Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has blasted Spurs over their lack of activity in this summer transfer window, claiming that they have much lower expectations and ambitions that other Premier League rivals. Spurs are of course the only side in the top flight yet to make a signing this summer.
Mauricio Pochettino has said recently that Spurs have a different transfer philosophy to other clubs, explaining that he would much rather place trust in some of the younger academy products than go and spend £30-£40m on a player that might not prove to be a success. This is a fair comment when we saw Harry Winks perform to a much higher level last season in limited appearances than club record signing Moussa Sissoko, who has proved to be nothing short of a walking disaster since his move last summer for £30m.
It is fair to say that this summer transfer window has completely spiralled out of control, and Spurs have in some ways been wise to stay in the background while other clubs are making big money signings and transfer records are being broken left, right and centre.
Kyle Walker has been sold to Manchester City for £45m, and it surely can’t be too much to ask for that amount to be reinvested back into the team. However, I would much rather see the money not spent than see a panic buy walk through the door at the last minute like Sissoko. Let’s face it. Pennies much be looked after when you are overseeing a £750m transition into a new stadium in the next couple of years.
I am sure you have read the quotes from elsewhere from Conte, claiming that Spurs have much lower expectations than other clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. I can see why Conte has said this, selling Walker to City, making rivals stronger and ourselves weaker. That doesn’t mean he is right necessarily.
As we have seen, money doesn’t always buy success. Leicester City won the title just last year spending next to no money. I am not saying that this phenomena will happen again sometime soon, but it proves that a Premier League title can indeed be won without spending ridiculous amounts of money.
Continuity. A word being used by the many in recent weeks to describe what Tottenham are trying to achieve. Pochettino believes a family atmosphere at Spurs is the key to success. I have to say it makes perfect sense and he is not wrong. Can continuity being favoured over big money transfer win a top flight title? Only time will tell. Spurs were demolishing teams and claiming big wins over strong teams in the pursuit of Chelsea last season and Mauricio Pochettino will hope that his team can carry this form over to next season, if they can do this, the Argentine will be quietly confident, but they will need to sort out form at Wembley. This was shocking last season in the Champions League and Europa League and needs to improve drastically. Spurs were unbeaten last season at White Hart Lane and they will need to reproduce a similar home record if they are to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
Will Conte have egg on his face come next summer? I certainly hope he does, but I don’t think he will. I think we are in for a long season at Wembley and we shouldn’t be automatically expecting a title challenge or even a top four finish. However, I do think that Conte is wrong to think that Spurs do not have any ambition. Success doesn’t have to be brought, and besides, why would Spurs be building a new £750m, 61,000 capacity stadium if the club had no ambition?