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RGM Sport – To Dare Is To Do: Tottenham’s Game of Chance

“We need good players… and more than ten, more than eleven. We need a good group of players. And if we can do that without breaking Financial Fair Play, even better.”
When Jose Mourinho said this in an interview last week, was he referring to the amount of new signings he wants to make? Or eluding to how many current Spurs players he considers up to standard? Either way, it appears as if the Portuguese is already looking to jostle and manoeuvre for major backing through the upcoming transfer window – while having a trademark dig at Manchester City, of course.

This kind of concession is nothing new for Jose and his track record supports it. Major overhauls of his squads has guaranteed trophies across the continent. At Inter Milan in just one transfer window, the summer of 2009, the signings of Lucio, Sneijder, Milito, Pandev and Eto’o were all secured ahead of a relentless voyage to win the treble.

Jose’s famous Camp Nou celebration, en route to another Champions League

Here, however, we are talking about a Tottenham side that not 18-months ago was one or two players away from winning the Premier League. Are they ready for the kind of turnover we have seen Mourinho orchestrate before, and are they even able to do it?

When the opportunity came for Mauricio Pochettino to begin a transition after Champions League final defeat, the financial weight of a new stadium had quickly set in. ‘Poch’ wasn’t able to add marquee players to compliment the side he had built. By all accounts, this led to the disenchantment of key squad members and played a role in the Argentine’s demise. By his own admission, Amazon’s extended filming for their documentary on Spurs did little to help what quickly became the end of his five-year reign.

Daniel Levy with former Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino

The immediate move by Daniel Levy for a proven winner seemed to make sense, a need to have some kind of reward for the years leading up to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – desperation almost. It makes sense too, you have a Manager available who has won at every stage of his career so get him now and ask questions later. Levy has strived to have the best training facilities, the ultimate stadia and a film crew to show the World how it panned out. Now he has the ultimate box-office Manager to complete the set.

Pochettino was laying the foundations for years to come when money was available again and the storm had been ridden out. No great dynasty or philosophy in football is built without testing periods. The securing of trophies under Mourinho will involve compromise on this front because the team has to be made out in his image quickly, much like the summer of 2009 at Inter. Without that, slow paced and meandering progress can take hold similar to his unsatisfying spell at Old Trafford where the patience of all parties just ran out.

Right now, it looks as if Tottenham can’t support the Jose’s preferred route. It is a rock and a hard place with the purse strings tight but obvious areas on the field that need improvement and depth. And that first step of improvement will just be to try and match the fabled European run of 2019. With that in mind, where do Spurs turn if a bid in the hundreds of millions comes in for their own prized assets. Harry Kane and Son Heung-min would improve any club in England, Spain or Germany.

Something has to give now in N17. There is a football club who have it all bar success on the field and their Chairman has gambled one against the other, hoping the right numbers come up. No doubt, it will make great viewing in their new documentary “All or Nothing” but in years to come what will “All” of it have been for?