New stadium, higher beliefs and higher aspirations: The future of Tottenham Hotspur
These are exciting times for Tottenham Hotspur; 62,062-seater, a new state-of-the-art football stadium under construction, semi-finalists in the FA Cup and occupying the fourth position in the Premier League points table, dethroning likes of Chelsea and Arsenal this season.
They managed to inflict a heavy defeat on last season’s League Champions, ending their Stamford Bridge hoodoo after a long 28 years. After defeating Chelsea last weekend, Spurs are now 8 points ahead of the Blues and 13 points adrift of the Gunners. Most interestingly, Tottenham fans would be very happy if they finish the league above their north London rivals on the points table for the second successive year.
The only disappointing result in an otherwise successful season came in the Champions League, where they failed to overcome the Italian Champions, Juventus in pre-quarterfinal at Wembley.
So, what does the future hold for Tottenham?
Challenges: Retaining the manager and the core
The top clubs in the world are always attractive propositions for players for two reasons: they offer big wages and their history of winning trophies appeals to players. All ambitious players play for winning trophies, if it is not happening, they are more likely to ply their trade with other great clubs. With almost 10 years without a trophy, what Tottenham desperately need is some silverware. To achieve it, Spurs will need to keep all their best players together for next season and add valuable players to the squad.
The FA Cup represents the best chance for Spurs to avoid a trophy-less season. Even if qualifying for the next Champions League is their priority, winning the FA Cup will be a great morale booster for the team and increase their belief that they can win trophies at Tottenham as well.
Many top trophy-laden clubs are keen on signing key first-team stars such as Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Ali, Eric Dier, Danny Rose et al. In addition to winning trophies, they are in a position to offer them huge contracts which Tottenham can’t offer because of their stringent wage structure.
It is more likely that top players will not be interested in staying at Spurs on failure to qualify for Champions League next season. The priority for Pochettino and the team is to ensure they qualify. Spurs are on the right course to qualify with only 7 matches remaining to play this season, it would a major collapse for Spurs to relinquish a top-four place from their current league position.
However, following victories over few big clubs, it seems that this team has learnt its lesson and is more mature and better-prepared handling such situations now.
Offering new improved contracts
Club manager, Pochettino, has become one of the world’s most sought-after managers after leading the club’s illustrious campaigns for last three years. Many top clubs are admirers of the Argentine’s work ethics and are vying for his signature. However, if he gets full support and assurances from club chairman, Daniel Levy over training and recruitment, he is more likely to stay put at Spurs. The club expects him to sign a contract worth £8.5million-a-year very soon.
Also, if club hierarchy manages to convince key players to stay at the club and tie them down to new improved long-term contracts, they will have won half the battle. Many Spurs players have proved their worth grinding on-field successes for the club week in and week out, so they deserve higher salaries if, compared to the salaries offered by other clubs to their best players.
Especially, if Toby Alderweireld’s contract impasse is resolved, it will be a big sign for club management to show their determination of holding main players and will set the tone for other players to follow the suit. Playing at the newly built world-class stadium will be another motivation for players as well as the manager.
Changing hiring policies
Following Neymar’s sale, the market has inflated in terms of player’s values, that is, confirmed, by subsequent sales of Ousmane Dembélé and Philippe Coutinho. Top clubs are paying crazy money to acquire talented players.
Tottenham as well may have to pay huge sums to hire top players, however, they should pay sensibly in the market. After the acquisition of Davinson Sánchez for big money from Ajax, it seems that Spurs have changed their hiring policies which is a welcome step.
The club has one of the best training facilities and set-up in the country to be one of the top clubs in the world. If it manages to hold on to club manager and key players and spend wisely in the transfer market, it will set the foundation for the new campaign.
Come August, just imagine – Spurs have qualified for Champions League, FA Cup already in their trophy cabin, a new world-class home…. how exhilarating the Spurs fans and players will be!! The club should aim to win the league and go as far as possible in the Champions League next season and try to qualify for the Champions League on a regular basis.
With the new stadium, better hiring policies, robust wage structure and keeping the current players intact, the Spurs’ future would be definitely dazzling with renewed determination to succeed.