The neutrals might have bought into Leicester City’s title dream fairy tale but there can be little arguing that Tottenham Hotspurs are the people’s champions. Not only are they playing attacking, entertaining football, the players also look like they’re enjoying Mauricio Pochettino’s methods and philosophy. It wasn’t always this way.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Kyle Walker speaks about how ‘horrible’ it was to initially play under a manager renowned for running his players into the ground, for conditioning them to the max.
“I’m not going to lie,” Walker says. “At the start it was horrible. Horrible. When you reach the first team as a professional, it’s kind of like, ‘If you want go and do gym, do gym. If you don’t, you don’t have to’. But when he came in, gym was compulsory.”
That summer, Walker and his team-mates pushed themselves to the limit. Now, they are reaping the benefits. “We’ve got four games left, and we’re still running almost every other team off the pitch,” Walker says. “The only team close to us, if I remember correctly, is Bournemouth.
“That’s what I meant before about doing the basics right. We can all play football, but one of the basics of this game is that you need to run about and work for each other. That’s what’s pushed us on to the next level. Now, if he says ‘do a gym session in the afternoon’, it’s a normal thing. We just get on and do it.”
Walker also spoke about what a kind, genial man Pochettino is, remarking that it sometimes feels weird to think of him as a coach because he’s also a friend. Spurs is a fun place to be, by the sounds of things, with Walker talking about the cast of characters who make going to work a joy.
Not only are they a sound bunch, they’re talented and young too. Walker hopes that they can stay together for the best part of ten years to build a dynasty. Read his full interview here.