Cheeky bid for Gary Neville?
Been discussing attitude recently on this blog. My favourite statement at the moment is "No siege mentality, no determination to right the wrongs..." - a testament to the difference between us and the likes of Man Utd and one or two other clubs up there at the top. Carrick, when he left us for Old Trafford, was critical of the acceptance attitude at WHL. Players accepted defeat, it was something that didn't appear to hurt players enough. Harry has been citing Gary Neville's reaction on the sidelines during the City game as an example of togetherness. Players on the bench that kick every ball and celebrate every goal.
It's a constant wanting to play every game and win. Defeat is inexcusable. Carrick also famously cited how players sat in a comfort zone, with some not wanting to show up others and there was almost a culture of under-achievement on an individual basis, which obviously works its way through the team - so the overall mentality is one of mediocrity. This is all very much a generalisation, but I'm not alone in thinking we've been powder-puff for far too long, without leadership and guile. Far too many ego's. A stepping stone, an arena, where you prove you are decent enough to look upwards at a CL club to swoop in and poach.
Harry has began the process of change. Team spirit has evidently improved, be it on the pitch or on the bench. One or two sulky faces still persist, and I guess it's here that we lag a good light year behind the likes of United. But to achieve something akin to what Fergie has done at United is not exactly a peace of piss. We still have players who think as individuals rather than part of the collective of the squad. The more you win, the more unacceptable defeat becomes.
I love 'arry because he talks straight. No nonsense. Ok, so he talks a lot and has an opinion about everything, but what he does well is see what we see, rather than shrug and state that he's been left scratching his head.
How do we exactly go about building this mentality? How do Spurs players become Spurs fans? Easier said than done. Fergie's empire began in a different era of football. The fact that the Top 4 site in their thrones means that there is always another level for the modern player to aim for when he plays for the likes of Spurs, Villa, Everton etc.
I guess its partly up to us to support the team vocally - as ever - and Harry to gradually change the mind-set of the players. Losing has to hurt more than anything. Not that it doesn't (for us), but the players have to feel sick to see points lost.
Signing players like Wilson Palacios is how we work towards it. Players who work at a tempo that inspires others around him to match his tenacity. When we see the first example of a siege mentality then we can begin to smile a little more and the players - having experienced the very fact they can lift their game to a higher level - will know that if they can do it in one game, there is no excuse to fail in the next. We need a couple of giant personalities in the side that have an unnerving warrior stance out on the field, barking out orders to players, encouraging them and giving them what for if any heads drop down. It's the type of confidence that flirts with arrogance.
Every opponent should be treated the same. No discrimination. Go out there and pull the fuckers apart.