Tottenham: Silverware or bust as Pochettino faces critical season
“We must be brave” Pochettino said at the end of last season, but have Spurs taken the “risks” needed to compete for major honours?
How did Spurs get here? When one stops to consider their progress over the last ten years, no club has enjoyed a similar and consistent upturn in their fortunes.
Smart, diligent planning and investment is the reason for that. Daniel Levy keeps a prim index finger and thumb over the purse, but it is the backing from owner Joe Lewis and the scruples of manager Mauricio Pochettino that hold equal away.
Spurs are a club of growth and progress, but the question remains – what does a successful season look like?
Silverware, continuity & consistency
Most obviously, they need to win a trophy. That Pochettino was linked so heavily with Real Madrid – despite not having won any major honours in England – shows the regard in which he is held, but question marks will persist over his tenure should the trophy cupboard remain desolate and bare.
The FA Cup and League Cup offer the most realistic options of silverware, but the Argentine has made his comparative dispassion about those trophies clear. It’s the Premier League, Champions League or bust.
So far, Pochettino has clung on to the squad that has brought him within sniffing distance of the accolades. Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and – to a lesser extent – Dele Alli have shown admirable devotion to the cause.
That will only persist, however, should the club continue on its current trajectory. Couple another winless season with a transfer-hungry Real Madrid, and Spurs’ brightest talents could be falling over themselves to get to the exit.
Transfer market failure
Pochettino might have done well to keep continuity in his squad, but some of his recent acquisitions have proven less than fruitful. Lucas Moura and Serge Aurier made middling impacts last year, whilst Fernando Llorente was a willing and not-as-able deputy for Kane.
The recruits from 2016 fared even worse – what of Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko now? Spurs simply have to invest their money more wisely in the market this summer, or risk being left behind.
Pochettino and Levy have done wonders to get where they are. But questions that are mere grumbles now could morph into full-blown discontent, should fans endure a repeat of last season’s disappointment.
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