SN Blog 60 – The next chapter

The 2018/19 season is gone and with it our managers fifth year at the club.  When he arrived his mission was simple, try and get Champions League football all while keeping a team together as best he could as we moved into the new stadium.  Due to the team in a lot of ways over achieving when you compare to rivals financial investment expectations rightly now are high, to the point that some fans are questioning if Pochettino is good enough to ever win a trophy for us.

Also worth saying right now, so I can get it out of the way, when we move into 2020 that means for the first since the 1940’s we have gone an entire decade without winning a major trophy of any kind.  A record many fans point to when they attack not only Mauricio and his record but also that of our owners and Chairman Daniel Levy.

The debate around ENIC, Levy and even Poch to an extent is old hat.  I have my opinion, others have theirs and I am not about to write something here to try and push my own thoughts onto you in that regard HOWEVER I will say I think a future with Pochettino as our manager is by far the better option that commencing our new chapter without him.

It is really easy to forget the post AVB mess we were in when Pochettino arrived.  We had a squad that was fractured and an academy of talent being wasted on loans that were poorly thought out.  Anyone who has read Mauricio’s book will know some of the stories of how certain players acted upon his arrival.  A clear group within a group that consisted of French speaking players and also one England international who when asked to do a second training session commented; “… no, not doing that… I will still be here when you are long gone…”

That player is long gone and Mauricio remains.  The squad was overhauled as quickly as was possible with new faces not being big money transfers but some of our own in the likes of Tom Carroll, Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason and of course Harry Kane.  Their enthusiasm and energy lifted the whole club and speaking just for me here they gave me a connection again to the team that in previous seasons I was lacking.

So as I said right at the start, that chapter is now closed.  So what happens next?  Before the Champions League final there was a very serious rumour that if Spurs won Mauricio Pochettino would resign and take some time off from football.  Although he said it himself to the press and I am sure believed he would like to do that I personally feel even if we had won he would likely have been turning his attention to; “now lets win it again..” the very next day.

Pochettino is not a fool though.  He knows that getting Spurs to the final this year was hard work and a little bit of luck (still a fan of VAR at the time of writing this) and to repeat it on a shoe string budget would be impossible, especially with every team in the league improving.  At the time of writing Chelsea do have a two window transfer ban however have lodged an appeal…so I am sure some cash to the right person will have them signing players again soon.

We need to have a clear plan on who we are.  What do we want to achieve.  Do we want to keep tying and hopefully get lucky picking up a cup or do we want to actually be a team that can and will challenge for the top prizes each and every season?  We have the stadium, we have the training facilities, the lodge and we have a very highly regarded manager with players all over the world keen to work with him.

So, what is stopping us taking that step?  Yeah… money.

When ENIC took over Spurs every window they would invest money in the team buying players but they also always made it clear tat they felt this was a short term philosophy and they wanted the club to bring their own players through hence the shift in investment from first team players to facilities, stadium etc.

Now that comprehensive investment program is done, albeit leaving the club with debts to pay off, the time must surely be now to invest again in the team.  The blueprint has already been drafted by Liverpool.

Last season they finished a country mile behind the league leaders and beaten Champions League finalists… this season as we know they ran Man City closer than anyone could have predicted and won the Champions League – all because last summer they looked at the key areas they needed additions and went out and bought them – getting their busy done quickly by paying the asking price.

This is where I have my fears.  We do have money to spend and also many players moving on that will help balance the books but when it comes to signing players Daniel Levy likes to wait and haggle.  This for me has to change.  The money he saved historically means he now has a reputation that every club knows and simply wont entertain.

An example for me is Zaha.  We were quoted £40m to sign im three seasons ago.  We offered £15m and instead of paying the £40m went on to sign N’Jie or N’koudou or N’Someone like that and the rest is history as they say.  Zaha is now valued at circa £80m and we are offering £30m.  Its like a bad joke really… in the season we were chasing Leicester with Zaha how many extra points might we have picked up?  If someone said to Daniel Levy spend £40m on this player you win the league he would do it.  So who does he not have faith in? The scouts… Pochettino…

This summer has to be different.  When Pochettino wants a player and we are quoted a price we need to pay it and bring the player in.  Not only just to make the signing but to make it early.  No more waiting until the last minute and giving the manager no time to integrate new faces into the squad and his methods.

Of course this is just my wish.  My fear is nothing will change and this summer could end up painful… BUT I am a Tottenham fan so I have survived this long on not much more than hope so I see no reason why that should not continue.  I hope that we secure our targets.  I hope we back our manager and I hope its done early.

I fear if none of those things are happening then some Spurs fans are going to get their wish and we will be looking for a new boss to write the next chapter.


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