I'm comfortable with the summer thus far. The heat might be reaching record breaking highs but no such heroics from Spurs, defaulting within the constraints of our usual transfer policy; selling to buy. That's selling the deadwood rather than the prized possession. It might appear to be underwhelming when compared to what we've been treated to in the past but you only need to look back to know that the marquee player is usually just an illusion of hope. Although few will argue against the likes of a Modric or Berbatov arriving (the caveat here is that some some doubted their impact as they were not considered top tier on arrival). There's always a mixture of hype and uncertainty, the later is for those that spend plenty of time looking back and using it as the template for anything that is about to happen. The hype is for those that can't quite control the desire for that vibrant uplift we haven't had since Harry Redknapp's peak.
These summer months are shaping up to be a functional window. Selling players (failures) and signing ones that so far appear to be Pochettino choices. Toby Alderweireld is the next man in line to arrive at the Lane (at time of writing, Southampton fans are screaming obscenities and no one can work out which club is being played) and join the Belgium contingent. I've seen some complain about how our targets are not comparable to the sides above us. Maybe that's why we're below them. It's all perception again and the only prevalent commodity is end product (from the players and the coach).
We had (at least I did) the relatively common excuse that last season was transitional in that Poch had an inherited side and had to work to elevate the standing of certain players (i.e. Danny Rose) whilst some of last seasons signings struggled to fit in (Ben Davies). The flops that came in post-Bale saga couldn't be sold off immediately and had another season to bed in. Some just about managed that, whilst others did nothing to suggest they'd make a success of it at Spurs.
As supporters we always retain a certain degree of criticism for how the transfer policy works full motion. Who has the final say, who commands the most influence. Under Redknapp I've often citied the fact that Harry wasn't a multi-layered football manager that retained ruthless quick thinking astuteness to change games when games were not swaggering in our direction. Tiredness might have played a part. The bolstering of the squad looked to be strained most of the time. We might lambaste the players he got but was this because of financial reasons? Did he want players Levy didn't? Did Levy sign players Harry didn't particularly rate (Pienaar for example)?
Maybe Paul Mitchell will only focus on youth but unlike the scattergun approach of the Bale summer, this time round the gaps will be cemented with concrete rather than play-doh. The signings that might require a little more weight in terms of quality are for the DM position and the forward role/foil for Harry Kane. If the player and the club believe he can perform us well next season as he did last then he's going to need support. We're going to need choices up front. We need depth and we need to be able to rotate with strength and flair if we aim to compete convincingly in more than a single competition. We've yet to sign a player that stands out as a certain first choice. Then again maybe that's the logic at play; the team > individuals. I don't quite believe that myself. You still need an ego in there that can back it up with extra special goals/assists/leadership. A catalyst. Some of those clubs above us have more than one. We have to (again) go back to the Redknapp era to refer to having a few in our ranks.
The problems and challenges we face never change. Our personnel does, way too often. The transitional season is dead. We now have to discover a sense of balance and add purpose to it. I won't be spitting foam or losing my rag. Levy, the maligned, exists within the ENIC bubble that won't burst until we move into the new stadium. That transfer policy, as refined as it is when referencing our accountancy, looks good on paper but will hold us back from attracting those upper tier players that under any other circumstance would be tangible targets. But alas they prefer to take that high wage and either sit on the bench or go out on loan.
Hence the state of comfort I find myself in. Been here before. No point in anger or over excitement. I'll reserve judgement and expectation until pre-season is done and our summer dealing are completed. I'm such a maverick.