As a disappointing season comes to an end, a season which has seen the club finish in the Europa Conference League spot, and lose the Carabao Cup final, all we can do now is take the few positives and move forwards.
Despite the poor year, there are some, believe it or not. If the right decisions are made over the summer, Tottenham Hotspur have a real chance of returning to the top four next campaign.
Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, Heung-Min Son, the front three Spurs fans dreamed of, was, despite not getting frequent opportunities together under Jose Mourinho, a potent force, scoring 51 league goals between them, more than any other trio in the league (BBC Sport).
Bale who scored the least of the three, 11 in the league, has been significantly better than the credit he’s received, defying the spun narrative that he was finished, averaging a Premier League goal every 84 minutes (BBC Sport). The trio works.
Only two teams of the six who finished above Spurs, West Ham and Leicester, conceded more goals in the league this season (BBC Sport). That’s where the main problem lies.
If we can hold onto Kane, and bring back Bale, then improving the defence has to be a priority.
At least one centre back needs to be brought in, with Toby Alderweireld ageing, Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier having moments of defensive liability, and Joe Rodon yet to maintain a starting place in the team.
A first choice, proven centre back, would go a long way to sending Spurs back to the top four. Just look at what Virgil Van Dijk did for Liverpool, and how they have been affected without him this season.
New full-backs should also be high on the list of Spurs transfer targets; Serge Aurier having always been defensively vulnerable, Matt Doherty having a disappointing debut season, and Japhet Tanganga’s lack of experience (and having just picked up a serious injury) meaning the right side could do with improving.
The left less so, but with Sergio Reguillon not playing up to the standards he set earlier in the season in recent games, a left-back may be looked at by Daniel Levy. Although Ryan Sessegnon is also returning from a successful loan spell.
Having finished just five points off the top four, and losing so many points from winning positions this season, we could have easily bridged that gap if we had have been even marginally better defensively.
For example, if we’d have managed to hold onto the lead in our penultimate game against 11th position Aston Villa, and been able to see out that painful 3-3 draw with West Ham, having been three-nil up with less than 10 minutes to play, we’d be heading into Europe’s premier competition, rather than its third-tier one.
So. Imagine this. We hold onto the current squad (maybe a few of the lesser players leave), and bring in just a couple of first-team quality defenders, I’ll leave you to decide who.
We concede perhaps, 5-10 fewer goals. Now we’re back in the top four. If you’re brave enough, you could go so far as to dream of maybe even an attacking midfielder coming in as well, now we look like a top team again.
Yes, it was a disappointing season, but as little as 6 extra points throughout could have significantly improved it. Don’t despair too much. Just a few of the right players (I know, more easily said than done), and we could be transformed back into contenders again.
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