In Review

Premier League preview: Can Spurs survive a season in limbo?

No summer signings and a season at Wembley present Mauricio Pochettino with his biggest test to date

It's been a difficult summer for Spurs, who finished second in the Premier League last season and face the prospect of a year in "limbo" while White Hart Lane is rebuilt. 

To make matters worse, they are the only Premier League team not to have made a signing this summer, adding to a sense of foreboding in north London.

Maintaining momentum

Spurs finished above Arsenal for the first time since 1995 and went unbeaten at home last season, which was fitting as it was the last to be played at the old White Hart Lane, says Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian.

"That explained why, amid the bittersweet farewells and the rainbow that hung over one of English football's most iconic old grounds after the valedictory win over Manchester United in May, it was possible to reason that this is a club heading down the right path, swept along by one of the brightest managers around and a young squad brimming with hunger and talent," he adds. 

But they will spend the coming season "stuck between their past and future" as their home is rebuilt, Steinberg continues, and playing at Wembley for the next ten months could be significant.

Spurs had a torrid time at the national stadium last season, winning only one of four European games and losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final.

But Tottenham's Wembley woes are being felt elsewhere, argues BT Sport, claiming the "redevelopment of White Hart Lane seems to have hindered their ambitions in the transfer market".

They have even lost a key player, with Kyle Walker defecting to Man City. "They’ve kept the nucleus of the side together but the worry will be whether teams around them will put distance between them if they stand still for too long as they finance their new stadium."

Neil Moxey of the Daily Mirror is concerned about a lack of momentum. "If you stand still in football, you tend to get left behind," he says. "Not adding to a squad that ultimately fell short last season is a brave call. On their day, can beat anyone – if they can conquer their Wembley hoodoo."

Pochettino's challenge

Spurs finished third two years ago and second last year, so they are in a "position of strength", says Phil Thompson of Sky Sports.  Manager Mauricio Pochettino's main task will be to stop his players getting "too comfortable sometimes, thinking that their positions are safe, knowing players aren't going to take them".

The lack of new arrivals may not be a bad thing says Steinberg in the Guardian as "there is not a lot for Pochettino to fix".

A stingy defence, a solid midfield and a forward line built around Harry Kane and Dele Alli is more than most could ask for.

"There really are very few reasons why Tottenham shouldn’t again enjoy a wonderful season, albeit one in which Pochettino will be expected to reach a domestic final and Spurs progress out of their Champions League group," says Football 365. "The Wembley factor is clearly an issue, but Tottenham should be more used to those surroundings than any of their opponents."

Spurs's fortunes next season could also have wider ramifications, adds the website. "Should Pochettino’s team again thrive amongst some of the most expensive squads the game has ever seen, it can be a blueprint for others to follow. Should Tottenham drop out of the top four and back into the Europa League pack, both owner and manager will be told that only money makes this world go round."

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