The 2013-14 season is over. For anyone that follows Tottenham, there are more moments to forget than moments to remember. While a small section of Tottenham’s players and a large portion of their fans turn to the World Cup, the boardroom and players (that are not at the World Cup) for Tottenham are now shifting their focus to the next EPL run. Once again, the end of the season for Tottenham will have the club demanding the Champions League. Will Tottenham be able to make that final jump from Europa league into Europe’s elite?
First, let us simply set a goal for the “other” London based club: 4th place. As we have mentioned many times when talking about top clubs in England, it seems impossible that the other competitors in England will enter the new campaign without seeming a fair bit stronger than last season. While it seems more likely that Tottenham will be scrambling to sneak into the Europa League, it is always good to set a lofty goal…right? While it seems unlikely that Tottenham will recreate their Bale-induced spending spree from last season, a club with ambition will probably bring in a decent player or two during the transfer window.
Much like Manchester United, Tottenham will need to resolve their coaching issue before the transfer window really is in full swing. While it will already be tough to recruit players at the same level of the Red Devils or teams that can currently offer Champions League football, it will be even more difficult if there does not seem to be any semblance of stability with the club. Now that Van Gaal seems destined to be coaching at Old Trafford next season, it now becomes a bit more interesting to see who is at the helm within White Hart Lane next season. No matter what, it needs to be resolved…quickly…
Players that NEED to go - Although it might seem amazingly harsh to kick out some players that only had one season to acclimate to the club and the league, but this club is aiming for Champions League contention…and anything not helping, needs to be offloaded. Roberto Soldado can still command a decent transfer fee and Tottenham need a striker that will actually score goals (almost half of his total haul last year came from the penalty spot…poor). Plus, Tottenham need to ship out any central defender not named “Vertonghen” and bring in something to fix a defense that allowed more goals than Liverpool’s. In the midfield, it feels oddly similar as only Christian Eriksen should be assured of a spot in Tottenham’s plans for next season.
Positions that NEED to be filled - Sadly similar in tone to the “players that NEED to go” portion, but Tottenham really only seems stable in terms of their keeper…and there is no guarantee that Lloris is staying in London. Elsewhere, Tottenham need a new central defender, two proven (the “proven” part is key here) midfielders, and however many strikers it takes to finally find one that can score. Tottenham tried and failed with so many of their “experiments” last season, so this transfer window needs to be used to bring in players that have already performed at the highest level with consistency. Hopefully, Tottenham will avoid two successive summers of poor transers.
The KEY to next season – The BIG fixtures. Tottenham would string together several decent performances, and then they would get absolutely destroyed by all the big clubs in the league…dismantling any momentum or confidence that they had. It would be better for them to lose 1-0 or 2-1 to Chelsea, City, or Liverpool than to get battered by 4 or more goals. Perhaps the incoming manager will recognize this and play a bit more defensive against the biggest guns in the league.
Surprise boost - Even less pressure. Before this season, Tottenham was seen as having a better shot than Liverpool or Everton…but, the upcoming season, will have many thinking that the Merseyside clubs are superior to Spurs. Factor in that United will spend a ton of money and that the other “big” clubs will still have a superior outlook than Tottenham, and the pressure is definitely lessened. While the club will want Champions League football, only the truly daft would think that Tottenham are favorites to snag a top spot.
While ex-manager Sherwood will be watching from his couch at home, hoping for Tottenham’s demise, it seems unlikely that Tottenham will be anything but improved in this new season. The Europa League will continue to provide some European drama and the club will continue to quietly grow. While there will not be a “Bale-sized” influx of money to fix things, money will be spent to try and improve Tottenham. To ever place Tottenham outside the realm of European contention would be a mistake, but the pressure feels significantly smaller on Tottenham than their top-7 counterparts.
Tottenham goal finish: 4th
Players purchased for more than $7.5 million: 2
Players sold: 3
New coach? Yes.
How long until Sherwood has another job? January.