With the start of the season just a week away and no new players brought in yet, Nick Higginson wonders if we've failed to make the best of our opportunities.
As last season ended, I felt a mixture of elation at the way my team had played and of frustration that we had just missed out again.
I have been lucky enough to start going to almost every home game at the time when Pochetino took over, having just finished playing myself on a Saturday. I can honestly say I’ve seen some of the best football played anywhere and at times our play was majestic, everything I’ve wanted my Spurs to be in the 35 years I’ve followed them.
The frustration was born out of convincing myself beyond any doubt in the season before that we would win the league. I was mortified when we didn’t, knowing it really was a one off opportunity and that our lack of squad strength and depth was the only reason we fell short. Last season was different, we may still have played the best football, but Chelsea were like a machine and ultimately deserved to win the league. That we pushed so hard once again was a fantastic achievement but my frustration was still there and most annoyingly for exactly the same reason as 12 months prior.
Our transfer activity has been farcical for several years but I felt sure that if I could see why we had just failed in each of the past 2 seasons, then surely it was abundantly obvious to those in charge at the club. But here we are again, its August, the season is only 12 days away and we’ve done nothing except weaken our squad by selling one of the best fullbacks we’ve ever had to one of our rivals. Quite simply I’m staggered. Yes we may bring in players now, good players but the time any player needs to settle in was there in early July, not now. This makes it so much harder for any player to come in and hit the ground running, something we will all expect.
I appreciate the club is a business and that our success of the past 2 seasons was probably not forecast, I’m sure the club expected Pochettino and his young squad to take longer to develop fully and they’d have loved that to be in time with the new stadium. However, I know from running a business myself, that you have to keep evolving, re-positioning and adapting to your own success, the changes in your market place and opportunities that present themselves. As far as the football side of the business is concerned I feel the club has failed to adjust its business model to make the most of its opportunities.
Here we are again, its August, the season is only 12 days away and we’ve done nothing except weaken our squad by selling one of the best fullbacks we’ve ever had to one of our rivals
Make no mistake, regardless of the magnificent stadium being built, there is serious money available to the club should they choose to take it. Salaries should have been addressed with existing players getting the market rate for champions league level. These players have taken the club to that level and should be duly rewarded, removing the itch of doubling you salary elsewhere that some may end up wanting to scratch. The wage cap would therefore be increased considerably making the club more attractive to the type of player we should be striving to acquire. Investment in the squad is paramount right now, we need to pay the going rate for players to improve the squad, not hunt around in the last minute bargain basement.
My biggest concern is our manager, regardless of his optimistic outward demeanour, anyone in his position after achieving what he has is bound to question at some point, why he is not being given the tools he needs to push us on once more.
We were at a turning point for the club right at the end of last season, one where I genuinely believe that we had the opportunity to make changes and decisions that would have taken us on again and given us the glory we all crave so much. My fear is that turning point has passed us by.
So whilst I’ll happily pay for my seat at Wembley and for the following 3 seasons at new White Hart Lane, I’ll do it because I love the club, but also desperately in the hope that we haven’t missed that turn!
My eyes want to see the glory!