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The pundit - Paul Parker on Spurs-Juve and how continuity is key

Posted on 7 August 2017  - 16:45

The first pundit to give his opinion on our matches in 2017-18 is Paul Parker, the former Fulham, United, QPR and England full-back who was on duty for BBC Radio London at Saturday's friendly against Juventus at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE.

Paul Parker (front row, far right) lines-up for the 1990 World Cup semi-final - England's team includes ex-Spurs legends Gary Lineker, Gazza and Chris WaddlePaul Parker tackles Germany skipper Lothar Matthaus

Paul Parker

paul_parker250 - Over 400 career games for Fulham, Manchester United and QPR
- Won two Premier League titles including the double at United in 1994
- Capped 19 times by England, 1989-94
- Played in six matches at the 1990 World Cup, including the semi-final against West Germany
- Recently worked as a TV pundit in Malaysia and Singapore

I liked what Tottenham tried to do in the game against Juventus.

Mauricio Pochettino loves continuity, doesn’t like making too many changes and whatever 11 players go out there, you know what you are going to get from Spurs - creating chances, scoring goals and not conceding many, because they have two of the best centre-halves in the Premier League.

Harry Kane gets better and better, not just his goalscoring, but his general play as well. As a former full-back myself, I like Kieran Trippier. I think he’s more defensive-minded than Kyle Walker but when he gets in crossing positions, that boy can cross a ball! I must say that as the game went on, I thought Spurs missed the width that Trippier had provided until he went off injured (on 40 minutes).

I liked young Anthony Georgiou who came on in the second half and showed a lot of confidence, willing to run at his man, just floating across the surface. I thought he did well. Kyle Walker-Peters as well, he reminds me a little bit of myself at that age! He's very good one-on-one, tenacious and a solid defender.

Below: Harry Kane heads home for 1-0

juve_MC1

I’m a big fan of Spurs and the way they played last season. For me, they were the best side not to win the Premier League in a long, long time.

The players have been together for a couple of seasons now and that makes a difference. In my first season at Manchester United, we narrowly lost the last Football League title (old First Division) to Leeds United (1991-92 season) but the following season we won the league and then won the double in 1994. Sir Alex (Ferguson) didn’t really change the team too much in that time. He brought in Eric Cantona and then Roy Keane, so continuity makes a difference.

I believe great teams are built around continuity. Manchester United made a lot of changes last season, Chelsea didn’t make many changes and good, bad or indifferent, they got through games and won the title. Tottenham were similar. I feel the start cost Spurs in the end. Chelsea’s run of 11 wins on the bounce was the run that took them away in terms of the title. As long as Tottenham can produce performances at Wembley - just as they did against Juventus - and perhaps get one over Chelsea in that second game, they will be up there again. That’s a big game so early in the season. It could make a difference.