Tottenham supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern during the international break after seeing their side pick up two massive victories prior to the fortnight’s interruption, one of which moved them level on points with Manchester United in the Premier League, and the other booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men may well have lost 1-0 to the Red Devils a fortnight ago but they hit back admirably with a stunning 3-1 win over European champions Real Madrid in the Champions League, three points which secured their passage through to the knockout stages of the competition. And they then made it two wins in five days with an equally-important 1-0 success over Crystal Palace at Wembley, with Son Heung-min’s wonderful second half strike enough to move them level on points with second place United in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many happy Spurs supporters in the Tavern this week toasting their team’s recent success, and many are already eagerly anticipating the North London derby at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday such has been their side’s decent run of form.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Tottenham fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least a recent report from Don Balon which suggests that Barcelona star Lionel Messi wants Spurs’ Dele Alli at the Nou Camp.
21-year-old Alli moved to Tottenham back in 2015 and has since been an absolute revelation, having scored 39 goals and laid on 25 assists in just 109 games for the club, helping them to back-to-back top three finishes in the Premier League.
And his form has reportedly attracted the attention of Barca’s Messi, in a move which could well signal the beginning of the end for this Spurs team if Alli were to make the move to Spain.
And that’s because the £54 million-rated ace’s (as per Transfermarkt) possible departure could pave the way for others to do likewise – it could potentially be a damning verdict on where Spurs are as a club in comparison to the rest of Europe’s elite.
Ultimately, for all the praise and plaudits Pochettino’s team has received in the last few years or so, they have not won the Premier League title, have not had a run at the Champions League, and remain without a trophy in nine years – their trophy drought is now longer than Arsenal’s infamous wait between 2005 and 2014.
And although there are signs again this term that they will be there or thereabouts, Spurs are already out of the Carabao Cup, and trail Manchester City by eight points in the Premier League – thus, it’s perfectly plausible and perhaps more likely than not that Tottenham will go another season without a trophy.
Add in the fact that Spurs do not pay wages in the same bracket as the heavyweights of European football, and it becomes increasingly tricky, no matter the potential of the squad or manager, to keep one’s best players.
And that’s the predicament Spurs could find themselves in come the end of the campaign. Alli may look at Barcelona as not only an opportunity to develop his career as a player, but to also go and win major honours.
And as soon as one man, someone as crucial and as vital as Alli, abandons ship, many others could indeed follow. Although Kyle Walker left over the summer, Kieran Trippier was a perfect replacement, but take Alli out of the Spurs side and they are immediately much weaker.
Many Spurs players are in-demand; Harry Kane has been linked with Real Madrid, Christian Eriksen Barcelona, Toby Alderweireld Manchester City and Chelsea, Danny Rose Manchester United, the list goes on, and one senses that, even with a vastly stronger squad than in recent years, they are still just one player departure away from problems.
On the field, Spurs could well compete with those sides, but they can’t yet off the field. And that could come back to bite them in the near future.
They don’t pay the top-level wages, and as such will struggle to convince these stars to commit to the club if they do not start competing regularly for major trophies, and indeed go on and win them.
Thus, Alli’s possible departure would surely disrupt this Spurs team, and could well pave the way for others to make the move away from North London – it could well be the beginning of the end.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!