Second place. Harry Kane wins the golden boot. Bamidele Alli is young player of the season. Yet a widespread feeling is that Europa League winners Manchester United had a better season than the Tottenham Hotspur. Sport can be unforgiving and often only winners are remembered and immortalised. Sometimes it truly does not matter who applied pressure or played the best or most attractively. Man. United quite comfortably played the least appetising and progressive football of the top six, managing only the eighth most goals in the league, behind Bournemouth. What matters and is ingrained in the minds of supporters for the most part is the three (read two) trophies won and a straight ride into the Champions League group stages. Who cares about the journey if the destination is still reached?
Sadly, this is the prevailing thought of many, and right or wrong, Spurs will be judged by the silverware they win. The grace period is running out and the sand is almost empty from that hourglass. The exciting football and young stars have to find some way to translate the football to a trophy and a meaningful run in Europe’s premier football competition. Therefore, the joy of a season littered with positives and positive signals for the future have been tempered by sports’ Machiavellian culture. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is building something at Tottenham. Something meaningful. Something of substance. He knows though that the trophy drought which stretches back to 2008 has left Spurs fans as parched as an Arsenal fan in 2013.
A squad with quality in the past that lacked the necessary depth to make the next step is showing material signs of being able to cross that bridge. The goalkeeper is world class. The defense is the best of Belgium and England with more than capable backups in the likes of Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier. One area which cries for investment in the offseason would be the central midfield after a misstep of Moussa Sissoko. Do not forget, however, that the dribbler Mousa Dembélé is still class personified. Still, a passer in the midfield would complement the cadre which includes Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, and the upcoming Harry Winks who, despite going down with injury, showcased his talent enough to prove he has a future at North London.