Tottenham’s rise into the world’s elite tier of teams is undeniable, they’re firmly in the posh seats, not that their trophy cabinet would allude to it.
Spurs don’t need trophies to mark how far they’ve come in the last decade since Juande Ramos strolled the touchline happily selecting Jamie O’Hara, Pascal Chimbona and Adel Taarabt for first-team duty.
They’ve carved out a place on the world stage, and simply reaching the Champions League final the hard way showed the continent that they mean business.
Spurs are unfortunate in one sense that their current terrific crop of players are a notch short of the sizzling talents on display at Liverpool and Manchester City – but can they still mount a credible title challenge this time around?
RadioTimes.com has rounded up everything you need to know about Tottenham ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Where did Tottenham finish last season?
4th. The 2018/19 season represented another step forward in the Mauricio Pochettino project without actually appearing that way on paper.
Spurs actually dipped nine points from 2016/17 to 2017/18, and they saw another six points etched off by the end of last season.
Tottenham won just three of their final 12 league games as they turned all focus to the Champions League where they of course reached the final.
The collapse will concern Pochettino, but with a manager and squad of such talent, Spurs should comfortably hold onto their top four berth.
Who is Tottenham’s key player?
Harry Kane. It’s so hard to look beyond the main man despite Tottenham actually coping relatively well in his absence.
The stats show Spurs won 58% of their games with Kane in the team last season compared to 57% without his presence.
Son Heung-Min stepped up with terrific frontline displays while Fernando Llorente made the most of his opportunities when they came along.
Kane has suffered with niggling injuries throughout his career and tends to take his time easing back into the side.
However, a fully-fit Kane could match any striker in Europe goal-for-goal and remains a crucial asset to Spurs.
Who is Tottenham’s biggest summer signing?
Tanguy Ndombele (£65m). The Frenchman is one of the most exciting additions to the Premier League this summer with Spurs shoring up their midfield options with the closest thing to Mousa Dembele they’re likely to find.
Moussa Sissoko produced the greatest comeback since Lazarus in 2018/19 entering full beast-mode as Spurs powered through the Champions League rounds.
But for all his top work in carrying the ball, Sissoko will never match Dembele’s composure and authority on the ball. Ndombele can.
The former Lyon man is unlikely to grab headlines with long range strikes or defence-splitting passes but he will take control of the midfield, wriggling out of tight spots and driving at the defence from deep.
Ndombele has pace, power and technical ability to match his vision. He boasts a deadly cocktail of talents poured into a 6ft2 frame and could turn into the Tottenham fans’ new favourite if he settles into the pace of Premier League life.
Who is Tottenham’s manager? Meet Mauricio Pochettino
The Argentinian boss is steadily growing the club to a level he should be managing at.
Pochettino has proven he is capable of managing a Real Madrid, Manchester United or Bayern Munich but instead of boarding one of their ships, he is content to build his own empire in north London.
His 4-2-3-1 formation involves his defenders playing out from the back – though admittedly they don’t always look comfortable doing so – and quickly moving the ball forward along the floor into the box.
Dare it be said that at times Spurs’ brand of football, probing left to right to left just outside the opposition box waiting for the perfect moment to strike, resembles many an Arsene Wenger Arsenal side…
Pochettino has collected a versatile range of attackers such as Son, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, with the former two happy to slot in up front and latter two able to drop deeper.
Maximum flexibility among his attacking options allows Pochettino to mix and match his forward line depending on the opposition.
Tottenham fixtures – The start
10th August: Aston Villa (H)
17th August: Manchester City (A)
25th August: Newcastle (H)
Tottenham fixtures – The run-in
2nd May: Newcastle (A)
9th May: Leicester City (H)
17th May: Crystal Palace (A)
Full Tottenham fixture list and TV details here
The fans say…
FLAV, THE FIGHTING COCK PODCAST
What is the mood like among fans going into 2019/20?
Excited. For the first time in well over 500 days of being alive, Tottenham Hotspur are signing footballers. For a long time it was about consolidation.
We had a massive stadium to build in London, running well over schedule, with no realistic notion of how much was going to cost. Now White Hart Lane is back, the money is coming in and we can plan properly for the future.
Pochettino has done wonders managing the current crop of players, and has really drained the very best from all of them, especially when you think that Tottenham Hotspur reached the Champions League final.
It was clear though that towards the end of the season we were hamstrung, and now, with Daniel Levy ready to splash the cash, Poch will get all the tools needed to propel Tottenham to the next level.
Who will be your key player this season?
Harry Kane. It’s almost too obvious to say, but we have the best number 9 in the Premier League, and arguably Europe. This choice though is less about his ability and goals, and more about his fitness.
He’s had a serious ankle injury in three of his four seasons as our main forward. If he can avoid a reoccurrence this season Tottenham will be in a good place come May
Any young talents coming through?
Troy Parrot – Ultimately when it comes to young prospects at Tottenham, if Pochettino likes them you have to trust his judgement. Parrot has been fast tracked into the preseason preparations because he the kind of tenacity and ability that Poch likes in his young players.
There are comparisons to Harry Kane, and while these are hyperbolic, with Kane’s guidance there could be a very useful forward in our ranks.
It’s unlikely he’ll get many minutes next season, even if we don’t sign a back up to Kane, but there’s potential there for sure.
It had been a while since Tottenham signed a player, but Tanguy Ndombele looks like a terrific addition. What are your thoughts on the new man?
Most Spurs fans only have youtube videos and reputation to judge how impactful he will be for Tottenham, but going on what we do know he’s a direct replacement for Mousa Dembele, whose absence in midfield has been tangible since he left for China.
Moussa Sissoko was incredible last season, but we needed a midfielder whose natural game was to break up play, carry the ball and pass between the lines. It seems, in Tanguy Ndombele that we have that player.
How much of a factor will the new stadium play during the season? Nice to be ‘at home’?
Being back at White Hart Lane is everything. Playing out of the area where you club was formed is the most important factor in why you follow your football club. Being away for 18 months really reinforced this.
It’s especially easy to appreciate once you step foot in the place. Somehow they’ve managed to create a new massive stadium, without removing the spirit of White Hart Lane.
When you’re in there and looking down at the pitch it feels like the old place.
It’s great to be back.
Where will you finish in the Premier League and Champions League?
A good season would be quarter final in the Champions League and closing the gap on Liverpool and City.
Check out the latest Tottenham news and views on the Fighting Cock podcast
Where will Tottenham finish? RadioTimes.com says…
It feels as though Tottenham could be in a league of their own this time around.
Liverpool and Manchester City are playing a different sport to the rest of the Premier League right now, the gold and silver medal spots are firmly locked in.
Beyond them Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all faced turmoil over the summer, whether it be through a lack of spending, inability to spend or spending a lot without really fixing the issues.
That leaves Tottenham wedged in the middle. Pochettino will demand a consistent season, no drop-off, and if that happens they’re likely to post an 80-point season.
No sweat, no trouble, no drama because that’s the Spursy way to operate, right?
Predicted 2019/20 position: 3rd
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