It has been an interesting time for Tottenham Hotspur since their one and only Champions League final appearance. That night in Madrid against Liverpool, which ended in defeat, was meant to be the springboard that could lead the club onto bigger and better things. However, in reality, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.
Despite the 2-0 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitan, Tottenham fans were hopeful that this night was just the beginning and that a productive summer could see the club narrow the gap between themselves and the leaders in the Premier League. The club spent big over the summer months and brought in Ryan Sessegnon, Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele. But, have they actually moved backwards in their progression?
The form of Spurs hasn’t really changed despite all the signing that they have made. They eventually got over the line in the battle for a top-four spot, but that was largely down to the inabilities of the sides that they were competing against. They went into the final itself in Madrid in the worst possible form, and their league form hasn’t changed this campaign.
The pressure has been mounting on Mauricio Pochettino since the opening weeks of the season, and that was heightened further in the heavy defeats against Bayern Munich and Brighton & Hove Albion. A defeat against Liverpool proved that they could cause problems to the best sides, but their tendency to make mistakes was the reason for their ultimate downfall.
Ndombele and Lo Celso were both brought in to have an immediate impression at Spurs, but with the latter, Tottenham should have moved a lot earlier. Daniel Levy waited until the final moments of the window to get the deal complete, which meant he didn’t have a full pre-season with the club to adapt to his surroundings.
He has also suffered with a variety of injuries that has meant that he has been unable to get the required momentum to secure a place in the starting eleven. Sessegnon is also in a similar position, as he is yet to make his first start for the club. Ndombele has underperformed so far this season, but there have been examples already of what he could bring to the side. Levy will need to ensure that they get their business done earlier in the window so that Pochettino can engrain his beliefs into the players that are brought in.
The argument for Tottenham’s shortcomings over recent seasons is that the squad is young and that they will learn. However, there has been no examples of that this season so far. There have been no examples that they have learned from their Madrid defeat, and that was highlighted in their 7-2 defeat against Bayern Munich. They were 1-0 ahead in that game and struggled to cope with the forward players in the Munich starting line-up.
The season is still young, and there is hope that they can alter the trajectory of their season, but something will have to happen soon for the club. Otherwise, the very best that they will be hoping for is a top-four finish again.