Three reasons why Tottenham will finish in the top four
Niall Griffiths looks at three reasons why Tottenham Hotspur fans should be optimistic ahead of the 2015-16 campaign
The first Tottenham striker to score more than 30 goals in a season since Gary Lineker, Harry Kane will want to carry over his own success from last term and fire his hometown club into the Champions League for the first time in four years. Many were apprehensive about the young Englishman’s inclusions in early Europa League games but he soon paid back his manager’s faith in him with kind, firing in seven goals in nine appearances in the competitions before finding his feet in the league. Of the 58 goals scored Tottenham scored last season, 23 of those were netted by Kane, a statistic which highlights their reliance on the young forward, who has since been capped twice for his country. In Kane, Tottenham may have found the deadly hitman that has eluded them for years and they must do all they can to retain his services. A link to Manchester United earlier in the summer was deemed “flattering” by the player but Kane is determined to continue to give his all for the club who claim him as “one of their own”.
On the back of the sale of Gareth Bale, and the spending of over £100m in transfer fees on seven players, expectations were high for the 2013-14 season. Instead, Tottenham were largely average, and somewhat disappointing, managing to timidly squeeze into the top six and Europa League qualification. Late in the season Brendan Rodgers infamously said that Spurs should have been “challenging for the title” after their summer spending, and much of the blame was put on the players that were brought in. While some are still clinging on to a place at the club the majority of them have been quietly shipped on. In fact, “quiet” is the apt word to describe Spurs so far this summer. With a stripped back transfer policy, Pochettino continuing to trust in his youth, and with no huge transfer fees looming over their collective heads, such a refreshing lack of activity in the transfer market may in fact work in Tottenham’s favour.
A reinforced defence
Tottenham’s defence, and their propensity for leaking in late goals, proved to be their main weakness over the course of last season. Therefore it is encouraging to see that moves have been made to combat such defensive frailities, as all of Tottenham’s summer signings have been defenders. Toby Alderweireld, on the back of an impressive season at Southampton, could prove to be one of Tottenham’s best signings of the last few seasons if he can form a solid partnership with compatriot Jan Vertonghen, who didn’t enjoy the best of seasons last year. Kieran Trippier has been brought in to deputise for Kyle Walker after also enjoying a solid campaign for Burnley as well as young Austrian centre-half Kevin Wimmer, who was signed from FC Koln. While many will argue that Tottenham need to strengthen elsewhere, the fact that they have moved quickly to shore up the defence bodes well for the coming season.