the same consistency of play for an entire match that Raheem can give to the team… He also lacks Sterlings experience…

    Rashford is an ideal sub for me in this team… And what he lacks in experience he will make up for in skill, energy and his sheer ability on the ball without much fear of failure… He showed that last night with the pen in the shoot out…

    For me, I think that if he did start the games, we might then see why Sterling’s experience is preferred for now…

  • Geofspur, first of all congrats on an excellent article. Secondly regarding Sterling, I wouldn’t start him either, OK he is quick, but appears to have little else, his pass completion rate is poor, his chance conversion rate is worse, and to me he contributes little. Having said all of that I suppose Southgate may have superior knowledge and while he gets results, we should respect his choices, although I think the team’s success may be in spite of, rather than because of Stirling’s contributions or indeed lack of them.

  • Where do I start – Geofspurs thank you another well written article.

    Jvd…get well soon mate, bin there heart procedure wise, ditto your wife. Your comment “don’t miss or it will be Spurs fault”, I was shouting exactly the same, but on seeing the way HK, KT & ED stepped with confidence and concentration to do the job did make feel so proud of them.

    I do not know how long I have been saying it – but why the hell is one man band Sterling in the side and not Rashford? am asking the same question as Geofspurs.

    Regards the statement we always underestimate Sweden, bloody true, but in his interview last night GS said the same, but went on to say we will not be underestimating them on Saturday.

    Spurs sorry England to win the World Cup. COYS & ENGLAND.

  • HT … Thanks for that. I really did need a reason. I’ll watch him a bit more closely next time …. and look for some positives.

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