Last year, Tottenham Hotspur was fighting to reach the third tier of Europe as the bottom was falling out of their season; oh, what a difference a year makes for Spurs.
As Tottenham Hotspur enters the final match week of the season, as fans, we should be incredibly thankful Spurs did not give us a repeat of last season. Last year, Spurs were working on holding off Everton and Arsenal to grab a treasured seat at the Europa Conference League qualifying table. The fact Spurs are fighting for a seat at the Champions League table on Sunday at Norwich is just one of the many differences in the club a year on from what became a disaster.
Tottenham was rudderless just one year ago.
Going into the end of last season, Tottenham no longer had a permanent coach – Jose Mourinho was sacked days before the Carabao Cup final – and looked like they would be losing their most prized asset, Harry Kane. The bittersweet success of qualifying for European qualifying soon faded as Tottenham went through one of the worst coaching searches in modern football history.
Along the way, Daniel Levy made at least one wise decision to hire Fabio Paratici as Spurs’ new director of football. At the same time, Paratici’s decision to hire Nuno Espirito Santo smelled of Steve Hitchen and Levy’s prior hierarchy.
As the summer dragged on, so did the Kane saga, but the giant transfer big never materialized, but Kane’s head was turned so hard it took him half a season to recover. That recovery was aided by sacking Nuno and hiring Antonio Conte, the coach many of us coveted.
So a year ago, Spurs had no coach, no director of football, were about to lose Kane, oh and had just entered and reneged on the European Super League. Just thinking about the trainwreck that was Tottenham a year ago hurts.
Fortunately, Spurs are not in the same place as last year.
Instead of fighting for Conference League qualifying, Spurs need to draw or better against the worst team in the league to love back into the Champions League. Conte is Spurs coach, and no matter what people may say, that is true until he says otherwise, and fans should be behind him.
Assuming some investment comes along with the Champions League, Conte wants to win where Mourinho could not. Or maybe it was just not allowed, but that is a different discussion altogether.
Regardless, Conte is the coach, which is a good thing for Tottenham.
As for Harry Kane, despite a down season statistically, he is re-energized and re-engaged with Tottenham. Manchester City has already signed Erling Haaland, so it is improbable that Kane is going anywhere.
It has not been an easy year for the club nor its fans, but through it all, with a big finish on Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur can emerge as a stronger club and community than one year ago.