There is something oddly different about the start of this Premier League season, it’s not Fergie’s absence or watching Carragher archaically struggle with a touch screen but is the way in which Spurs are being identified. For as long as i can remember the club has been wrapped in a stigma, a close but not quite close enough air about the club that permeated through to the media, fans and players alike, this seems to be no longer the case.
The expectations of most not involved with the club is at least a top 4 finish if not a serious title challenge, and having spent £100m+ in the summer you can see why. These expectations are there for a reason however and without a push many would still see Spurs as the fragile outfit that has been replaced, for this we have the media to thank, their depiction of this current team is overwhelmingly positive and even when hitting a hurdle (like on Sunday) there is no capitulation of this neo-Tottenahm they have framed, it seems as though they are sticking by for now.
In the grander scheme this is very important for the club, it is gaining an identity of its own as one of Europe’s top clubs and a world class team. In order to break into the top 4 / take away some of that Champions League money it is of course important to have a strong side, what is more important is having a club that has existing influence and favour in the wider world surrounding the game. Many teams make it to the big time whether that is the Premier League or the Champions League and a decade later is is all but forgotten, to stay there, stay current and stay profitable existing relations must be in place, and luckily for Spurs it seems as though after the best part of 5 years people in power are beginning to see that the club are going to kick the door down if not invited in and have started to take the chain off.
It can be called convenient but look at the major press and their reporting on the club since Sunday, it is not lamenting AVB and his team for loosing a London derby 3-0 at home but seems more interested in the trickle of quotes the Mail have released from ‘Arry’s’ new book. Three years ago this would not be the case, an ex managers autobiography overshadowing a derby defeat but in this new world where the club are one of the ‘elite’ they go a bit easier.
Some of this may sound negative on my part but truly is is not meant to, i see this as a very important part of the puzzle if we are to one day challenge for major honours, we need to be given the same respect United or Chelsea are given by the mainstream press as we all know their power and influence.
The reasons behind this are complex and numerous but to just scratch the surface a series of explanations are apparent, firstly is is purely good business, Levy knows this world and being something of a veteran now to pull some strings and cash in some favours would not be unheard of. The transfer of Bale has allowed the club to invest in several young, exciting players that have undoubtably strengthened the entire squad, you need to be able to do the business on the field and this gives the manager a much better chance of succeeding than with a single mercurial talent. Elsewhere clever partnerships and forward thinking has increased the clubs international influence, links with the US are strong after a number of clever signings and partnerships (Under Armour) and in todays homogenised world having sway throughout it helps new and existing power models come to fruition even in the world of Premier League football.