Ahead of the Premier League kicking off, media around the world have been looking at the coming season and getting comments from personalities associated with English football.
For Dutch magazine Voetbal International, that means former Tottenham manager Martin Jol, who has spoken about his admiration for the game in England and how different it is from football in the Netherlands.
The title race is open, and that’s underlined by Chelsea not being favourites to retain their Premier League crown. Tottenham will once again be in a battle to make the top four, and that may be more realistic than a title challenge.
Well placed to give his opinion, Jol inevitably came to talking about Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino. More focus has moved on to Tottenham this week and their lack of transfer spending, and that’s largely, but not entirely, down to Danny Rose voicing his own concerns.
Jol believes it’s showing in Pochettino, and the manager is feeling the increased pressure to perform, coupled with a lack of investment so far this summer.
“Believe me now: Pochettino is a giant,” Jol told Voetbal International. “The pressure will increase this season and my old club will no longer be able to solve it by eliminating teams like AA Gent.
“They will have to survive the group stage of the Champions League. Nevertheless, the policy remains conservative and signings remain modest. Pochettino always agreed, but since last week I see him in the media suddenly calling for reinforcements. The pressure to perform, therefore, he feels. They need a purchase like Hazard to take that last step.”
Tottenham almost certainly won’t be signing Eden Hazard from Chelsea this summer, with there being little reason for Hazard to swap Stamford Bridge for Wembley.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is also frustrated with transfers, and selling Hazard to anyone would increase that, Tottenham is simply unthinkable.
It’s not the only transfer from Chelsea that Jol believes Tottenham could have benefitted from this summer: “I actually thought John Terry would go to Spurs. Experienced player, used to winning and knowing what is needed to become a champion. I think they are now a little narrow with central defenders.”