Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen puts Spurs future on hold due to latest defeat
Jan Vertonghen is keeping his options open and will decide on his Spurs future after the World Cup
Monday 24 February 2014
This is a difficult moment for Tottenham Hotspur. They have lost their last two games 1-0 and now find themselves staring upwards at Liverpool, six points clear of them in fourth and playing football that will only widen the gap.
Manager Tim Sherwood was very disappointed after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Norwich City and said it was the “first major setback” of his time in charge and that they needed to respond quickly. “We are looking for a bounce-back,” Sherwood said, “and we need characters in the dressing room to do that.”
One of those figures ought to be Jan Vertonghen, comfortably Spurs’ best defender and, arguably, all-round player. Vertonghen is a regular for Belgium and joined from Ajax. Clearly, he should be playing in the Champions League. And when he was asked, after the match, if he would stay at Spurs should they be playing Europa League next season, he would not say yes.
“Those are always difficult questions,” Vertonghen replied. “What I want is to play in the Champions League with Tottenham, so hopefully I will get there this year.”
He said that all he could do was suspend a decision until the summer. Vertonghen was just as honest about Spurs’ dismal display as Sherwood was. “We need to raise our game to compete with the other top teams,” he said. “Before it was because of the defence not doing well enough – which includes everybody – and now we are not scoring enough goals to bounce back from a 1-0 deficit after half-time or whatever. We need to start playing as a team more because individually we are good enough.”
Spurs host Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on Thursday, needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit. Vertonghen is looking up, whether Spurs take it seriously or not. “A good run in the Europa League could give us confidence and it means in just a few days’ time we have a chance to bounce back.”
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