The days are at last shortening as the summer months providing an unwanted respite from world football draws to a close. With it neither being a World Cup nor European Championship year, fans around the world are counting down the hours, nay, the seconds until club football kicks-off once again.
During these long days though, every fan has the transfer market to sate their hunger, with outrageous deals adorning yet another summer of ridiculous money splurging. As always, the Premier League is at the fore-front of this spending, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Romelu Lukaku and Kyle Walker being bought for big money.
The likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton have all been strengthening their squads ahead of the coming season, but there is one notable omission from this list; Tottenham Hotspur.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team were arguably the best side of the 2016/17 season as they continued to improve, week on week. The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were outstanding throughout the campaign and threatened to lead their side to an unprecedented title, only to see rivals Chelsea gain redemption following their appalling campaign of the year before.
In the end, Spurs inability to keep pace with the Blues came down to a number of factors, with their lack of title winning and big game experience highlighted which, in comparison to Chelsea’s plethora of the above, culminated in another near miss.
The other area in which Spurs failed was their lack of squad depth. Of course, their first-team is outstanding, however, when injuries struck, they did not have the sufficient talent to reinforce key areas.
In particular, when Kane picked up an injury, the profligacy of Vincent Janssen in front of goal was exposed, while Tottenham are also without relevant old fashioned wingers, a player that can be used on the counter-attack with their lightning speed and quick feet creating chances.
These problems do beg the question:
Why aren’t Tottenham strengthening in these vital areas?
For the likes of Kane, Alli and Eriksen, experience of winning titles can only be achieved by actually doing it, something they are likely to struggle to achieve if Pochettino cannot provide his squad with this knowledge. Of course, a player like John Terry would never have joined Spurs, but the sort of experience of winning everything that he has, and of playing in high pressure games would have been invaluable in teaching the squad how to deal with such big moments. In the end, the kids of Tottenham need a guiding figure that has been there and done that, much like the signing of Petr Cech by Arsenal has done for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Transfer wise, Tottenham remain in a very strong position with their first-team pretty much intact. Each player in their starting XI is very talented and most teams in the world would jump at the chance of signing any of them.
A striker and a winger are a must
Their reinforcements is where they are weak though and it is vital they improve on their depth. A striker and a winger are a must, while Kieran Trippier must be given some back-up following the exit of Kyle Walker.
Interestingly, Everton are a side that historically have struggled to really challenge the top six when they look promising. They, like Spurs, are not synonymous with spending huge sums of money, but this summer they have bucked that trend. Their mega-money business has seen them put their names among those for a Champions League place as they have really strengthened on their weaknesses, despite losing Romelu Lukaku. It seems as though this season will be a very promising one for the Toffees then, while Spurs continue to hold their silence on any deals.
Perhaps Tottenham are yet to really make any signings because they are waiting for their own superfluous players to be bought by other teams, while other sides will become more desperate to sell their players that are forcing through a move or out of contract next year. Tottenham are shrewd businessmen, and they will be very wary of purchasing players that do not fit the bill and constitute more of a panic buy than anything else.
If Tottenham do strengthen, then this could at last be the campaign in which they come through on their promise. If they fail to do this though, then it will surely represent another failure, and three near misses in a row will have damaging psychological effects on the players, with some perhaps coming to the conclusion that they will not win a title with Tottenham, causing them to question their position at the club.
Really then, it is a vital season for Spurs. They are playing their games at the home of football in Wembley Stadium, while they have Champions League football to look forward to and they, right now, still have their best players in London. If Tottenham fail to clinch some kind of triumph this season, then next summer the headlines may revolve around an exodus at Spurs.