Tottenham Hotspur are 5th in the Premier League table, with an outside chance of Champions League qualification.
They’re only slightly worse off than they were at this point last season. As well as that, iconic striker Harry Kane recently became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Somehow, they’re still managing to have a disastrous season, but is it really so different from last year? The short answer is, well, yes. They weren’t losing 6 – 1 to anybody last season.
Rather than gathering momentum at the right time of the season to steal 4th place, they’re capitulating.
The players have been accused from all angles of not performing under pressure. In fairness, it’s probably harder to perform under pressure when three successive managers have publicly criticized you.
The Mourinho/Conte era of Tottenham will not be remembered fondly. From Chairman Daniel Levy’s perspective, he did everything he was supposed to do. They’re regularly in the Champions League. They have a shiny new stadium and now they can get box office managers.
So why hasn’t it worked out? Just like certain players don’t fit into your team, certain managers don’t either. Elite managers like Mourinho and Conte may think they have a special champion aura, but they’re not magic. Neither manager was what Tottenham needed to move forward.
Secondly, Tottenham have failed to support their managers with enough players in the transfer market. This is why Mauricio Pochettino’s relationship with the club eventually soured. If you’re going to hire Antonio Conte, you have to buy Antonio Conte players and they’re expensive.
Spurs took on glamour managers with no intention or indeed ability to behave like a glamour team. Now, they need another team to collapse to finish 4th and face stiff competition for even a Europa League place. If the worst happens, they will have the best stadium and one of the best strikers in England with no European football.
It doesn’t get any easier for Spurs with Liverpool and Manchester United up next in the Premier League. Defeats in those games could end their season and there’s no telling how toxic it will get after that.