There wasn’t too much wrong with what Tottenham did this season. It has only been in the past few months where they’ve begun to look unsure of Champions League qualification, and, coincidently, it came off the back of uninspired January transfer activity.
Harry Redknapp says the club need to be bold in the transfer market to ensure they grab a hold of one of the Champions League spots on a permanent basis. Sure, but so does every club. Arsenal look to be moving ambitiously, as will Liverpool and Chelsea, too.
But despite their good run of form this season and the continued praise Harry Redknapp received for his squad, there was nothing spectacular about Tottenham’s squad in the first place. This was a team very much punching above their weight based off pre-season predictions and how they moved in the market last summer.
Emmanuel Adebayor was a good signing, but his days of getting 30 goals a season are long gone. And if you look past the handful of top players at the club, there is nothing else in the squad and there was no movement from the club in January to really fuel what was a fearless juggernaut for the remainder of the season.
Champions league is by no means out of the question, but if they do achieve it, it will very much have been a case of falling over the line. A disappointing finish to how they begun.
What this season has shown, however, is that any club with the right moves and inspired signings can close the gap on the top two. Newcastle have shown it by being in contention for a Champions League spot all season, and there was early talk of Spurs being title contenders. With a marquee signing, they surely would have closed the gap even further.
What is important, though, is for a club like Tottenham not to assume that big spending is the only route to a successful season. The Newcastle model has shown what can be done with very little extravagance, and players like Jan Vertonghen will show desire and ambition on a smaller spending scale. It should be a case of looking to untouched gold mines, again as Newcastle have done, and not be forced to overspend.
There’s not a lot that needs to be done, but along with Redknapp’s comments of being bold comes the necessity to be ruthless. Chasing a target needs to be fulfilled by completing the signing, and with that comes the almost inevitable outcome of a successful season.
Spurs were extremely close this season on making a lasting impression in Europe. The draw of the Premier League would have ensured they weren’t a one-hit wonder, as the case may be for some teams on the continent, but rather they’d be in a position to build much more quickly and with a lot more confidence of their position going into next year.
Tottenham aren’t far off from going one better next season, but, as Harry Redknapp puts it, the club must show another level of ambition and drive in the transfer market.