Trying to understand where Spurs fit in with the rest of the ‘big six’ is difficult, due to the constantly changing, fast-paced nature of modern-day football with changes to teams and ownership.
However, in the context of modern-day success, I believe that Spurs would, unfortunately, feature in last place in this list.
That said, what the future holds is a different conversation entirely, and I believe Spurs are in a good position as a club with the new stadium, training facilities and vast revenue streams currently forecast, all of which indicate a bright future.
Separating the past and the future is the present, and how we are set up for the present and short-term future is very unclear.
As indicated in earlier pieces, Conte’s future continues to raise many unanswered questions, as well as the board continuing to frustrate fans with their lack of communication at key moments.
For example, I am thinking of their refusal to answer questions from the supporters’ trust until weeks after the transfer window had shut, to buy themselves some time and wiggle room. (Tottenham Supporters Trust).
On the flip side are some key positives.
We still have a real chance of Champions League qualification this season, a squad full of talented players and the hope of further recruitment in key areas come the summer.
Now to compare to the traditional ‘big six’…
Arsenal are in an extremely strong position in almost every department at the moment, and I hate to say it but I am jealous of how their club has backed Mikel Arteta and shown unwavering support towards him, investing in the process and now reaping the rewards.
It is frustrating as it is exactly what Spurs failed to do for Poch in his last few years at the club, not backing him in three straight transfer windows and leaving the squad to rot.
When you are at the top of the game, you must constantly look to keep the squad fresh and think ahead, something perhaps which Spurs are getting better at but which cost us so dearly with Poch and we are now playing ‘catch up’.
Arsenal has spent nearly £300m during the last three transfer windows before the start of this season, putting them at the top of the spending tree at the time (TalkSport).
Aside from the obvious investment benefits, what this really shows is a commitment from the board to their manager. Arteta has a huge say in every transfer and it is his team with his identity.
I believe the Spurs squad have players from a mix of eras and are not readily identifiable as a Conte team.
The problem Spurs are going to face is that, whilst they will strengthen in the summer, competitors such as Arsenal will retain their advantage, and I fear it could be a couple of years before we see Spurs competing with their North London rivals again.
Man City –
Man City are operating at a completely different level to the rest of the clubs in the Premier League. When it comes to recruitment success they are at the top of the tree in world football.
They very rarely get a signing wrong, and if they do, they always seem to be able to get some of the fee back and act decisively when selling deadwood (I won’t talk about the current allegations surrounding them as nothing has been settled yet).
All this is in contrast to Spurs, who appear to retain deadwood and have a very hit-and-miss record when it comes to signings. As long as Pep Guardiola remains at the club I can’t see anyone reaching their potential for the foreseeable, despite, Spurs ability to beat them each season.
(Go and beat Arsenal to the league please City, so say all Spurs fans).
Chelsea are probably the most difficult team in the entire league to get a handle on at present.
They are very much in a transitional phase with new owners and management, not to mention the £600m spent on players in the short time since Boehly took charge. (CNN).
I think they currently appear very disjointed. Graham Potter has only won two games since taking charge, one of which was against Bournemouth, putting him under significant pressure from Chelsea fans.
As I see it, Chelsea have two possible outcomes from this season.
Either all their new signings live up to their huge price tags and they assemble a squad of supreme talent, all pushing in the right direction under Potter, becoming a dominant force again.
Alternatively, they fail to gel and they are stuck with players underperforming on huge contracts creating a toxic squad.
I really don’t think there is any middle ground, given their strategy of throwing money at problems, it will either stick or it won’t.
It will be very interesting following their progress over the next year or so, but I do believe that Spurs have a more stable structure in place and will do better in the short term.
Hard one to call, but I will back Tottenham, which is always risky.
Man United –
From everything I have seen, Man United are very much on the Arteta / Arsenal trajectory. Smart signings with the manager controlling operations and a willingness from both the club and manager to pull in the same direction. These are elements that Spurs would do well to adopt.
I believe that Erik Ten-Hag IS the right man to take United back to the summit and more key signings will see them flourish next season, ensuring a place at the top of the league.
Tottenham’s persistence with older, experienced managers with less progressive management style (Poch excepted) has seen us fall into a repeated pattern of failures, resulting in a lack of cohesion.
Man United have chosen to trust a process where both the club and manager are on the same page, with exciting football and signings indicating success around every corner.
I believe that, up until this season, Spurs were on a better path than United. But the latter have accelerated away and we have considerable ground to make up.
Conte’s signature on a new contract and backing in the summer could help to significantly close this gap, but both of those are looking less and less likely.
Liverpool have some real problems in their squad.
They have a lot of ageing players from their ‘golden’ generation including Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, VVD, Matip, Firmino and even Salah. Replacing these players will prove to be extremely difficult and I believe they will get progressively worse before they get better.
They almost need a whole new midfield in the summer, as well as competition at right back and centre half. They have also made some very questionable signings such as Gakpo, who has looked distinctly average so far, at a cost of £45m (LiverpoolEcho).
Assuming a fit squad, I think he is their third-best option at LW.
I don’t believe Liverpool will win the champions league this season, which would be a stumbling block for them come the summer transfer window.
I also believe that Klopp is a victim of complacency in a squad used to playing together.
I think they need a rebuild, a long and painful process as to stay at the top you must be proactive and, although Liverpool have spent money, they have not been smart enough with their signings and have neglected key areas of their team.
It may be controversial, but I do believe Spurs are in a better position currently, than Liverpool as a whole. But we shall see what new challenges arise this season for all parties.
It will be interesting to revisit these thoughts next season, to see how my predictions have fared as with the current state of Spurs and other teams in the league it can all change within a week.
It has been a rollercoaster of a season for Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and United (rather closer to plain-sailing for Arsenal and City).
The rest of this season is difficult to call and things are shaping up nicely for a very competitive period. Something we have come to expect from the best league in the world!
Have something to tell us about this article?