Team Focus – Tottenham: Have They Gone Backwards In Recent Years?

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The Lillywhites. The original North London team. Tottenham Hotspur are etched into English footballing history for many reasons, such as being the first and only non-league team to have ever won the FA Cup in 1901 or being the first club to win the league and FA Cup double in 1961. Tottenham Hotspur have always been a vocal point for London football for many years, and is widely supported across the globe in areas such as The United States of America and Far East Asia and is a well-respected club in England. Although recently Spurs have been in a state of decline, something that was pointed out by former manager Harry Redknapp, calling his former club ‘a major disappointment’ since he was relieved of his managerial duties back in 2012. This raised a few eyebrows for some, for others they raised their glasses, as someone has finally admitted it. Are Tottenham really a huge disappointment?

Admittedly, since Harry Redknapp has left his post at The Lane, there has been definitely been more downs for the club than ups, from the departures of their 3 best players 2 summers in succession, from Luka Modric to Real Madrid and Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburger SV in 2012 and Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world fee of £85m in 2013, all these transfer fees have amassed to £128.3m, and have yet to finish in a champions league place since these departures, finishing 5th in 2013, 6th in 2014 and 5th again in 2015. In total, Tottenham have spent £147.3m on players and gained £168.1m from the sales of players, yet when you look at their squad, has it even improved since the Redknapp era? It’s hard to argue it has, their current starting line up are just a bunch of expensive flops with a few diamonds in the dirt to put it harshly. Players like Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado were brought in for hefty price tags, the latter two being club record signings which happened a week within each other. Yet all three of them have not been up to standard quite frankly and this could be due to poor man management or just a lack of confidence, as all are proven talents. The only signings that proved worthwhile since Redknapp’s departure have been Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen*, and Hugo is touted to leave The Lane this summer. In the 14/15 season, Spurs were effectively a 2 man team of Kane and Eriksen, Together they earned Spurs 35 points, (Kane with 22 and Eriksen with 13) meaning without them they would have had 29 points as they finished with 54 points. This would make made Tottenham bottom of the league by a point. Spurs’ scouting needs to massively improve or they need to stop seemingly giving blank cheque books to clubs for players.

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Points earned by PL goals in 14/15, Kane and Eriksen both break into this list for Tottenham

The change of managers and the regularity of it at Spurs since Harry is simply laughable. They have been 3 different managers since Redknapp’s sacking, Andre Villas Boas, Tim Sherwood and their current manager Mauricio  Pochettino have all failed in trying to get The Lillywhites back into the Champions League, the closest being AVB, who finished just 2 points off 4th, and this was with Gareth Bale at the peak of his powers carrying the team yet they still couldn’t do it. Likewise last season, even with Harry Kane scoring 30+ goals, Tottenham couldn’t break into the top 4. As much as nobody can expect 1 player to carry the team to their objectives, I personally think the Tottenham simply just don’t care anymore and they need a whole refresh of squad, and needs to be done properly, not like what was done in 2013. The Spurs defence is nowhere near good enough, Tottenham haven’t achieved a goal difference of over positive 6 since 2012/13 and this was with Bale scoring quite literally left right and centre and even last season with Kane scoring 20+ goals in the league, couldn’t mask over the problems Tottenham have at the back. Kyle Walker is very injury prone as is Danny Rose and with Jan Vertonghen threatening to leave for a club with Champions League, this must bring a negative cloud to the Spurs camp. They may just have to cut their losses and get a whole new back four, as well as get rid of deadwood in the squad such as Paulinho, Stambouli and Adebayor. Tottenham finished 12/13 on 72 points, 13/14 on 69 points and 14/15 on 64 points, which just goes to show that Tottenham have progressively worsened since Harry was dismissed from the club.

I personally agree with Harry Redknapp, Tottenham have been an embarrassment since he has left and maybe it was the right decision to let him go regardless but this is a team rich of history and lets not forget, this is a team that once beat treble winning side and then European champions Inter Milan 3-1 and got to the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2011. Whether their recent downfall has been to Levy, the management or even the players’ own hunger and ambition, Tottenham Hotspur are a club in decline and will carry on in the same vein if things do not drastically change at White Hart Lane.

* An in depth focus of Christian Eriksen is also available to read on my blog – https://footballnews92.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/player-focus-christian-eriksen/

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