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lol or laugh out loud, might be one missing ingredient in the Tottenham team in recent times. Perhaps I am missing something or as I am not privy to the dressing room banter, am wrong, but certainly when I look at the players on the pitch, I feel that a bit of fun, banter and perhaps a little madness is not there.

If I look at the Spurs team, do I see too many individuals that have a real spark of energy, an ability to instigate fun and banter, or am I seeing a group of players that are a little laid back or maybe, just maybe, take life a little too seriously?

I feel we have the likes of Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend as two individuals that seem to be really positive characters, but Kyle was missing for the last two games, whilst Andros seems to be suffering a drop in confidence. Mr Madness, Sandro is suggested as being fit to at least be considered for Thursday, and I wonder if he is just the character, if not yet the player to reignite the team, just by his enthusiasm and positivity?

This is nothing against the players that have played in the last two games or even the bulk of the squad, but I do feel you need a few people that will ignite a few fires and even a sense of fun into the players, as some might be too relaxed for their own good. Do I see real fire (at the moment at least) in the likes of Dembele, Vertonghen and a few other senior players, whilst in others such as Soldado or Paulinho, are they yet comfortable or able to fully express their personality, as has been suggested?

Perhaps, there is a problem with communication within the squad or even in its dynamics. Seven new players, none having English as a first language, with at least three hardly knowing a word, is sure to make things harder for their integration, as well as the balance and unity of the dressing room. How can a player like Soldado, really gel with his team mates, when he struggles with the language? Even understanding the words are a start, but is is more about understanding the banter and sarcasm that fill any dressing room that is really key?

Spurs have in recent times, been heralded for having a united squad and I don`t think this is a problem today, but I just wonder if the chemistry between players and groups is no longer there or at least divided and you can imagine we now have a group of Belgians, Spanish/Portuguese speakers, as well as French and English ones. I watched a clip prior to the Dnipro game and noted with interest that some of the players were communicating in French. It didn`t concern me, but also did make me wonder.

Of course this isn`t a unique problem for Spurs, but have we recently entered a time when the English core of the squad had gone from being the majority to perhaps a minority and with so many foreign signings last summer the balance and banter has changed. That might not be a long term worry, but any change in dynamics takes time to adjust, especially if you lack characters and people to play the tricks raise smiles, even with acts of seeming stupidity.

Is a player like Walker, Townsend or Sandro, actually worth much more than their actual qualities on the pitch? All play with speed and intensity, but also with explosiveness that the likes of Dembele and several others seem to lack in their performance and nature. Performance might change, but character rarely does. Perhaps though that having a few players that make others laugh out loud, will bring smiles to faces and that will transfer itself with performances on the pitch?..

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 26 2014

Time: 8:43AM

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