Spurs fans can be forgiven for thinking all is doom and gloom at the moment. After all, Tottenham now have the unfortunate record of being the the only club since the inception of the transfer window 16 years ago, to have not added a single player to the squad. This has led to widespread pessimism among Spurs fans about the prospects for the season ahead.
The conventional wisdom emanating from the fan base at the moment seems to be that the team has moved backwards since all our rivals have strengthened their squad. This is a rather simplistic view that has to be debunked. It is not only possible but likely that Tottenham will have a better season this time around than last time.
Before explaining why I think that’s true, I would like to make it clear that the purpose of this piece is not to put a positive spin on the lack of summer activity. Of course, this summer would have been an ideal time to add a couple of marquee signings and it is extremely frustrating that the club not only chose against taking risks but doesn’t even think they owe an explanation to the fans as to why they didn’t.
However, that frustration shouldn’t cloud our judgement when assessing our prospects for the season ahead. Here are 4 reasons why I think we will be a better team in the 2018/2019 season that we were last year:
1) Last season’s signings are better settled.
Its worth remembering that we invested heavily on our defense last summer, bringing in Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier and Juan Foyth for a collective sum in excess of 70 million. All of these players will be better off with a season in the premier league under their belt. While Sanchez certainly repaid Poch’s faith in him last season, we almost certainly haven’t seen the best of the Colombian yet, given his age and relative lack of experience.
Meanwhile, Serge Aurier certainly didn’t have the best of first seasons in a Tottenham shirt. However, given Pochettino’s track record with full backs, it is safe to say that they improve substantially after working with him for a season. The likes of Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier have all come on leaps and bounds after working with the manager and it shouldn’t surprise us if Serge Aurier looks a completely different player this year with a pre-season under his belt.
Lucas Moura joined us January having barely played any competitive games for PSG for a year. So it was only natural that he was little rusty, even though he showed glimpses of real quality in his little cameos and a handful of starts. It will be fascinating to see how these three get on this year.
While all fans want flashy summer signings to get excited by, football teaches us time and again that stability is an extremely valuable asset. We have managed to keep our young squad together and gotten many of them to commit to long-term contracts. These players have been improving together year on year, and there is no reason to think this is suddenly going to stop.
Given that most of them had a terrific world cup, their confidence would have gone up even further. The experience of playing in those big games will help them deal with the pressure of big champions league nights like the one we had against Juventus last season.
A closer look at our performance over the last decade or so clearly shows there is little to no correlation between fans’ satisfaction at our summer activity and how we do each season.
3) More options
The fact that our squad was ravaged by injuries last season has somehow been glossed over by most fans. Key players like Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela, Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Harry Kane were all out for chunks of last season. Additionally, Toby Alderweireld was almost completely frozen out, which meant that we were playing at under full strength the whole of last season. If we can get some of these players fit and firing, our squad looks really formidable even without any additions.
4) Going back home
It’s worth remembering that not many people gave us a chance of finishing in the top 4 last year due to the infamous “Wembley hoodoo”. It took us a bit of time to get used to Wembley and that meant that our early season form suffered. Most teams who were coming to Wembley were also buoyed by the prospect of playing in the historic stadium, which most definitely worked against us. Despite this, we managed to finish third and beat the likes of Real Madrid and Dortmund in the national stadium.
Things can only get better for us now that we are moving back home, all be it to a brand new one. Of course, it will take a little time for us to get used to the new stadium but our experience of adjusting to Wembley last season will hold us in good stead.
Yes, failing to add some real quality to the squad this summer, does feel like a missed opportunity but there are still a lot of things to get exited by. Being a new generation spurs fan who hasn’t seen the glory glory years, this is as good as I ever remember things being. We have the best squad we’ve had in at least 3 decades and we are moving into what will be one of the best stadiums in Europe. If you can’t get excited now, then what’s the point?
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