Tottenham Hotspur were branded weak by Gary Neville earlier in the season. They have a chance to make him eat those words.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville laid into Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season when Mauricio Pochettino’s side fell apart during the second half of the game against Newcastle.
It’s a match Spurs lost 2-1, leaving Neville branding the current group of players as weak in terms of mentality, as frustrations around White Hart Lane started to violently simmer.
Spurs have improved since that point and with few giving them a chance of taking anything from the game against Chelsea this evening, it is a chance for them to make Neville eat those ‘weak’ comments.
There’s been a lot of talk over whether Chelsea can make it through the entire season without losing a game so the first team to beat the Blues will have to produce a top quality and mentally strong performance to secure three points.
Tottenham need to believe that side can be them and Mauricio Pochettino’s men can take heart from a number of places as they look to try and get the better of the Premier League leaders.
Spurs played extremely well in another London derby earlier this season, as they were unlucky not to hold out for three points in the match against Arsenal after going 1-0 in front.
Pochettino has also already commented on his time at Espanyol as a player and coach and how he was on the winning side in similar situations, when his team went into games they were fully expected to lose.
So how can Spurs make Neville eat his words in terms of their tactics?
Firstly, they need to defend well because Chelsea will have a lot of possession. Spurs are better than a side that simply parks the bus, but they need to defend positively when they are pushed deep.
Secondly, they need to counter attack effectively and make the most of space in wide areas. Whoever starts up front is going to have to work the channels well to give the defence an option and hold possession up as others come forward and get into the game.
Thirdly, they need a bit of luck whether that comes in the form of a decision or something like a deflection on a shot. Throw in some mental toughness and resilience and Neville could be saying something different tomorrow morning.