Tottenham Hotspur 2017/18 Season Preview

Despite Tottenham’s unsuccessful title challenge and their disappointing exit in the FA Cup semi-final, both at the hands of rival’s Chelsea, Spurs fans ended the season full of optimism. The extinction of ‘St. Totteringhams Day’, a perfect farewell at White Hart Lane and two rip-roaring away wins was the main source of said optimism, fans of Tottenham are not usually used to feeling like that at the culmination of most Premier League seasons.

However that buoyancy they all ended the season with, has slowly faded in a lot of fans over the course of the transfer window. The saying goes; ‘If you’re not moving forwards, you’re moving backwards’ and so far in this window, Spurs haven’t just stood still, they’ve arguably gone backwards with the departure of Kyle Walker, while all of their rivals have taken steps forward.

Many have praised Spurs for not indulging themselves in this chaotic transfer window and we have all… well most of us have enjoyed watching it play out so far this summer. In some ways they deserve some type of praise, Daniel Levy refusing to overpay for average players and Mauricio Pochettino believing in the youth at his disposal is admirable. However, this is the same chairman that spent £30m on Moussa Sissoko and a manager that has openly stated, that Kyle Walker-Peters, one of his most exciting prospects, is not ready to fill in for the injured Kieran Trippier.

This being the case, it’s evident that Spurs have needed a new right back since the end of last season, when Walker’s head was turned by Manchester City. It’s easy to point out how unlucky they are. After Harry Kane, Trippier was probably the one player Pochettino couldn’t afford to lose, it’s very ‘Spursy’ in many respects. Nevertheless that’s not an excuse the club can hide behind, they’ve had more than enough time to prepare for this type of situation, which they have had to overcome in the past.

Of course Tottenham are still in great shape, when fully fit they still arguably have the best starting eleven in the Premier League, with some of the best young players in Europe throughout the team, and with one of the most exciting young managers leading them. And the window is not over yet, fans still have the highlight of “Levy-time” to ‘look forward too.’

After an irregular end to last season, by actually finishing in good form, Spurs will hope they continue that and start this campaign well, something they don’t do very often either. Under Pochettino they’ve only won on the opening day once and their best overall start came last year, when they won four of the first six, drawing the other two. In spite of those results, most fans would agree that their overall play during those games, was under par. In fact it wasn’t until December/January time that Spurs really found their feet, after a torrid autumn period.

Poor first halves of previous seasons have been Spurs’ downfall in their last two title challenges. Constantly chasing teams down in the latter stages of the campaign is tireless work, even after winning twelve of their last thirteen games last season, it still wasn’t enough to catch Chelsea. Therefore a strong start this time around could prove vital, if they have any hope of finishing one place higher when May swings around.

Another problem that hindered Spurs over the course of last year, was their away form. A problem that will be even harder to overcome this time around, as they will the challenge of playing thirty-eight away games instead of the measly nineteen every other side will play.

Spurs finally turned White Hart Lane into a fortress last campaign, going unbeaten all season for the first time in over fifty years. It was almost poetic that they managed to do that during the stadiums final season, although it’s also typical that they’d then move to a stadium they are subsequently ‘cursed’ in, that word ‘Spursy’ is again appropriate. 

The Wembley factor will play a big role in Spurs’ season. Getting their first win of the campaign there will be huge, in order to throw out the notion of their new home being ‘cursed’, but the effects of playing their high pressing system on a much larger pitch all year, could come into play later on in the campaign. The Lane’s smaller pitch and intimidating atmosphere, suited Pochettino’s system down to the ground, he will surely need to tweak it slightly in order to be successful at Wembley.

Overall things aren’t perfect; then again they rarely are at Tottenham. But the team and manager we have all fallen in love with over the last few years remain (minus a snake or two). For that reason fans have a lot to look forward to this season, there will undoubtedly be ups and downs, but would we have it any other way? Ok maybe we would. 

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