Liverpool’s progress over five years has taken time. When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield to replace Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool were not playing well. Yet two seasons before they were close to winning the Premier League. That form just didn’t carry through and dreams of the Premier League title dissipated. Tottenham Hotspur five years ago were ahead of Liverpool. Finishing ten points ahead of the Anfield club, the talk was of Tottenham winning the Premier League.
Liverpool’s Progress Serves as Painful Reminder to Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham Hotspur after a decent spell at Southampton. At Spurs, he was given the task of moving the club forward to regular Champions League Football on a minimal budget. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was going to be built and the club needed as much revenue as possible to fund the debts that would come along.
Pochettino excelled. He brought out the best in Harry Kane, developing him into one of the Worlds greatest strikers. Dele Alli came in from MK Dons and thrived. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose became marauding full-backs. Tottenham’s defensive frailties of the past started to diminish as Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen developed a mean partnership. Hugo Lloris defied gravity with incredible saves and players such as Harry Winks and Son Heung-Min added guile and an exciting edge to how Tottenham played.
The League title, trophies were talked about. Tottenham Hotspur were getting closer to glory once more.
Transfer Policy Is Failing Tottenham Hotspur
When Jose Mourinho announced his injury-ravaged squad to face Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 11th 2020, 11 of the 18 named players were the same as those that started Klopp’s first game in charge at White Hart Lane. Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven yesterday bore no relation to that of his first. For Simon Mignolet, Allison. For Martin Skrtel, Virgil van Dijk. Not to mention now having Sadio Mane and Mo Salah upfront.
Liverpool’s progress has been based on common sense and strengthening the squad year on year. Tottenham’s squad achieved amazing things in five years. Successive top-four finishes and finishing above Arsenal on a regular basis. Tottenham, however, faced Liverpool yesterday with a squad no longer as energetic or vibrant as it once was. It is a squad that just isn’t capable of winning trophies.
Tottenham Must Rebuild or Face Years of Ruing What Could Have Been
Tottenham Hotspur’s progress and achievement under Mauricio Pochettino must never be forgotten or underestimated. He knew what the project was and he thrived with the pressure. Tottenham were a force again. Despite the lack of silverware, Tottenham had gone from top four maybe’s to top four certainties.
The transfer policy at Spurs is wrong. There will be arguments to counter that point of course. But you have to have strength in depth in all areas. Tottenham Hotspur simply do not have that. There are arguments that the club can not sign top quality strikers because who wants to play second fiddle to Harry Kane. That is a painfully weak argument. When Manchester United (albeit many years ago) won the treble they had Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Liverpool in the Champions League final could look to Divock Origi to add strength and score. Tottenham have Lucas Moura and Son and they are good players. Yet when it comes to Kane there is simply no competition. Players thrive on competition; it keeps them on their toes.
It was clear from January of 2019 that complacency had set in for some players. Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen all lethargic and largely disinterested.
Against Liverpool yesterday, in the second half at least, there was fight and passion and missed chances. But, it is the bigger picture that Tottenham need to look at. A great job done by Pochettino has been undermined by Daniel Levy and ENIC.
Liverpool’s Progress Can be Tottenham’s Target
The summer of 2020 needs to be one of overhaul and Jose Mourinho must be allowed to build a new squad capable of challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for titles and other silverware. It is not a case of just thinking about it. Tottenham are the only Hotspur and do not need to copy Liverpool. They do however need to look at Liverpool’s progress and learn why they have moved 31 points ahead of Spurs as Spurs themselves slip away from the top four.