Article by Guy Flitton – Follow @GuyFlitton
Towards the end of last season I wrote a piece for this site suggesting that the upcoming transfer window may mark a watershed moment for the club. I suggested that Pochettino may have taken the club as far as possible with the current expenditure restraints, and that this was the time to depart from previous caution in spending big money on transfers and wages. We otherwise risked being left behind by our competitors. In short, the time had arrived ‘to go big or go home’.
Now, with the transfer window having closed without any additions to the squad, I’ve been reflecting on my concerns and found plenty of reasons why in fact we should be looking forward to this season as much as ever.
Towards the end of last season it appeared that Toby Alderweireld was destined for the exit, his relationship with Pochettino appearing to have broken down to an almost irretrievable point whereby he was spending large periods of time on the bench despite appearing to be match fit. However, over the off-season Pochettino seems to have determined to set aside any personal problems which may have developed between the two, and looks to have re-integrated Alderweireld back into being a first team regular for the season ahead.
Retaining Toby’s services has been the most important piece of business the club carried out over the summer, and was just as significant as bringing in any new ‘marquee’ signing. Alderweireld has started the season in tremendous form, and is crucial to our chances of success this year.
Gang Signs and Prayer
The unexpectedly successful World Cup run over the summer featured a healthy dose of Spurs talent. Alli (with whatever gang sign he has trending at any given time) and Kane led the charge, along with the emergence of Kieran Trippier as the world’s greatest free kick taker. We have some of the most exciting young talent in the league and the experience gained over the summer will only serve them well over seasons ahead. Despite their summer exertions Kane and Alli have returned to action looking remarkably sharp, with Kane at last ending his August goal hoodoo.
Cohesion, harmony and momentum are some of the most important factors in developing a winning side and Spurs have all in abundance. The lack of new arrivals over the summer has in fact contributed to the strengthening of all of these aspects. No signings means no ‘bedding in’ time as new players adapt to new team mates, tactics and more often than not a change of culture and country. This means the squad is able to immediately hit the ground running.
Neither should it be overlooked how the squad appear to get on so well with one another. They genuinely appear to be a bunch of mates who just happen to play football together, with no cliques or disruptive influences. Pochettino therefore is free to focus on developing the squad and has no distractions caused by off the field misbehaviour.
At some point we’ll be playing in one of the most impressive stadiums across Europe, and one that will be the envy of every other team in the league. We all have fond memories of the old Lane, with its crumbling plasterwork, ever present burger vans, and the club shop in a porter cabin. The atmosphere promises to be absolutely cracking, and will mix some of the famed old atmosphere with something different. As well as giving us a super new home it sends a statement of intent regarding the clubs ambitions across the continent, as if any further were needed.
So whilst it’s still far too early to tell whether our lack of additions this summer will ultimately come back to bite us in the backside, the time has come not to dwell on it, but to embrace the season ahead with real optimism.