The fixture list over the Christmas period tends to sort the wheat from the chaff, and Tottenham has a distinct feel of unreliability surrounding the side as we head towards the New Year. The month of November saw a spectacular collapse in form, with three losses on the bounce and a frenetic draw against a stumbling Manchester City.
It’s at this time of the year that fans look to make the big decisions in respect to betting, and placing football championship bets based on indicators picked up from the season so far. Based on Spurs’ form before November, Ange Postecoglou looked very much like a man guiding a side built in his image to success, and why ought a tilt at the title be deemed as a reckless claim?
The side that Big Ange was in the process of constructing produced not just results, but exciting, fast-paced and football on the front foot. Injury and ill-discipline meant not just an absence of his core men, but the return of players that were not only initially avoided by Ange, but the very same men that had failed previous Tottenham coaches.
What Daniel Levy and the Tottenham board so desperately needs to do, is to, once and for all, cast out the nearly men and send out a clear message that Spurs are taking football seriously. Watching a vital player have to be swapped out is never a good thing, but seeing that the replacement is a known loser, is nothing shy of utterly depressing. Worse yet, Ange will know that his bench for any game is essentially cosmetic.
Tottenham has been linked with plenty of players, but one gets the sense that any transformation will be a drawn-out one. Winter windows certainly hold their unique challenges, because essentially when a buying club is looking to upgrade, they are only looking to approach candidates that most clubs wouldn’t be in a hurry to offload.
Come the summer, the season, of course, will be over and then everyone will be busy shopping. For this season, one can speculate without being too hopeful that Tottenham can mount a late challenge, but would that be enough to achieve tangible success?
The final obstacle here is that any decent finish to the table would then trigger European football, which brings its well-known and complex challenges.
Spurs need to do whatever they can this winter, but then be ready and have the preparations in place, well ahead of the summer to take on Europe and the Premier League.