It’s clear that a team has a habit, even reputation or history, of being a disruptor when their very name defines it. “Spursinees” has been a buzzword since the start of the Premier League, which makes it clear what people think of Tottenham. Regardless of whether good things appear on the surface, even if they are just the tip of the iceberg, something will happen and it will almost certainly be done by themselves. Nobody cuts their own toes like the Spurs. This is the team that could lose a Champions League spot on the last day of the season when the whole team literally deceiving themselves. Or sour the relationship with maybe best manager they used to have. Or fail to hire another great manager because he wants too much money and power, go around and find another manager who isn’t the right fit for the job, and then have to do it anyway. back to the first guy. And all of this just happened in the last few years!
However, on the eve of the new Premier League season, all was quiet on the Spurs front. No transfer movie has revolved around Harry Kane like this time last year. There is nothing unsettling in the head coach chair, no matter how stable that chair may be when Antonio Conte sits in it. There are high expectations…except they are all perfectly reasonable given the position Spurs finished last year, what they have done this summer and the relative state of the clubs they are perhaps will compete for Champions League spots.
Where there used to be anger, fear, and disgust, there was only excitement, satisfaction, and confidence. What is going on here? We might need Conte to throw something really bad so we can feel settled again.
The serenity surrounding Spurs stems from a well-planned and productive summer transfer window, as well as their fourth-place finish last season. It also helped them close the tough line on the outside to take down North London colleague Arsenal. Nothing satisfies them quite like that. Spurs knew what they needed to add, moved quickly and everything was fine before they returned to pre-season training.
Depth ahead was assured with Richarlison joining from Everton. While he may not start with Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski healthy, Spurs will be playing a lot of games with a Champions League commitment (especially this season as the entire group stage will be centered ahead of the World Cup. Cup) and Richarlison can start in any of the three forward positions in Conte’s arrangement. He will not sit on the bench. They added more depth on the flanks with the free transfer of Ivan Perisic, Conte’s darling from Inter, who can become a wide forward or a full-back depending on the moment. Midfield was shortened when Yves Bissouma was arrested from Brighton, and while he resembles Pierre-Emile Hǿjbjerg or Harry Winks, he has the depth for a packed schedule.
Even the defense has been affected by the renovation project of Clément Lenglet, who has been pretty much destroyed amid the ruins of what has been Barcelona, but is still the player who arrived at the Nou Camp in the first place. and regularly. with the French team. If anyone can make him reach his full potential, it’s Conte.
All of this added up to a team that closed with flourishes. Spurs won eight of their last 11 games last season, including draws at Anfield and draws at both Arsenal and West Ham along the way. They didn’t lose to Liverpool or Man City last season, in fact, they beat the two teams after twice. As Conte has settled in after some pretty heavy turbulence after his introduction to Tottenham (nothing can ever really go smoothly for either him or Spurs), Spurs are bit by bit looking at the third strongest team in the country. , and only three points behind Chelsea. Considering how Spurs’ summer has gone and how far Chelsea have come, it’s no wonder many are wondering if Spurs won’t overtake them this time while still possibly staying out of the community. observation of Liverpool and Man City. .
The signing of Richarlison leaves Spurs with more evidence of Son and Kane injuries than ever before. Both are bound to miss time somewhere along the front lines, and usually that means goals have dried up for Tottenham. Richarlison is used to managing Everton on his own and could certainly fill that void if he had to.
If there’s one point that looks a bit short, it’s midfield creativity. There are plenty of destroyers and modders out there without much inspiration, though plenty of Hǿjbjerg are mined if they want to. But Conte’s teams prefer to keep the center of midfield a security zone rather than an art museum, preferring to attack at high speed through full-backs and forwards, something Spurs certainly have too. enough. Maybe when they go up against teams that like to camp around their area and just give the ball to Spurs, they might have a hard time, but that’s no guarantee.
Of course, this is Spurs, and this is Conte. When something goes wrong with either of you, things tend to go wrong in a hurry. It’s hard to see where that could crack with this team. Chelsea still need a lot of help after what was lost this summer. Arsenal are in pretty good form, but like Spurs late in the game and their improvements are no more than what Tottenham did. No one knows what United will do. Conte’s record in Europe is still respectable, but either way Spurs are not looking to win the Champions League this season. This is a team that completely buys what Conte is selling, and when that happens, titles tend to follow (see: Juventus, Chelsea, Inter). It may not last long, given Conte’s interest in getting off to a pretty quick start, but for now, it looks like all the systems are on track. And even as he does, beloved former coach Mauricio Pochettino is practically pacing outside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium waiting to volunteer to take his place.
Promote a smooth sailing ship. Strange days. Most especially, mom.