Tottenham have not progressed for over two years. What are the reasons for the fall of the club?
Summer of 2019, Tottenham met in the role of one of the leaders of the Premier League. The team, which until recently had difficulty getting into the top ten of the Premier League, has grown year after year without high-quality cash infusions. In the 2018/2019 season, Mauricio Pochettino’s team qualified for the Champions League for the fourth time in a row, and then reached the final of the tournament. Tottenham included many promising players who reached a new level under Pochettino. And right in the course of the season, the team made their debut at a new stadium: the gorgeous 60,000-seat Tottenham Stadium.
Then everything was ruined by the defeat in the final from Liverpool and a lot of misfires in the championship, because of which the team at the end of the season almost flew out of the top four. They were explained at least by not the best season of Harry Kane.
He has missed about half of the season due to injuries and has scored the fewest goals in a Premier League championship since starting first. Kane’s inclusion in the Champions League final was even discussed as a mistake by Pochettino: the leader entered the field for the first time in a couple of months and did not show anything. Both games against Ajax and the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals against Man City were played well without him.
Now Tottenham have not just stopped playing in the main European Cup and are degrading (last season I was in the Europa League, now in the Conference League) – purely in terms of the game, the club looks like an ordinary outsider. In terms of shots allowed in the first eight rounds, the team of Nuno Espirito Santo is in 14th place: on average, 15.4 times per match are beaten on its goal. Even the middle peasants of the Premier League are outplaying her, and the first four looks already simply unattainable.
At the same time, Tottenham has definitely not sold out over the years: not one of the team’s players left for more than £ 25 million. What so crippled the club?
Pochettino did not last twenty matches after the Champions League final
Perhaps the owner of Tottenham, Daniel Levy, over the past years, more than once regretted his decision to say goodbye to the creator of Pochettino. Of course, he did not start the season in the best way. The team lost points with outsiders and missed painful shots in cup tournaments: elimination from the League Cup from Colchester, 2: 7 in the Champions League from Bayern. Tottenham also drew away matches with Arsenal and Man City – and indeed Pochettino deserved more time to rectify the situation than anyone else.
Even one of the old-timers of the club, Jan Vertonghen, spoke about the coach’s resignation: “Sometimes you become a victim of your own success. He was doing his job well and expectations were growing. This is the world of football. When I came here, I was playing in the Europa League. He has definitely taken the club to the next level.
Being out of the four is now disappointing. Our performance did not meet our own standards. We are all responsible for this. He let us out on the field, and we didn’t play the way we were supposed to. ”
Pochettino’s departure looks like a point of no return for Tottenham. After a while, it turned out that young players were ready to maintain the top level only with him and only with one, clearly built scheme. Earlier, this was hinted at by the performances of the British from the team in the national team, where Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dyer could not prove themselves worthy.
Under the leadership of Pochettino, the players really grew and got stronger. The Argentinean said: “First of all, you come to the club to train, not play.” And the players admitted that at first they hate him in training, and then they thank him. Alas, without a coach, many Tottenham players returned to their usual, mediocre level, and the club actually lost several top-level assets.
Mourinho’s invitation is an unconditional failure
The appointment of Jose Mourinho, who was the exact opposite of Pochettino, triggered Tottenham’s failure. Mourinho, even at the peak of his career, did not particularly trust young people, and in the last years of his career, he doubted the effectiveness of his work with adult players. After a year and a half at Tottenham, the Portuguese cannot even be accused of something – the club failed precisely because Jose was himself in everything.
For example, he chose his victim – just like Iker Casillas in Real Madrid or Juan Mato in Chelsea. Dele Alli can even be proud that he has become a follower of legends at least in this component. The player, who was named among the main hopes of the England national team, spent the 2020/2021 season in a deep reserve and even in those matches where he went out, he received public criticism from the coach.
After the League Cup match, in which Dele played alongside other substitutes, Mourinho said about him: “The player in his position must create problems for the opponent. And he created problems for us. I was pissed off because after his mistake Stoke City caught us on a counterattack. This should not be allowed. “
If Allie fell victim to Mourinho’s idiosyncrasies, Rose would have gone downhill with any coach except Pochettino. An oddly strong bond has developed between Mauricio and Danny: suffice it to say that Pochettino, already as PSG coach, came to Watford’s pre-season camp to congratulate Rose on his birthday.
Andros Townsend, who left Tottenham under Mauricio, said: “Danny was literally like the son of Pochettino! .. They had a special bond. Indeed, they were often in the office and walked several times, talking with each other. ” It was under Pochettino that Rose grew to the base of the England national team – and without him, he flew out of the base of not only the national team, but also Tottenham.
Such things could be forgiven to the coach, call him handwriting, if the results were at least acceptable. Mourinho was unable to solve any of Tottenham’s problems. The team in recent months under Pochettino had problems with a positional attack – the Portuguese only aggravated them. Outsiders began to lock themselves in defense against Tottenham, and Jose did not solve this problem either. This resulted in a shameful departure from the Europa League from Dynamo Zagreb, ten defeats in the championship by the beginning of April and another deterioration in the club’s position.
Tottenham got weaker every month
The backbone of Tottenham’s defense was the Belgian center-back pair Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertongen. Toby’s penetrating pass and Jan’s excellence in single combats allowed Tottenham to achieve one clean sheet after another (and this with Lloris’s great play). Pochettino praised them at press conferences, said that Vertonghen could play up to 40 years old – but time has shown the opposite.
Jan left Benfica at the age of 33 – and already the last season in England was simply disgusting by the standards of himself. Alderweireld’s regression was even more frightening. He did not even go to Benfica, but to Qatar’s Al-Duhail, and a few months after he celebrated his 32nd birthday. At an age when other defenders are experiencing a second youth, Toby and Ian have become illiquid for Tottenham.
Christian Eriksen spoiled his resume less. He moved to Inter six months after the Champions League final – despite the fact that this segment failed almost more than anyone else. Kiran Trippier left for Atlético in the summer, right after the Champions League final. Now, remembering also Harry Kane’s summer attempts to leave the club, we have to admit that Tottenham collapsed in the shortest possible time.
Tottenham, its president Levy and managing director Paratici were not ready for this. You can treat Mourinho as you like, but when a coach is forced to make a center-back from Dyer’s defensive midfielder on a permanent basis, these are, by definition, questions for selection.
Davinson Sanchez came in four years ago for £ 42 million – and all this time has shown an extremely low level of play on the defensive. When Vertongen and Alderweireld were in order, this meant only a short bench, no maneuver – when they got old, the transfer miss made itself felt. And here we come to the main problem of Tottenham: the lack of quality reinforcement in the last three years.
During this time, Manchester United signed Bruno Fernandes, who fundamentally strengthened the team’s creativity. Man City cemented the defense with Ruben Dias. Chelsea brought together all the rising stars of Europe, making it so that Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz vie for every minute of playing time. Liverpool have done without such a fundamental boost, but they have not kicked out the coach who created the dream team.
“Tottenham” during this time has lost many assets and really strengthened unless the defensive player Pierre-Emile Huybjerg. Other transfers could not strengthen or at least keep the team at their former level: Tangay N’Dombele, Ryan Sessegnon, Giovani Lo Celso, Stephen Bergwijn could not even win a place at the base of the obviously weakening team. Their total cost exceeded £ 130 million.
The fact of the leaders’ departure should also be linked to the failure of management. How many seasons failed Manchester United, Barcelona, PSG, keeping after them all the strongest and only strengthening the composition? Tottenham turned out to be unprepared for the first unsuccessful half-year after five years of stable growth.
In the first season after the Champions League final, Tottenham starred in the Amazon Prime documentary series All or Nothing. Then he looked like a dream team: a young, perhaps the most promising coach in the world, a team growing under his tutelage, progress from season to season. In life, after reaching the top level, Tottenham was not ready for further development – and collapsed back into the middle peasants.