With the Premier League season finally over, there are plaudits for some, disappointment for others and an air of respectability for the remainder. For Tottenham Hotspur it’s a fall into all three categories given how the season eventually panned out.
Plaudits might be thin on the ground as the club failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in five years, but a little credit must be given to Jose Mourinho for steering the club into a final position of sixth place and still in Europe via the Europa League, a competition that has proved a springboard for other clubs to get themselves back into top level contention.
Mourinho is unaccustomed to joining a club mid-season and having to transform a club into success rather than building for it over the course of a summer. Spurs were comfortably faltering hence his appointment and whilst unable to significantly change the squad he just about got enough out of the same players as Maurizio Pochettino had to achieve European qualification. There’s no doubt the lockdown helped the club get over it’s awful injury list and that played a key part in fielding a more settled team whereas some clubs just couldn’t get going again and slipped out of contention in some respects.
Disappointment has to come for Spurs for not finishing in the top four once again but in all honesty, they haven’t looked like they were going to be in the mix for the entire season. They will look at Chelsea losing 12 games and gaining a Champions League spot knowing next season that many losses will not be afforded, that will bring you mid-table positioning.
A lack of revenue will also hit some plans you would think, stadium loans to be paid with interest whilst maintaining a balance for transfers, Spurs do need to invest in the squad to address issues around the full back positions, the need for a back-up striker content to play second fiddle to Harry Kane with the likelihood of playing most Europa League games however.
Respectability comes in the form of the final league position. Fourteenth when Mourinho arrived and although there were at least three occasions when Spurs got close to Chelsea there wasn’t enough there for them to overtake their West London rivals. Many will argue and agree to disagree over whether the Europa League qualification is helpful or a hindrance, as a club Tottenham need to win something to get themselves started and no better place to start than in Europe which would also give them Champions League football back.
As shown this season the Premier League below Liverpool and Manchester City has been the most open for years and Spurs need to capitalise on the fact that it can’t be as weak this year again next season and in Mourinho they have a born winner. Many will point to the fact they feel his tactics are now outdated and out of touch, but judgement should be reserved until he’s had two transfer windows and a season to showcase what is left in the tank for the Portuguese.
The season might only have finished on Sunday, but it’s now just six weeks until things kick off again and time is of the essence to fill the gaps and be ready to go again on 12th September.
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