Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

‘Tottenham is different’ – Spurs summer signing makes surprise admission amid new ‘expectations’

Guglielmo Vicario in action with a prominent Tottenham Hotspur badge alongside him

Guglielmo Vicario joined Tottenham Hotspur last summer.

Guglielmo Vicario, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, has admitted that he has had to “considerably” up his game since arriving at the club last summer.

Vicario arrived at Spurs for an initial £17.2million from Serie A side Empoli last summer, replacing long-serving goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the starting lineup under new manager Ange Postecoglou.

Although a number of overseas goalkeepers – including, most famously, the former Manchester United keeper David de Gea – have initially struggled with the increased physical demands in the Premier League, Vicario has largely excelled since arriving in English football.

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The 27-year-old has been ever-present for Spurs this season, playing all 25 Premier League fixtures and keeping five clean sheets.

Vicario’s contributions have helped Tottenham threaten the Champions League qualification spots, with Postecoglou’s side currently sitting fifth – two points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa – with 13 games remaining.

Speaking to Sport Week, Vicario has claimed that the expectations at Tottenham are very different from his previous clubs, admitting the level is much higher than he was accustomed to in Italy.

He said: “It is undeniable that a club like Tottenham is different from those I have known in the past: expectations change, many dynamics.

“However, I think that football changes but at the same time remains the same, in the sense that the ball is always the same and you have to try to understand the coach’s ideas, his requests, the level of the team-mates you have.

“For me the level has risen considerably here and it’s nice to be able to compete day after day with very high-quality players.”

Vicario’s latest comments come after he commented in October that he would have signed a contract in his own blood to join the club last summer.

He said: “This was what I wanted and I didn’t want to listen to anything else.

“As soon as I knew there was an opportunity to come here I would have signed in blood, I would have walked from Italy.

“I am delighted to be playing in the most beautiful league in the world.

“I tell myself every day, as soon as the alarm clock goes off in the morning: go to the pitch because you have to play in the most beautiful league in the world.

“I arrived with great desire and not setting myself any limits.

“I entered a different mentality, both for me and for the team: it’s the one that Postecoglou brought this year, one that sees us all participating and involved with a great team spirit.”

Speaking after Tottenham’s narrow victory over Everton in December, Postecoglou praised Vicario’s rapid adaptation to Premier League level and highlighted his maturity as a particular strength.

“He has been strong pretty much from the first game,” Postecoglou said. “Some games we haven’t needed a lot and today we did.

“The saves he made but also the way he dealt with corners was so strong – they put so much pressure on the goalkeeper.

“He’s a great shot-stopper and is dealing with a different back four in lots of games.

“He’s got a maturity which helps the team in those moments.”

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