Opinion: The eight issues on show at Spurs after woeful Villa defeat

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

I left it a couple of days to do my reaction to the Aston Villa game but here it is. My thoughts on the game and the problems it highlighted.

Let’s start by saying that the Villa game itself was beyond poor. It started so well and then just fizzled out like a metaphor for our season as a whole.

The first game back with 10,000 fans, no matter how we are doing in the table, it should have been a celebration between players and supporters, like a long-awaited reunion.

Such is the disconnect at the moment, it felt like the fans didn’t really want to be there and the players weren’t prepared to run through brick walls for the fans. The disconnect is wider than it has ever been, in my opinion.

The lap of honour summed it up really. They told us to wait in our seats, then told us to go home, then eventually sent the players out to a small number of fans. It was a joke and a letdown.

So what is the problem at Spurs? Well, that in itself is the problem I think. There is no one problem. I see people blaming Lewis or Levy or Hitchen or certain players. The sad truth is that there are 5, 10, 15 problems, not one.

Spurs cannot make one change this summer and fix everything. A new manager won’t fix things. A few new world-class players wouldn’t change anything. The club need to systematically address each issue and ruthlessly cut it out.

Issue 1: Ownership. This is not going to change, if we are being realistic. What we need is more transparency about decisions and real fan voting power on the board in order to steer the ship.

Issue 2: Daniel Levy. I maintain that he is a world-class businessman and has done so much for our club. BUT he needs to remove himself from the football side of things and teach himself to hand power to others for the good of the club.

Issue 3: Steve Hitchen. I do feel like he is scapegoated a little without people knowing all the info. However, I would like to see a new DoF come in like Luis Campos or Ralf Rangnick. Football people with proven track records of consistently finding talent.

Issue 4: DNA. I understood the Mourinho project. It was a roll of the dice. But where it failed, it also compounded the diversion away from Tottenham’s DNA. Fast, high-press, attacking football. What’s more, that brand of football is winning at the moment! Look at Liverpool and City. We need our DNA back.

Issue 5: The Players. I don’t mind players that aren’t good enough. It’s part of the game, they can’t all be superstars. What I hate is when a player does not play for the shirt. I won’t name names but if you aren’t willing to die for the badge, you won’t achieve anything at Spurs. This squad needs to be gutted.

Issue 6: Finances. This summer will be tight. The one thing we have going for us is we have a lot of deadwood to be sold. That means a lot of money to be earned if Levy is ruthless and doesn’t fight over every penny. We need to sell to spend this summer.

Issue 7: Harry Kane. I’m sure Kane would go with the blessings of most Spurs fans, but only at a price of £150m or so. I doubt he will go this summer, which gives Levy the chance to make a statement and get Kane some quality new signings to play with!

Issue 8: The Fans. There was a whole lot of booing and anti-Levy chants against Villa. The club need to make a big effort to get fans back on side. But I think fans need to be open-minded too. Levy and ENIC are likely not going to leave, so we need to at least be open to them improving. If the fans don’t get behind the team, success is impossible.

Look back at 2015/16. All of the above were working together to one shared goal. A quality team, quality manager, a connection between fans and teams. The owners let us down by not signing the player or two we needed to get over the line.

Now it is time for a rebuild to get us back to those 2015/16 levels. Only this time we can’t make the same mistakes again…

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