There are only 2 weeks to wait ‘til the start of the Premier League. Over the next few weeks @0riginalfooty will preview the new season, take a look at each team and offer our predictions as to where each side will finish. Here we take a look at Tottenham Hotspur.
Last season was bitterly disappointing for Spurs fans. Their star man Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee and the money was splashed on players who seriously underperformed. Andre Villas Boas was sacked halfway through the season and Tim Sherwood took the reins before guiding Tottenham to a sixth place finish. He was subsequently fired and now Pochettino has been tasked with the job to lead Spurs back to Champions League football.
Mauricio Pochettino is quickly becoming one of the hottest properties in football management after an extremely successful spell at Southampton. If he can mastermind a return to the Champions League places for Spurs this season then he will be heralded as a hero. Southampton played attractive possession-based football under Pochettino and he will be expected to bring such a style with him to White Hart Lane.
Spurs haven’t been very busy in the window so far and have only brought in two players. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm has signed from Swansea and will provide backup to Hugo Lloris. Tottenham’s more eye-catching signing was that of Vorm’s Swansea teammate Ben Davies. Davies is a talented young fullback, a far superior option to Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton, and the move will allow Pochettino to move Jan Vertonghen to his favoured centre-back position.
Who is tipped to join them?
Pochettino is reported to be keen to raid his former club, Southampton, and bring in Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez. Schneiderlin has handed in a transfer request, although Southampton’s board insist that the duo will not be sold. It is believed that Pochettino’s brief is to bring the best out of the players he has already got rather than completely overhaul the squad and, therefore, he may not make too many more signings this summer.
Who should they sign?
Pochettino will have analysed his squad and realised that he is in need of one more forward. Emmanuel Adebayor is notoriously temperamental and if he doesn’t get off on the right foot with Pochettino then he may cause problems. It remains to be seen whether Roberto Soldado will settle and rediscover the form he is capable of and Harry Kane is inexperienced at the top level. Spurs could continue their raid of Swansea and bring in Wilfried Bony who has attracted plenty of interest this summer. Bony may prove an expensive option so if Spurs can conclude a deal for Jay Rodriguez then that could bring an end to their summer spending.
Christian Eriksen was possibly the only player drafted in last summer that provided the level of performance that a top club requires. The attacking midfielder is a wonderful passer of the ball and has terrific vision and creativity. He will be key to Tottenham’s hopes to reach the Champions League this season.
Tottenham have got a squad capable of challenging for Champions League places and Pochettino could unlock the potential of their misfiring stars. I think we will see an improved side this season but, unfortunately, all the teams who finished ahead of them them are stronger than they were last season and it seems unlikely that Spurs can climb above them. What is, perhaps, more worrying is Manchester United’s new look and approach under van Gaal and I would be surprised if they didn’t finish above Tottenham too. Expect Spurs to finish 7th.