It's been a decent transitional season for Tottenham. I've often banged on about how tricky it is for Mauricio Pochettino to personify his philosophy when he's having to do the job with a mostly inherited side. One of the biggest tasks was to rejuvenate our battered identity and seek that missing spark to galvanise the long suffering supporters. After the highs of Champions League, expectancy hasn't dropped even if we've done just that to a couple of managers.
We're doing well in the league even with erratic home form. We're in a cup final. Still in Europe. All testament to the hard graft and the fact that Poch and the players are truly redefining our style and spirit. We know about the pressing. Our fitness levels are insanely good. Our composure not to capitulate is almost very non-Tottenhamesque. Our Argentine boss might not have everything he requires to his disposal but the manner in which he's got the best out of players has been a major highlight. You know the cliché, Rome wasn't built in a day. I'd be damned if I'm not going to drop the odd superlative about the foundations. Here's a bundle of three.
He's world class. He's the most obvious 'next target' for any given top European side. I'm not thinking about that inevitability because I'm dreaming about a scenario where he stays. The biggest problem Spurs have had is far too often we've been the bridesmaid and never the bride. We can never consolidate momentum because we lose our very best players simply because it's easier for them to see their ambitions played out at a club that's the finished article. Having Hugo in goal is pivotal to our own ambitions to be that finished article.
You'll get bored of me mentioning Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason and Harry Kane soon. I'll add Eric Dier to that list. Even Danny Rose has impressed. All enthusiastic. All keen to impress. Mason is a Pochettino poster-boy; committed, loyal and under-rated. He's work rate and his willingness to follow instructions is often under-rated. He might not have the glamour or skill that others do but his role in the team is important. Bentaleb is mature beyond his years and Kane has no fear. Poch giving them responsibility and in return we've had admirable performances displaying the influence of the coach and the level of determination from the players.
I still don't believe we've seen the best of Christian Eriksen but what we've had has been superb. He starts out on the left and drifts in. Mousa Dembele's resurgence has seen him slot in behind Kane in a defensive number 10 role. I think this area is the one that still needs defining to get the best out of the options we have. Eriksen is our creative hub. Dembele could offer so much more than he does if he looks to be more adventurous and take risks in the final third.
We have a core. Players playing for each other. But there are several quirks that need fixing.