After a fantastic start to the domestic 2015/16 season, us fans are daring to dream that Champions League football may be on the horizon once more. One defeat in ten league games shows this is not the Tottenham of old, not flaky at the core, not easy to beat, but a sturdy Tottenham who are not fazed by any opponent. This transformation is largely down to what Mauricio Pochettino has done since arriving as manager at the start of last season. Given Chelsea’s terrible start, Tottenham, must and can, seize the opportunity to break back into the top four.
Pochettino, in just over a year has renovated a Club that was going backwards and whose fans had become disillusioned with their progress, into one of the youngest and one of the most exciting squads in Europe. Out have gone the players who didn’t fit the system, the players who didn’t seem to care about the Club, and the players who badly underperformed when so much was expected of them. You only have to look at the clear-out authorised this summer, with the likes of Capoue, Paulinho, Adebayor, Kaboul and Chiriches amongst others all allowed to depart for fitting the above criteria. As the main part of his transformation, Pochettino has invested in youth: both internally and externally. The likes of Kane, Mason, Bentaleb, Dier, Alli and so many others have flourished under his leadership, and now it is those players forming the core of possibly one of the most exciting Tottenham teams there has been in decades. The reason for this: they love the Club, they are passionate about the Club, they recognise the opportunities they have been given and they are grasping them with both hands. All of this has led the Club to an unbeaten domestic run stretching nine games and a fan base full of optimism.
It has not all been about youth though. Pochettino has completely revamped the recruitment setup at the Club, bringing in his close friend Paul Mitchell to replace the much maligned Franco Baldini. Under this recruitment setup, the Club have succeeded in not repeating the transfer mistakes of old, and instead bringing in only those players that fundamentally “fit the bill” of how Pochettino wants to play. Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Dele Alli, Heung Min-Son and Toby Alderwiereld have all been signed in the last year, and have so far been fantastic additions that have drastically improved the side. There are also others that have been signed such as Clinton N’Jie, Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier that have the potential to be very important players for the Club in the future.
These changes and this fresh approach has brought renewed optimism back to the fan base, which has been lacking ever since the departure of Harry Redknapp as manager in 2012. After a very positive start to the domestic season, this could be the Club’s best opportunity to break back into the ‘promise land’ of the top four. The future could look even brighter if Pochettino continues to make these rapid and constructive changes at the Club.
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