This season, I’ve been lucky enough to visit White Hart Lane twice for the Premier League match against Swansea and the Europa Qualifier against Tbilisi. Whilst mixing with the fans before, during and after the games, I came to realise that my new found feeling of a stronger squad with more depth was a feeling shared with the other fans.
As a Spurs fan you learn to never be overconfident at the best of times, and as every fan of football knows, a season can last a very long time; especially if your team isn’t winning. However, this year at Spurs a number of things have changed and the fans outlook of the 2013/14 season is a very positive one indeed.
Joe Lewis, Tottenham’s majority shareholder, along with Daniel Levy the clubs’ chairman, have spent and gambled on big money signings, with the introduction this summer of Soldado, Paulinho, Capoue, Chadli, Chiriches, Erikson and Lamela also signing Holtby back in January. This is a strong indicator that Lewis and Levy have a belief in Spur’s manager Andre Villas-Boas and technical director Franco Baldini, something that was notably absent during the reign of Harry Redknapp.
These new signings, along with the departure of Bale, meant that Spurs almost broke-even on transfers, which is further testament to Levy, who in previous years has been frustrating to say the least. Although the sale of Bale hasn’t made everyone completely happy, the core squad seems much stronger and the team has the depth that it was lacking last year, with the majority of fans believing that Tottenham no longer need Bale and are truly happy with the world record breaking price that Tottenham received.
Last season there were a number of issues that affected Tottenham. Sandro became injured against QPR and backup Parker failed to recreate his form from his first year. Dembele was overplayed despite carrying a knock and lacking fitness at times. Also, the new signings made took time to settle. All of this contributed to Spurs dropping points against teams that they were expected to beat, such as Norwich, WBA, Newcastle and Stoke.
Looking forward to this year, Tottenham’s new acquisitions have importantly settled early with Soldado, Paulinho, Capoue and Chadli impressing fans and adapting to the premiership quickly. Much of the deadwood hanging around White Hart Lane has been finally shipped-out and Townsend (as well as getting an England call-up) is now giving Lennon competition for first team play. This healthy competition among players is something that has been relatively absent in the past, meaning that certain players could cruise through games, however with the bar raised and the arrival of new signings, this luxury is no longer present and some players will have to up the ante to gain a place in the squad.
Although everything isn’t completely positive, as it has been noticeable that Tottenham have been lacking a creative spark or a ‘between the lines’ player, making it difficult for Spurs to create chances as everybody wants the ball to their feet. However with late arrivals Erikson and Lamela now at the Lane, this will hopefully start to change as they begin to make their mark.
Undoubtedly there is now added pressure for Spurs and expectations set by both fans and the club itself mean that AVB will most definitely need to improve from last season and secure Champions League football. With the recent loss against Arsenal pressure is already mounting, but with this new-look squad of internationally recognised players, fans finally have a whole squad to be proud of making each game a touch more exciting.