Can I see some ID please? Investigating the loss of Tottenham’s identity

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur are currently refusing to shake off a reputation of a club constantly in transition, from a top half club to a top four club, forever frustrating Spurs fans with inconsistency and unpredictability within their play and off field proceedings. It is the identity of the club that’s the latest characteristic to be questioned.

The culprit most guilty for the current lack of personality at White Hart Lane is undoubtedly the manager, or rather the constant merry-go-round manager policy the club has preached over the last decade or so, therefore actually shifting blame up to the chairman Daniel Levy and his proceedings. Each and every manager that has come and gone over the past 4 or 5 years must take an element of criticism. Every new head coach has tried to change an element of the club (and rightly so), whether it be training, tactics or general rulings of the club but ultimately, in hindsight it is the thrive for new players to suit “their’ system that affect us most .

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and as a result many millions have been wasted by proceeding managers investing in players that don’t fit into the future plans of the next, and where we’ve seen these players with potential cast away, only to develop elsewhere, its the tactical system that seem to scar the club. Know for quick paced, counter attacking football under Redknapp, everything since seems a fusion of fashionable tika taka, counter intuitive containment and the old school plan B long punt, leaving the squad perplexed as to what’s in store next. Pochettino seems to have abandoned his high tempo press he received so much praise for this time last year at Southampton, and although in his early stages at the Lane, the Argentinian will do well to use what hes got, nurture the youth and be prudent in january.

Competing in a variety of different competitions this year, ultimately results in a large squad which Tottenham have. With many games comes large squads and that ultimately means squad rotation. Issues that plagued AVB during his tenure in North London include not knowing his strongest starting XI following the flamboyant spending of Franco Baldini on the not-so ‘magnificent seven’ last summer, and with an inflated squad, injuries and playing rotation, its no wonder why Pochettino’s playing style hasn’t come to fruition as yet.

Many will point the finger at Levy, but ultimately the appointment of Baldini and the cavalier approach to the transfer market in recent years must have alarm bells ringing, although many signings haven’t been given suitable time. The inflated market prices in the last 18-24 months haven’t scared the savvy business duo, but instead investing frivolously and carelessly rather than utilising existing players and youth prospects. Through high profile sales, Spurs have adopted a ‘selling club’ tag after Bale, Modric, Berbatov and previously Carrick departed for extravagant fees. With important players moving on, its the hole they leave that seems to result in long term damage, having previous tactics created around them and conclusively, they are pivotal players only to be cashed in on.

Tottenham’s tradition mainly consists of the glory years under the late Bill Nicholson in the 60’s/70’s and is where Spurs enjoyed much cup success, only to slip into the late 20th century with little to sing about, apart from a marquee player or signing, we currently find ourselves stuck in an Europa League/mid-table mediocrity nightmare. Although we have improved over the last decade or so, much the same can be said for our rivals and the Premier League as a whole, but the fans have never been shy to publicly voice their frustration (again, rightly so), recent episodes in the premier league have seen woeful performances and results to match, but the Spurs faithful have shown their passion and voiced it accordingly, almost demanding the results of the past.

With every new member of staff at Tottenham and every glimpse of excitement from fresh intrigue, every promise of progression for the future, it seems it is only a matter of time before hope is eradicated and replaced with doubt and apprehension. Pochettino hasn’t spent £100 million nor has he promised champions league football, what he has done is to put in place his ‘philosophy’ and trusted the youth at the club, (although the former hasn’t yet been evident.) But the wheels are in motion for the future with foundations being laid in all aspects of the club from the new players to the backroom staff, and whilst the identity of the club fails to be initially apparent, in the long term, Spurs fans will hope and pray for the slightest progression for their team, progress that results in an identity.

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