Opinion: Was Tottenham’s 2023-24 campaign a success or failure? 

Now that we are a couple of weeks removed from the end of the Premier League campaign, it’s time to look back on the last season.

Was Tottenham’s latest campaign a success? Was it a failure? Or was it something in between?

Fans Supporters Celebrate
Photo by Sam Liam Cornish

A rough end to 2022-23

To say the end of the previous campaign was rocky would be an understatement.

While it appeared at one point that Antonio Conte could perhaps lead Spurs to an elusive trophy, the hope was short-lived. Much like the tenure of Jose Mourinho, Conte’s negativity – in both attitude and style of play – eventually became his undoing.

As the Italian was let go near the end of the season, Tottenham finished the schedule uninspired under a pair of interim managers and finished eighth in the Premier League.

Despite a final-day win versus Leeds United, Spurs finished one point back of Aston Villa for a European place. The finish to the season confirmed the club would be without European competition for the first time since 2009-10.

Looking bleak for 2023-24

Heading into the 2023-24 season, Spurs were on the hunt for a new manager and had no European football to look forward to.

Tottenham eventually hired Ange Postecoglou as the new manager, but he was met with scepticism because he had never led a club in a “top” league.

Spurs also finally let Harry Kane, the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, secure a transfer to Bayern Munich near the end of the summer transfer window.

That meant with the 2023-24 campaign about to begin, the club was without its star striker and European football while being led by a new manager.

Expectations for Spurs might have never been as low as they were before the fixtures began.

Fast forward to now, with all that we knew, did Tottenham have a successful season? Or was it a failure?

Here’s a look at some of the successes and failures of the campaign as we break down Spurs’ 2023-24 season.

Ange Postecoglou
(Credit: @_ci.snaps_ / Instagram)

Failure: Poor performances in domestic cups

Another season gone, another season without a trophy at Spurs.

While no one expected the club to win the Premier League, it seemed that this was a perfect opportunity for Tottenham to make a run at a cup title.

With chances at both the Carabao and FA Cups and no European football to congest the schedule, Spurs had perhaps their best route to a trophy since winning the League Cup 16 years ago.

Instead, the club once again exited both domestic cups early while fielding weaker squads, falling to Fulham in the Carabao Cup and Manchester City in the FA Cup.

The Carabao Cup performance was even more disappointing, as Fulham eventually reached the semifinal while dispatching a pair of Championship sides in the process.

For some reason, Spurs don’t prepare well for cup ties, and it continues to cause them missed chances at silverware.

Success: A flying start to a new era

While Spurs were quickly out of the Carabao Cup in August, it was mostly forgotten due to the club’s hot start to the Premier League campaign.

With low expectations coming into the season, Tottenham began the season with a tough 2-2 London Derby draw away to Brentford before taking down Manchester United 2-0 in the campaign’s home opener.

Spurs’ great start to the year continued as they picked up seven wins in their next eight fixtures, sitting on 26 points and at the top of the table through Matchweek 10.

During the run to the top of the standings, Tottenham defeated Liverpool, won a pair of London Derby fixtures (Fulham and Crystal Palace) and secured a point away at Arsenal.

Failure: End of season struggles

While Spurs eventually cooled off following a flying start, a top-four finish still seemed highly likely for much of the campaign.

However, Tottenham was unable to make a run at a Champions League place as they struggled to end the season on a good run of form.

Spurs saw their grip on fourth place slip away, and they soon knew fifth place would not be enough to qualify for the Champions League thanks to poor performances in Europe by Premier League sides.

Needing to pick up points to catch Aston Villa during the stretch run, Tottenham instead lost five of its final seven fixtures.

The slide began after being humbled 4-0 at Newcastle United, a team we now know will not be in Europe next season.

Defeats to Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool followed, and a win over now-relegated Burnley was immediately followed by a loss to Manchester City. While a win to end the season against league-worst Sheffield United at least ensured a positive end to the campaign, the poor run of form ensured Spurs would finish a mere two points off a UCL position.

UEFA Europa League
(Credit: Molten UK & Ireland)

Success: Return to European competition

While narrowly missing out on Champions League football is disappointing, a fifth-place finish is still an improvement on the previous campaign.

Not only did Spurs improve by six points and three spots in the table from 2022-23, but they also ensured their return to European competition for 2024-25.

A Europa League place is a great building block for Ange Postecoglou to use heading into next season, and Tottenham should be one of the favourites in the competition.

While it isn’t the top-tier European competition, Spurs have an opportunity to claim silverware and qualify for the Champions League in 2025-26 if they are unable to secure a top-four finish domestically.

Failure: Too much inconsistency

After a strong start to the season, much of the remainder of the campaign was marked by inconsistency for Spurs.

While injuries certainly played a part, the rollercoaster of results proved costly in the end to a degree.

Tottenham lost three consecutive matches to fall out of first place after Matchweek 10, but a 3-3 draw against Manchester City had fans hoping it was just a blip.

Spurs were then beaten by London rival West Ham, but three wins on the bounce meant they were just three points back of second place through Matchweek 18.

Tottenham was then hammered away at Brighton but managed to pick up points in six of the following seven fixtures. However, Spurs let a potential three points turn into a draw at Everton late, while the lone defeat in the seven-match run was a 2-1 home defeat in added time to Wolves.

Spurs then took points from five of the next six matches, winning four of them. They did manage to lose an early lead in a draw to West Ham and were also smashed 3-0 by Fulham away.

A 3-1 victory against Nottingham Forest in Matchweek 32 left Tottenham in fourth place, ahead of Aston Villa on goal difference. From there, Spurs picked up just six points of a final 21, falling short of the UCL places.

Overall, a strong start, followed by inconsistency and blown chances, bookended by a poor run of form cost the club a shot at the top four.

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Success: Improved outlook on the future

Let’s be honest. As supporters, it hasn’t been the most fun to watch Spurs since the end of the Mauricio Pochettino era.

While there were runs of good form and positive results, much of the last 4-5 seasons have been draining on supporters as managers have come and gone, the football has been less than entertaining, and the club’s hierarchy continues to seemingly not care about winning.

Enter Ange Postecoglou, who nearly immediately had supporters chanting his name as Spurs began playing an attractive brand of football and picking up results.

Even though Tottenham narrowly missed out on the Champions League and was unable to secure a trophy, things are finally looking up for the club.

Big Ange’s style of play, overall positivity, and big personality have brought positive vibes back to Spurs, which makes it much more enjoyable to support the team on the pitch.

Final thoughts

After looking back at 2023-24, I would say that overall, Spurs had a successful campaign.

When considering how Tottenham ended the 2022-23 season, had to hire yet another manager, and lost club legend Harry Kane, the expectations for the club were at a low not seen in quite some time.

And while the trophy drought will continue for at least another year, I believe Spurs took a step forward as they move forward to 2024-25.

A return to European football while being led by a manager with a positive outlook for the club has changed the attitude both around the club and supporters.

I for one am looking forward to the next season, feeling more hopeful that Spurs can claim silverware and finish in a strong position while playing entertaining football in 2024-25.

Ange Postecoglou is building something special at Tottenham, and I only hope the club gives him the backing he needs to bring Spurs to the next level. As a manager, he has won titles at four clubs and for a national side, so why not at Tottenham?

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