Spurs star Mousa Dembele: I’m aiming to be more selfish in front of goal
Mousa Dembele says he is aiming to be more single-minded and selfish in front of goal after scoring for the second game in a row.
While the Belgian midfielder netted 23 minutes into his Spurs debut in September 2012, he only mustered four more goals in his next 129 appearances and registered just once in 40 games last season.
The 28-year-old has sometimes seemed reluctant to shoot, and his lack of an end product has limited his opportunities to hold down a place in attacking positions.
But Dembele has been deployed behind the striker in the last two games and scored in both of them, hitting the second goal in the 5-1 victory at Bournemouth before putting Spurs ahead after just three minutes in Monday’s 3-1 home win over Aston Villa.
Dembele’s single-minded purpose was noticeable as he bore down on goal and beat Brad Guzan from a narrow angle, and he said: “That’s something I’m thinking a lot about. Everybody’s telling me that I have to think more about that and I try to put that more in my game.
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“It’s not like maybe Harry [Kane], who has this in himself, but I’m working a lot and when I’m in more attacking roles I try to think ‘I need to be dangerous in an attacking way, I need to shoot more’ and it’s helping me at the moment.
“It’s just a way of thinking because in the past I’ve played a lot of positions. If you’re there [in central midfield] then I need to change my way of playing, and then as a No10 I need to be more selfish.
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“It’s nice to play regularly in a certain position so you can really put yourself in that role, and I’m happy I’ve had a few games as a No10, and I want to be more and more dangerous.
“I’m very happy that we’re winning our games quite comfortably I think. On Monday, at 2-1 there was a bit of stress, but then it was 3-1 and it was good.
“I’m happy we’re playing well, there’s a positive atmosphere and a positive way of playing, and I think this is very important. For me, of course I’m very happy to be on the scoresheet too.”
Tottenham are currently in the middle of a spell which sees them playing three times in seven days. Next up is a home game against Belgian outfit Anderlecht in Group J of the Europa League tomorrow [Thursday] - following Spurs’ 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture in Brussels last month - and the Lilywhites then visit arch-rivals Arsenal in the league on Sunday.
“It’s a big week for us,” said Dembele. “We knew if we won the game against Aston Villa that our confidence would grow and we have two big games coming now with the Anderlecht game - which is something special for us as well, for the Belgians - and the Arsenal game as well.
“We know we have a positive, big, talented group and everybody can start and I think everybody expects or hopes to start because there’s just too much quality. That’s a good thing and I’m curious what team will play against Anderlecht. Everybody loves to play, everybody wants to play in these two games.
“We’re professionals and we need to be ready as quickly as possible. Whether it’s three days, or whatever it is, we need to try to be as fit as possible.
“Of course I want to start [against Anderlecht], that’s logical I think. But everybody’s motivated, not only the Belgians, so that’s important.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs