Tottenham seem to be in a state of permanent stillness.
Granted last season the club from north London went from sixth place in the previous campaign to fifth place last season in the table, nothing to call a press conference about though.
It must be a frustrating state of affairs for the Spurs fans.
The season before Gareth Bale left for the Spanish sun of Madrid, Spurs really did look ready to challenge at the top of the Premier League.
Unfortunately like your average Joe punching above his weight with a beauty, Spurs just could not keep hold of Bale and he left for the promise of silverware in Madrid. It seems when the Welshman left for that world-record transfer fee, so did the clubs hopes of breaking into the top four.
It would be unfair to blame the club for allowing Bale to leave, as they did their best to keep the Wales international and Bale could not turn down the chance of playing for one of big clubs of world football.
The problem with Spurs is that they tend to be inconsistent. One minute they are on fire and the next they struggle against inferior opposition, often at White Hart Lane ironically.
If they could find consistency then the club from north London would once again be challenging for the top four places, but frustratingly for the White Hart Lane faithful inconsistency seems to now be a bad habit at Spurs.
Last season they finished the campaign just six points behind fourth-place United, but inconsistency cost them the chance of a top-four place.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Tottenham from Southampton last summer. He inherited a group of players that were almost bought in a job lot with the Bale money. Most of the players had failed to impress in the previous campaign and the Argentine did his best to attempt to get them into a team.
One of those players £17million Brazilian international Paulinho left for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande this week in a deal worth around £10million. The midfielder arrived in north London with a big reputation and a big price tag.
Neither was ever really justified and much the same can be said about a lot of the other players who arrived in the summer of 2013. The likes of Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue and most of all Erik Lamela were similar stories.
Soldado’s misfortune in front of goal became a running joke, while Lamela showed flashes of his ability last season. Capoue made 11 Premier League starts last season for Spurs and reports suggest the 26-year-old could be set for a cut-price move to top-flight newcomers Watford.
It seems slowly, but surely Pochettino is getting rid of the underperformers and overrated at the Lane. The Argentinian clearly knows who he still wants at the club and who he does not.
He has not received the same financial backing as some of the previous regimes, as Spurs attempt to build a team that challenge for the top four on a smaller budget than in previous campaigns. The Gareth Bale money was not well spent and the team is now paying for it.
I have always stated that I believed that Mauricio Pochettino can get it right at Tottenham given some time. He has a clear football philosophy that he implemented at Southampton and has tried to implement at Tottenham so far in his short career in north London.
The signing of Austrian defender Kevin Wimmer for £5million from FC Koln and the arrival of full-back Kieran Trippier from Burnley for around £3.5million are modest signings by Premier League standards.
Neither signing is likely to be considered by Spurs fans as a star buy, but both players have potential and are young enough to improve. Most importantly these players have been signed by Pochettino.
The signing of MK Dons youngster Dele Alli could also be an interesting one, as he is considered one of the brightest young midfielders in the English game.
Unfortunately for Tottenham they are in a catch-22 situation. They do not want to waste money like they did in the summer of 2013, but they want to sign enough quality to compete for a place in the top four next season.
Until Tottenham can be regularly challenging for the top four places rumours about their best players leaving will persist. England striker Harry Kane and ‘keeper Hugo Lloris have both been linked with moves away from White Hart Lane this summer.
Nothing that has happened this summer suggests that Spurs will break into the top four next season. The top four of last season Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are the favourites to once again clinch Champions League spots.
Tottenham are among the outsiders with the likes of Liverpool, Southampton and probably Everton to clinch a top four spot next season.
Unfortunately Tottenham are still paying for the actions of the summer of 2013 and unless they invest wisely then they will continue to struggle to break into the top four.
Can Tottenham move forward next season?
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