It’s rarely fun to be a Tottenham fan, but over the past few years it has felt a lot like ‘the low points and then the bits in between’. This article is just going to be an incoherent rambling of all my thoughts and complaints at the moment.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

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For any fan living under a rock (and I envy you so very much), Tottenham have imploded over the past few weeks. The season wasn’t exactly uprooting trees anyway, but there were hopes for the top four, FA Cup and Champions League. Fast forward three weeks and… well, you know.

Despite a positive start to Conte’s time in charge of the club, it once again feels as though there is a distinct lack of direction. I think that partly comes from the elephant in the room – we all know the manager is leaving at the end of the season no matter what.

To be honest, even if things were going well at Spurs, I feel like Conte would be parting ways regardless. With the death of three of his friends and the harsh awakening of his recent health troubles, you get the feeling he just wants to work in Italy at the moment.

I can’t blame him for that. But also, if the club and the manager both know they are likely parting ways in the summer, let’s just do it now. Get someone new in, ride the new manager bounce, and at least make sure we aren’t playing catch-up in the summer/next season.

I would definitely still be Conte in IF he wanted to stick around and IF the club guaranteed to give him the players he wants and needs, but I don’t think either of those things are true – so why tread water for a few months just for the sake of it?

Managers like Conte (proven winners), have won their trophies using the same tried-and-tested formulas at all of their clubs. You hire them, give them the tools, and reap the rewards. This was similar to the hiring of Jose Mourinho at Tottenham in some ways too.

I completely understood the short-term hiring idea from Levy and co. The Pochettino project was long and ultimately unfruitful in terms of trophies. To keep the club, fans, and players happy, it made sense to go with a manager capable of winning within two or three years.

The issue is that Tottenham never quite committed one way or the other. The ‘projects’ under Mourinho and Conte were stuck halfway in between a short-term surge in the transfer market and a long-term journey. It was as if they wanted to change the managers’ formula to suit Spurs.

I think the spending criticism towards Levy and ENIC is so misguided. That has not been the issue at all. Spurs have spent money, similarly to some of the big six rivals. No, we haven’t been like Chelsea, Man City, or Man United – but that is literally impossible.

Tottenham is run like a business and the money spent comes from the money earned. But a significant portion of the money Spurs have spent has gone on players who have never even gotten going in a Lilywhite shirt. You need only look at the current loan list.

Ndombele, Lo Celso, Reguilon, Rodon, Gil, Spence… all somewhat recent signings amounting to nearly £200m, but all out on loan. Spurs have spent a lot of money, but consistently on the wrong players AND often in the wrong positions.

To make matters worse, the past three years has been THE single worst time to misspend in the history of football because of a little thing called COVID. Spurs spent high and paid out high wages, only for COVID to remove the entire resell market.

No clubs outside the Premier League can afford to pay even half what Spurs paid for someone like Tanguy Ndombele, which is why we are seeing loan spell after loan spell until they are finally sold for maybe 30% what Spurs paid for them.

Let’s be honest, Tottenham need two new first-team and proven centre-backs, a creative midfielder, a striker, a goalkeeper, and maybe a winger/wing-back this summer – but also need to sell 5-10 players in the process. They have shot themselves in the foot big time.

I was initially happy with the start to the Conte era because everything hinted towards him staying for a few years. Otherwise, why would they not give him all the tools he needed in the first three windows? You may as well have not hired him if that was the case.

A secondary problem of Spurs spending in the wrong areas and hiring managers that do not fit the club plan is that you have all this excess. One manager comes in and makes signings. The next doesn’t like those signings. The next changes formation and makes some signings obsolete.

It’s a constant merry-go-round that leaves you with a bloated squad that never quite fits together. We have Pochettino signings, Nuno signings, Mourinho and Conte signings. We have fullbacks and wingbacks. No playmaker. Centre-backs who like a back 4 and some who like a back 3.

Looking back with the mighty power of hindsight, which I appreciate is so damn easy to do, Spurs would have been better served going for another long-term project manager after Poch. We would be 3/4 years down the line by now and starting to see the results – (like Arsenal).

So, what do I want now? Some sanity back. We have had three pragmatic managers in a row. Don’t get me wrong, I can buy into that when I see the improvement and direction. But losing AND playing boring football is tough to watch across three years.

I want to buy into a project again. I want to see the vision like the Poch days. And I want to play the attacking brand of football that used to be associated with Tottenham. Yes, the trophy drought may go on a while longer, but I very much want to enjoy supporting again.

Who would I have as the next boss? 99% of me wants to see that Argentine face walking back through the Hotspur Way doors. Yes, it is risky. It could ruin his legacy. He is unproven when given large money to spend. But I know I would at least enjoy it for a while.

If not Pochettino, then someone who is happy to commit to a long-term project playing some brave and attacking football. That’s all my starved little brain wants at the moment. Someone who aligns with the club and what they are prepared to do.

I want Levy to sit down with a manager and say honestly ‘this is what we can offer you’ and I want them to find someone who is both willing and capable to build with those blocks. That is the only sensible way forward at the moment.

I want the manager to say – this is what I want to build. This is the formation and style I want to use. These are the positions I need to strengthen. These are the players I want. Then I want Spurs to make it happen, for once.

Find a manager who fits within whatever your maximum spending budget is, then give them everything they need. I would much rather that than hiring someone who needs more money than you can provide, then giving them a half-hearted project.

I actually like the idea of running a club as a business and spending within your means. That is what I hope FFP eventually forces clubs to do more. The way Chelsea have gone about things in the last six months is not fun or entertaining for anyone really.

For any FIFA players, it’s like using the old ‘financial takeover’ shortcut and building a team capable of walking the league within a year. Or playing The Sims while using the infinite money cheat. It’s boring.

Football would be better with harsh spending caps that forced people to actually think about their signings, rather than throwing money at a wall until something sticks.

But, having said that, Spurs do very much need to think about their signings. Sometimes, you can’t help it when a player flops, but at least buy players that align with what the long-term manager needs and wants. That’s all I’m saying.

Anyway, ramble over. I hope Mauricio is having a lovely day, and come on you Spurs (please). FIN

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