Another summer window has passed us by and, once again, Spurs fans are left seething. Under normal circumstances, this day would have concluded with Spurs signing a few mediocre squad players in an attempt to cover over the cracks of an undoubtedly flawed transfer policy. When it comes to transfer dealings at the club, the ‘Tottenham way’ means leaving deals until the eleventh hour. At times, this has backfired, with many signings not making it over the line in time. Of course, many fans have bought into Levy’s philosophy as his high-risk strategy has paid off in the past. Cast your minds back to the summer of 2010, and you will remember one Rafael Van Der Vaart signing just two hours before the deadline for £8m. Pennies. The only other signing the club made that summer was a highly controversial one, as former Arsenal and Chelsea centre back William Gallas joined the Lilywhites.
After a similarly quiet window this time round, the Spurs faithful might have been hoping for a similar acquisition to the mercurial talents of VDV on this deadline day eight years later. However, it wasn’t to be, and the deadline came all to early for the North London giants as they were left looking through the proverbial transfer window at the 97 other teams in Europe’s top five leagues parading their new players. In fact, Tottenham are now the first side to not make a single summer signing since the window was formed in 2003. Impressive.
So, where does this leave a Spurs side who’s main league rivals have all undoubtedly strengthened their squads in the off-season? If fans can find any positives from this window, an iota of encouragement will come from the fact that spurs held on to their star players and pinned a select few down to long term contracts. This means, at the very least, the squad hasn’t weakened as it has done in pre-seasons gone by. By holding onto the stars in the squad, Spurs will at least be able to compete with the best teams in the league, as their first XI is arguably one of the league’s best.
The issue primarily lies in the strength and depth of the squad. Last year, when Pochettino was forced to rotate his squad in the domestic competitions, his side struggled against lower league teams. Spurs were lucky to earn replays against both Newport and Rochdale as talisman Harry Kane had to bail his side out in both away ties against those sides. What would have come as a greater disappointment to Spurs fans was their pitiful display in the Carabao Cup. Having drawn West Ham at home, Pochettino felt able to rotate the squad, integrating some second string players into the team along with some regular starters. When Spurs went into the break 2-0 up, the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen appeared not to be missed. But when West Ham turned the game on its head in the second half, and went on to win 3-2, questions were once again posed to Pochettino regarding the strength of his squad.
So why has he not strengthened this summer when given the opportunity? Funds? Availability of players? Tottenham fans were promised that their manager would have sufficient funds to fulfill his (and their) transfer wishes this summer, in spite of the extravagant spending on their new home. Levy has continued to reassure supporters that the new stadium will not hamper any potential transfer dealings but that appears not to be the case. It is all well and good waking up on Christmas morning to the news your parents are moving house, but the excitement will be somewhat quashed when the kids have no presents to open once they’ve moved into said house. Are you following? With the addition of a few world-beaters to their star-studded squad, Spurs fans would have been going into the new stadium full of unprecedented optimism. There is no doubt that additions should have been made to propel the club into this new era, but are Spurs supporters behaving like the spoiled kid at Christmas who is always asking for that little bit more? In my eyes, they have every right to expect more from their side who have, admittedly, punched above their weight in recent seasons due to their inferior spending power in comparison to their rival sides. If Pochettino has an unsuccessful season, which now means no silverware and no Champions League football, will he see his reign come to an end by next summer’s deadline day?