If there’s one thing guaranteed to get Spurs fans flocking to Twitter in protest, it’s the suggestion that any of their standout players will be switching clubs in the near future.
The second that a commentator or pundit identifies Kane, Alli, or Eriksen as a target, social media is full of anger originating from the white half of North London.
The question, of course, is whether the misgivings are justified or do those pundits have a point?
When you consider Tottenham’s progression over the last few seasons, it would seem a little unfair to continually link their star men with a departure. Third in 2015/16 and second last season, a tilt at the title could have been on the cards but, as 2018 arrives, there is a problem.
While not everyone will have conceded the title to Manchester City, Pep Guardiola’s men are surely a certainty for the top four so that would arguably leave five teams to battle it out for the remaining Champions League places. Manchester United and Chelsea would appear favourites in this respect while, among Liverpool and Arsenal, Spurs are rated as Even Money shots by bet365 in their Top Four football betting market. They are fifth favourites in that respect but it’s crucial that they upset the odds and get over the line.
Ideally, to keep players happy, there is a need to win trophies but, failing that, it’s vital to ensure Champions League football on a regular basis.
Tottenham’s best performance of the season so far produced an emphatic 4-1 win over rivals Liverpool at Wembley but, aside from that victory, results against the bigger sides have been poor. Defeats to Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal were followed by a thumping 4-1 reverse at Manchester City in December, which emphasised the gap that has emerged between Spurs and the title favourites.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men still have to play City, Arsenal, and United at home while facing trips to Liverpool and Chelsea and, if they are to take their place among the Champions League qualifiers, it’s simply vital that they pick up points from those games.
The so-called ‘Wembley hoodoo’ seems to have been addressed and Spurs seem more dominant in their temporary home but a slow start saw home draws against Burnley and Swansea earlier in the campaign. The famous stadium has to be turned into a fortress if Tottenham are to keep in touch with the top four.
“Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspurs“
With over half the season gone, Spurs found themselves four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with a game in hand so the gap is hardly insurmountable but it’s difficult to overstate just how important it is for Tottenham to qualify for Europe’s elite competition.
Would Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, and others really be content to slip back into the Europa League or will they see it as a step back in their careers that can only be addressed by a move away? Spurs would receive multi-million fees for all three but, having largely wasted the money they received from Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid on the likes of Roberto Soldado and Vlad Chiriches, could they really be trusted to spend it wisely?
When Tottenham finished as Premier League runners-up in 2016/17, it was said that Pochettino was building a dynasty but, while the social media moaners may not like it, the club’s future progression could hinge solely on this season’s run in.