Done Deal: London rival willing to accept Tottenham offer

If a bid is made, Everton is willing to sell Ben Godfrey to Tottenham in January, according to sources who spoke with Football Insider.

Spurs are looking to add a new center-back in January after Micky van de Ven and Eric Dier went down with injuries recently.

Recently, the North London team has expressed interest in Jarrad Branthwaite and Godfrey, two Toffees players, as they seek to strengthen their defensive lineup.

On Saturday, December 9, Football Insider disclosed, though, that Everton would not sell Branthwaite during the January transfer window.

Sean Dyche views the 21-year-old Branthwaite as a vital player, and despite Everton’s financial difficulties, they intend to hold onto him for their battle to avoid relegation.

However, after losing favor at Goodison Park, Godfrey is expected to become available from the Merseyside club.

Only two appearances for Everton this season have been made by the 25-year-old; he started the full 90 minutes of their EFL Cup match against Doncaster Rovers and entered as a late substitute in their 2-2 draw with Sheffield United.

This season, Dyche has favored to start Godfrey and Michael Keane as his central defensive tandem, with Branthwaite and Tarkoswki jostling for third place.

Godfrey paid £20 million to join Everton in 2020, but the Merseyside team is prepared to absorb a loss to free up the English defender’s salary.

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Ange Postecoglou has communicated to his Tottenham Hotspur teammates that their time with the team will “never be smooth.” He also disclosed what he said to them in the dressing room following their loss to West Ham.

Spurs swept to the top of the Premier League standings at the start of the season with a 10-game winning streak. But they have now lost four of their last five games without a win, which culminated in a 2-1 home derby loss to West Ham that left Postecoglou furious.

The one benefit for the Australian and Tottenham is that the 58-year-old has been here before, with there having always being some kind of adjustment period at his clubs before the players better understand his methods and very different philosophy. He warned his Spurs squad though that they will never be allowed to truly settle under him.

“I have the advantage of experience because I have been there. I’ve experienced this numerous times. Therefore, I am clear about what we need to do,” Postecoglou stated prior to Spurs’ game against Newcastle United. But wherever I go, I’m always conscious of the fact that for many of these guys, it’s their first time. That’s why I am aware that difficulties always arise in the first season; sometimes they occur at the start of my employment, sometimes they occur in the middle, and sometimes they occur at the conclusion.

“Players must experience that, get through it, and realize that they made it through. We’re still here, we’re still alive, and we’re still game, so it hasn’t killed us, right? Then, if anything, it can fortify us moving forward, though I obviously benefit from that experience. In this case, my job is to help the players navigate it because they don’t. I am aware of how we will overcome this and what lies ahead.”

“But they have to experience it themselves and learn about it themselves,” he continued. It won’t get any easier, so do they want to participate in this? I tell them that one thing over and over again.

“While I’m at the club, there won’t be a moment when everything goes smoothly. even when everything is going smoothly. I’m going to keep pushing for improvement from us. I’m going to keep pushing for us to get better and for this football team to succeed. Therefore, they will never be able to take solace in the knowledge that everything will work out as it should.

“So, aside from the beginnings, this is where I’m most alert—not just with the players, but with the staff, the entire football club—so the more they embrace this side of it, the better. It’s a great time for me to be somewhere.” How does this affect everyone’s reaction? It provides me with a clear indication of what has to be done moving forward.”

Over the years, the word “Spursy,” which is used anytime the team makes a mistake, has followed the north London club. It has surfaced once more recently, as Tottenham became the first team in Premier League history to lose five straight games despite leading 1-0 in each of them after losing to West Ham. It’s safe to say that Postecoglou finds the term offensive.

That is playground fare. All I have to know is that this team hasn’t had a victory in fifteen years. All I need to know is that. Why that is, why others might believe that to be, and whatever label that may apply, that is the truth. It’s impossible to avoid that,” he remarked.

“There’s no point in me trying to disguise that, or anybody else at this football club trying to disguise that. If you want to be successful, then like most organizations, you’ve got to learn from the mistakes of the past, you’ve got to come up with a plan, you’ve got to stick to it.

“Whatever tags other people want to put on it, that can’t be your motivation, that can’t be what drives you. If you want to bring success, you’ve got to have a clear idea of how you’re going to go about it and stick to the process.”

He added: “[The Spursy tag] shouldn’t weigh the new players down because they have no history. Whether it weighs the ones that have been here, that’s something that is hard for me to gauge, but it’s not something I reflect on or talk about from a historical perspective.

“All you can do is chart your way forward. If you want to change perceptions, there is only one way to do it. People are not going change their minds and change what they think about you because you want them to. You’ve got to give them a reason to. That’s the position we’re in. That’s why I’m here because the club wanted to change its course. That’s what I’m doing.

“I said from day one, change means change, changing everything. If it means changing mindset because people are carrying scars from the past, let’s get rid of them. You can’t just wish upon things. Things have to happen. You have to change the course of what you’re doing. That’s what I’ve embarked on.

“I’m at pains to say it, and it sounds repetitive, but we’re just at the beginning. For my mind, what we need to look like, we’ve got a long way to go, notwithstanding in the short term we’ve still got to provide reward for our supporters and make sure as a football club we’re in the position we need to be.”

In terms of carrying a burden, Brendan Johnson has only scored one goal for Tottenham since joining the team in the summer for £47.5 million from Nottingham Forest. Throughout his injury-marred first few months at the north London club, the Wales international has shown flashes of brilliance but has not yet found his full footing.

The 22-year-old’s high price tag and move to a team that is anticipated to contend higher up the table, in Postecoglou’s opinion, have not affected him.

“He’s joined a big football club. You can’t play for a big football club and hide away. It doesn’t happen,” said the Australian. “You look at any player who goes to a big football club, that’s where they want to be, they want the responsibility, they want the limelight, they want to be the person who makes that difference.

“That’s why Brennan came here. He could have very easily stayed at Nottingham Forest where he was making a great career for himself, but he wanted to get out of his comfort zone because he had been there for so long and he chose to come to a big club. Well, that’s part of being at a big club. I know he knows that.

“But that’s not just an overnight thing. He’ll come to embrace that. We’ve seen elements of his game which are very, very exciting and we’ve got to get him to do that more and believe in himself more. I know that will come. I have full faith that it will come. I’ve seen that in him.

“But like any other process with young players and young people, they have got to get to that space. You try to help them to get there as quickly as possible but sometimes it takes a little bit longer.”

One player who is yet to justify his £60m price tag that Spurs shelled out to Everton 18 months ago is Richarlison but the Spurs boss is hopeful that the Brazilian will give a better account for himself following his groin surgery as he will play without restrictions.

“It’s not about wanting him to step up. That’s the opportunity. With all footballers, that’s all you can really ask for. There’s nothing more that a club or a manager can provide for you than provide the basic framework of, ‘here’s an opportunity for you, your opportunity now exists to make your own mark and make an impact’,” said Postecoglou.

“It’s great to have him back. Fair to say he looks a lot freer and better physically than he did when he was struggling earlier in the year. It seems like the medical intervention has been positive for him. He’s short of some match fitness but it was good to get him on last night for a bit more time.

“We’re going to need him. We’re going to need all the guys. The group that we’ve got at the moment is what we’re going to have between now and the foreseeable future. They’re the ones that are going to have turn their fortunes around.”

Spurs could face a departure next week with Postecoglou’s assistant head coach Chris Davies in demand to become the new Swansea boss and Tottenham have already turned down one approach from the Welsh side for the 38-year-old former Liverpool, Leicester and Celtic man.

Postecoglou would not rule out Davies’ departure and said that ultimately it would not be his call as to whether Swansea are able to bring the young coach back into the fold there.

“It’s not my decision, it’s a club decision, but I believe it’s part of what I do. I develop staff, I develop players. A sign you’ve got good people in your building is they’re wanted by others,” he said. “I’d be more concerned if no one was showing an interest in our people. In terms of the way forward that’s going to be a club decision and Chris will be involved in that. I have my views but I won’t have the final say.”

Spurs captain Son Heung-min called the team ‘soft’ this week and Postecoglou has explained what he said to the players on Thursday night after their defeat to West Ham, which came despite them having 75% of the possession with 717 passes to the visitors’ 184 as well as 23 shots at goal.

The Tottenham boss has made it very clear to his players that the style of football he wants them to play is only half of the battle, not all of it.

“I give the players the freedom to go wherever they want to. I make clear to them what I believe, and it’s up to them to accept that, carry it out, and form their own opinions,” he said. “It wasn’t about our football last night when I spoke with them. It was about realizing that playing football will only take us so far, and that in order to advance, we must truly discipline ourselves and have strong beliefs about our identity and goals. It is to be expected that there will be some gaps at the start of the cycle. Our weaknesses are there.”

He went on, “A combination of both,” when asked if possessing that conviction is more of a mental or technical quality. You accept the responsibility when it comes your way because you want it. It starts with the mental aspect, followed by the conviction in your ability to carry out the task at hand without hurrying and without finding yourself in a situation where you have to deviate significantly from your usual course of action.

“Goalscoring is the hardest thing in football. We know that. At the same time there’s a methodology and a mindset that when you get into those areas, if you follow and you’re really disciplined and you have conviction in what you’re doing, you give yourself a better chance. When you look at the game against West Ham we got into some great areas, had some great opportunities and we didn’t really test the goalkeeper or the opposition.

Every place I’ve been has had a similar experience, where players occasionally start to believe that playing football by itself will provide that. It is untrue that if we play a certain way, we will undoubtedly win and score goals. An execution still takes place.

“To round out everything, there’s still what they bring as individuals. Even though our football team was clearly superior, especially in the first half, it is evident that this was insufficient. You must be able to carry out if you truly want to complete that. That can only be accomplished by the individual and the team working together; the football won’t do that.”

So how do Tottenham find a killer instinct that has been lacking for so long at the club?

“By not shying away from it. You have to work at it. You can work at it by being disciplined, by being continually exposed to those kind of conditions in training, during games, and not shying away from it,” said the Spurs head coach. “If you’re going to play at a big club and a big club where they have success, that’s the responsibility you have.

You cannot simply avoid that. That is how things really are. In my opinion, this is the reason I’m steadfast in our efforts. I’m not going to absolve us by saying that just because we played well last night, that’s enough. It’s not. That component needs to be completed as well.

That’s the role that we play. I don’t play football like this to amuse people. It’s the kind of football I play because it’s winning. I like that it now serves as entertainment as well. They don’t have to conflict with one another, in my opinion. In the end, it’s because it works. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here.

“I wouldn’t be in this position if it was just something I was making up that people liked but didn’t work out. Gaining success has been the focus of my entire career. I want us to play the way we do because of this. This is where it’s easy to get caught in a trap; it’s happened at every club I’ve been to; the players there occasionally believe that just playing football is sufficient. It’s not.

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