The Future is Bright, The Future is Lilywhite – By @JoshFitter95
On the 29th April, Tottenham Hotspur look to have made the most important signing in their Premier League history. Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine confirmed in his press conference that he has verbally agreed to extend his contract until 2021, and thus giving Spurs fans (of which I am one of them) hope for the future. As Spurs fans we are no stranger to hope, and yet we always flatter to deceive each and every year. However, over the last two years the change around the club is astronomical. From the dark, boring days of AVB or the laughable “I’ll through my gilet on the floor to show I’m passionate” days of Tim Sherwood to the togetherness that Mauricio Pochettino has produced is nothing short of a miracle.
Tottenham Hotspur haven’t won the league title for 55 years, back in 1960/61 season. That same season they did the double and won the FA Cup, becoming the first club to win the double that year. Since then, Spurs haven’t won the league. Amazingly enough, Spurs haven’t finished second since 1962-63, which for a club the size of Spurs isn’t good enough. This stat, however, puts Tottenham’s 2015/16 season into perspective. This is nothing short of a fairy tale, whatever way you look at it. Undoubtedly, the Leicester story is magical, and can only be bettered by the famous Nottingham Forest team’s success in the Champions League, but do we think that Leicester are going to do this next season? I don’t think so. This is an ageing Leicester team, especially the back 4. Danny Simpson is the youngest of the 4, at the age of 29. Fuchs is 30, Huth is 31, Morgan is 32. As well as these players, Okazaki and Ulloa are 30 and Jamie Vardy is 29. A lot of the players I have mentioned are key players for Leicester, and they are in their prime or are reaching the back end of their careers. This gives them the second oldest squad in the Premier League at 28 years and 5 months of age.
This is not the case with this Tottenham side. They have the youngest squad in the league, at 24 years and 9 months of age. The team is based around the youngsters, Dele Alli (20), Harry Kane (22), Eric Dier (22), Christian Eriksen (24), Erik Lamela (24), Kyle Walker (25) and Danny Rose (25). These very talented youngsters are shown the way by a core of 4 experienced players of Toby Alderweireld (27), Mousa Dembele (28), Jan Vertonghan (29) and the captain Hugo Lloris (29). This is without a doubt, one of the best starting lineups in the league, as shown by their current league position. The fear for most, if not all Spurs fans, is are we going to keep them all. Daniel Levy is a notorious seller of our best talents. The likes of Bale, Modric, Berbatov and Carrick have all been allowed to leave our club, and achieve trophies at other clubs instead of helping Tottenham achieve. However, as I said earlier, the signing of Pochettino to a new contract will hopefully be Daniel Levy’s most important signature. With Pochettino at the helm, Tottenham have an identity to their play. A clear direction to success, which any player worth their salt, would want to be part of it.
In Dele Alli, Tottenham have got the most exciting English midfield prospect since Paul Gascoigne and that isn’t coming from my heavily biased opinion, it’s coming from arguably the greastest manager of all time. Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson said “He’s the best young midfield player I’ve seen in England for many years, probably going as far back as (Paul) Gascoigne. The boy’s got everything – it’s early doors for him, of course, but the signs are fantastic.” Alli’s ability on the ball coupled with his energy to run all game makes him a handful for any team. In Harry Kane, Tottenham have one of the best young strikers in all of Europe. He has scored 45 goals in 75 games over the last two seasons, giving him a goal to games of 0.6. This for a striker who is still learning the game is an unbelievable start to his career. Maradona recently claimed that Napoli should sign Harry Kane a Gonzalo Higuain’s replacement. High praise indeed.
Although, why would either of these two players want to leave? Tottenham are only heading in one direction, and that is up. Pochettino has created an ethos of youth that is allowed to play with no fear and express themselves. They play a suffocating pressing game which allows them to win the ball high up the field and counter quickly giving the opposition no time to reorganise. At the start of the season, Tottenham’s aim was to finish in the top 4, which at the time didn’t seem possible. Now, they are still mathematically still in the title race, however unlikely that may be, and are the only other team that can win it (with Leicester). Only recently though, there has been a feeling around the fans and now in the media that this is the start of something very special with Spurs. If this team, under Pochettino, stays together, they can consistently compete with the big boys, and challenge for Premier League titles. Jamie Carragher echoed this belief on Monday night Football after Tottenham beat Stoke 4-0. “I have said many times that this is an unbelievable chance for Spurs to win the league this season, a chance that may not come again. But the more I watch them the more I think this chance might come again. I’m expecting Chelsea to get stronger next season, United and Liverpool to spend, Arsenal to become better as those sides have had average seasons in their eyes. I was probably expecting Spurs to go back to challenging for the top four like they used to do. But the more I watch them, I think this could be a team that challenges for the title for years to come.”
This as a Spurs fan, is amazing to hear, as we have been known for our “soft underbelly.” With this team there is no thought of that anymore. No fear of losing leads to stupid goals, no thought of bottling a 7 point advantage over that lot from down the road. None of this. This team has the ability to create Tottenham history, to go down as the best side in our history with the ’61 team. Of course it is early days, and nobody remembers the “nearly men” but with Pochettino as the manager and the core of young talents, the future is most definitely bright, the future is lilywhite.
Follow Josh on Twitter