An incredibly eventful year has seen Tottenham Hotspur finish more or less where they started in footballing terms, but the changes made have set them up beautifully for the future.
At the end of 2011 Tottenham Hotspur, led by Harry Redknapp off the pitch, and Luka Modric and Ledley King on it, had enjoyed a fantastic first half of the season that saw them feasibly in a Premier League title race. By the end of the summer however, Redknapp had been sacked, and Modric and King were no longer Spurs players.
A dramatic dip in form in the second half of the season, coupled with Chelsea’s most unlikely of Champions League wins, saw Spurs fail to qualify for Europe’s premier tournament, and the summer became one of transition as a result. Rafael van der Vaart also left the club, and the club were faced with replacing a manager that had led them to two fourth place finishes in three years, and three of their most influential players.
The fact that Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League at the end of 2012 is testament to the fine work done in the summer. Andre Villas-Boas was installed as manager, and the club made several excellent signings to fill the void left by the departing players. Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris stand out as players who can be fixtures in the side for many years to come, and more importantly they fit the ethos of the club as one that is looking to the future.
Spurs opened their new training centre at the end of the summer, and plans for the new stadium are progressing nicely. The club is being set up to compete at the highest level for years to come both on and off the pitch, with the team chock full of young, talented players who are responding well to one of the most exciting managers in Europe.
Andre Villas-Boas faced a ridiculous amount of doubt and hostility at the start of the season after his unsuccessful spell at Chelsea. The Portuguese manager is a polar opposite to his predecessor at White Hart Lane, and it’s clear which style of manager the press prefers.
Villas-Boas did not do well at Chelsea, but he is a natural fit for where Spurs are now, and could turn out to be an inspired choice for the next few years at the club, where on the pitch success will have to be achieved alongside off the field expansion.
All in all, considering how bad things looked at the end of last season, Spurs fans could not have asked for much more from their club this time around, we even won at Old Trafford.