As the 2018-2019 English Premier League season ended, Tottenham Hotspur became the sexy team to follow. After all, they had just moved from White Hart Lane (built in 1899) into a state-of-the-art facility in North London at a cost well in excess of $1 billion. Spurs reached the finals of the Champions League last season and earned a return to CL football with a top-four EPL finish. While management were reluctant to tap the transfer window for new players, their sought-after manager Mauricio Pochettino had managed to make the most of his squad’s talent. Led by striker and England captain Harry Kane, Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen and goalkeeper/team captain Hugo Lloris, there appeared to be plenty of talent in key positions for Spurs to make them a formidable opponent on any given day.
The current season, however, has seen the wheels begin to go off the bus. Rumors abound regarding the Argentine manager leaving Spurs after almost six years with the club for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and just about anywhere there’s a potential vacancy in a top-flight club. Their central defenders, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, are both over 30 years old and past their prime. Midfielder Christian Eriksen is in the final year off his contract and has made no secret of his desire to see out his time in North London and sign with another club after the season ends. With striker Harry Kane shouldering the heavy load of goal-scoring, the agent of the other forward, Heung-min Son, has alluded to his client’s potential move to Serie A side Napoli.
The past ten days have seen Spurs take a nosedive on the pitch. On September 24th, they lost to League Two minnows Colchester, crashing out of Carabao Cup competition in only the third round of play. In their mid-week CL matchup against Bayern Munich, they were soundly beaten at home by the lopsided score of 7-2, after their prior CL match this season saw the Lilywhites manage only a 1-1 draw against a weaker Greek Olympiakos side. Spurs then faced bottom-half EPL team Brighton and Hove today with the tenacity of a lamb. Losing to the Seagulls 3-0, they also lost team captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris early in the match and for the next two months with a dislocated elbow.
The next week is a break for international play in Europe, and it could not come soon enough for Spurs. While the consensus is that the players themselves shoulder most of the blame for the poor run of play, it is usually the manager and his staff that pay the ultimate price for the team’s overall failures. From all accounts, it appears that Mauricio Pochettino has done the unthinkable-replace Manchester United’s head man Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the next manager to lose his job. Even stranger is the name of the man who would take the helm in North London, at least temporarily: Arsene Wenger.