The English Premier League season is over. Chelsea has risen from the ashes of last season to win the title under first-year manager guru Antonio Conte. This is the main storyline of the EPL. Overshadowed by Chelsea, however, is the developing storyline of Tottenham Hotspur. After finishing 2nd in the league, Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino are showing that they have arrived. St Totteringham’s Day is the day when Arsenal fans celebrate the fact that Tottenham can no longer catch Arsenal in the League. Arsenal had finished above Tottenham every year since 1995, until now. Tottenham finished the season with 86 points, enough to have won the league by last year’s standards.
What Makes Tottenham So Good Now?
Aside from being the only EPL team to have 3 20-goal scorers in all competitions (Kane, Alli, Son), Tottenham also sported the best defense in the league, only allowing 26 goals in 38 games. Pochettino’s style which combines attacking flair with high pressure and a high backline led to some impressive results. Rarely, if ever, did Tottenham look a clearly weaker team than their opponents. Despite having disappointingly weak showings in the Champions League and Europa League tournaments, they looked intense and showed quality all season.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli (or Dele as he wants to be known due to a strained relationship with his father), Son Heung-Min, and Christian Eriksen led a scary and talented attacking front. Kane won the Golden Boot for the 2nd year running with 29 goals. On the wings of these players, Tottenham carved and sliced defenses for a league leading 86 goals. All the while, protecting their own net were GK Hugo Lloris and center backs Jan Vertongen and Toby Alderweireld. They were arguably the best defensive trio in the league and the stats support that claim. The midfield was manned mostly by Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama. Eric Dier played in the defensive midfield as well when Mauricio wasn’t playing the 3-4-3 formation which Tottenham utilized for much of the season. The midfield showed incredible ability to disrupt defensively and control offensively. In Pochettino style, the wings back Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, and Ben Davies all found themselves very high in attack, getting forward and crossing at will with great success.
When you examine the team in its entirety, you realize there isn’t just quality in the striker or a few players, it’s everywhere. Its every single starter.
Where Do They Go From Here
Tottenham doesn’t have the reputation for being the most dominant team in the league. Though known for having style and scoring highlight reel goals, Tottenham hasn’t won the league since the 1960-61 season. The question now will be how do they maintain? With rumors of Alli being prospected by Real Madrid and Walker rumored to be talking with the Manchester teams, fans and pundits will be wondering if Tottenham can keep and pay all these players while still trying to improve and add even more depth in quality, namely at striker and defense. They will also be playing all of their home games at Wembley Stadium next year until their new stadium is ready (pictured above). Wembley has a wider pitch and Tottenham performed poorly there this season during European competition.
In addition to playing in a different stadium which doesn’t favor their tight, pressured style of play, Tottenham also will want to get better results in the Champions League. Their team lacks the depth to play in the EPL Cup, FA Cup, EPL league games and Champions League, which is partly responsible for their poor showings in the tournaments. They’ll want to add depth and stay healthy if they want to succeed and win trophies (or at least make it out of the group stage in Champions league). This will likely prove difficult since they’ll be increasing, even doubling, the pay of many of their stars. Owner Daniel Levy will need to invest heavily in his players. These issues and others lead everyone to ask:
Will Tottenham be as good as last year? Can they finally make the leap their fans crave and win titles and trophies? Only time will tell. It’s going to be an interesting summer transfer window.