Since arriving at Spurs from Southampton in 2014, Mauricio Pochettino has transformed the north London club both in their playing style and more importantly in their consistency to win football matches.
In his three years at the club, Pochettino has helped Spurs to a 5th, 3rd and 2nd place finish. Their runner-up spot last campaign was their highest ever finish in the Premier League history, recording their highest ever points total too.
However, unlike many of their competitors, Spurs do not have the financial clout to spend hundreds of millions on players to build on their first-team squad ahead of next season.
The focus on youth
Their chairmen Daniel Levy would rather invest his money in building out the infrastructure of the club, including Tottenham’s new 61,000-seater stadium in north London and their state-of-the-art training facilities for the first team and the youth academy.
Therefore, the Pochettino project has been based on maximising the young talent coming out of the Tottenham academy.
He has done so well in getting these young players to believe in his footballing philosophy and getting them to play in such a high-intensity style both in and out of possession.
Under the Argentinian manager, we have seen the rise of the two-time Golden Boot winner Harry Kane to an England and Premier League goal machine. We have also seen Dele Alli blossom as one of England’s most exciting young talents.
However, next season Spurs will have a huge job on their hands to replicate their success of recent years with many of their rivals splashing out to strengthen their squads, whereas Spurs are yet to bring in any new players.
Manchester City have spent over £200m on global superstars, whilst Chelsea, Manchester United and even north London rivals Arsenal have also spent big to attract new blood.
The Wembley factor
With their new stadium also being built and with White Hart Lane now just a building site, Spurs will be playing at Wembley.
Pochettino’s side have struggled at the national stadium in recent times, including in their terrible Champions League campaign last year where they did not make it out of the group stage.
Having said that, they beat Juventus 2-0 in their final pre-season friendly of the summer at Wembley, dispelling the idea that the size of the pitch has any bearing on their ability to play their game. It’s purely a mental issue and one Spurs seem to be resolving.
Still a selling club?
The north London club do not have an easy task on their hands. If they do not continue to improve and pick up some silverware in the coming season, then they may face the possibility of losing their key players to better clubs, which would put Pochettino and Levy right back at the start of their project.
This summer we have already seen England right-back, Kyle Walker, move to Premier League rivals, Manchester City for £50m. The deal shows the influence that the richest club have over the rest of the league.
The same can be said for Danny Rose, who revealed in an interview with The Sun that he’d be open to leaving Spurs if the right offer came in to attract a salary he perceives reflects his ability.
The worst situation now would be for Spurs to return to a side that helps to produce great players, but then cannot keep hold of them and cannot build on their squad. Pochettino has helped to bring the relative success that has changed this situation at the club, for now.
An important season
If Spurs want to continue on their path to victory in both the Premier League and on the European stage, then this season is crucial, they must still at least finish in the top four, get out of the Champions League group stage and aim to win one of the domestic cups.
The club still has time to act in the transfer window, but if it doesn’t then Tottenham could be in trouble of moving backwards after a lot of hard work over the past few years.
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