It’s been a bad week, y’all. I know it, you know it. Spurs haven’t won a match since February 19, and yesterday’s FA Cup loss... at home... to Norwich... by PENALTIES for chrissake... feels like a kick in the nether regions.
I get it. This season is trash and it doesn’t feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
But there is! I promise you! No matter what happens, Spurs are safe from relegation, so there’s that. And even though things look bleak as hell right now, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future at Tottenham Hotspur.
Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons to look ahead and smile. Maybe they’re not the biggest or the best reasons, but they’re reasons. Any port in a storm, right?
1. The season is closer to its end than its beginning
It’s been a long season, hasn’t it? Well, guess what — it’s almost done! There’s only the final third of the season — ten league matches — remaining. That’s two months of... whatever this is that we’ve been watching since the start of 2020 and then we can put everything behind us. Maybe, now that Spurs are out of both Cups and could end up out of the Champions League by next week, they can take the time to train, recuperate, and figure some things out to improve before the end of the campaign. And maybe not! That’s okay, because it’s almost over! You’ve survived this long, so congratulations on your seemingly endless endurance!
But with the end of the season comes the promise of the NEXT season, and I’ve always loved the offseason transfer window more than perhaps any other time of the year. It’s full of promise, excitement, and most of all hope. Hope, after all, is a thing with feathers. Cockerels have feathers.
At any rate, it won’t be long until we can pour ourselves a dram of something nice, raise our glasses and say “Well, thank God THAT’S over.”
2. Spurs have some good players to build around
Most of the talk around Tottenham this season has been over what the squad is lacking — two really good fullbacks, a defensive midfielder, another young central defender, a backup striker. Those holes are obvious and have been holding Tottenham back as the year has progressed. But there’s a really solid, young core of players at Spurs who are really good and who are just starting to emerge and show their potential.
Take Giovani Lo Celso — after a slow, injury-laden start, he has slotted into the team like he’s always belonged there, and has been Tottenham’s most creative attacking player this season. He has a shot of being Tottenham’s best overall player. When things are dark, instead of screaming at Harry Winks, focus on what Gio’s doing with the ball — his vision, his passing, his ability to unlock defenses, and then remember that he’s ours for a long time. It’ll make you feel better.
Likewise, Steven Bergwijn was a surprise signing for Spurs in January, but he has hit the ground running, scoring two goals already and showing a lot of promise going forward in a variety of positions. You get the sense that he’s still figuring out the Premier League and we haven’t seen his ceiling yet.
Tanguy Ndombele has had a frustrating season with fitness, but he has the skills to dominate central midfield with his silky dribbling and passing ability. He really is that good, y’all, and I still believe it’s next season when we’ll start to see the best out of him.
There’s also a bevy of young talent coming out of the academy and elsewhere that has the potential to do good things, from Troy Parrott to Japhet Tangaga, Dennis Cirkin, and Jack Clarke. They may or may not make it... but won’t it be fun to find out?
3. Harry Kane and Sonny are coming back soon
A big (big, big, BIG) reason why Spurs are in the doldrums is because they’re missing their two leading scorers. That’s pretty huge. Take any decent Premier League team and remove their top two scoring leaders and that team will probably struggle!
So it’s good news that both Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are still set to return to the squad before the end of the season. The damage may be done by that point — I don’t think anyone expects to finish in a Champions League spot based on current form — but even if Spurs didn’t add any other players to its roster this summer, they’d be a better team than they are now just by virtue of having Harry and Sonny back.
4. The stadium money will help, a lot
Nobody likes talking about money when it comes to football. It brings to mind Arsenal fans talking about “positive net spend,” and criticisms of Daniel Levy and his perceived perfidy and parsimonious ways are always close behind whenever money comes up.
But seriously, the stadium is a huuuuuuuuge boost financially for Tottenham and one that will continue to boost Spurs even if they go a season or two without Champions League. Tottenham were always the scrappy team that underspent and overperformed because they were so far behind their rivals in the financials. They may still be behind the likes of City, United, and Liverpool, but they’ve basically caught up to Arsenal and that’s no small feat.
Spurs have effectively doubled their stadium capacity and their match-day revenue, and while operating costs and debt payments will eat into some of that funds in the short term, there’s going to be a lot more money available to Spurs for the likes of player transfers and salaries. And that money isn’t going away anytime soon. That increase in money for transfers and salaries means that Spurs have a puncher’s chance of landing some top talent to get them back into the top four conversation, and soon.
That doesn’t mean that they’re going to, but the money puts them on a much more even playing field than they’ve been on over the past few decades.
5. We’ve seen worse!
Well, if you’re a newer fan maybe you haven’t, but I certainly have. My first full season as a Spurs fan was the 2008-09 season, when Spurs started off their campaign under Juande Ramos by taking two points from their opening eight matches. Harry Redknapp swooped in and managed to claw Spurs up to eighth by the end, but those opening two months were torture. I, in my ignorance, considered an allegiance switch to Hull City at the time.
Likewise, if you’re a Spurs fan of *cough* a certain age you’ve probably blocked out your memories of the Tottenham teams of the mid 1990s through the early aughties. They were... uh, pretty bleak. We Spurs fans have been spoiled for the past four years by the level of our success. This season hasn’t been fun, but in context it really isn’t THAT bad. I mean, we’re not playing Sergei Rebrov.
But it’s not just Tottenham. Every top club has had a backslide season or two. Manchester United were emblematic of consistent domination until Sir Alex retired, and they still haven’t fully recovered. Liverpool are only now coming out of a decade-long slump. Chelsea finished fifth in 2017-18 and a staggering tenth in 2015-16. Arsenal... lol.
Tottenham can still turn it around next year.