As usual for Tottenham Hotspur, expectations are reasonably high for this upcoming season. After what has been described as a “transition season” by fans and pundits alike, Mauricio Pochettino and co. are expected to complete that transition this year by delivering promising results and exciting football. Perhaps top 4 isn’t expected, but better performances than last year are a must.
As with any Premier League team’s season, there will be key points and things to look out for. In this article, I plan to bring up and discuss key points and things to watch out for that I believe Tottenham Hotspur’s 15/16 campaign will depend upon. Starting with an Argentine that has proven to be a divisive figure amongst Tottenham Hotspur’s fan base…
A turning point for Erik Lamela?
Up until this point, Tottenham’s record signing is only a record flop. 30 million pounds (With certain clauses, 25.8 million without clauses. According to the Daily Mail) were spent to snatch up the dazzling Argentine from Roma, but he’s barely lived up to a fraction of that price so far at Spurs. Admittedly, Lamela has had some brilliant moments for Spurs. The rabona against Asteras Tripolis, a stunning curling screamer against Burnley… but that’s it. A few great moments. Lamela’s tenure at Spurs has been marred by countless times running into defenders, followed by a brilliant moment, followed by long patches of poor form.
He hasn’t been played out of position. He’s not being neglected by the manager. He’s now had two seasons in England without notable improvement (notable enough to justify his price tag, that is). While Lamela isn’t the one that chose his price tag, he hasn’t been a very good player regardless of what his price may have been. He must improve this season to justify Spurs not selling him.
Now that he’s had two seasons to acclimate to life in England, and a season to acclimate to a new manager, can he finally show off the brilliance we all know he has inside him? He’s shown flashes, as I mentioned earlier. Also, he’s massively improved his work rate, and is starting to show better decision making. Now it’s time for Lamela to take up a creative and goal scoring role in Tottenham’s starting XI.
Can Kane shut the critics up?
Every Premier League season has its shocks. Gareth Bale in 2012/13. Liverpool in 2013/14. This past Premier League season, that shock was Harry Kane. Not to sound cliché, but if you had told Spurs fans that Harry Kane would bag 31 goals in the upcoming season, they’d have you locked up in a mental asylum quickly. No one expected it. However, after a wonderful season, one question looms large; can he replicate that kind of form?
Towards the end of the season, teams started to double team Kane. And it worked, to a degree. Kane had to drop a lot deeper to get the ball, reducing his effectiveness. Spurs desperately need a similar goal scoring presence once again if they expect to improve upon last season.
How serious will the Europa League be taken?
The Europa League is often mocked by supporters of big clubs as a poverty competition. Due to its many obscure participants and inferior status to the Champions League, plus its tendency to ruin a club’s season, the Europa League gets a bad reputation.
However, I believe that the Europa League should be taken very seriously, as the winner is awarded a spot in the Champions League group stage. Spurs certainly have the capability to win the Europa League, and I expect a strong showing this year. Is it unreasonable to say so?
The top 4 is practically unattainable for Spurs. Last year’s top 4 is already spending like mad, as if their wage bill wasn’t already superior before (It has been proven there is a direct correlation between wage bill and league position). While Spurs have made a few signings, they’re nowhere near the calibre of some of their competition’s signings. Manchester United, who finished 4th last year, have signed Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, and most recently Morgan Schneiderlin. How can Tottenham match that?
The Europa League should be top priority, as it is the best route to that elusive top echelon football.
How will youth play a role in Tottenham’s campaign again?
Last year, Harry Kane, a lad from Tottenham’s youth system, burst out onto the scene. Also, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb formed a partnership in midfield, while Harry Winks and Josh Onomah got a few minutes. The emphasis on youth was also shown in our signings, with Eric Dier (20), Bejamin Stambouli (24), Ben Davies (21), Deandre Yedlin (21), and Dele Alli (19).
Pochettino has also made some youthful signings for the upcoming season, with Kevin Wimmer (22), Kieran Trippier (24), and Toby Alderweireld (26), albeit Toby is a little on the older side.
Surely these newcomers, plus last season signings, and upcoming youngsters will push their way into the 1st team and make themselves useful. I am looking forward to see how the youth impact Tottenham’s season, hopefully it is in a positive way.
In particular, 3 youngsters that I am really excited for are: Joshua Onomah, Harry Winks, and Dele Alli.
Will Spurs win a trophy?
The biggest and most important question of the lot. Spurs haven’t won a trophy since 2008, a drought stretching 7 years. Last season, Spurs made the Capital One Cup final but were deflated by 2 deflected goals at the hands of Chelsea. The cup run was wonderful, filled with plenty of fantastic moments, including this cheesy tune.
This season, there has to be more of this. There has to be more joy, and more success. There has to be another cup run, except this time it has to end with Lloris and co. thrusting a large piece of silverware in the air, many of them feeling nothing like it before.
The Premier League is out of question. However, the FA cup, the League Cup, and the Europa League are all desirable and attainable competitions that Spurs must strive to win. At least one trophy.
If Spurs were to secure even one trophy, that would bring in more funds and help keep big players, as well as attract others.
Above all, let’s hope it’ll be one hell of a ride.
Article written by: @Khxleq