Little more than a few years back many Tottenham, and a fair few impartial, fans actually began to believe that Harry Redknapp and the famous North London club had begun to assemble a group of players capable of challenging the privileged group of premiership clubs that had so dominated the English league due to their vast wealth in comparison to others. Players such as Gareth Bale, Sandro and Luka Modric began to show what they were capable of and additionally supplemented some of the more established talent at the club.
With little more than a few months remaining until the end of the season and the time when Mauricio Pochettino, with others, begins to create his squad for next season. With the best part of a year in the job behind him he will naturally have every intention of doing far better in his second season and to do that he will wish to modify his squad.
Players will come and go over the summer and things can obviously changed before the season is out, for example many might have thought that Moussa Dembele was no longer in Pochettino’s plans, certainly many in the media were selling him off for much of the January window, now it is very different.
With the Tottenham squad getting a well earned break from the action, with no fixture until Thursday when the knockout phases of the European competition begins again, Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly taken the opportunity to check on potential targets with a trip to Holland to take a look at Memphis Depay his apparent priority.
The 21 year old leading goalscorer in the Eredevesie has long been a potential target of Tottenham if reports are to be believed, the problem though being that Van Gaal and Manchester United are also keen though quite how he might fit into their team is difficult to see.
Almost every week the premiership treats us to a surprise or two, Hull holding the champions on their own turf , Tottenham outplaying, outscoring and trampling over Arsenal, both results going against the opinion of most experts. Today we begin the next round of fixtures and again there are some pivotal games affecting both relegation issues and the pursuit of a place in the Champions League that a top four finish will bring.
Pochettino’s Tottenham have been producing some good, the occasional excellent, and plenty of battling performances over the past couple of months, on Saturday we probably saw the most complete of them all, when you consider that it was against one of the form teams and a team that had not conceded a goal in the league for 4 games, the team performance against Arsenal said everything about this group of players.
It seems pretty clear by now that Mauricio Pochettino is a tremendous coach and leader, when he was being pursued by Tottenham early in the summer his then Southampton players almost to a man spoke of him in high esteem, they all implored him to stay and acknowledged the part that he had played in their improvement in the 18mths on the south coast. Most of those sold for big money were also vocal in their praise of a coach able to get the best from individuals who adhere to his principles.
It has been called the North London derby for decades but supporters of both teams know the real truth of the matter, irrespective of that this fixture will always be fiercely contested, games between Tottenham and Arsenal will always remain the most important and eagerly awaited on the football calendar as far as their fans are concerned. Yesterday was not just about bragging rights, as both clubs are now clearly engaged in the battle for one of the Champions League places, it was also a battle for supremacy for both coaches, Pochettino had just about taken the plaudits at the Emirates in September when his team was marginally the better of the two.
No matter what happens during the remainder of this season there can surely no longer be any remaining doubts that Mauricio Pochettino and his staff were inspired appointments after the reign of Tim Sherwood. In less than six months he has turned form on it’s head and has transformed this group of Tottenham players into a mean, lean battling machine with the pace and stamina to upset any team, of course it’s no good without players of great technical ability, quality and class, luckily he has plenty of them in the squad.
With just fifteen fixtures remaining this season it’s getting to the point when a poor result or a slip up can have significant repercussions at both ends of the table. Because Tottenham are involved in today’s early kick off, one of those fixtures that could be significant in the broader scheme of things, I will keep comments in relation to each fixture short and sweet as preparations for the big game have to take preference:-
We have had the “mind the gap year” and other occasions when Tottenham could and, in all honesty, should have left Arsenal in their wake over recent seasons. To their credit Arsenal have always found a way to turn the tables, though not without a considerable hand from a Tottenham collapse and the occasional dodgy decision going in their favour, this season though could turn out to be very different.