Inside Lane: Bill Nicholson would be proud of this Tottenham team

Tottenham blogger Alan Fisher says Spurs’ legendary double-winning manager Bill Nicholson would approve of Mauricio Pochettino’s title challengers.

Bill Nicholson isn’t just Tottenham’s most successful ever manager, he’s the man who embodies the spirit of the club. The glory glory days of the double were over 50 years ago but his words mean as much today as they did then – more so perhaps because the game has moved so far from its roots.

Bill spoke about his ambitions for his beloved Spurs: “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”

Whether Mauricio Pochettino’s young guns have heard these words is doubtful but it may as well be their mantra, because this is how they play. The title is still on, and who would have thought that would be possible when the season began in August.

If Leicester keep winning it’s out of our hands. No matter – we can’t do anything except keep attacking, taking the game to our opponents until the very end. I’ve come to think this team doesn’t know how else to play.

Pochettino’s Spurs won’t let us down. They are relentless, as Manchester United found to their cost on Sunday. The Reds pinned us down but only for so long. When it came, the breakthrough was like a tidal wave destroying everything in its path. Three goals in six glorious minutes left United desolate and White Hart Lane bouncing.

The first, swept in by Dele Alli, encapsulated the season. Erik Lamela refused to give up on a loose ball, ending up on his backside – but his mates aren’t going to leave him on his own. Harry Kane sorted it out, then instantly capitalised with a touch to Christian Eriksen, who bent a sublime cross round the defenders and onto Alli’s toes.

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Physical presence, hard graft and delightful skill when it matters most – these are the ingredients of a good football team and what Tottenham have shown all season, in all areas. That’s also a pen picture of our player of the season, Toby Alderweireld, who was imperious again.

If in the end we don’t make it, that’s just the way it is. What matters is the way Spurs take on the challenge and in that sense, I can’t fault them. Even if we don’t win the title, this will still be the best season I can recall since the early 80s. And you know what the best thing is? This team under this manager is only going to get better. I think Bill Nick would be proud. I know I am.

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