Reasons to be cheerful

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Alarm bells should not be ringing for Spurs fans – despite transfer deadline day edging its way closer. While none of the ‘big six’ – excluding Liverpool – have strengthened heavily this summer it’s still easy to worry once again that Tottenham will fall by the wayside amidst more financially well-backed rivals. Those doubts can be assuaged however when the club is lifted out of the context of the furore of transfer media coverage.

Most importantly perhaps is the fact that Spurs will be at least as strong as they were last season.

The eternal fear of losing our star players has burned strong again this transfer window, but barring some outrageously high last-minute bid from one of Europe’s top clubs (Eriksen to Barca / Lloris or Kane to Madrid) Tottenham will keep every player they want to keep. Pochettino proved last season that we can continue to improve without Alderweireld and Rose – who missed most of the season and who both seemed almost irreplaceable at one point in the wake of losing Kyle Walker. For a side who have been historically coerced into signing their biggest players it’s been an understated victory to remain at full strength – that clutch of new contract signings demonstrative of that excellent stability from which the team can move forward and build on last year. One of the criticisms that has been levelled against Tottenham in the midst of their impressive rise of the past few years, is the understandable lack of big match experience. Now after a comparatively successful Champions League campaign, and an extraordinary World Cup for Tottenham players this experience can be built upon and taken into the new campaign.

It may seem strange to celebrate a team that came third in the league last season for maintaining their standard, but Tottenham are young, hungry and yet to properly hit their stride. As the world cup showed, many of these players are beginning to hit maturity – rising up to become key players in their national teams. It might be that for this team, to rely on a hoard of new signings is an overly simplistic answer to the essentially undiagnosed problem of ‘how do we get better’?. It might be that what this team needs is not a set of new £80 million players, but time, and specifically a moment in which their striking development transforms into material success.

It’s also easy to forget that this is a team not been built on the signing of established players, but rather the development of promise and youth.

Amongst the clamour of the transfer window it is counterproductive to worry about Tottenham making massive signings when that isn’t their style. This Tottenham team, and the success it has achieved is the result of shrewd purchases and the development of youth – to go against that philosophy by shelling out on Anthony Martial or Wilfried Zaha is to go against what has made them a breath of fresh air in the league in past years. While it is understandable to want to urge the club forward into a new era of financial expulsion – it should come as no surprise that Tottenham’s transfer window has been nothing but teasing, and methodical.

In the past Tottenham have splurged on dead wood, Moussa Sissoko, the increasingly unreliable looking Serge Aurier, Llorente, Jansen and further back the majority of the post-Gareth Bale money signings. All have failed to make any sort of impact in the Tottenham first team, while homegrown talent signed for comparatively low sums (Trippier / Kane /Ali / Winks) have grown to become key performers. There is a reason Tottenham have been teetering over the edge of being branded a selling club over recent years, and that is because they buy low and improve players exponentially. Rather than willing Tottenham to change, we should embrace what makes them different. This is not to say that Tottenham shouldn’t spend – the money is there to do so – but that we are not as dependent on a host of incoming transfers as it seems.

Transfers will come in the coming days – Alderweireld at least is expected to go, while a replacement for him and a central midfielder are likely to come in. Whatever happens, however, despite the transfer window, there is as much reason as ever to be excited and expectant for the coming season.

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  1. We have not won anything with the current squad and need a fresh injection of quality talent to take us to the next level.

    The manager wants trophies now not in the future otherwise he will go to Man United … that’s a fact.

    Levy must back the manager or risk losing him…We will see…

  2. The deadwood we have splurged on goes from poor scouting, leaving things too late or not wanting to spend the required money to get better targets. It is typical of a lot of our recruiting. It’s low price gems, like Dele Alli, Eriksen, Kane through our youth, that keep us at the top table. Our squad players are largely rubbish. Aurier was our choice, when we had other right backs to go for. Leicester bought the one who was at Porto and on loan at Nice, Inter have bought the speedy right back who Valencia had, watch them both do better than our choice. You can’t argue with the financial position. £29m net spend since 2014, when Pochettino took over, but with a bit more ambition there could have been some trophies in the cabinet in that time. New stadium, great, kept most of our stars, great, the only one of 20 clubs with no buys, is absolutely shocking. Our foreign roster is over-stocked and sales should have been made by now. We want top dollar, but won’t pay top dollar. I blame Levy and ENIC.

  3. Arde, everyone and his dog are well aware that this current Spurs team hasn’t won anything as yet and the media are all saying that the manager wants to win something, which manager wouldn’t, not a state secret. But what gets me is how do you know for a fact that Pochettino will leave Spurs for Manchester United if they don’t win something?
    If you’re 100% certain that he will, may I suggest you set yourself up as a soothsayer (you know, someone who can tell the future accurately). You’d make millions mate, every Government in the World would want your services. You wont ever have to worry yourself about whether Levy backs the manager or not.
    On a less funnier note, how much money do you think the club needs to spend to buy a first class back up centre forward for Harry Kane should he get injured? When you’ve answered that question, perhaps you can tell us who the club should buy and what salary we should pay him. The same applies to the rest of our squad and who you’d bring in to replace or relieve them and at what cost.

  4. I agree totally, well made points. I think Spurs are in the best financial and football shape in many decades, and I have been supporting them 48 years now.

    I tried to make that point on a levy-hating thread and got shouted down (HH, ’nuff said).


  5. A refreshing read that made me feel better! Concerned over lack of decent cover for Kane though with Son being away, this needs addressing. Levy needs to show more ambition in this sort of problem. Will be an interesting season again, but I do wish we could do our business earlier.

  6. Our run of CL qualifications since 2016 has come entirely from Kane’s goal-scoring feats, and we’ve got no chance of improving on last season unless he hits the ground running this time. Unfortunately he looked knackered in Russia, and too many of the others seem to have lost their mojo (Alli, Dier, Dembele) or be permanently injured (Wanyama, Winks, Lamela), it looking far likelier that we’ll be out of the top four than be crowned champions at the season’s end. If Pochettino can prove my gloomy forecast wrong, he’ll perhaps deserve the praise his over-excited fans already shower on him, but it’s Kane who really matters at Spurs, and without him firing on all cylinders, we’re really pretty average.

  7. we needed to sign for some obvious positions. CB as Toby goes away (now or next year), dembele replacement (even if he stays a year), a wide winger/ striker. de Ligt, Kovacic or Zaha would have helped. Pulisic is anothr great one if he gets the US market as a bonus.

  8. A few fair points in summary but I agree with Swindon Spurs about the core issues. If a Spurs fan is really looking to be cheerful (and I’ve been one since the 1967 Cup Final) and has to talk themselves into this state of mind then I’ve thought of two more reasons off the top of my head: 1) There’ll always be an England (and it’s a nice cheery song if you sing it out loud), and 2) The doomsday asteroid hasn’t hit yet.


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