Tottenham Hotspur

Emerson Royal reflects on adjusting to life at Tottenham

Tom Gott
Emerson had a mixed debut year
Emerson had a mixed debut year / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Emerson Royal has revealed he hired two mental coaches to help him adjust to life in the Premier League with Tottenham.

A £26m signing from Barcelona last summer, Emerson endured a tricky debut year but started to flash some real form towards the end of the campaign, starting each of his side's last nine league games as Spurs made their climb back into the top four under Antonio Conte.

Speaking to The Times, Emerson admitted that he has been working with a mental coach, Lincoln Nunes, and neuroscientist Fabiano de Abreu Agrela to improve his mindset and help him become more focused.

“From our first appointment, I was very impressed with how Lincoln accessed some issues,” Emerson said. “Sometimes people think that when someone is working out their mind, that means they are crazy. But we use very little of our brain capacity and we need to develop it, especially in high-performance sports.

"Now I wake up an hour earlier than I did before and start to imagine how the training session is going to be, to get into that mental zone.”

Emerson also revealed the challenges he faced during the early stages of the season under Nuno Espirito Santo, admitting there was often a language barrier despite both men's first language being Portuguese.

“Nuno didn’t explain things to me in Portuguese, our mutual language,” Emerson added. “He only spoke to me in English, because he wanted me to improve as a Premier League player. That from him was for my own good, because he wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and grow.

“When Conte gets in, I guessed things would be even harder, but he speaks to me in Italian, and I answer him in English or Spanish, which he understands well. And now I have better English, so it’s been working well.”

Also admitting that he needed time to figure out the movement of Spurs' forwards, Emerson stressed he has a lofty goal for himself next year.

“I know how many assists I must do next season,” he concluded. “It’s a personal goal which will take me to the World Cup.”