Six Days Until BPL Kickoff: Tottenham Hotspur Season Preview

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino

6 th Place in 2013-14

When you sell your best player to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee, the money you receive for him should be enough to sign two or three world class players, but instead Tottenham decided to squander the money much like a kid at a candy shop. They brought in Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado each costing the club around £25 million, and snagged Christian Eriksen, the Danish wonderkid for an absurdly low £11 million fee. Between these three players it would seem that Spurs could fill the playmaking and goalscoring void left by Gareth Bale. And if this wasn’t enough, Spurs spent the rest of their transfer kitty on strengthening squad depth in defense and defensive midfield. But Andre Villas-Boas turned out to be a one-trick pony, and that pony was now playing his football for Madrid. Struggling to find a winning formula, the Portuguese coach could not make the most of his signings, and eventually lost his job.

One manager later and Tottenham Hotspur have the tactical mastermind behind Southampton’s early push for the top four last season at the helm. The Argentinian manager left the Saints, much like everyone else at the club, but surprisingly hasn’t brought anyone with him. Rumors strongly link Morgan Schneiderlin with a switch to the North London club, but the actual transfer is yet to materialize. There will most likely be a tactical switch from last season’s 4-4-2 which worked so well for Tim Sherwood in his brief stint as manager. From preseason we can conclude that the switch will most likely be to a 4-3-3, which brings up the question of depth. With Morgan Schneiderlin’s arrival looming large, even Pochettino has acknowledged the excessive size of the squad. There are currently 29 players in the first team, and the manager wants there to be no more than 25. There are clearly going to be several departures.

The key problem with last season’s performances was discipline, in both senses of the word. In big games Tottenham lost the plot, suffering humiliating defeats against City(twice), Liverpool(twice), West Ham and Chelsea. But Pochettino doesn’t stand for any nonsense, and the fact that Southampton were never down to ten men all of last season is a testament to that. The problem that Spurs do face coming into the season is the quality of the teams that will be competing for European football next season. If they do manage to sneak into a European place it will be at the expense of one of Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Liverpool or United. Seeing as Everton are trying to get a look in as well, this scenario seems very unlikely.

Predicted Finish: 7 th

Realistically there are 6 teams better than Spurs, and all of these teams are better equipped for the long season ahead.

Key Player: Emmanuel Adebayor

When selected for the team by manager Tim Sherwood last season, many were surprised at the performances he produced. With his rediscovered form and the manger’s renewed belief in him as a lone striker, he must hit the twenty-goal mark for Spurs to have a chance at European football.

Transfer Window Success: 5/10

At least eight players must be offloaded, and the club should prioritize the signing of a better winger before the transfer window closes. Memphis Depay anyone?

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