“In this type of situation being brave is important and you need to take risks. It is the moment in which the club needs to take risks.” Bold words from the boss before the opening this summer’s transfer season. Although with less than 24 hours until the English transfer window slams shut, you would be hard pressed to find a fan who felt like Tottenham Hotspur have been “brave”.
In a window where Spurs have been linked with Martial, Zaha, Grealish, N’Dombele, and of course the ever present galactico, Gareth Bale, they have signed exactly no one. It has been pretty stagnant at N17 where Spurs have even gone all summer without offloading any of their dead wood (which depending on your stance as a fan, can vary wildly). The collective collective feeling coming out of the Lilywhite part of North London is one of thinly veiled anger and very vocal frustration, and to be fair to all of those fans, they have every right to be. Heading into this summer felt different then most for most Spurs fans, sure Daniel Levy was still in charge of all the transfer dealings for the club, but Pochettino had just signed a new 5 year deal, the new stadium would open in August, and a true feeling of excitement, instead of trepidation, was felt by even the most skeptical of Tottenham fans. Yet here we are, August 8th, and the most excited fans have gotten was seeing Toby Alderweireld in the clubs jersey “hype” video a few days ago (though the jury is still out on Toby’s immediate future).
There is light at the end of the tunnel, if you are willing to really dig and look for it. There have been a slew of promising performances from youngsters during pre-season, most notably teenager Oliver Skipp, one of the highest rated talents in Spurs’ academy, and Luke Amos, who did not look out of place playing all 90 minutes for a somewhat Frankenstein lineup in all three of Tottenham’s 3 matches on their U.S. tour. While neither look poised to make large contributions in Premier League matches, there will be plenty of opportunities for them to show their promise in the various cup competitions Spurs will find themselves in this season.
Despite the knock he picked up in the Roma game, Erik Lamela will see this year as his year to break back into the starting lineup, with Heung-min Son expected to miss a large chunk of time at the beginning of the season while competing in the Asian games. Lucas Moura has looked like a man posessed, and Pochettino himself said that he viewed Lucas as a “summer style” signing back in January, using the second half of last season and this pre-season as a bedding in process for the player, so that he could get used to the style Mauricio Pochettino likes to play. Which leads me to the most compelling point for a Spurs fan to be hopeful about this coming season, the boss.
Mauricio Pochettino has shown an uncanny knack for both unearthing, and refining hidden gems in English football. His track record, especially with English players, is currently unmatched among Premier League coaches. While Chelsea is spoiled with young talent, there are very few that are ready to make the big jump to a team expected to challenge for trophies and a top four place every year. Yet Pochettino seems to bring yet another youngster along every year. First it was Harry Kane, the shining beacon for every Tottenham fan and (should be) every English fan, then Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason, Eric Dier, and Harry Winks. Anyone could be next. In trusting his younger players and blooding them early and often, Pochettino has managed to finish in the Champions League places for three straight seasons, all the while being outspent since his arrival in 2014 by teams like West Ham and Stoke, who finished 13th and 19th last season respectively.
Yes, it may seem like all hope is lost, and while many of Tottenham fans out there rightly rage against the clubs transfer policy, all is not lost. So far the team that last year went toe to toe with the still Ronaldo lead Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, before sending them reeling from a 3-1 scoreline at Wembley is still very much intact and their is the very real possibility that under Pochettino’s guidance, that team will get better. So lets see what this group can do after another year together before we all go grabbing our torches and pitchforks.