Tottenham Hotspur began their Premier League season with a convincing 3-1 victory against Aston Villa at home. Despite conceding early when McGinn fooled Danny Rose with a dummy and slotted past Lloris, Tottenham came back in the second half when their record signing Tanguy Ndombele finished with quite aplomb from outside the box. Their captain Harry Kane exactly why he is one of the most lethal strikers on the planet as his late double helped Spurs seal the deal against Aston Villa.
Their manager, Mauricio Pochettino who is now in his sixth season with the club having taken over in 2014 admitted recently that Tottenham need to win a trophy for the season to be called successful this year.
“A good season for us? My personal feeling is that starting my sixth season I need to lift a trophy – Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League or Champions League,” Pochettino told reporters.
“It’s like my dog – he’s growing up, he’s just not quite mature enough. I don’t want to put pressure on the team or the club.
“But if you ask me personally, this season is not about finishing in the top four to be successful – although of course maybe that matters for the club. But for me, it is about winning some title.”
Right, so the cat’s out of the bag. Mauricio Pochettino has received plaudits and has been lauded for his wonderful work with Tottenham. Under his command and leadership, Tottenham have gone from not being taken seriously to a legitimate top four contender every year with a strong, stable project guiding the club forward. Under Poch, the team has played some impressive football, often dominating even the mightiest of opposition in Europe and he has made the Spurs faithful hopeful.
And while that hope has teased and tasted them, no instance more cruel than the one last season where Tottenham narrowly missed out on Champions glory in the defeat to Liverpool in the final, they did not sit back on their laurels this year and have armed their already coherent squad with more weapons. For the first time in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham career, he has been given the squad to fulfil his rich ambitions of winning trophies and dominating football both domestic and continental on a much more consistent basis.
Despite finishing fourth last year and 26 points off eventual champions Manchester City, Harry Kane believes the side can bridge the gap between the top two of Liverpool and City and can go head to head with them. And with good reason. For years, Tottenham were considered a one-man team led by their prolific number 9 at the front. But that situation has changed for well and good.
Harry Kane now has brilliant wingers in Son-Heung Min and Lucas Moura. Son is underrated in his own right and is an elegant player who complements the system perfectly and Lucas Moura, as we all saw in the second half hattrick he scored against Ajax, is a decisive player who can win matches. And then they have Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen who are expert at creating and at orchestrating play.
Holding on to Eriksen, who has been speculated to be leaving for Real all summer will prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run as the Dane is still one of the finest playmakers in all of Europe. And to complement him, they have added Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso to the pack in this summer. Ndombele especially is a statement signing that reflects the ambitions of the squad who want to go all out for trophies and the French midfielder will be handy in the middle of the park.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium got a taste of his riches a few days ago and much more will be expected from him. Lo Celso is extremely talented and showed a lot of promised with Real Betis last year and along with Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks, Pochettino has flexible and versatile midfield options to pick from.
Behind the midfield is one of the safest centre-back pairings in the Premier League in Alderweireld and Vertonghen. And to add to that elite list, they can also count on Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth as additional centre-halves. Despite losing Trippier to Atletico Madrid, Tottenham still have safe and reliable fullback options.
Goalkeeper is the only position where they could use improving with Lloris susceptible to blunders and mistakes, but that cannot be an excuse anymore for Tottenham. It will be interesting to see just how far the side can push for silverware this season and if one goes by paper and considers Pochettino’s previoius achievements, winning trophies looks certain on the cards for Spurs.