Reminiscing on 2017, Tottenham will feel pretty satisfied about an accomplished calendar year of football, but, unless you’re Hugh Jackman in the Greatest Showman, there’s always room for improvement.
Here are Tottenham’s top five New Year’s resolutions for 2018:
5. Improve their record away from Wembley
Spurs, before manhandling Burnley at Turf Moor before Christmas, hadn’t won away from home in almost three months. Before Harry Kane put on another monstrous hat-trick performance vs. Burnley, Spurs hadn’t won since beating Huddersfield 4-0 on Sept. 30.
This one is a bit of a juxtaposition, as Tottenham were firing on all cylinders away from home until travelling to Old Trafford on Oct. 28, where they lost by the narrowest of margins.
4. Drop fewer points to inferior opponents
Tottenham have made a habit of making life particularly difficult for themselves against teams where three points should be guaranteed. Granted, there are no easy matches in the Premier League. But Spurs are an elite team and must, if they are to win the Premier League in the next few seasons, dispatch inferior teams without fail.
Spurs drew Burnley 1-1 at Wembley earlier in the season, thanks to a dreadful Kieran Trippier miscalculation. Two weeks later Spurs were shutout at home against Swansea, probably the top flight’s favoured team to make the drop at season’s end. On Nov. 25, dropped points at home against a manager-less West Brom side cost Spurs dearly in the standings.
The Lilywhites then endured another miserable afternoon in Watford thanks to a Davinson Sanchez red card. Tottenham were up against it for the entire second half, showing strong resilience to take a share of the spoils. Spurs have bundles of trouble scoring early and putting matches to bed against teams known for their defensive resilience. That must change in 2018.
3. A clean bill of health
Anyone who knows anything about Spurs understands how good Pochettino’s squad is. However, injuries to key players have severely hampered Tottenahm’s chances of winning the Premier League, most notably to Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama. While other injuries – Erik Lamela, Harry Winks, Harry Kane (ever so briefly), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose – haven’t helped matters, it’s the absence of Wanyama and Alderweireld that have proven most devastating.
2. Man City to be hit with the bubonic plague
Begrudgingly, we’ve all come to the conclusion that Manchester City is going to win the Premier League this season. Unless they’re hit with the bubonic plague, that is. I’m not proud of wishing ill will on others, but drastic times call for drastic measures.
City will probably be 16 points adrift at the turn of the New Year, basically crushing every other team’s title aspirations. A caveat, however, asks that they’re quarantined quickly enough to make sure the disease doesn’t spread.
1. Support for Harry Kane
We’re all thinking it; we’ve all been saying it and we all know it’s something Spurs desperately need to connect the last piece of the puzzle. Harry Kane needs a partner to lessen his ever-growing goal-scoring burden.
Daniel Levy needs to open his clamped wallet, allowing Pochettino free rein to procure suitable cover for Kane. A necessary and long overdue requirement, obtaining a strong secondary striker will go a long way in making all Spurs fans have a fruitful, happy and stress-free 2018.
(This piece originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Feature image by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)