In our series of discussion Sunday, we will analyze various aspects of Tottenham Hotspur, one of the five founding members of the revamped EPL, and first British club to win a Uefa competition
Dhaka Tribune Sports has decided to discuss last year’s performance, and potential of the teams in the forthcoming English Premier League.
In our series of discussion Sunday, we will analyze various aspects of Tottenham Hotspur, one of the five founding members of the revamped EPL, and first British club to win a Uefa competition.
Tottenham were also the first English side in the 20th century to bag the league and cup double, in 1961, ironically the last time they would ever taste league success.
A largely successful English club throughout the 20th century after being formed in 1882, Spurs have won the league twice, the FA Cup eight times, and the Uefa Cup twice.
Once graced by marquee players like Ossie Ardiles, David Ginola and Jurgen Klinsmann, Tottenham though have been going through painfully frustrating times since the turn of the 21st century.
The north London club’s last major silverware came 12 years ago in 2008 when they won the last of their four League Cups under Spanish manager Juande Ramos.
All these years, Spurs came close to breaking that trophy drought on a number of occasions under managers like Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino, but fell short at the final stretch.
Now, the onus is upon Jose Mourinho, one of the modern legends of the game and the Portuguese manager, who replaced Pochettino last November, will be eager to finally be the man who brings silverware to the trophy cabinet at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, one of the most recently built stadiums in England with state-of-the art technology.
Spurs were languishing at 14th position when the Argentine was shown the exit door by executive chairman Daniel Levy, the longest-serving chairman in the EPL.
Pochettino made way for Mourinho despite the highs of reaching the Champions League final where they lost to Liverpool after overcoming the likes of Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester City in the earlier rounds.
Mourinho turned the tables around, winning five times in his first seven league matches, and eventually taking Spurs to sixth, landing a Europa League berth when it all seemed uncertain at one point.
Tottenham have shown seeds of improvement under Mourinho, beating City and eternal rival Arsenal, but a sustained title challenge next season against the likes of Liverpool and City may be a bit far off at the moment.
Even though their 60-year league drought looks set to continue, Spurs should not be written off in the cup competitions, especially in Europe where Mourinho is a master tactician.
Prolific South Korean striker Son Heung-min, fresh off his military service for his country a few months ago, was the standout Spurs performer last season with 11 goals and 10 assists in the league.
English forward Harry Kane wasn’t far off, scoring 18 times in the league despite being out for a few months due to hamstring tendon injury.
The north London side leaked 47 goals in the league last season, the second most among the top seven after Chelsea, and the Spurs defence received a further setback as the experienced Belgian center back Jan Vertonghen left for Benfica.
Club record signing, French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was the weakest link as he struggled to adjust to new surroundings, and later had a fallout with Mourinho.
In a bid to improve on their away league record of just four wins in 19 games last season, Spurs have been active in the transfer market, acquiring the services of Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, veteran English goalkeeper Joe Hart and the exciting Irish full back Matt Doherty, who Mourinho rates highly.
To dare is to do, is the motto of Spurs, and dare they must if they are to salvage anything from next season where finishing sixth again would clearly not be good enough for Mourinho, and Levy, who is known for his tendency to take decisions with an iron fist.