International Champions Cup 2019

Sissoko urges Spurs to fight for titles

Christian Eriksen giving fans high-fives upon arriving to attempt and set a record for the fastest passes of a football involving 100 people in Singapore.
Christian Eriksen giving fans high-fives upon arriving to attempt and set a record for the fastest passes of a football involving 100 people in Singapore.

Things were looking up for Tottenham Hotspur at the turn of the year - they were within touching distance of the English Premier League frontrunners Manchester City and Liverpool, and were still in the running for the FA Cup, League Cup and the Champions League.

But the Lilywhites faded thereafter, finishing a distant fourth in the league - 27 points behind eventual winners City - and lost the Champions League final 2-0 to Liverpool.

Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko blamed the abysmal run-in on inconsistency and challenged his team to "win some titles" next season.

"We all know last year we didn't do well to fight to the end. We weren't consistent compared to City and Liverpool, so that's what we'll try to do this year.

"When you play for Tottenham, you have to be ambitious, you have to win some titles," said the 29-year-old on the sidelines of a promotional event organised by club sponsor AIA yesterday at the National Stadium, where several Tottenham players, including Christian Eriksen and new signing Tanguy Ndombele, joined the public to set the record for Singapore's fastest consecutive football passes with 100 people at 2min 3sec.

"I think the squad deserve it, but to talk is easy. The most important is to show it on the pitch.

"It's going to be a long season but we will try to show in every game that we can compete and win some titles."

Sissoko would know a thing or two about stepping up.


Tottenham’s Dele Alli takes a wefie of his teammates and fans who turned up at the meet-and-greet at Resorts World Sentosa. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
 

He drew criticism in the two seasons after his £30 million (S$51 million) transfer from Newcastle United in 2016, before emerging as a key player in Mauricio Pochettino's squad last season en route to being named the winner of the inaugural Tottenham Hotspur Legends' Player of the Season award.

Sissoko also drew praise when he was seen in a video on social media walking together with club-record signing and fellow France international Ndombele - Spurs' first signing since Lucas Moura in January last year - at the airport before the club's pre-season tour.

It has been interpreted as Sissoko helping his new teammate assimilate into the club.

Sissoko said: "I'm very happy for him to sign (for the club). He's my teammate in the national team, so we know each other and I hope he can bring his quality to the team."

Kimberly Kwek

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 21, 2019, with the headline 'Sissoko urges Spurs to fight for titles'. Print Edition | Subscribe