It's been a summer of low key yet functional squad signings without us truly improving key areas of the first team. We're all sat around wondering if there will be any top drawer arrivals, specifically ones that have the stamp of Mauricio Pochettino to aid his task before the transfer window shuts.
Last summer was a fluke of financial luck. Or rather our business model, you know, the one where the chairman and sporting director (with influence from kit sponsors) sign players that fit into an ethos and not key instrumental players that the coach has specifically requested for his own philosophy. The same model that seems to forget about the TV revenue money whilst we scramble around bidding by the penny and losing out to target about a couple of hundred thousand pounds. We only spent because of Gareth's world record move to Real Madrid. Hardly a shocking revelation and one befitting our usual activity in the transfer market.
Pochettino has had to accept the reality to work with the expensively assembled misfiring squad. Much like any new coach the squad is inherited and it can take time to influence change. So naturally he has to fix-up the players he has. His success will either validate or destroy Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini's speculative madness from last year. I'm not suggesting there is no clear understanding between the three of them. But I can guess that if something goes wrong the one to be sacrificed is the one that will be the easiest to replace.
With this in mind, it should cement patience and understanding for Pochettino to muster up some ilk of majesty and we can help him buy signing players above our policy to invest in youth.
Do we have to sell to buy? Probably, like we always do. Levy brings balance to the books like a Jedi knight along with another mind trick or two.
'This is not the marquee signing you're looking for. We don't need a marquee signing'
I've preached about time and its allowance. I don't expect to see a cohesiveness unit for several games. This isn't the best realisation considering we face Liverpool and them lot down the road soon. The momentum and belief we had and lost (beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Lane under Andre Villas-Boas) has been vanquished, but can be re-claimed. The continued state of flux within the Premier League will continue but at some point, the gap we've done so well in closing will re-open.
We have to retain competitiveness. Look at rival clubs. They are strengthening their squads whilst we appear to dither. Make no mistake, this is - yet again - all our own doing. I don't know if we always hire the wrong person to manage the team or if the internal culture and infrastructure is unsupportive. Whatever it is, whatever causes the implosion - we're never able to contain it or avoid it. Pochettino is tasked with cleaning up the mess left behind.
This isn't a knee-jerk. I'm not damning the club or Levy. I'm just re-stating a fact of life we all know too well. If...*if* we make a couple of last minute signings that give Pochettino his stamp of identity and adds defining depth to our squad - then this will add a spark to the beginnings of his tenure. If nothing happens, don't allow ugly and pessimistic thoughts to fester too deep in our conciousness because that's all it will take for self-doubt to infect everyone at the club once more and force yet another reboot.
We might have reason for the pessimism but I'll be damned if I will allow custodians of my club dictate my emotions whole.