It’s an absolute joy to watch this Tottenham side. They possess incredible technical ability, press the ball when they can and understand when to drop into shape.
They’re superbly drilled by a master tactician and are genuinely one of the best sides the Premier League has seen in a decade. It’s a shame they could be forgotten about outside of north London in ten more years.
They say good things come in threes. Ljungberg, Pires, Henry; Sturridge, Sterling, Suarez; Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero; Sutton, Shearer and Jack Walker’s bank balance. United even had four in Cole, Yorke, Shermingham and Solksjaer.
This Spurs team has Alli, Eriksen and Kane – but they’ve absolutely nothing to show for it.
That’s the real test of a ‘great’ side. A lot of clubs are great to watch. Bournemouth are great to watch. If you’re somewhat perverse, Stoke are great to watch. It’s subjective. What are defined, however, are honours.
It’s one part shortcomings and about nine parts bad luck. Alli’s only 21, Kane’s only 24 and Christian Eriksen just turned 26. None of them have even reached their supposed peak yet, and none of them are likely to do so in Tottenham shirts, either.
There’s only so much joy you can get from being infinitely better than Arsenal – but even the appalling standards of The Gunners have taken away from that fan-fuelled fantasy somewhat.
This height of this squad’s performance would probably come in the next three years, which would probably be enough to win at least one Premier League title in normal circumstances.
However, Pep Guardiola’s annoyingly-perfect quick-passing superhumans appear to have a stranglehold on that trophy for the foreseeable.
Even if Pep did go, it’s likely that at least one, if not all of the Spurs difference-makers would depart should they not be landing trophies. Going out to Juventus this year may have hurt any ambition they had about turning heads on the biggest stage, and all three players figure to have big World Cups in the summer – under the ever-watchful eyes of Europe’s elite.
Arsenal have already fallen into the habit of signing slightly above average footballers. If Spurs lose Eriksen, Kane and Alli, then they must replace them, otherwise that new stadium will be hosting the same endless frustration that’s now trademarked by their north London rivals.
This Spurs team has the perfect blend of experience and youth; enthusiasm and raw talent – and defensive awareness and attacking flair.
If the squad is kept together to run its natural course of growth and progression, it would be a brilliant example of how players improve with familiarity.
As it currently stands, Spurs may be in that deadzone between being very successful, but not successful enough to hold onto what would likely land them consistent glory. Could the temptation of stamping a legacy in a new stadium be the factor that keeps the players around? Potentially.
However, as Melisandre from Game of Thrones once said – ‘the summer is long and full of foreign investment’. Or something like that, anyway.