Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United were once known as the ‘The Entertainers’ with their exciting brand of football that made them the best team to watch in the country. Newcastle United’s 1995-1996 team are often considered the greatest team never to lift the Premier League trophy. That title may now need to be passed to Mauricio Pochettino who had constructed the best Spurs side I have ever seen. But to go beyond just being everyone’s second team, Pochettino needs to get his hands on some silverware and go one better than Keegan’s Newcastle.
To achieve that, the clubs recruitment needs to seriously improve with some big money signings not working out. Striker Vincent Janssen has scored just one goal from open play in the Premier League whilst record signing Moussa Sissoko was absent from Tottenham’s impressive run at the end of the season, starting just two league games in 2017. Then there is Georges-Kévin N’Koudou and Clinton N’Jie who have barely featured at all in their time at the club. Pochettino desperately needs to improve the depth of his squad if Spurs are going to fight in multiple competitions, with only thirteen players making over ten starts in the league.
If Pochettino is going to bring trophies to White Hart Lane, he may have to focus on the cup competitions he has so often sacrificed in favour of the Premier League. The Argentine has often drawn criticism for rotating his players in the cups. Last season was the first time Spurs have made it past the FA Cup fifth round under Pochettino having been eliminated at home by Leicester City and Crystal Palace in the two previous seasons. In the League Cup, Pochettino’s first year in charge saw his side reach the 2015 Final when, once again, Chelsea stood in their way. The two years that followed saw Spurs fail to make it past the 4th Round. Last year, an away trip to Liverpool saw ten changes to his first team and they were eliminated early in the fourth round. Spurs have also failed to make inroads in Europe, crashing out twice last season, having finished 3rd in their Champions League group and then losing over two legs to Belgian side Gent after dropping into the Europa League.
Success has got to come soon. This talented Tottenham group, like Pochettino, may not be around much longer. How long will it be before this young squad and manager are picked off? Kyle Walker has reportedly fallen out of favour and been linked with a move to Manchester City, Eric Dier is rumored to be in Jose Mourinho’s plans and it won’t be long before the best clubs in the world are breaking transfer records for PFA Young Player of the Year Dele Alli. The opportunity to succeed may not come again. Top teams like Man City and United won’t nap forever and are more than happy to spend big amounts to get themselves back in the title hunt. If this really is a new Tottenham Hotspur, with the Spurs days very much behind them, now is the time to go out and show it.
Post by Tough Tackler – @thetoughtackler (www.toughtackler.co.uk)