'I'm privileged to be part of this Club' - Jan Vertonghen on past, present and future
02 December 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Jan Vertonghen admits he often looks back at his time at the Club with his fellow long-serving team-mates. Today, he's very much looking forward, having put pen to paper on a new deal that will run until 2019.
The outstanding central defender is third behind Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker in terms of appearances (Jan 179, Hugo 184, Kyle 205) in the current squad having joined us back in the summer of 2012.
2012! Where did that time go? Jan was 25 then, he's 29 now, a father, settled in London and very much an integral part of this close Spurs family.
"You know sometimes I’ll go back in the day talking to Mousa, Hugo or Kyle Walker, who have been on this road (journey) with me for those years, and time has gone quickly," said Jan.
"We’ll talk about the players who were here and have left, or the youth players like Harry or Tom (Carroll) who we’ve seen come through the system and become great players for Tottenham. It’s funny, if you go four, five years back, to see where the Club has gone. A lot has changed and there is a great buzz around Tottenham.
"I’m very happy to be here, the future looks great and I’m very happy to be part of it."
Below: Jan speaks about his new contract to Spurs TV
You've seen the Club and the team grow since joining us and you are very much a big part of where we're going...
Jan: "It’s my fifth season here. When I first joined things were different with a different manager and still at the old training ground as well. A lot has changed. This is an unbelievable group of talented guys and I feel privileged to be part of it. We’ve created a great atmosphere. The results haven’t been the best lately but you can still feel that this can be a great season for us."
How have you changed in your four seasons so far?
Jan: "I’ve changed some things in my private life, became a father in London - that will stay with me for the rest of my life, the memories of becoming a father in London when I was playing for Tottenham is something very special. As a person, I’m not so sure. I don’t think I’ve changed a lot. I still have the same people around me, Mousa’s still there! I’m still the same guy, maybe a bit more responsible."
Below: Jan in training
Does it mean more if you've been at a club for a longer period?
Jan: "It certainly does. I’m the type of guy who likes to stay at a certain club or city for a longer time. I did that at Ajax and now I’m doing the same here. Like I said, it feels great to be a little part of the big part that is Tottenham. I can’t imagine playing somewhere else at the moment. We have a great team with the technical staff, the medical staff, everyone around us, all great guys. It feels good to help Tottenham achieve the goals we want to achieve."
There is a strong core of players here now who have played over 100 games for the Club (Kyle, Hugo, Jan, Mousa, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Erik Lamela, Eric Dier), does that give it a family feel? Does winning mean more, losing hurt more?
Jan: "Definitely, because we feel we’re doing things together. This team feels the pain from a defeat because 90 per cent of the time we feel we should have won. Chelsea, for instance, we played great in the first half, maybe the best this season and we should have been ehad (at half-time, we led 1-0, 1-1 at half-time, eventually lost 2-1). Okay, the second half wasn’t so good. Every time we don’t play well or lose, it feels like it’s an incident (one-off) and that’s a good feeling because we know we’ll go for it again."
Was the first 44 minutes of that game at Chelsea the best we've played, considering the opposition?
Jan: "It’s an away game at the Bridge and Chelsea are so strong, on a great run and we were the better team by far in the first half, we dominated until that shot from Pedro. It’s not a good feeling when you go back into a dressing room like that."
That suggests the players are ready to step up again...
Jan: "I know we will. This is probably the strongest squad I’ve ever played in and I think everyone agrees with that. The confidence is there and we know we can turn things around - and that starts against Swansea on Saturday."