So, it’s now back to 4 points and with 4 to play. Twitter has gone mad and both Chelsea and Tottenham fans are in overload. Many will come up with their own formulas on how the season will end. But for this piece I want to focus more on my beloved Spurs.
We were never supposed to be in this position, our squad relied heavily on Kane to score and a lack of quality signings meant a top 5 or 6 position would mean at least we kept in touch with the power houses. Pep was in town and Man City would be playing the sort of football only witnessed in those Barcelona hey days. Jose would turn United into a winning machine and Chelsea and Liverpool would fight Arsenal, thou in slight decline, for the other champions League spots.
Yet at White Hart Lane the relatively young Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino knew he had assembled a tight knit 15-16 players. Rumours were back in July Son was on his way, I hoped this wasn’t true as he had an engine and the knack of scoring the odd important goal.
Luckily no one major left in the summer of ’16 and gave me hope for a push for the top 4. Fast forward to today’s win against Arsenal in the north London derby and we have shown what can happen on trusting players who have potential and some shrewdness from board level.
Never have we had a budget to compete with the likes of Chelsea, United and Manchester City. Yet nor can Spurs expect to continue at this pace of spending and expect to stay at this level. But the flip side is you can’t just go throwing money at the problem. A chink in the armour of Poch came on deadline day in September when Sissoko of Newcastle became available and on route to Everton. Should have let him go there, as we got sucked in to his performances at Euro 2016 for France. Luckily, we had Harry Winks on hand to provide some midfield cover and more youth to a young team.
My feelings are that not enough trust in put in young English players. Nothing brings a crown together than seeing a local lad give his all on the pitch. When Winks scored against West Ham at the Lane this season, the joy on everyone’s face was great. Whether it directly had a bearing Kane scoring the winner late late on I very much doubt. But it still gave the crowd a lift in an unique way.
I have no doubt the other clubs will spend heavy in the summer like someone who has gone edit crazy on Football Manager. Names already mentioned James Rodriguez, Morata, Lukaku, Griezmann and Matuidi. Yet all this proves is that they haven’t learned from previous years.
Paul Pogba, Ozil and Claudio Bravo should all be warnings that thou having the players name on papers may make others stand up, it can take a while to get used to the style and pace of the English game.
But again, this could be Tottenham’s undoing. I tweeted foreign football reporter Mina Rzouki to see if European players were uneducated about Spurs and therefore would choose to go elsewhere, cos the money was more and the status of the club was perceived to be bigger. She said yes.
Tottenham need a good run in next seasons champions league. This should help their stature in attracting higher level of player. Even to pad out a squad high in effort and skill but low on what the England rugby team call ‘finishers of the bench’.
But to call a semi-final in the FA cup, second in the league (I hope), and a first season back in the champions league a failure, then I can’t wait for what a successful season looks like.
I asked two mates, one a Newcastle fan the other a Liverpool fan three questions. Best thing about your club? Worst thing? And would they swap their season for Spurs’. Both said the passion of their club’s fans and atmosphere of both Anfield and St James’ Park was top. And the worst was pretty much the frustration of not winning silver wear and other ‘smaller’ clubs were running away with trophies. Neither mentioned the amount of their highest transfer fees but their teams’ inability to string results together.
Both these teams I chose because the local area should mean more to them like at spurs. And I really do hope Mr Klopp and Mr Benitez can bring some success for these guys to cheer.
Going forward I hope that the move to Wembley for one season doesn’t ruin us. It will be different, but we should enjoy it. Get the pitch size to our specifications and go from there.
Two top four finishes in a row is a foundation to build on, and any Spurs fan reading this should back the team and not celebrate what we have done. It’s only just started.