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.