On Moussa Dembele and an admitted lack of effort

Laurence Griffiths

We got it out of our system. Believe that.

Everyone get ready to get really mad and scream obscene cliches about how professional footballers should be switched on 24-7, because it's their job that they get paid millions of dollars to do. Because Moussa Dembele has admitted that he is a human being, and that he -- along with other members of the Tottenham Hotspur team -- struggles to find the same motivation against Leeds United as he has when facing Manchester United.

Here's what Dembele said, via ESPN.

"I think that is the most difficult thing in football to try and think like every day you are playing against Manchester United. To motivate yourself to play good against Manchester United is very easy, you don't have to do anything. But against teams like this it is more difficult because you have something to lose and they have everything to win. That is the most difficult thing in football."

This was, of course, quite annoying. I joked after the match that I was placing dot-com's recap of the game on this site instead of writing my own because I wanted to match the effort of our players. It was a poor performance and I expect a lot better from the team.

But at the same time, I understand, because these dudes are only human. No team in the history of ever has been switched on for 60 games in all competitions, as they won a quadruple without ever posting a bad result against a mediocre team.

I wanted to win the FA Cup, but I'm happy that this motivation dump happened in the FA Cup, rather than the league. I'm also happy that it happened at the end of January, rather than in March. They're now going to be much more aware of what happens when they're not up for games, and they're going to be able to correct it. This team doesn't have a slide like last year's in them. I have an excellent feeling that we got this out of our system on Sunday.

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