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Five predictions for Tottenham Hotspur in 2016/17

Friday 12th August 2016
While the other "big clubs" have spent vast amounts of money on several players, Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham remains largely unchanged from the end of last season.
Poch has only made two additions to his playing squad in the form of midfielder Victor Wanyama and Dutch striker Vincent Janssen. So far there have been no major outgoings (only that of Alex Pritchard to Norwich and Federico Fazio on loan once again). This means, for the first time in a long time, Tottenham go into a season settled and stable following a decent campaign previously, which saw the lilywhites finish 3rd. Their highest in the Premier League since it came into existence.

As a fan of the club, I wanted to make five predictions for the 2016/17 season. This season is the last one for White Hart Lane and marks the club's return to the Champions League following a fairytale run that was only ended by Real Madrid in the Quarter-Finals.

Title Challengers



Yes, that is right. I expect Tottenham to challenge for the title once again. This, despite the changes at both Manchester clubs and Chelsea. Pochettino's side is a balanced one. One where every player knows his role and does it well.

With it being the Argentine's third season in charge, along with the second one with his preferred squad of players, means there can only be improvements realistically. People may forget that this is the youngest squad on average in the Premier League. Michel Vorm is the only player on the books above 30. They are one of the fittest in the league, and one that can beat any on their day. It's easy to forget the club only lost SIX games out of 38 last season, and in only two of them did they deserve to be beaten. They'll run the other sides close, right until the end where they will finish 3rd for the second season running.

Magical Nights At Wembley in the Champions League



With it being the final season at the Lane, Tottenham have agreed to play their European fixtures at the national stadium for this coming season. Expect a full capacity crowd, myself included, singing ‘When the Spurs Go Marching In' and roaring the team to victory over a pot 1 side on the Wembley turf. It's going to be quite a sight. They should get through the group, which will see at least one more at Wembley before season's end.

Player of the Year



It was the Belgian Toby Alderweireld who won the club's player of the year in his debut season, but I don't think it will be him again this time. After watching his improvements on the pitch over the past year, I fully expect Erik Lamela to win the award. Having initially struggled since he signed from Roma with the ‘Gareth Bale' money, the midfielder worked hard and was seen as the catalyst for Pochettino's pressing game on the pitch. He may pick up several bookings, but that just shows his commitment to putting in 100% is there every week.

Young Player of the Year



Considering the Tottenham squad is a young one in general, this is a tough one to predict. Several ‘young' players are making their names heard at the club and it could be any one of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, or someone else entirely. I reckon it'll be Eric Dier, personally. The former Sporting Lisbon graduate surprised many with his quick adjustment to the defensive midfield holding role and became an instant starter every week for Pochettino. If he is missing, then that bite in midfield goes missing from Tottenham's game. This is probably why Wanyama was signed to add to that steel in the middle and give Dier a break. But, I expect Dier to continue his rise and will one day be Tottenham skipper. A view held by many supporters.

More Youth



Having watched pre-season matches and knowing Pochettino likes to give youth a chance when he feels they're ready, I feel there's a few unknowns who will surprise neutrals during the next nine months. Several were used in Australia and a few were used once again in Norway in the 6-1 victory over Inter Milan. Josh Onomah, Harry Winks, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kyle-Walker Peters, Shayon Harrison and Marcus Edwards were the stand-outs in my eyes. Expect a few of those to be used a lot more, and one or two will grab their chance with both hands. Look out for Winks in particular. Although he has big competition ahead of him, he will be a more than useful member of the squad. Edwards had a few decent cameos in those pre-season games, he looks to have such tight control that very few have. He'll be some player in years to come for sure. Carter-Vickers will be fourth choice centre-half should there be an injury crisis in that position. Don't expect to see him starting in the league for a while with Alderweireld and Vertonghen ahead of him.

Conclusion



Tottenham will finish 3rd in the league and reach the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, in what should be another year of improvement from a young squad and manager.
Alex Easley

Total articles: 2

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