After the disappointment of not only missing out on a maiden Premier League title last season but also once again finishing behind Arsenal, Tottenham had every right to be optimistic going into this campaign as they looked to build on their third-place finish in 2015/16 – a position which subsequently earned them the addition of a Champions League adventure to look forward to.
In some quarters there has been an element of disappointment as Mauricio Pochettino’s side have seemingly failed to get out of third gear in an early season which has stuttered on the domestic front while their time in Europe’s top club competition was a short one as they once again prepare for life in the Europa League in February.
But if you were to weigh up the season so far in regards to Tottenham’s realistic expectations, then life at White Hart Lane hasn’t been as bad as some would make out. Yes the failure in the Champions League is something that is going to hang over the club for quite a while, but they are still very much in the mix when it comes to returning to the competition next August.
Last season was something of a freak set of circumstances. To see so many of the so called ‘big clubs’ caught up in turmoil of their own meant that Tottenham were almost in something of a false position, obviously that’s not to discredit any of their fantastic performances but it was always going to be incredibly hard to repeat that this time around.
That’s not because they themselves cannot play at the same standard but there was no way that clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea were going to tolerate failure again and the only way to combat that was by spending and spending big. With the influx of talent that has arrived to both the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge over the summer that is exactly what they did and it means that the natural order of the Premier League has once again been restored.
Which again means that Tottenham will more than likely be left with the crumbs of fighting for fourth place, but there is no shame in that especially with the financial restrictions that the north London club are under in comparison to their nearest rivals and that restriction comes alongside trying to stay competitive while funding a brand new stadium.
As Arsenal fans will attest, when a new home is being built it means that the books have to be balanced and perhaps there is not the transfer budgets of years gone by. It may have been tough times financially for Arsenal when the Emirates Stadium was being constructed but credit has to go to Arsene Wenger for keeping The Gunners as one of England’s most successful outfits.
And it’s Arsenal where Daniel Levy will look to take inspiration from. The biggest task he has to undertake is to make sure that goings on off the pitch are not to the detriment to matters on it. You would have to say that as of right now then it seems that Levy is carrying out a job well done especially when you take into account Tottenham’s wage structure in relation to the Premier League.
Tottenham have perhaps been accused of being one the top flights lowest payers in terms of wages but if anything it almost highlights how successful that structure has been. So that shows on one hand that you don’t necessarily have to chuck money away to chase success but it also shows that Tottenham to a certain degree are punching above the weight and to be where they are right now not just this season but consistently over the past six years shows a measure of the club’s success.
This a club that has not finished outside the top six in the last six seasons with three top four finishes during that period. A run of league finishes and more importantly stability that most clubs in this division would kill for and if Tottenham can continue that with a new stadium on the horizon then the future looks even more exciting.
With a nucleus of young talent that has committed it’s future to the club then the potential here is almost unlimited but the upward trajectory of the club may well have to level off over the next season or so as Tottenham work way their way through a transitional period of changing home. Should they still be in the hunt for European places during that time then Mauricio Pochettino can only be commended for all the work he would have done.
After last season it was almost going to take a near Herculean effort to match the same level of performances and naturally after the excitement of that expectations were always going to be raised. But even with the race for the title being tougher this time around there is still every reason to be optimistic with goings on at White Hart Lane and with still more than half a season to go who knows where Spurs will end up come May.
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