Three years ago, Mauricio Pochettino led Tottenham to their first Champions League final.
Things couldn’t have gone much worse since then.
Spurs are in disarray. They have no manager, their best player wants out and tension among fans in north London is at boiling point.
Ryan Mason has been put in temporary charge and he has gone some way to steadying the ship with three wins out of five matches in the league, but the unrest behind the scenes in N17 is increasingly alarming.
Defeat to Aston Villa on Wednesday led to scuffles in the crowd, which came after hundreds gathered outside the stadium last week to protest the club’s ENIC ownership and Daniel Levy in the wake of their doomed European Super League plans.
Levy penned a letter to fans insisting he wanted to repair the damage caused by the breakaway, only to charge returning fans £60 a pop to watch the defeat to Villa which has all-but ended their hopes of securing Europa League qualification.
One thing Tottenham fans can take pride in as that things are hardly going better for their fiercest rivals Arsenal.
The Gunners have also had a miserable campaign as they languish in ninth position in the top-flight. Like Spurs, they have no trophy to show for the campaign.
The glory days of the late 90s and early 2000s under Arsene Wenger have been clouded by what fans believe is mismanagement from their Kroenke ownership.
In fact, most Gunners fans would bite your hand off to get Wenger back – despite a large chunk of those willing on his exit prior to his departure in 2018.
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Arsenal and Spurs’ fall from grace is accentuated more by the fact the only ‘trophy’ they fight for is who can finish higher.
St Totteringham’s Day – a concept which was jokingly started by Arsenal fans in 2002 to highlight when the Gunners were mathematically assured to finish ahead of Tottenham – has now emerged as an actual competition in lieu of any other spoils.
Whilst Manchester United, City and Chelsea all take part in European finals and Liverpool edge towards the top four, Arsenal and Tottenham fans can only take pleasure in gloating to one another about league position.
Harry Kane himself, in a revealing interview with Gary Neville on Thursday, even admitted he was jealous of watching Premier League clubs get to the latter stages of the Champions League.
“This season I’m watching teams in the Champions League and those are the games I want to be involved in,” he said.
“For sure, they’re games I want to be involved in and I have to reflect and see where I’m at and have a good, honest conversation with the chairman and I hope we can have that conversation.
“I’m sure he’ll set out a plan for how he sees it. Ultimately, it’s down to me and how I feel and what’s best for my career at this moment in time.”
So what is needed for both clubs? Well, Spurs need to find a manager first, but then a huge rebuild is needed for both north London sides.
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara reckons Graham Potter, who has worked wonders with Brighton in two years on the south coast, could be the right man to lead the rebuild as he has the right playing style and a similar profile to Mauricio Pochettino when he took over from Southampton.
“Before I thought we could go for Antonio Conte or Brendan Rodgers, but I think we need to be realistic,” he said last week.
“I think we’re pretending to be a big club but we’re not, we haven’t won anything.
“We need to go and find someone a bit like Pochettino when he came in and honestly, I’m warming to the idea, the more I watch Brighton play, of Graham Potter coming in.
“I think he’d be good for the club. His philosophy’s great, the way they create chances and the way they play.
“We’re going to have to sell Harry Kane as we have to raise some money to build a new team. The fans and everyone around Tottenham has had enough of this group of players.”
The sale of Kane, who is a target for Manchester United, City and Chelsea, could provide Levy with the tools to rebuild his squad – and O’Hara is all for it.
“I genuinely can’t wait for the season to end for Spurs so they can sort out what they need to do,” he added.
“I would take ten new players, I genuinely would. Harry Kane has to leave because I’m sick of watching that poor man run around for this football side and get nothing back for it.
“I think it’s fair to say that we’ve got a world class striker in Harry Kane and you can’t keep someone like that – we’re talking about a top five striker in the world – when we’re finishing sixth or seventh the league.
“He’s given everything he can and scored a perfectly good which was onside and VAR decided to ruin the game again but in terms of the way we played, I’m so over this season.
“The whole scenario with Mourinho and the cup final, it’s just dull to watch.”
Arsenal, meanwhile, are also getting rid of some of their deadwood.
David Luiz and Willian are on their way out of the club and it is understood the Kroenkes are prepared to spend in the summer as a form of apology for the shambolic European Super League plans.
And Arteta revealed his transfer plans earlier this week on talkSPORT.
“If I have to answer every question about every possible transfer we will be sitting here for hours,” he added.
“What I can say is that we know what we want to do and we have a plan to put that together.
“There are a lot of decisions to make because a lot of players will come back from their loans and then we will see.”
Arsenal and Tottenham fans are counting down the minutes until the season draws to a close, and if the owners don’t buck up their ideas this summer they risk being left even further behind by their rivals.
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