Date: 21st June 2019 at 5:50am
Written by:

Writer: Doncaster Hotspur

There are wildly differing views on this site as to where we stand after this incredible but strange season.

On one hand, we again qualified for the Champions League next season and we, of course, reached the Champions League final. Everything must be good then. On the other hand, we lost 13 Premier League games last season and Burnley along with many other teams got more points than us in the second half of the season. Half a season is quite a large sample size when looking at form.

Fortunately for us, Arsenal and Man U also had poor finishes to the season but we cannot dismiss the second half of the season’s form.

I can only think of a handful of good performances in the league this season – Chelsea at home and Everton away being the most notable. In the Champions League, there was also a large chunk of fortune involved. If Barcelona hadn’t rested half their team for the final group game, there is
every chance we wouldn’t have reached the knockout stages and our overall record in the competition was six wins, two draws and five defeats (hardly inspiring).

Having said that, the never say die spirit in the Champions League was something to behold and the away games against City and Ajax were probably the two highest points of my Spurs watching life (some 40 years). The experience gained in the competition should prove invaluable.

Personally, I believe that despite a Champions League final the team went backwards this last season. The World Cup, the injuries and the stadium farce all contributed to this but I believe there are clearly areas in the first team, as well as the squad, that need improving if we are to reverse that trend and edge closer to Liverpool and City which must be the aim.

We need to have pacy energetic full backs (Poch’s philosophy is based around this). Trippier for all his qualities is not one of these. I am sure that the club are looking to improve this area. I like the thought of Sessegnon as a back up/alternative to Rose. I have no idea if Rose is staying.

We clearly have issues in midfield. Dembele has gone (one of my favourite ever Spurs players), Wanyama appears to me not to be the player he was because of injuries, Dier does not seem to have improved, Lamela has had enough chances and is always injured anyway and Eriksen seemingly wants out. Dele clearly needs to step up – he has had two poor seasons. maybe one or two new signings will be the motivation he needs. I think Winks is top class and Sissoko was an absolute revelation last season. I also think that Skipp will have a bigger role to play this season but I still think we a short in midfield.

I love the idea of Ndombele who looks absolutely top draw. If we can add some creativity – Lo Celso – I think we would be looking at an incredibly strong midfield. If Toby leaves and I think he will, we will also I presume recruit another centre back. I think Sanchez will improve and I also think Foyth has amazing potential but we will need extra cover at centre half.

I am not sure if we have an issue up front. Kane, Son and Moura are pretty potent. Maybe Troy Parrott will get some game time this season?

The big question is, how much money do we have to spend. Obviously, we have to repay the loan. I would imagine the annual interest payments are around £25m. Could this be covered by a naming rights deal? I do not know the repayment terms of the loan but as a rough calculation, we will be earning approximately £50m more per year in match day income from the old White Hart Lane. This hopefully will cover capital repayments and leave funds available for player incomings and salaries.

The bank loans will presumably have other conditions attached which will certainly preclude us from increasing our debt.

Clearly however there is some money to spend. I would suggest a net spend of £60m is where we will end up. Of course how we spend it is as important as how much we spend. Player sales will be critical. I expect Janssen (£5m), N’Koudou, (£5M), Trippier (£20m), Wanyama (£10m), Eriksen, (£60M) and Toby (£25m) to leave. That is a total of £125m.

With some clever work in the market, we should be able to significantly improve the team/squad. We clearly have some fantastic players and with a good transfer window we are capable of challenging right at the top of the league but if we neglect to make the required improvements, it will be very difficult and I suspect our manager and some players will be considering their futures at the end of the season.

I would love to hear other spurs fans views on this, it is clearly a very important summer for us.

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23 Replies to “Have Your Say – The Only Way Is Up Or Spurs Are On The Road To Nowhere”

  • Doncaster….. reasonable article. We just don’t know the ins and out of Enic / Thfc finances, so speculation abounds. Yes Levy will sell fringe players, as IMO… there is no need to have these players in the squad. There should be 2 like for like players in each position. City have shown what this means in financial outlay, which of course Levy and Joe Lewis seriously need to consider. As success in wining silverware raises our profile more, better players affordable, brings in more financial income, and makes the club value increase for ENIC to sell eventually. The old adage of speculate to accumulate applies here. (which they have done in training ground / stadium projects, now apply to playing staff)

    Poch does clearly need to adjust his focus on (domestic) cup runs and wining finals, as far too many semi finals / finals failures over 5 years. This of course is dependant upon Levy / THFC Board of directors getting stadium naming rights deal done asap as one example. Levy has to be a bit more less 100% hardball negotiating (yet still be the iron hand in velvet glove approach) in transfers, and perhaps he will get the deals we need. We will just have to wait and see what happens… COYS

  • Right, we went backwards. Its not as if we had anything else going on, like building a new stadium and having to play most of the season in a place we didn’t want to be. Or more of our players going deeper into the World Cup than anyone else’s and never being able to recover from the lack of a pre season. Oh wait a minute, that’s exactly what happened. Of course if you think football is about spending money then a club doing what we did with all the problems we had without buying a player is a nightmare. A bit like Leicester winning the title. So sure lets pretend we went backwards if it makes you happy.

    • All the talk about these big signings we hear it ever year in and out and then we get some one for about 20 million ish that hardly nobody has heard of and we sell about 5 _ 6 fringe players and it fills up levy’s bank account and to bo trueful us true spurs fans are getting fed up with all the lyes come on levy open up the wallet and let’s get sum class players to play at our brilliant new stadium we need at least 6 new players and we need to keep Toby

  • Spurs were running on empty for the 2nd half of the season. And for all the reasons that are more than obvious (as jod has touched upon). I will add to that by reminding everyone that the squad suffered injury after injury after injury as well… So, I believe we did remarkably well, all obstacles considered. And for me it showed the team/squad progressing and certainly not regressing. And contrary to what so many said and will still say, I thought that our squad showed strength in depth that belied all the negativity about its apparent lack of quality and resolve.

    Thing is, after two TW’s without signing anyone (and with an apparently far inferior squad to our main rivals), I kept reading on here and all over the social media that Spurs would be lucky to finish in the top 6 of the PL and were also very unlikely to get out of our CL group. I. constantly read and heard all and sundry talking about the poor form of many individual players. Similarly, the criticisms of our manager’s overall tactics and game management was all too frequent…

    And yet, we somehow finished 4th in the PL, reached a semi-final of the Carabao cup (losing on pens) and of course we competed in our first ever CL/European Cup final.

    If we achieved all this with so much against us, against all odds, then I can only be positive for next season. And, knowing that we now have a home to play in, our injury list has all but vanished and our lads have all much more experience than they did 12 months ago, I can say with confident assurance that I think we can only step up yet further next season.

    Some of the criticisms against our team last season are justified. But only if we choose to mostly ignore the truckload of crap that we had going against us. And to overcome it all in the way it panned out, is something I am very proud of as a Spurs supporter… I am as disappointed as anyone in not doing even better and winning a trophy or two. But I’m certainly not down about it…

    And, whatever happens in this TW, ins and outs; I look forward to. next season with relish and joy… I could of course speculate nervously and be very apprehensive about the coming unknown but, it’s the unknown and the unpredictable that excites me as a football fan and long-time THFC supporter.

    Bring It On!

    Besides which I’ve been reading the same old same old on here year after year about how we are going to almost definitely regress as a team and club. Especially if ENIC remain as our owners. And yet we have moved forward so much since I first posted on here around 10 years ago…. I can’t for the life of me see why this would be denied but, no doubt it will be….

    But no matter “We will go backwards this coming season”, (ahem!) so many are already saying yet again! LOL! I suppose if one says it often enough, one day it WILL be so… One day, perhaps, the nightmares will come true. So, chin up all! Hahaha!

    Up The Spurs! Again!

  • Ins
    RB = Youcef Atal
    LB/LW = Sessegnon
    DM = Ndombele
    AM = Maddison or Brooks


  • Jod, if you read the article properly which you clearly haven’t, you would have seen that I mentioned that the world cup, the injuries and the stadium all contributed to our poor performances in the league. 26 points from the second half of the season indicates to me that we went backwards in terms of our performances. And no I don’t think football is all about spending money but clearly we do need to invest this summer if we want to improve. This is just my opinion though – and I am glad to see that you are as tolerant of other peoples opinions as you have ever been!
    HT – your eloquent observations are noted – we had a lot to put up with last season and we just about came through it. I also cannot wait for the new season. COYS

  • 2016/17 season = 2nd with 86 points
    2017/18 season = 3rd with 77 points
    2018/19 season = 4th with 71 points

    There in black and white. We have regressed over the last two years. Plenty of reasons why we have but we have. It’s fact.

    The time for talking has ended and our owners have to back whoever the manager will be next season.

  • Thanks for a good article DH… You know me well enough. Always the optimist.

    However I do take onboard there were some negatives from last season that I hope can be corrected. And I also hope for some fresh blood to help us out with that.

    I want us all to have something to celebrate…

    • A great season. Another without a trophy but CL football for the 4th year in a a row. Over the last 2 years our high pressing, free flow movement style has been bettered by Man City and Liverpool through much greater investment against which we cannot compete. However we ran them close in 1 to 1 games last season and should have finished off the reds at Anfield. Need to be tighter. A few more points and 3rd would have been a better reflection. Foyt and Davidson need to cut out sloppy play that cost goals against lesser teams (both Arsenal games spring to mind) and quicker forward movement is needed. Too many times last season momemtum was lost through ‘safe’ side to side and backwards possession. Need a Kante type, fast tracking defensive midfielder to replace Dier or Wanyama to enable us to accommodate Kane, Moura and Son in some games

  • RD, stats alone do not tell the stories of any seasons we choose to compare with each other. There are the circumstances and challenges that make all seasons a one-off. In some respects we went backwards if you like but in others we moved forward in leaps and bounds… But even so, I don’t view it in such simplistic terms… What you say with stats is not a factual observation on the club and team as a whole. It is just points lost and gained. Football is more than just that if we look at the season as a whole and consider the challenge we face from all the other PL clubs… If we see a club progress (such as Liverpool) it doesn’t follow that we have regressed because we didn’t move as far forward and do as well as they did…

    • I agree stats don’t tell the whole story. But some stats you can’t ignore. The premiership is the bread and butter and will always tell the true story of how well a club has done.

      Our first 11 is not as good as it once was. All you have to do is compare our best first 11 now to the 2016/17 team. Compare how well we played as a team, how fast and aggressive we used to play and how ruthless we once were. We are nowhere near that level now.

      People can act the victim and use all the excuses in the world as to why we still didn’t win a trophy, or people can look at ways of moving the club forward.

      I really hope this summer we show some intent in the transfer market. It’s the only way we can move to the next level.

  • Couldn’t help but smile and think of Frank when I saw the following in the gossip columns this morning, they say immitation is the sincerest form of flattery:

    ‘Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s efforts to rebuild his squad are being held up because they are frustrating other clubs with a series of low offers for targets.’ (Evening Standard)

  • In 1959, the legendary Bill Nicholson saw that he had a talented team that needed a midfield”driver” to push these individuals to the next level. He went to Scotland and purchased Dave Mackay. The rest is history. Now I’m not saying that one player can raise the current squad the level of winning trophies, but the possibility that Tanguy Ndembele MIGHT just be the “missing piece” of the jigsaw fill me with more hope than I’ve had for the last 50 odd years. Get it done Danny Boy, or risk possibly losing the best manager we’ve had since Keith Burkinshaw brought a couple of Argentinians to the Football League.

  • Last season was entirely predictable , the league form I’m referring too no investment in team or squad ,World Cup year,injuries and a stadium that ran into delay after delay all the above bar how long the stadium dragged on for where staring us and club hierarchy in the face last summer .we Have improved as a club and are continuing to improving absolutely but the Elephant in the room is the investment in team and squad which has been completely bankrupt of spending for 2 years.Yes the champions league journey(I hate that word)was great and getting to the final beyond our wildest dreams ultimately going down in a final that was so poor on both sides.The team needs new blood in it fullback areas , midfield needs a top quality player which we sadly have been lacking for a while.Eriksen is he leaving ??if so we need a quality player to fill his position and also a back up because we rely on him completely to make the team tick ,this season he was off his best form and we had no one to take over from him,Dele has had to 2 poor seasons on the trot he needs up his game majorily .2seasons ago he was linked to all the top clubs in Europe now I don’t believe they would look at him such has been his drop off in performances and most certainly is not a playmaker his distribution,dilly dallying on the ball ,he struggles in games where teams compact the game his hole game was late runs into the box hence he can’t get that anymore ,aback up striker or attacking player to keep Kane on his toes because Kane half fit plays and that’s not good for the team or Harry.Buy QUALITY NOT QUANTITY Mr Levy.

  • In order to have something to measure against I think it’s important to check what was expected at the start of the season, and unless I’m mistaken, I’m sure most would have had us having a decent title challenge with top 4 finish and a possible silverware, which I think we achieved.

    The title challenge died when we sold Dembele (the results would appear to back this), which for me is the only ‘mistake’ which we could account for, but otherwise things went roughly as I expected, so I’m pleased we have managed to remain consistent and at the sharp end.

    Regarding winning trophies, Spurs under Poch have only lost cup semis and finals against top 6 teams, excluding Palace this season, I think, so I can’t realistically be disappointed with those losses, despite believing we had a good chance to win.

    It’s easy to change expectations during the season and think they’re the same as kick off in August 2018, whereas the reality would suggest the World Cup, injuries, stadium and to a lesser degree, lack of signings, we all obstacles which we managed to overcome and still maintain our status amongst our (vastly) wealthier rivals.

    If we acknowledge the fatigue within our squad I think it’s easy to see that we’ve had a productive season with a platform to build on for 2019/20 despite players not being at their best for one reason or another.

    If people expect the same level of improvement year on year in all competitions, personally, I think they’re being unrealistic given where we are coming from under Poch’s reign.

    Like HT pointed out; many have been expecting (hoping?) for the demise of our project, or simply expected continuous improvement over the course of 5 years in every competition and are disappointed with that, but if told in 2014/15 that Spurs would be where they are now they’d have thought it was ridiculous.

    There’s a difference between ambitious and realistic expectations, which I’m not sure some have grasped.

    How many expected Spurs to have qualified for CL for the 4th consecutive season back in 2014/15? Not many, if any, methinks.

    I’ll enjoy the progress made, especially as it’s been done organically and not simply had cash thrown at it, which I’m certain many in here have been irked by the situations at City and Chelsea in recent decades, despite their success.

    If someone can point out another team that has managed to break into, and more importantly, sustain their place at the top table within 5 years I’d be happy to note the comparison… bit we know there aren’t.

    • Oh I forgot Poch has had a mid table squad at his disposal for the last 5 years. Poor old Poch.

      Two years ago we had one of the best first 11 teams in Europe. Sitting still in the transfer market has stopped the clubs progression. Signing players has clearly been an issue but not being able to sell players has been a big problem. Now some of our best have either been sold, or are ageing or are very injury prone.

      There are winners and enablers and unfortunately too many spurs fans are enablers and are one of the main reasons that the club haven’t moved forward in the Premier league over the last two years.

      I remember many applauding Poch for not singing anyone last summer. Some still go on about it like it’s some massive achievement. Reality is it has set the club back two years, maybe more.

      • RD, I’ll assume that I am one of these “enablers” who called Levy and told him it was a great move not signing anyone.

        Here are a few bits of information for you: Poch hasn’t signed 1 player that would be regarded as world class in the 5 seasons he’s been at Spurs, yet somehow we have/had world class players in the first 11, as you point out… but world class players would cost world class prices, which I think we all know we don’t have, let alone being a position where these world class players would choose Spurs over our more successful rivals.

        Since Poch has been at Spurs, unless I’m mistaken, only Kyle Walker has been directly sold and gone onto bigger and better things.

        Paulinho ended up at Barca via China, so I’m not sure what you mean about players sold.

        Regarding age, only Vertonghen seems to fit that, yet he had another excellent season, so again, I’m not sure what you’re on about.

        Injurywise, yes we’ve been unfortunate with Lamela (27), Dier (25) and Wanyama (27) this season, but as you can see all these players are relatively young – if we’re using your time line of this so-called “enabling” which doesn’t really seem to make much sense.

        In summary, you’ve talked a lot, but not really said anything as the reality is we’ve only lost Walker from our starting 11 from 2 years ago.

        Spurs didn’t finish mid table, nor have we done for while, so your “Poor Poch” cry does seem a bit senseless given there’s nothing to suggest that either I expected mid table or the club finishing there seeing as there’ll be CL football for the fourth consecutive season.

        Putting a little thought into a response with examples to back your point could be useful rather than just venting.

        Critique the points I’ve made if you must. Not a problem, but what you have written could, and perhaps should, be easily dismissed.

  • RD, I have read you on many occasions dismissing supporters comments that you feel are posters just making lame excuses for the team not winning anything etc. And not acknowledging that there may also be truth in some of the reasoning that is given for the teams poor form when it happens etc…

    But you then think it fair to suggest that some Spurs supporters just for their general positivity and personal sense of being realistic about the team and club are actually partly responsible for the club not moving forward in the PL over the last two years.

    You call it enabling. Enabling what? If I say the team looked knackered toward the end of the season but still managed a top 4 PL spot and a CL final; What have I enabled, exactly?

    Levy won’t be making any decisions based on my VS opinions. Poch will not change his formation or drop so n so if any one of us says he should. Harry Kane will not hit bad form just because I have insisted on here that he is too unfit and lacking sharpness when returning from an injury.

    I will suggest though that more positivity coming from the supporters will probably have a more positive effect on the team. Rather than the constant negativity and pervasive feeling of entitlement that seems to eminate from so many that follow the team. The moaning that goes on. The whimpering that goes on. The melodrama and knee jerking whenever they lose. The gloom that precedes every season throughout the TW and then continues on into the following season, win, lose or draw. These are not the noises made by what you may call ‘winners’. Just as much as my cheering on the team through good or bad is not the noise of a loser or ‘enabler’ as you have named myself and others…

    You will support your way and I’ll support my way… Either way, neither one of us will have the slightest influence on what Levy chooses to do do with the clubs money this summer or who might be our new star player next term.

    And for you to say that the ‘reality’ is that the club has been set back two years is not a factual statement or a reality as you put it. It is merely your subjective opinion. Which is fine by me…

  • I’m not dismissing. I have agreed with a lot of the reasons why we have not pushed on. There is always more than one reason. I look at patterns and then analyse the situation. After all any project needs some time.

    But at some point the excuses or reasons have to stop. We are at that stage now. The way we are doing our business on and off the field is not winning the club trophies. So the weak mentality I see from the owners, manager, players, fans or whoever must change.

    There are many reasons why we haven’t won a trophy under Poch or only one under ENIC. Spurs fans that applaud failure IMO are a big part of the problem. This is from experience.

    The project is nearly two decades old. Call it for what it is and stop pretending that the club has gone forwards on the football field in the last two years. It really hasn’t. The first 11 has got a lot weaker. All you have to do is look at how we were playing to what we are now doing. It’s light years apart.

    A CL final was great but at the same time we rode our luck in the quarters and semi final. That can not be a guide for progression. That is why the Premiership is the bread and butter. You can’t fluke it over 38 games.

    At games, being positive will certainly help the team. On forums, no don’t agree if fans are annoyed they should be able to vent. There is no pint in being positive for the sake of it. Last summer being a great example after the disastrous transfer window.

    Poch said Levy has even told him not to worry about winning trophies. What sort of pathetic mentality is that? Then you have fans saying what a genius Levy is yet he can’t deliver trophies in nearly quarter of a century.

    As a Personal Trainer I trained some Swindon football players last year. Terrible attitudes most of these lads had. Do you know what a few of them said to me? Fans expect us to fail and there is no pressure to win anything so why give 100%? They were even laughing and joking about it.

    You can dismiss my theory but trust me being positive for the sake of it no matter who small it may seem really won’t help the club move forward. There is a time for being positive and a time for being a realist.

    As it stands if we nail the transfer window we have every right to be positive. Time will tell after the transfer window I guess. 😉

  • Well, I see myself as being a positive realist. I’m positive because of the progress I’ve been seeing with Spurs these past few seasons. But I am forever realistic.

    My positivity before and throughout last season had me saying on here that we WILL win the PL and/or the CL… If you think that I was never being realistic enough to know that that actually might not happen, then you’re wrong. Believing it could happen (as I did) is another thing all together. But me using the word WILL obviously didn’t mean that we would…

    This time last year, many supporters said they were being realistic when they said we’ll struggle to finish in the top 4. They insisted that after just 2 or 3 CL group matches that we would not progress beyond the group. That was not being realistic as such, until it was not possible. It was no more realistic than my own ‘positive’ predictions. But in retrospect, I was right to be optimistic about a top 4 PL finish and our progress in the CL…

    So based on that , it should be the ones that seemed to expect less but got more that should be up about Spurs and I should be terribly disappointed and down about it all… But, I’m not…

    We’re a funny old bunch, following a funny old game!

    And if it weren’t for the likes of you RD, Frank, BS and others, then I’d probably have nothing much at all to say on here. So, it’s all good even if I say it’s bad! HAHA!

  • Good article and I agree with most points made. I will even take a broader helicopter view and look at the last 4 seasons as a whole. While we took a big step forward in becoming a CL team in 2016, it could be argued that we have reached a bit of a plateau. We haven’t really stepped up since.

    While that’s not a bad place to be, I don’t think anyone can really argue that we are moving up or progressing, currently. We are consolidating. The CL run was nice but we went backwards in the league and in other competitions.

    I believe that with the model we are under, this is the end of the road/as good as it gets, and the only way to kick on is to change how we operate financially.

    If our current finances don’t allow for that, fine but let’s accept that this is as good as it gets and no manager/magic is going to be able to turn dust into gold.

    If on the other hand we believe that our finances actually do allow for more spending, it’s more than time to start spending, because our competitors are not going to wait for us. City and Liverpool are currently ahead of us, and will again spend fortunes to stay there.

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