What a breathtaking season it has been. And I genuinely mean that. And I’m not only talking about our league positioning, the fact that we’re involved in a title race so close to the end of the season or even some of the scintillating football we’ve seen week in and week out. I have never seen a Spurs side in my lifetime that has been so unified and so willing to put in 120% everytime they put on the famous Lilywhite top. So willing to do everything that they can to grind out a result. So willing to pull themselves and everyone else around them to pieces for three points every week. I’ve never been so pleased with a Spurs team in my entire life and after enduring mediocrity for many years, it’s tough to imagine it getting much better than it is now. It really does feel like heaven on earth, despite all the headache the title race has thrown at us.
Rewind to the beginning of Pochettino’s reign as Spurs manager at the beginning of last season and Gary Neville labelled Tottenham as “not ready” and “weak”. A Tottenham side which any team in the league would come up against and have absolutely no fear at all in going toe-to-toe with. In fact, they would be rather hopeful of getting a good result whether they sit pretty near the top of the table or rot away near the foot of the league. A Tottenham side with a no leadership, fight and a huge lack of quality. You could take one look at the team from the last two seasons and see the likes of Adebayor, Soldado and Paulinho (just to name a few) and it’ll immediately dawn upon you that there was nothing to fear in that Spurs team.
Unrecognisable to the team of today.
Today you’ll have a look at the Spurs team and see the likes of Toby Alderweireld who has been a pivotal part of taking Spurs from having the same amount of goals conceded as relegated Burnley to becoming the meanest defence in the Premier League this season. The likes of a revived Danny Rose running mayhem down the left flank at every opportunity. The likes of Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier standing tall in front of the defence, to the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela playing in behind Harry Kane who has silenced his critics emphatically and shrugged off the ‘one season wonder’ tag by scoring 20+ goals for the second successive Premier League season – a feat that Michael Owen never managed and something that Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Sergio Aguero have managed to do only twice – not a bad crowd to be amongst.
Teams no longer look forward to playing a Tottenham team that is always first to every loose ball and has the best goalscoring record as well as best defensive record in the Premier League. Spurs finally have a side that are capable of beating any team in the country on their day and truth be told, there is not much more Spurs fans would have wanted towards the end of last season when Vlad Chiriches was sent off and Stoke City had completed the double over Spurs by winning 3-0 on the day.
No matter how this season concludes, it has been an excellent year and much more than I would have expected in August. Okay, obviously now I would be lying if I told you that I wouldn’t be disappointed with potentially finishing above the likes of Arsenal, City, Manchester United and Chelsea and still somehow not manage to win the league – but I feel this season is really the beginning of something very special happening at our club.
Despite having the youngest average age in the league, we have been right up there near the top of the league for most of this season and that’s what makes this season nothing short of amazing for me and you would only imagine that if we can keep Pochettino and these bunch of players together, we’re going to be even better in the coming seasons. I’ve seen so many supporters desperate for us to win the league this season, but not for the right reasons. So many people assume with the likes of Chelsea, City and United wanting to bounce back next season, we won’t have another chance for the title like we do this year.
For sure, this season has been our biggest chance to win the league in decades, but it’s not going to be our last. With a few tweaks here and there, I’m certain we’ll be right up there again next season. Many are forgetting due to the excitement this season has presented us with that we do still have a very young squad. And this very young squad isn’t going to wait around for other teams to bounce back next season – they’ll continue from where they left off and focus on doing even better than what they did the season before.
We’re seeing an exciting young team moving towards the right direction and the perfect man in Mauricio Pochettino behind them to show them the way. It is undoubtedly a thrilling time to be a Spurs fan and to know that whether or not we see an open bus parade on Tottenham High Road cometh May, we’ve seen our club reborn this season.
“It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”
Up the Tottenham, forever and always.