Article By James Gadd – Follow @gaddytheyid
We all know about our net spend under Mauricio Pochettino and his propensity for getting the most out of young players. We have also been told that the “project” was to achieve Champions League football by the time we moved into our new stadium, so the answer to that question in terms of the bigger picture is an undisputed yes.
But looking at the current season its seems hard to argue that we’re not doing better than perhaps we should be.
Having made no new signings in the summer transfer window and with the new stadium still not being ready as I write this in December, the odds of a top 4 finish were looking slimmer than previous years at the start of the season.
Liverpool were talked of as the main challengers to last season’s run away champions Manchester City while Manchester United were also expected to be up there after a second place finish the year before. Chelsea and Arsenal both had to adapt to life under a new manager, something Chelsea are used to but Arsenal certainly are not.
So that left us with less pressure than previous seasons but with the announcement of the stadium delays and having to play at Wembley indefinitely, things didn’t appear quite as rosy.
The fans undoubtedly have faith in Pochettino and his squad but with no new signings to strengthen the squad and then no date on when the stadium would be ready there was an element of frustration among the Spurs faithful.
These frustrations were eased somewhat by starting the season with three straight wins, culminating in the stunning Luca Moura inspired 3-0 victory at Old Trafford over Man Utd.
Since then we struggled in the early stages of the Champions League with our poor results almost being entirely of our own doing, bar the mercurial talents of Lionel Messi and co at Barcelona. The fact that we went into the final game with it in our own hands is some kind of miracle.
Even if we go out of the CL at the group stage, we can at least console ourselves in the fact we were in one of the toughest groups for the second successive year. I’m sure Pochettino and his players will learn just as much about the competition this season as they did last season.
Our away form in the league has been terrific with the late collapse at Watford and the North London derby defeat the only blemishes on our record. Given the circumstances surrounding the stadium, maintaining a good away record sets us up nicely for a strong second half of the season once in our new home.
So with 11 wins from 15 games in the Premier League and with us sitting above Arsenal and Chelsea you’d have to say we’ve overachieved so far this season.
There has also been improved performances from some of the squad players, Moussa Sissoko being the most notable. He didn’t have a great game at the Emirates but his power, energy and direct running have added another dimension to our midfield in recent games.