We speak to Sissoko and Ndombele about their price tags, the Champions League final and pre-season.
From France to Tottenham Hotspur, Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele renew their midfield partnership in an interview at the launch of #AIASquadGoals. Sissoko was nice enough to help his buddy, Ndombele, out with translations.
Here’s what they had to say about the pressure of being the club’s record signing during their respective arrivals and their plans for the new season.
Do you feel any pressure from your price tag and being Tottenham’s record signing?
Tanguy Ndombele: No, no pressure, I’m proud of being the record signing. Now I have to show his quality on the pitch and repay Tottenham’s faith in making me the record signing.
Did you (Ndombele) watch last season’s Champions League final and the game against Ajax? What did you think about the matches?
TN: I watched the final. I didn’t believe that Tottenham could make it at first and it was crazy when Lucas scored the hat-trick. Tottenham were unlucky in the final, but that’s football so this year we will try to do better than last year.
Are you (Ndombele) looking forward to living in London?
TN: For me, the most important thing is to adapt to the team and the system. I’m not worried about my life in London, the most important thing is to get ready to play for the team.
What can fans expect from Ndombele and Sissoko?
TN: A big season.
Moussa Sissoko: To do better than last season! It’s true I felt that I had a good season and it was a big honour for me to receive the Tottenham Hotspur Legends’ Player of the Season award. I know a lot of people expect more from me and that’s normal so I need to give my best like I did last year and help elevate the team to success.
Premier League will introduce VAR next season and referees’ chief Mike Riley has suggested that your ‘hand ball’ in the Champions League final last season will not be flagged as a penalty. How do you feel when you hear that?
MS: I feel normal (chuckles). For me I know it wasn’t a penalty in the final but that’s done. Now we need to look forward. VAR is coming and hopefully it can help everyone.
Spurs making it into the Champions League final last season will probably not be a one-off. Will other teams in the Premier League be wary of Spurs in this upcoming season?
MS: I don’t know, you should ask them (laughs). But we try our best to play well every game and to finish on the top of the table. We know the league will be tough because we have some exciting teams in the league but we will fight till the end and we will see where that brings us.
Have you guys analysed what went wrong with the Premier League season when you tailed off despite being neck and neck with Liverpool at the beginning?
MS: Yea we know what we didn’t do as well last season – we weren’t as consistent as City and Liverpool. That’s what we will try to do this season beginning with pre-season and be ready for the first game. After that we take things game by game and we will try to stay in the top position till the end of the season.
Which of the youth team players do you think will have a breakout season with the first-team?
MS: All the young players who are here can bring something to the team. If they are here it’s because of their quality. We know the manager likes to give chances to youngsters. I can’t pick out a single player but I’m sure they are ready for that and will add something to the team.
In the last 5 seasons, you’ve reached the League Cup final, Champions League final and finished second. Do you think you’re ready to take the next step to win silverware?
MS: I don’t know if we are ready, we will see at the end of the season. When you play for Tottenham, you have to be ambitious, you have to want to win titles. But talk is easy, now we have to show it on the pitch. It’s going to be a long season, but we will try to show that we can compete with every team and hopefully end up with some silverware.
Thank you to the good people of AIA who invited us to the AIA Squad community event to set a Singapore record together with Spurs, as part of AIA’s 100-year Centennial celebrations across Asia this year.
Today, #AIASquadGoals brought together an auction of Spurs memorabilia, culminating in a winning $500 bid for a ball signed by the Spurs players. Proceeds went towards AIA Centennial Fund that supports fundraising dedicated to supporting education and children in need from Children’s Wishing Well.