How Can Tottenham Take it to the Next Level?

The Spurs need to make radical changes if they want to compete for English football’s top prize.

Over the past few years, Tottenham have shown they are capable of competing in the top four of the league. In fact, in the last three seasons, they finished inside the top three and went as high as second in the 2016-17 campaign.

However, while they are at that level where they can be considered heavyweights, winning a trophy still seems to be out of reach. And if there’s one thing we learned about Tottenham in recent years, it is that they are still pretenders rather than contenders.

As the new season nears, us takes a look at the key players the Spurs need to sign and what else they must to do to elevate them among the few true elite clubs in England.

Key Players to Sign

Of course, the top priority for Tottenham is keeping Harry Kane a Spur for a long time. With Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid, there’s a possibility that the La Liga giants could make a move for the England skipper.

Money talks in football, and the Lilywhites might not be able to retain the World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner if Real Madrid come calling.

Besides Kane, though, the Spurs also need to improve the depth of their squad and add more scoring. Sure, they scored 74 times in the Premier League last season, but 30 of those goals came from Kane who finished second in scoring in the competition.

The Spurs must move on from being a one-man team and create a squad that can contend even when their best player is out.

Paulo Dybala is among the favourites to lift the betting odds of Spurs

Juventus’ Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring the winning goal in a Serie A match

Anthony Martial and Paulo Dybala are interesting choices for the club should they choose to add more firepower.

Martial—according to recent Premier League news—wants to leave Manchester United, and it could be the perfect chance for Tottenham to pounce on the highly-rated striker.

The 22-year-old is a versatile attacker who mesmerized Red Devil fans with his dribbling skills, wonderful flicks and solid passing. He is not afraid to take on defenders, a quality perfect alongside a player like Kane who can easily draw defenders.

Dybala, on the other hand, is a mercurial talent who can change the flow of the game and even shift the Premier League betting odds for Tottenham. Ronaldo’s move to Juventus opened the door for a possible Dybala exit, and Tottenham should capitalise on the opportunity.

The Argentine, at 24 years old, is already a lethal scorer. He led Juventus with 22 goals last season as the Serie A giants won a seventh straight Scudetto.

At the back, World Cup standout performer Benjamin Pavard is a suitable replacement for Toby Alderweireld who is reportedly seeking a move out of the North London club.

The Frenchman drew the interest of Manchester City as well, thanks to his ability to move to the defensive midfield role. However, Tottenham could offer him the opportunity of playing a more significant role.

Other players that Tottenham should keep an eye on are Barcelona’s Andre Gomes and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale. They may not be the best choices but both are talented pieces that could work well under the right system.

Change of Mindset

Well, we could talk all day about the players Tottenham should sign to turn them into a trophy-winning club. But that will all be useless if they don’t change their ways of playing it cheap, literally.

Tottenham don’t want to spend! And that’s a recipe for a mediocre and trophy-less team.

Last summer, the Spurs used just £61.4 million, putting them behind the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool in terms of spending. Nonetheless, in a time that the value of players is continuously rising, that won’t cut it.

If the Spurs want to win, they need to invest and fight other clubs in all fronts. Manchester City were the biggest spenders in 2017 with an outlay of £217.3 million, and they were rewarded with the Premier League title.

Winning comes with a price. Tottenham have to accept that fact and pay it.

Managerial shakeup

Aside from backing the club financially, another thing that the Tottenham brass should consider is changing their manager.

There’s no doubt Mauricio Pochettino did a great job with the Spurs, and he can be proud of the work he has done at Tottenham. He has been instrumental in the development of players like Kane, Eric Dier and Dele Alli to name a few.

However, no matter how good he is in developing players, he isn’t a winner. Since taking over the club in 2014, he is yet to win a trophy.

Mauricio Pochettino  headlines the Premier League news  as he is yet to deliver a trophy for Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the Champions League match between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur

He could argue that the club lacks in financial support, but there are managers in other leagues who have guided their own spendthrift teams to cup trophies.

Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone are potential replacements for Pochettino. Zidane is a proven winner and will certainly be eager to prove his managerial abilities with a club like Tottenham where he can be credited for any success.

Simeone, meanwhile, is no longer new to managing a team against bigger-spending rivals. He has a proven track record at Atletico Madrid, having won the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles despite strong competition from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Oh, and he has also won a Europa League title!

Pochettino is a very good coach, but being very good is not enough in a results business like football.

 

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Kane inks long-term Spurs deal

England international Harry Kane has penned a new six-year contract with Tottenham less than a week before the start of the World Cup.

The 24-year-old striker is now contracted to the club until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

Kane came through Spurs' academy system and was loaned out to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City before establishing himself in the first team in the 2013/14 season.

He has scored 108 goals in 150 Premier League appearances for the club and found the net 56 times for Spurs and England in the 2017 calendar year.

Kane has scored more than 20 Premier League goals in each of the last four seasons, with his most prolific campaign being the one just finished when he found the net 30 times as Mauricio Pochettino's team finished third.

He has been voted into the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the last four seasons and scored 41 goals in all competitions last term.

Kane is 1/1 to be England's top scorer at the World Cup, while Spurs can be backed at 16/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title and at 4/5 to finish in the top four once again.

Meanwhile, Michel Vorm has had his Spurs contract extended until the end of next season.

The Netherlands international, who was signed from Swansea City in 2014, made 11 appearances for Spurs in all competitions last season and has now featured in 43 matches for the club during his time in north London.

Kane looking for trophies first

Star striker Harry Kane says his main priority next season is to try and help Tottenham Hotspur end their wait for silverware after ten trophyless seasons.

Spurs' last success came in the League Cup in 2008, although they have progressed to become regular top-four challenges in the Premier League in recent seasons.

And Kane is desperate to help the Londoners take the next step by claiming a trophy, insisting that that is more important than his own personal targets.

The England ace told Sky Sports: "The main thing (for next season) is a trophy. It's been about four years now that I've been playing at this level and we're yet to win a trophy.

"I wake up every morning and that's what I want to achieve. For me personally, though, I just want to improve. Every year I want to get better, to score more goals and to get more assists.

"I'm not one that sets goal targets, I take it month-by-month and if I'm there then I set another target, but I take it as it comes and the main thing for me is to get some silverware."

Kane scored 30 goals in the Premier League season just ended, having found the net 29, 25 and 21 times respectively in the preceding three campaigns.

Kane is priced at 6/1 to be the top goalscoring Premier League player at the World Cup finals in Russia this summer.

Belgium's Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku is available at 7/1, while Manchester City and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is 6/1.

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Pochettino quashes Real rumours

Mauricio Pochettino, who signed a new five-year contract at Tottenham last week, has played down rumours linking him with Real Madrid.

The former Southampton boss is believed to be Real's first choice to succeed Zinedine Zidane, who resigned on Thursday just five days after leading the Spanish side to their third consecutive Champions League title.

Pochettino insists he is happy at Spurs and has been quick to confirm that there is no clause in his contract that would permit him to speak to the La Liga side.

The Argentine said: "When Real Madrid call you, you have to listen to them. Although in this case it doesn't depend on me. I have just signed a long contract with Tottenham and I am very happy here.

"Right now I want to focus on planning for next season and keep out of all the things that are being said. There will be lots of rumours, lots of things said, but I have no news from Real Madrid."

However, earlier this year, Pochettino refused to rule out managing Real when asked directly if he could succeed Zidane.

The 46-year-old has been in charge at Tottenham since 2014 and has guided the club to three consecutive top-three finishes and to the last-16 of the Champions League this season.

Joachim Low, the Germany manager, is thought to be another name on Real's shortlist, although he has a contract with the 2014 World Cup winners until 2022.

Pochettino is 5/4 to be Real Madrid's next permanent manager while Low can be backed at 16/1. Meanwhile, Spurs are 16/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title.

Pochettino commits to Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino has put an end to doubts about his future by signing a new five-year contract at Tottenham.

The new deal keeps him with the club until 2023 and means that he will be the manager leading the club to their new home at a rebuilt White Hart Lane next season.

After going close but ending the past two seasons without any silverware, there were concerns that the Argentine may have been enticed away.

However those doubts have been allayed and Pochettino said he was delighted to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal.

He said: "I am honoured to have signed a new long-term contract as we approach one of the most significant periods in the club's history and be the manager that will lead this team into our new world-class stadium.

"This is a special club – we always strive to be creative in the way we work both on and off the pitch and will continue to stick to our principles in order to achieve the success this club deserves."

His chairman Daniel Levy spoke of his delight at the news, adding: "We have been on an extraordinary journey and the times ahead look even more exciting as the club enters the next phase in its history."

Spurs are 16/1 to win the Premier League next season while Manchester City are 4/7 to be champions for a second successive year. Spurs are 4/5 to finish in the top four again and seal another season of Champions League football.

Pochettino's backroom staff have also signed new deals to remain with the club.

Pochettino took charge of Spurs four years ago and secured top three finishes in the league the past three seasons.

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Pochettino reveals window pain

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino claims the Premier League's new transfer deadline will give European rivals an advantage over English clubs.

After years of debate, the top flight clubs agreed to shorten the transfer window this summer so it closed before the season gets under way on 11th August instead of the final day of the month.

The move was designed to prevent clubs having players who start the season in one manager's plans only to then move on two weeks later, usually giving the selling club no time to find a suitable replacement.

However, Pochettino is not a fan of the move because he expects top foreign clubs to try and scupper their English Champions League rivals by making bids for their star men after the Premier League window has closed.

Pochettino, who will no doubt have to fight to keep star striker Harry Kane at Spurs this summer, told The Mirror: "That would be one of the concerns for everyone.

"It is not the way they are going to behave – how they make the offer, or do anything.

"But every single player is going to react in a different way. It is a massive advantage for the rest of Europe.

"We will see how it works, but you have the risk that things will happen and it will be difficult for you to react.

"I don't believe that it is a good idea to finish the transfer market before Europe does."

Meanwhile, Liverpool are 6/5 to strike a blow for English clubs by winning the Champions League final in Kiev next Saturday, while Spanish giants Real Madrid are 4/6 to make it three successive final victories.

Pochettino keen to take risks

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he will hold talks with chairman Daniel Levy about the future direction of the club.

The former Southampton boss has indicated that the only way Spurs can progress to the next level is if they strengthen their squad this summer.

Spurs beat Leicester City 5-4 at Wembley on Sunday as they finished third in the Premier League, having been fifth, third and second in the previous three campaigns.

However, Pochettino has failed to win a trophy during his time with Spurs and he has called on the club's hierarchy to "take risks" so that they can move on to the next level.

"We need to talk a lot between us and the club. I think I have a very clear idea of what we need to do," he said. "I don't know if the club will agree with me or not, but we are going to talk next week to create what I think we need to do together again, to try to improve.

"That is a little bit up to Daniel [Levy] and the club, of course, to agree with us because, after four years, I think we need to assess that period if we want to compete for big, big trophies.

"I think all that we achieved until today is fantastic but it will be so important to create again. I think it's a moment for the club to take risks and try to be competitive.

"I am sure Daniel is going to listen to me and of course we can create together to help the team to move on."

Spurs are 12/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title while Manchester City are 40/1 to remain unbeaten next season in the top-flight.

Spurs warned to remain focused

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists that the final game of the season is his top priority, not worrying about what will happen over the summer.

With a top-four finish and Champions League football assured for next season, Spurs head into the final game of their Premier League campaign against Leicester City with the pressure slightly off.

However Pochettino is not about to let either himself or his players be distracted by off-field matters, with the future of centre-back Toby Alderweireld the focus of much attention.

"I think now we need to focus on finishing in the best way. Finishing third is the most important thing now," Pochettino told reporters.

"Then from Monday we will talk about all that is going to happen next season. That is the moment, now is not a moment to talk about individual situations.

"We are going to be ready from the moment we finish the season to talk about the important things for the next season of course."

Twenty-nine-year-old Belgium international Alderweireld, who has a year left on his current contract, has been far from a regular since his recovery from a serious hamstring injury, sparking talk of a possible summer move away from Spurs.

He joined Tottenham in the summer of 2015 from Atletico Madrid, having impressed in the previous season while on loan at Southampton.

Meanwhile, Spurs are 1/3 to sign off at Wembley with a win on Sunday, while they are 15/2 to claim a 2-0 victory over the Foxes, with Harry Kane priced at 4/9 to score at any time.

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Next step tough warns Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino believes his Tottenham Hotspur side need to win a trophy to take the next step in their development, but has warned it will not be easy.

The Argentinian was speaking after seeing a Harry Kane goal secure a 1-0 win over Newcastle United which was enough to ensure Spurs will be playing Champions League football again next season.

And head coach Pochettino, while proud of what has been achieved at the club during his tenure, accepts that there is plenty more hard work ahead of his team are to turn promise into silverware.

He told reporters: "The first step is always to be competitive, reduce the gap with the top four. That was the challenge four years ago.

"Now after 23 years in the Premier League this is the first time Tottenham are above all the London clubs.

"Then next is to win a trophy, but you need to build. We are not a club that won a lot in the last few years.

"To create a winning mentality is to build step by step and then to be competitive with the big sides. Today I am thinking to try to enjoy what we achieve, tomorrow who knows."

The win over the Magpies lifted Spurs up to third place in the table, leaving Liverpool and Chelsea to chase the final Champions League spot on the final day of the season.

Meanwhile, Tottenham end their campaign at home to Leicester City and are 2/7 to finish with a victory, are 15/2 to win the game 2-0 and are available at 9/1 to claim a 3-0 triumph.

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Now Can You Really Believe That?!?

If it’s any consolation, I was struggling to get my head round it all at times.

Some of these football games had so much drama, I wonder what those with a nervous disposition made of the live betting excitement.

And still, there are no sports betting certainties as far as relegation and the remaining Champions League places are concerned.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Manchester United

Mission accomplished for the Seagulls!

A point would have been enough to guarantee survival, three points was a bonus and clinched the club’s first victory against Man Utd since 1982.

A missed opportunity for some of United’s under used players to stake their claim for an FA Cup Final place.

Bournemouth 1-0 Swansea City

It is still in Swansea’s hands – just!

What a crucial and nail-biting week it could now be in south Wales as they host two matches which will determine their topflight future.

This defeat, inflicted by a deflected Ryan Fraser strike eight minutes before the break, cemented another fine campaign for Bournemouth under Eddie Howe.

Leicester City 0-2 West Ham United

When they needed it most, West Ham got the points which should see them safe.

In truth, Leicester were welcome opponents as the Foxes slumped to a fourth defeat in five matches which has put unnecessary pressure on boss Claude Puel after he had made great strides with the 2016 champions.

For a number of weeks, they’ve had little to play for and it showed as David Moyes’ men emerged victorious thanks to goals from Joao Mario and skipper Mark Noble.

Watford 2-1 Newcastle United

Another season of managerial upheaval but the club’s owners will tell you it has paid off.

The Hornets are safe and can now look forward to a fourth successive season in the top flight.

This was their first victory since March 3 and a first win in eight after first half goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Would you believe it?!?

West Brom were seconds from finally accepting what everyone has long been waiting for. Yet suddenly, the Great Escape could be on.

The Hawthorns exploded when Jake Livermore forced the ball over the line in stoppage time against his old club and lifted the Baggies off the bottom for the first time since January.

Everton 1-1 Southampton

Would you believe it Part Two!

With seconds to spare, West Brom were down again and the ecstasy of two and a half hours earlier was about to turn to agony.

Then, with the last kick of the game, Tom Davies’ shot took a deflection and nestled in the back of the net.

On the day Everton fans voiced their disapproval at the way the club is run – owner, manager, players et al – their protests were completely overshadowed.

Southampton are out of the drop zone but could that late leveller, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, prove a psychological killer?

Manchester City 0-0 Huddersfield Town

On a day of celebration for champions Man City, how important could this point be for Huddersfield?

City deserved their special day in what could yet be a record-breaking campaign.

The Terriers’ dogged display could be the difference between safety and falling into the drop zone over the next seven days.

Arsenal 5-0 Burnley

A fitting end to Arsene Wenger’s home reign.

There was no way Burnley were being allowed to spoil his home farewell.

The curtain came down on his 1,233 match Arsenal career with a five-star display.

It was an emotional day for the Frenchman as the club he admits to ‘cherish’ bid him ‘Merci’.

A deserved guard of honour for a man whose loyalty and legacy will never be forgotten.

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool

Chelsea simply had to win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League – and they did!

Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game at Stamford Bridge just past the half hour mark.

A boost for the FA Cup finalists who are showing some return to form.

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