Tottenham Hotspur in the Ascendancy, But What Constitutes a Successful Season?

Apr. 17, 2010 - 05780737 date 15 11 2009 Copyright imago BPI Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur Celebrates Scoring His Penalty with His team Mates PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN men Football England Premier League 2009 2010 Action shot London Vdig 2009 Square premiumd Football.

As Spurs boss Harry Redknapp looks to further strengthen his squad this summer, fans of the North London club are approaching one of the most anticipated seasons in club history after a brilliant end to a successful one last May.

After Tottenham open the 2010-2011 Premier League season at home v Manchester City, they’ve only a few short days until their all important UEFA Champions League two leg playoff series against the club they’ll be pitted against from Champions League third round qualifying.

It’ll be fantastic to see White Hart Lane a buzz on the night of their home leg encounter and equally as brilliant if Spurs are able to progress and qualify for the lucrative group stages. White Hart Lane is known for being an incredible venue with boisterous home support and a European night would be no different.

Spurs will look to build upon the season they had last year finishing fourth with important players who impressed during the campaign such as Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon. Tottenham also possess a core of good young players coming through the ranks such as Giovanni dos Santos, Danny Rose, Jamie O’Hara and Adel Taarabt that will aid in bolstering a squad with a potential fixture list as long as any of the top teams in Europe.

Redknapp will want to push on and won’t settle for an average year after coming off such a successful one. For Spurs fans though, what constitutes a successful campaign? Redknapp will have a balancing act of sorts on his hands if his team is able to reach the group stages of the Champions League, a realistic and likely happening. A long run in Europe will be the stuff dreams are made of for supporters, but not necessarily at the behest of the Premier League.

As fast spending Manchester City continue to snatch up solid players, Spurs hold on fourth could potentially be at risk. Redknapp himself has recently stated his intentions to pick up ‘one or two’ more players to enhance his squad, but will his priorities be on the league, Champions League, or will Tottenham end up with a squad deep and talented enough to challenge for the league or fourth place again while tending to European duties?

Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy is said to be top of Redknapp’s wish list as current striker Peter Crouch looks set to stay in North London if Redknapp is to be believed. As Spurs find themselves in a decent position when it comes to attacking talent (there’s no shortage with Keane, Defoe, Crouch Pavlyuchenko, Lennon, and Bentley) where else in the squad and with whom will Redknapp need to plug the holes with?

Spurs fans, this is your forum. You’ve come off a brilliant end to last season with home wins over Arsenal and Chelsea to finish fourth. You’ve got a handful of the Premier League’s best players in Bale, Defoe and Modric, a brilliant and proven manger and great support. What constitutes a successful season for you both in the Champions League and the Premier League? And lastly, which two players out there do you think Redknapp will move for that will most successfully bolster your already strong squad?

26 thoughts on “Tottenham Hotspur in the Ascendancy, But What Constitutes a Successful Season?”

  1. Top 4, Round of 16. Also I expect at least one decent transfer move for a center back, but it looks like that’s not going to happen.

  2. Staying in the top four. Period. We did it last year, no reason not to again. Spurs are a club with the ability to win the Premier League and the Champions League one day, that must be the long term goal. City can spend as much as they want, we still must have the same ambition. This is our time if the club wants it badly enough.

    Anything less than the Round of 16 in the Champions League will be a mild disappointment, failing to make the group stages would be a disaster that would only be slightly mitigated by finishing in the top 4 again. The domestic cups must be viewed as a bonus.

  3. Top Four would be a success, also a trophy (FA Cup?). Getting through the group stages to the round of 16.

    Realistically, any of those three and I wouldn’t be too upset. 18 months ago we had the worst start in 100 years (8 games, 2 points, 1 hero), so any of those would be a great step.

  4. Final 16 of Champions League and top 4. In order to do it, I think it is important not to shake of the continuity of a side that was fantastic to watch when clicking last year. I like ‘Arry’s focus on tweaking not retooling.

  5. I’d love to see Spurs stay in the top 4 at the expense of City and Liverpool (or, heaven bless us, the Scum!), but it’s a tall order.

    I’d be happy with advancing to CL group stages and a top-5 EPL finish. But ferchrissake they NEED A RIGHT BACK!

  6. I think top-4 and making the group stages. I don’t realistically expect to get out of the group, because of the way we would be seeded we would be against two other very good European sides. As long as we don’t completely embarrass ourselves in the group stage I will be happy. Not making the group stage (aka, pulling an Everton) would be an unmitigated DISASTER. After all we accomplished last season only to not even make into the Champions League proper would be a catastrophic failure.

    That being said, if we make the group stages, but don’t finish in the top-4 again, what did we really gain? It seems clear to me that top, top talent still tend to steer clear of White Hart Lane, regardless of our Champions League qualification. It pisses me off to know end to hear and see top talent linked with Man City and Liverpool when neither one has Champions League football this year. All you ever hear is “oh, you need Champions League football to attract the top players.” Well now we have it, and those players are STILL going elsewhere. It’s complete BS. Because of Liverpool’s storied history? What the hell? I thought you just wanted to play in the Champions League?


  7. has to be another top 4 finish and group stages of CL,
    lets face it were not gonna do much in the CL this time unless we get a very weak group

  8. 101% EFFORT from every person who steps foot on the park. A few good results and of course a bit of luck. NO dismal pathetic games where only 9 or 10 players turn up (of which we had a few last season) and of course a bit of silver would be a real bonus. To sum it up a season to be proud of !!What else is there ??

  9. A decent season consists of winning far more games than you lose, having a decent run in the cups and playing good football in the process, it’s what I’ve expected every season this far and still want for the future. You may think that’s unambitious but its why I supported for Spurs for all these years, and for good or ill, its all I honestly expect for every coming each season.
    We’re not a massive club financially and dont have billionaires propping us up, so in many ways we’re possibly fighting above our weight, but its the levels of expectation that concern me the greatest, because man fans haven’t an inkling of how football money is generated, you only have to look at some of the posts to see that COYS

  10. top 4 finish would mean we had a great season.
    Advancing to the knock out stages of the CL.
    Cant see it happening with the current squad.
    Need a top striker, center back and another quality mid.
    Then I would fancy us to fight for 4th.
    To be fair on paper we must be 5or 6th favorites.

  11. Essexian76 – Well spoken mate. I too get pissed off with some of the crap posted. The glory glory days are gone. (Unless of course your owned by some filthy rich Oil magnate).
    Some good football, continual good efforts, some good results, good supporters = A good season

  12. deluded, over inflated, narcissistic Tottenham.

    Spuds have a good club. No doubt. But this is a fringe CL club at best. They actually might have done better, in the quest of silverware, playing in the Europa League where I could have seen them making a run.

    Plus now that Jamie Redknapp has gone public with Spuds talking points in regard to Scott Parker, look forward to a nice tapping up enquiry.

    Harry is a lovable man, but he is at his very core a character cast from 44″ Chest.

    1. You should sell doughnuts mate. Firstly if you knew anything about the game, even an idiot would see that the reason the Parker issue was made public, was because West Ham want to sell him without getting the fans on their backs OK I’ll make this a simple as I can for you. Parker would want to know what Spurs offered and the appeal of CL football and playing for his ‘boyhood team’ would make him do a Cesc and demand a move, with me thus far?, West Ham then save on Parker’s cut, get the much needed funds in and get their highest earner off their books, all without incurring the wrath of West Ham’s fans, simple enough?, probably not, as for Tapping up, any club is entitled to enquire after a player, it happens everyday, ask Man Utd and Liverpool about Keane and Berbatov, nice donations made to our fund as they were guilty as charged, mines got jam on it thanks!

  13. As someone who is a relative novice to following EPL and CL, and without any particular allegiances, Tottenham was probably the most enjoyable club to watch last season, especially when Bale was playing. Lots of scoring chances, and defense that could be harrowing but usually held up pretty well in the end — it’s easy to root for players like Dawson, who honestly can seem a bit overmatched but manages to get it done.

    Going into the new season, I have to say I am confused with who is even likely to start for Spurs, and where. Is there a site with projected depth charts? I’d love to see more detail than just “MF” — it doesn’t say much to say Modric will play “MF,” the real question is what are the likely formations and how will he fit in. I’d love to find somewhere that really goes through the players and the obvious questions: how much will dos Santos play? How about Bentley, who always looked great to me when he did get opportunities? With Lennon healthy, what does that mean for Bale?

    If these questions have been discussed at length somewhere, please just point me in the right direction. I know it’s all in flux, but in major US sports, that kind of information is pretty easy to find.

    Same question for other teams, but I am most curious about Spurs since I’m thinking I may start pulling for them….. Thanks.

    By the way, I thought this post was a nice idea, but it really only scratches the surface (intentionally, I know, to encourage the conversation….)

    1. Patrico,

      Great feedback. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure if such a site exists. Your best bet is to check back to this thread over the course of the next day or so to see if another reader can help us out.

      When the season starts, Zonal Marking is a great site for post match tactical break downs.

    2. First and foremost, If you support Spurs you’re in for a few good times and whole load of heartbreak, that’s the deal. Secondly they’re a big club, but have outgrown their ground and desperately need to rebuild White Hart Lane or move to a larger stadium. At present smaller clubs in comparison such as Chelsea and Manchester City are in positions of strength that are only due to independent finance and not by the own ability to raise funds via the turnstiles or merchandising, but in Chelsea’s case this seems to be bottoming out recently. Arsenal (spit on them, and anything associated, past or present) are the Devil’s side, and will do whatever it takes to win things, cheat, steal borrow for they even re-located across from South London using wagon trains of gypsy caravans before they squatted in North London without planning permission.
      To support Tottenham Hotspur is a labour of love but not for the faint-hearted, so be warned. If your seeking glory without earning the right then Liverpool or Manchester United are the teams for you, but also remember they are from Liverpool and Manchester, so the glory ends there, I guess…enjoy, but think before you buy as its a life choice after all!… good luck anyway

    3. Patrico –

      Good comment. I’d love to give a detailed breakdown, but that would take pages. I’d like to address a few comments though.

      The most likely opening day formation I see is:

      Corluka—–Dawson—–King(if he’s still hurt, then Bassong)—-Bale

      Harry loves the 4-4-2. I’d like to see him employ some more 4-5-1 this season (rumor has it, he’s considering it for the away match here and there), but we really lack that one quality striker up front to play alone. Hopefully we can snag an elite striker during this window.

      Crouch is good and offers something unique, but I’m not sure he’s the lone striker we can rely on all season. Defoe comes and goes. Pav has potential, but disappeared for weeks at a time last season. And Keane, well, his best days are behind him. For me, I’d rather see Pav up front (he’s got the skills and potential, and showed it in bursts last season), but I still think Harry favors Defoe and Crouch over Pav.

      “I’d love to see more detail than just “MF” — it doesn’t say much to say Modric will play “MF,” the real question is what are the likely formations and how will he fit in.”

      I’d have Modric listed as a LM here, as he’s really not a wing player. Truly a player who excels more in the middle of the pitch with the ball. This allows Bale to streak up the field from his LB position and do his magic he did so well for Spurs the last half of last season.

      “With Lennon healthy, what does that mean for Bale? ”

      No effect, aside from being awesome. Lennon plays on the right side, Bale on the left. Both will be starting for us.

      I have a feeling Bale will play Left Back more to start this year, but I would love to see him at LM or Left Wing (with Benny Assou Ekotto at LB), b/c Bale’s offensive threat is too great. At LB, he can still make the occasional run forward (and does), but I’d like to see him in a more consistent position to get the ball and threaten down the wing. He needs to play LM/LW this season, IMO. Lennon on the right and Bale down the left? My word. Good luck to the RBs and LBs of the Premier League.

      “how much will dos Santos play?”

      I would love to see Dos Santos get more of a shot this season, but he’s got to show his commitment on the practice field and limit his enjoyment of the “nightlife”, especially for Harry to favor him. GDS looked good in the World cup, and has looked pretty good in our friendlies so far, so maybe this is the season he gets his chance. I have my doubts that Harry favors him though. If he stays, he’s likely a squad player who gets the occasional start and comes in as a sub here and there. Then, he’s got to show his quality when he does get a chance. That’s what Bale did last season, and look where he is now.

      “How about Bentley, who always looked great to me when he did get opportunities?”

      Bentley is really just a squad player at this point. He was expensive, and has disappointed for the most part, but he’s had his moments and is a valuable backup to Lennon should he get hurt again. Basically, with Lennon healthy, Bentley will not likely start for Spurs. We may sell him before the month is out.

      That’s all I have for now. I’m glad to hear you’re considering supporting the greatest club in the world, and I hope this answers some of your questions. If you want to learn more about Spurs, I’d suggest looking around the internet for fan sites and message boards. When I first started supporting Spurs, I would visit and on a regular basis, and have a chat in the forums I found.

      Have fun, and COYS!!!

  14. Essexian76 – thanks. I’m not in a hurry to say, “This is my team,” I think it has to develop over time since I didn’t grow up with it, but it’s sure easy to rule out a lot of other clubs.

    Martin – a lot more than I expected, and much appreciated. You can tell, I have a long way to go.

    It’ll be interesting to see. Your post clears it up a bit, but it does feel like there are an awful lot of players and possibilities in midfield and up front, and almost nobody in the front six (except Lennon at RM) that you pencil in and say, “This guy will always start here if healthy, and we’re happy to leave it at that.”

    Maybe that’s the way it is for most teams in August?

  15. I’m a nube and will be following the comments with interest here for the next few days. Like Patrico, I am searching for an EPL team to follow. I began researching on the Internet over the last few weeks and discovered a plethora of valuable information that will assist in my decision making process. One valuable suggestion I will adhere to is watching the entire season before making a decision. I recently subscribed to DirecTV and have Fox Soccer Channel and GOL TV. I am considering subscribing to Fox Soccer Plus as well. I have been watching replays of EPL matches back from the first of the year, as well as many of the preseason friendlies here in the US.

    I live in Northern California and have no direct connections from family or business to an English city or a particular club. Based on my research so far and the partnership with the San Jose Earthquakes, the MLS team I follow, I am leaning toward Tottenham Hotspur (but again, I do not plan to make a decision until season end). It appears the club will visit San Jose periodically, giving me an opportunity to see a match. Not many other EPL clubs make it to California. We will see if the Spurs choose me…..

  16. Excellent to hear, Family Man.

    I hope their play win you over. They did for me back when I first started watching. Now I’m stuck with em 😉

    Supporting Spurs may be a rough ride at times, but you will be the better man for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *