With only nine Premier League fixtures left to play, we have most definitely entered the ‘business end’ of the domestic campaign. Pochettino undoubtedly faces a tough time raising his players who lost Sunday’s vital clash against fellow Champions League challengers Manchester United, only a matter of weeks after their detrimental cup final loss to Chelsea. Perhaps it’s a mental strain on Spurs’ young talents who have in fact been sublime so far this season; showing immense character and spirit which in turn has seen the North Londoners record more points from losing positions than any other Premier League side. Incidentally, manager Mauricio Pochettino will irrefutably be given justified credit for his intrepid efforts in developing the clubs youth prospects—Nabil Bentaleb (20), Eric Dier (21), Ryan Mason (23) and prolific frontman Harry Kane (21).
The Future of Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham’s 2014-15 Europa League campaign was gallingly concluded by a substandard 2-0 defeat to Italians Fiorentina in Italy, after an exasperating 1-1 draw at the Lane a week before. ‘Now Tottenham are out the Europa League I can watch the Darts’ perhaps epitomizes Pochettino’s dissatisfaction at his side’s European departure, although two energetic, spirited league performances against both Swansea and Queens Park Rangers allowed Spurs to close the gap on their fellow Champions League contenders; and despite a woeful display at the Theatre of Dreams, a minority of somewhat optimistic Tottenham fans still believe their side can defy the odds and qualify.
“I think he (Harry Kane) is the only one that can save our season, like I did the last season. Two years ago, it was Gareth Bale. If he keeps scoring two goals every week-end, he can save us. We all have huge faith in him. Hopefully, he will drag us out of the top seven and put us in the top four” states Togolese frontman Emmanuel Adeybayor and therefore surely there remains an element of belief and buoyancy within the Tottenham Hotspur camp.
At this current point, they remain six points outside the top four, albeit with what would appear to be an easier run of fixtures left, in comparison to their resilient challengers Manchester United, Liverpool and Southampton. In addition, Spurs’ chances of a Champions League spot this campaign seem unlikely, but they have shown impressive character, recording frequent spirited fight backs to claim all three points and so completely ruling them out at this early stage would be illogical. Furthermore, the Tottenham team that courageously saw off relegation favourites QPR was in fact the youngest side fielded in the Premier League this season; with an average age of 23 years and 290 days this speaks volumes of the tenacious work Pochettino has put in both on and off the pitch to ensure his side portrays youth and also excellence. In the modern game, this is something many managers have failed to master and therefore the Argentine merits vast credit for attaining the right balance of the two.
The future is bright, the future is Lilywhite
Even if qualification for Europe’s elite competition fails to be fulfilled this campaign, Mauricio’s transitional Tottenham will certainly be back next season, with exactly the same work ethic, intent and hopefully a few signings to add to an already competent squad. Unlike many other European challengers, Spurs will inevitably maintain a spine of determined and prestigious youth and therefore Pochettino’s philosophy will continue to be implemented on the pitch.
Composed and collected young English centre-half Eric Dier has already this season shown his capabilities and composure which, for a fairly inexperienced player, is highly impressive. Alongside one of Europe’s elite defenders in Jan Vertonghen and under the watchful eye of Pochettino Dier is certainly one for the future for both club and country. Nabil Bentaleb accentuates class and coolness and, still only 20, is truly the real deal; having already represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations the Algerian has recorded seventeen league, three Capital One Cup and six Europa League appearances so far this season for his club. The Tottenham Academy product typifies aggression, competence and maturity and providing he keeps his feet on the ground Bentaleb will achieve his extraordinary potential.
Next up, Harry Kane, the boyhood Tottenham admirer who these days, finds himself being compared to Tottenham legends. With 26 goals from 42 appearances this season, and with the Premier League golden boot in sight the Chingford born fan favourite will surely earn an England call-up in the coming weeks. Pundits have run out of superlatives to define Tottenham’s frontman he’s that good and with nine games left, will he guide Tottenham to an improbable Champions League finish?
“Our team spirit will make us a great side” believes much improved fullback Danny Rose who genuinely reckons his band of brothers will direct Spurs into an era of success. And understandably, Pochettino has the ultimate backing of both players and fans for the foreseeable future. There are certainly signs that Tottenham are on the brink of something prodigious, particularly with their insistent, unprecedented team spirit and will to fight for each other. With added squad strength and perhaps experience, they will give themselves a great chance to be world beaters again.
Leader of men at Spurs—some would say Belgium international Jan Vertonghen or maybe even French skipper Hugo Lloris. In spite of their influential presences, a prevailing, dominant character is without doubt a must for the North Londoners this summer. The problems at Spurs aren’t technical or tactical; they simply require an individual who is able to whip their talented, young shirkers into action when the going gets tough or when they find themselves in a difficult situation. Essentially all the top sides possess a leader who grabs their team-mates by the scruff of the neck and gets them to buck their ideas up, and regrettably Spurs failed to lure in such a player in the previous windows.
Perhaps Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin can be Pochettino’s voice on the pitch next season; the talented Frenchman was heavily linked with a move to North London back in August. His prowess and mastery in central midfield would certainly further advance Spurs’ already competent spine; his intelligence, composure and dominant presence on a football pitch are traits which would make Tottenham a force to be reckoned with.
Champions League football is without question where Tottenham wish to be, and with judicious use of the summer transfer window, Spurs could find themselves an even harder nut to crack next season; although until the club manage to personify consistency, Thursday night football will continue to be a regular occurrence at The Lane.