Members and readers of Vital Spurs might have realised I’m more of a glass half full kind of guy.
I tend to look for the positives and in life, I have been accused of seeing them where none exist – but I guess most of us have a girlfriend/boyfriend story like that in our past where mates end up drinking to your stupidity.
That’s pretty much how I approach football though and reflecting on a summer where Spurs became the first club in Premier League history to not sign a single first team player, allied to ongoing White Hart Lane rebuild issues and all the associated media shenanigans, I can’t help but wonder if something has been lost in the white noise of pro and anti Daniel Levy debates.
Things could certainly be better on the pitch this season. Three defeats on the spin for the first time since 2012 I believe, but certainly under Mauricio Pochettino, is nothing to write home about and as people continue to debate Harry Kane’s freshness despite him breaking his August duck, roughly similar applies to Son Heung-min given the lack of a proper break he’s had.
Those two are certainly not alone given the number of players we had on international duty until the latter stages of the World Cup and that naturally lends itself to bemoaning our lack of strengthening during the window so we had better options to give people a game or two off, without us nullifying our best threats in the process.
But is there another way of looking at how our summer shaped up.
Pochettino has said a number of times he was happy with our failure to get deals done because he trusts the group. Is it wrong to assume that’s manager speak for – the group sinks or swims and I’ll know who to really rely on moving forward?
The follow through is, with a more limited group he knows exactly where to target for improvement in the future and alternatively, from a youth aspect, if needed, he finds out whose ready when they get thrown in at the deep end.
Arguably, Paulo Gazzaniga and his patience could be a direct benefit of that if Poch continues to lean on him, as opposed to maybe bringing in another stopper that keeps the 26-year-old down the pecking order and leaves his career stalled despite his potential.
In terms of Wembley and WHL issues, I’m no expert but I’m guessing it’s Financial Fair Play neutral, given what we have to spend, compared to what we make. The redevelopment of WHL is non-Financial Fair Play relevant as it’s infrastructure, so when our doors finally open we potentially get a massive boost on that front – even if the real accounts have us paying the Stadium off for years to come.
With a match day relevant financial boost from the ground added to what can only be a profit so far from the summer transfer window, Poch already has a surplus on future budgets.
Now presuming the club don’t go and spend crazy money in the January transfer window, by default, we should be in a position where revenue spikes for FFP purposes, along with a steadier transfer spend – as we will surely move on some in January even if we don’t add like many assume.
For FFP purposes that could be a dead year in the cumulative calculation and grant us even greater freedom next summer to identify a key player or two to really see us over the line in terms of challenging and bridging whatever gap remains come the end of 2018/19.
It’s not a particularly sexy way of looking at what most believe was a wasted summer and an unwanted distraction that irks plenty in the fan base, but it is potentially a silver lining if Poch can keep us pushing forward this year, we shed a bit of dead weight to trim us down and continue the youth approach bringing their development on as we prepare the next batch through.
I’m not going to work out our average net spend on transfer deals, but the bottom line is we could double that next season but instead of looking at a few players and spreading it around, we could look at a higher calibre of player in an inflated market and focus that spend in on someone who the gaffer feels can adjust in a way that doesn’t mean schooling them from a younger age and will have a very immediate impact.
It could make a significant difference to our chances and I’m not suggesting that was actually the ‘plan’ in some kind of Machiavellian manner, but given that was how it played out, why don’t we turn it to our advantage…
Or I could be talking out my Arsenal and I need to learn to be a bit more cynical?
I’m sure you fine folks will let me know!