The £1 billion Tottenham Hotspur stadium is fucking beautiful
Antonio Conte played the role of Scooby Doo in his press conference meltdown following the Southampton match, unmasking deep-rooted issues in the club not dissimilar to the injustices that Scoob and the gang call out in their adventures. The difference between Tottenham's chairman, Daniel Levy, and the Creeper, however, is that there's still hope for Levy to right his (and the club's) villainous tendencies that have caused Spurs to dabble in mediocrity for as long as we can remember.
Whether you agree with what Conte had to say or not, it's clear that Tottennham are a broken club and in need of some drastic changes if they are ever to exit this period of mediocrity.
We've broken down a few measures that we think Tottenham could take to escape soccer purgatory.
Creating a Unified Vision
For all the flack they've been getting this season, Tottenham really aren't that bad. They're currently sitting fourth in the Premier League, were just narrowly knocked out from the Champions League round of 16 by a tough Milan side, and boast one of the most talented attacks in soccer, at least on paper.
So why all the negativity? Most of it stems from a lack of a unified, consistent strategy, which is just as evident on the pitch as it is in the board room. For years now, Tottenham have wavered between “win now mode” and “trusting the process,” which has invited a culture of short-term thinking that has manifested as inconsistency on the pitch. Only Spurs could shut out Man City one week and lose 4-1 to Leicester the next.
The fix? Unity – starting at the top.
Tottenham can no longer afford to have important stakeholders – whether that be managers, the board, or key players – arguing over objectives for the season. Levy needs to put a plan in place and stick to it, comprising realistic objectives for every season and with an understanding that the club can't simply change course when things don't go as planned.
Levy has admitted the club has “lost sight of some key priorities and what’s truly in our DNA”
As much as Spurs fans will hate us for saying this, Tottenham should take a page out of Arsenal's book. Following a restructuring in 2020 that made 55 club staff redundant, Arsenal fully backed Mikel Arteta in a long-term project that transformed the club. Despite its now obvious success, Arsenal's project was not without its tough periods; many fans called for Mikel Arteta's exit after the Gunners started the 2021-22 season with three straight goalless losses.
The difference between Arsenal and Tottenham, however, is that the Gunners were not reactionary, sticking to the plan in spite of irascible fans.
When is the last time Tottenham have produced an academy graduate worth a damn? The last we can think of is Harry Kane, whose name still being mentioned in the same sentence as "academy graduate" is an indictment on Tottenham's inability to develop players.
Sure, Harry Winks and OIiver Skipp are academy graduates that have contributed to the first team more recently, but their mediocrity and uninspiring nature are exactly the sort of qualities contributing to Tottenham's culture problem, despite their hardworking nature.
Academy manager Dean Rastrick must sit down with Levy, whomever Tottenham's new first team manager is, and the entire coaching staff to ensure that players are being developed 'the Tottenham way.' It's imperative a successful club instills desired skills and values into these players from a young age, that way then can immediately come into the first team and contribute – exactly as Barcelona does at La Masia.
Ndombélé, who Tottenham signed for €65 million in 2019, is now on loan at Napoli
Tottenham's player development issues don't stop at the academy. Many of their recent big-name signings haven't gelled as expected, including Tanguy Ndombélé, Richarlison, and Yves Bissouma. Spurs must replace Conte with a manager who prioritizes player development, taking the same structured approach prevalent in the academy all the way up to the first team.
Moving on From Kane
Harry Kane has been like makeup for an acne-ridden teenager, masking Tottenham's imperfections instead of addressing the underlying causes of the club's pubescent woes. While Tottenham can't fix their diet or introduce a new skin care routine, they can ditch the makeup once and for all – that means letting Kane walk this summer.
The 29-year-old has been one of Europe's elite strikers for the better part of the last decade, having scored 271 goals across 425 appearances for the club. Many of these goals have bailed Spurs out of bad performances (as good goalscorers tend to do), making Tottenham appear better than they actually are to the causal observer based on the merits of their record.
Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer already has one foot out the door. Kane did not show up for preseason training and missed the first two games of last season after Levy did not honor their gentlemen's agreement to let Kane walk in the summer. With renewed interest from Manchester clubs, Tottenham would be wise to sell their talisman before his contract expires in 2024.