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Lee Clark: Mourinho right for Spurs; Gomez vs Sterling not uncommon; Newcastle watershed

It just shows you how ruthless this game is…

Mauricio Pochettino built a young, vibrant team at Spurs despite not spending a lot of money while the transition to the new stadium was happening. Everybody who has seen Spurs' new stadium and training facilities says they are both second to none, just absolutely world-class. There's a lot of things in place at Spurs that have been built by Daniel Levy and Pochettino. You must give him credit for that. What he's done, what he's built, the type of football they played during his tenure.

But during the last six months it started to get stale, and it's looked like Pochettino had a few issues with certain players, so even though it was a little bit of a shock, it's not 100 per cent a surprise that he's been moved on.

The candidate that they've gone for in Jose Mourinho was out there and available.

I just look at what he's done, the teams he has built, I look at the clubs he's gone into, and what he's done with those clubs and the trophies. Look at his collection of trophies, that's the key for me. And he finds ways to win games. He can win games playing a defensive strategy, playing an attacking strategy. He's a very, very good manager.

I don't understand the criticism of hiring Mourinho. For Tottenham Hotspur, what they need right now, the next stage of their focus, is to try and put trophies in the cabinet on top of the exciting team they've got.

They say Mourinho didn't do very well at Manchester United but he still went in there and got two trophies, even with a squad that has been on a decline since the Fergie years. He's a serial winner and he's going to put something in that Tottenham trophy cabinet.


The moment it changed for Newcastle

I think Newcastle's watershed moment for me was the Leicester performance and result.

When that happened I think Steve must have sat down with his staff and players and have had individual and team meetings to get to the bottom of why things weren't particularly starting so well.

And I think from the performances that I've seen since Leicester that seems like a bit of a watershed moment in terms of what they are trying to do.

I hope they can continue the momentum they've got. And I've got faith that they can because of what was shown in the last game against Bournemouth.

The visitors started brilliantly in the first 20 minutes and scored a perfect goal off the training ground. But instead of shrinking, Newcastle showed the character that they have now. They withstood the pressure from a real good footballing side and eventually came back into the game, grabbing an equaliser and then the win.

It showed to me that they've got the character to not only respond to a setback, but come back from that setback and win games, which is what they'll need to do this season.


Nothing strange about Gomez and Sterling

Incidents like the one between Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling happen all the time in football.

They certainly have every time I've been a manager or player. There's disagreements on the training ground, some players going in a bit strong on other players at training, disagreements at half-time during a match between players.

The incident was similar to Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer back in the day. Only it happened on the pitch for those guys when their emotions got the better of them they played it out in front of 50 odd thousand people, and the TV and the world.

So it's not any different to what would be happening in the dressing room, I'm not saying everyone is rolling around fighting, but in terms of players having a disagreement and then others come in to separate them and that's it. That's the way it is. It's a highly emotive sport, you're desperate to win. When you're out there as a professional you do everything you can to win and if you feel someone isn't contributing then you make it known and if there's an argument it usually gets resolved very quickly.

Without a doubt I've been involved in situations far worse than that in the dressing room I've been in. But what it's never been is personal, it's never escalated, it's just been a difference of opinion for players who are trying desperately to get a positive result. When you've got 20 young guys together, highly motivated and there's a little disagreement that's what is going to happen. So long as it doesn't escalate into something bigger, you just nip it in the bud, it's sorted and they shake hands, which Sterling and Gomez seem to have done, and you move on.

I think that shows that there is a willingness, and more importantly, a care there for the game. Modern footballers often get criticised that they don't care enough, earning massive amounts of money. But I think Raheem Sterling shows that he cares. Obviously you don't want to see fights in between teammates, but it says to me that Sterling was still hurting about his club losing the day before and was upset by it.

And the thing for me is it was put to bed quickly, the manager dealt with it. Sterling, who without being right in the scene, apologised to Gomez and to his teammates and got it sorted and that's the way these situations need to be handled, unfortunately in today's world things get out in the public domain so quickly that I don't know if Gareth Southgate had any other option in terms of putting it out in the public there so.


Chelsea vs Man City

I think Saturday's game at the Etihad will be tough for both sides. Some people have doubts over whether Chelsea's youngsters can win against City. But I like the way Frank Lampard has his team playing at the moment. The young players seem to have a lot of confidence, they know the manager believes in them. They're playing an exciting brand of football.

Pep Guardiola obviously just has to pick his guys up from the Liverpool defeat, but he's done that many times. He's a world-class manager. So I'm looking forward to the game, I think it will be as exciting as it's being built with two terrific groups of players and two terrific managers, including Frank who is upcoming but somebody I think can achieve a lot in the game as a manager.

Lee Clark
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Lee Clark

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