Tottenham Hotspur have recorded their highest ever Premier League finish with a new club record of 86 points. They have also gone unbeaten at home for an entire season, the perfect swan-song to their time at White Hart Lane and the demolition of their beloved home is symbolic of the ‘new-era Spurs’.
Undoubtedly the club has grown in stature over recent years. Securing European football for successive seasons a sure improvement on the brief flirtation with the Champions League brought by the talents of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale et al.
In contrast to that side, home to such stand-out individual talents always destined to leave for the Santiago Bernabeu, this Spurs squad has quality all over the pitch. It is difficult to see where they can improve without smashing their transfer record, but something needs to be done to transform this talented group from runners-up to champions.
That crucial ingredient can only be brought by a title, a trophy, even a League Cup could be enough to set this side on their way to becoming one of the greatest of the era. If the improvement continues (this season they have 23% more points than last) a trophy will not be far away.
Here are three things Spurs can improve to establish themselves as winners next season…
Finally, any doubt over the quality of Harry Kane may be put to rest.
Perennially labelled as some kind of one-trick, one season wonder, the Englishman may have wondered how the media keep forgetting last season, or the one before that. For three years now the forward has scored over 30 goals in all competitions, secured back-to-back Premier League golden boots and surpassed a host of legends in the scoring charts.
At just 23-years-old there will be more records to break and further improvements to come. Should Spurs keep their talisman, they will remain in a strong position to challenge their more lavishly spending rivals.
However, it is widely acknowledged that the squad’s greatest weakness is strikers. Vincent Janssen is Pochettino’s only other out-and-out forward and is likely to leave this summer after scoring just twice in the Premier League. As is often the case, a free-scoring season in the Eredivisie (27 in 34) did not translate to success in England.
Despite the lack of replacements, Spurs have fared well in Kane’s absence, winning five and drawing three of the eight games he missed through injury. For this, they can thank a prolific attacking-midfield trio of Heung-Min Son (14 goals 8 assists) Dele Alli (17 goals 8 assists) and Christian Eriksen (8 goals 13 assists). Son has also been deployed as a forward when required but should not be considered as the long-term solution.
If Tottenham want to improve on this season, compete for trophies and do much better than this year’s dismal Champions League campaign, they need a proven striker. Not only could they rest Kane more often, it would provide a ‘plan B’ – an option to play with two forwards for those occasions when plan A backfires.