Another season, another new manager at White Hart Lane. Spurs have had five different bosses since 2007, which has created imbalance in north London, with Harry Redknapp the only man to have enjoyed any real success.
There is much positivity surround Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival from Southampton, with the Argentine having been so impressive since arriving in the Premier League. But despite the good times he brought o the South Coast, he has a major task on his hands at Tottenham, with surgery needed on various areas of his squad.
Tasked with breaking into the top four, ‘Poch’ will need to push his plans up a gear in the coming weeks, and here are five problems we at FFC towers think he will need to address…
With the worst goals against record in the top eight last season – 51 conceded – an obvious area for improvement is at the back. Many of these were leaked against the big boys, and the only way to keep them out next season is to get in an imposing figure. Michael Dawson now looks past his best, while Jan Vertonghen may well be off after appearing disinterested and Younes Kaboul cannot be trusted to remain fit for a full season. Big job then, Mauricio.
Dejan Lovren has been mooted as the top target, but with Arsenal and Liverpool also lurking, Spurs may be blown out of the water. Hector Moreno of Espanyol is a name also in the mix, yet Pochettino may have a left-field target in mind. Only time will tell.
Roberto Soldado appeared to be about as useful as a chocolate teapot (see the stats below) last term, while Emmanuel Adebayor is not a character than can really be relied up. So centre-forwards are an issue for Pochettino. 55 goals netted last season is a poor tally when compared to Liverpool and Manchester City – who broke the 100 barrier – and with both clubs possessing top option up front, it’s clear to see the value in having blokes who can put the ball in the onion bag.
Romelu Lukaku is rumoured to be the big target, and at £20m he could be the man needed after two prolific loan stints at Everton and West Brom. Chelsea are willing to sell, making the burly Belgian the ideal candidate.
The post-Gareth Bale spend of £110m brought in multiple players, many of whom have been, to put it mildly, poor. Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Paulinho may well avoid the chop, but here are a number of stars who will be available for transfer, with Spurs set to clear space and raise funds.
Finding new clubs for these stars will take some work, but is a task that Pochettino will have to knuckle down with Baldini to get done.
Danny Rose is currently Spurs’ only orthodox option on the left side of the backline – aside from the un-fancied Assou-Ekotto – and he missed much of last season with injury. Even when fit there are question marks surrounding his true ability, and it appears that Vertonghen will be far from keen to fill the role again next term, if he’s still at White Hart Lane.
Luke Shaw was a target, but his move to Manchester United is done, which will force Pochettino to mull over other targets. Ben Davies appears to be the name at the forefront of the list and with the Welshman said to be keen on the switch, he could be the man to take on the role next season.
Tottenham have been unstable in terms of management for a little while, with very few managers having been given the time needed by chairman Daniel Levy. Even though Pochettino is a promising coach, he will need to hit the ground running, as if the top four is looking unlikely by January, he could be out of the door.
As a result, big players who will adapt quickly will be needed, with time a massive factor for the Argentine.