Tottenham season preview: Will new stadium inspire Spurs to next level?
Spurs move in to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 06/08/18 9:09am
Will Tottenham celebrate the opening of their new stadium by ending their long wait for silverware? Read on for our season preview...
Tottenham will move into their brand new stadium this season. It's set to be a first-class venue. But can Spurs deliver a successful campaign to make the move one to remember?
Take the next step - that's the task facing Mauricio Pochettino and his side who have delivered consistent top-three finishes over the past three seasons without lifting a trophy.
Here we take a look at three major challenges facing Pochettino and his squad…
Another stadium move - but this time back 'home'
Tottenham waved goodbye to White Hart Lane with an unbeaten 2016/17 season, racking up a remarkable 14 home wins on the spin. They then negotiated the shift to Wembley last year with aplomb, considering their previous struggles at the national stadium, losing just two of their 19 Premier League 'home' games.
Pochettino and his coaching staff will have to oversee another tricky transition this term. After playing their first home fixture against Fulham at Wembley, they will open the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in mid-September with a mouth-watering clash with Liverpool. It should be some occasion - but a consistency of positive results on their new patch will be key to Tottenham's hopes of another high finish.
"With the move to the new stadium it is a very exciting moment for this football club," said Pochettino in May. Now it's over to him and his players to make the move a success.
Time for silverware?
What better way to celebrate the opening of the new stadium than by lifting a trophy? It's become a familiar criticism of Pochettino and this Spurs side over recent seasons. While their league form - third, second, third - has been consistently excellent, they have been unable to clinch any silverware to show for their efforts.
Back-to-back FA Cup semi-finals show they're close and the sight of Pochettino, Harry Kane and other key players signing new deals over the summer underlines there is belief in the camp. But Spurs' harshest critics will continue to question this squad's big-game mentality until they end the club's long wait for a trophy.
The 2007/08 League Cup was Tottenham's last triumph. Would a Carabao Cup success silence those doubters? Pochettino has hinted in the past that he doesn't believe so. But it would provide a moment to treasure for the Spurs support.
Squad depth to be tested
Pochettino's comments about his World Cup stars missing much of pre-season have been extremely measured in comparison with those of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho. But Spurs have been affected more than most, with nine of their players featuring in the semi-finals of Russia 2018.
From Harry Kane and Dele Alli to Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris, those first-team players didn't return to training until Monday August 6 after their summer exploits. With just days to prepare for the season opener with Newcastle, there's no guarantee they will be in top form or fitness for weeks to come.
Throw in the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Dembele in the final days of the transfer window, and Heung-Min Son's impending trip to the Asian Games, and it is clear there is pressure on Spurs' squad depth to help ensure the club make a fast start.
Pochettino has been impressed with a host of young players who took their chance on tour but it would be a big ask for those untried talents to make the step up to Premier League level right now. Instead, with chairman Daniel Levy leaving his transfer business until the last minute, Spurs will have to lean on the likes of Lucas Moura, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou and Fernando Llorente early on.
Matt Le Tissier's verdict
I know Tottenham have been slow in the market but I don't necessarily see that as a bad sign as they are getting stronger as a unit and don't need to bed new players in. I think Christian Eriksen is just as important as Kane; when he's at his best Spurs really improve. Son is another one who is a manager's dream with his versatility and can build on his breakthrough season.
Have your say
Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.