The entirety of last season was pretty amazing. Well, almost all of it anyway. After the season that we had, it was heartbreaking to see how we crumbled in the final few fixtures at the end of a very memorable few months and more importantly, failing to finish above ‘them’ after having multiple opportunities to seal the runners up spot. Despite the fact that we were second in the table for the best part of three months, we let second place agonisingly out of our grasp on the final day of the season after a humiliating defeat away to an already relegated Newcastle. Those final few games really took plenty of gloss off of a season where we secured our highest ever finish in a Premier League campaign. For Mauricio Pochettino, now is the time to assess what went wrong in the final few fixtures and how to prevent this from becoming a recurring theme.
Many people have a very strong case in argument when saying that the suspensions of Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele was an important factor which affected our chances of sealing second place, which for the record I completely agree with, but this really does point out a much bigger picture. Whilst many have said that our squad has depth in almost every department, we do however lack quality in depth – the horrible ending to the season clearly conveyed just that and is something that the club must address this summer in order to get to the next level, or even stay on the level where we currently are. As Pochettino mentioned after the final game of the season, it’s time to be ‘cold’ in the upcoming window.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe the likes of Ryan Mason and Tom Carroll in particular are good enough to take this club to where it wants to be. In a sense it pains me to say this as I know both of them have come through the academy and genuinely love Spurs, but at the end of the day I only care for the best interest of the club and nothing else. If we want to get to the next level, we simply have to get rid of players who can no longer help the team in taking that next step forward – no time for sentiment.
We’re a Champions League club (feels good to say that again after all these years!) and we need to act like we belong in the Champions League if we intend on staying there for seasons to come. It’s no good only having squad depth if you’re in the Champions League, you must also have quality in depth in order to seal your status as a club in the Champions League and consistently feature every year. We can’t afford to have absentees of one or two individuals affecting the entire team and our style of play. We must have players of the same/or similar quality who can step in and make an impact when required.
Another clear area for improvement which pretty much goes without saying is purchasing a new striker. There is only so much Harry Kane can do, but we can’t afford to pin our hopes entirely on him to dig us out when we need goals. As brilliant as he has been last season, there were a few occasions where having a second striker to bring on from the bench would have been really beneficial. We’re on the verge of entering our sixth transfer window without buying a new striker and I would only imagine a new striker is a huge priority in this coming summer window for the club.
For me, this coming season will be Pochettino’s biggest season yet. With City appointing Pep Guardiola, United bringing in Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte going to Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp attempting to bring Liverpool back up amongst the bigger clubs once again, the league certainly looks like it could be a difficult one. Pochettino now faces a tricky task – to prove that our high finish in the league wasn’t due to the failings of other clubs, but because of the progression of ours. Taking the next step could be a big one.