Sudden under the depression and defiance in the aftermath of the defeat in the Champions League final was a feeling that this Tottenham side may have reached the end of a natural cycle.
It has been an epic journey together. They will never forget those escapist acts in the group stage, that equalizer in Barcelona, the nerve-racking tension of VAR-assisted victory in Manchester City, or the emotional high in Amsterdam.
They fell short in Madrid, but when Harry Kane got on the bus with earplugs in and his eyes fixed on the floor, and Moussa Sissoko lifted his hood and avoided eye contact, there were already important questions …
Tottenham & # 39; s Champions League final defeat seemed the end of a natural cycle
Pochettino after a new challenge?
Certainly, this is the end of Project Poch 1. Even the man himself says it's time for a & # 39; new chapter & # 39 ;, time to think & # 39; like a big club & # 39 ;, with a beautiful new stadium that matches their status as Champions League finalists.
More cryptic remarks about Mauricio Pochettino & # 39; s own future as a Tottenham manager, however, only raised doubts about whether there will be Project Poch 2. Does he long for another challenge, as he hinted for the semi-final of the Champions League? Or was that effective to put pressure on chairman Daniel Levy?
After the Madrid match, Pochettino said it was a time to & # 39; proud & # 39; and & # 39; positive & # 39; but & # 39; not a moment to talk & # 39; about his own situation. All questions to the players about their manager were stopped by the club's press officers.
There are doubts about whether Mauricio Pochettino plans to stay much longer
If there is no problem – and sources that are close to Spurs do not expect him to stop four years after his contract – then for whatever reason, artificial creation has been created.
The past season ended with similar sounds from the manager about the need to be & # 39; brave & # 39; and & # 39; take risk & # 39; s & # 39; s in the search for & # 39; the greatest trophies & # 39 ;.
In fact, nothing has changed: they have signed no one, saved everyone and produced a successful season. The prevailing feeling in the camp is that they cannot afford to repeat this policy. There is money to spend and the team needs energy, but it is a balancing act.
On the way
Christian Eriksen was the creative heartbeat of this team for so long, but his form has faded, only one year remains on his contract and his mind is set to leave. He does not intend to discuss a new deal, wants to play in Spain and Real Madrid will work for him. Levy has announced that negotiations are starting in the north of £ 100 million.
Toby Alderweireld, also a year after the end of his contract, has a clause that entitles him to leave for just £ 25 million. Manchester United has been interested for a long time and such a move would be lucrative. But trading White Hart Lane for Old Trafford is to trade for the Europa League. There is a suspicion that Alderweireld is planning to leave for free at the end of his contract.
Of the others, Fernando Llorente and Michel Vorm are not contractual, and Jan Vertonghen has signed another year, but there is a feeling of a natural break and a need to reinvest.
Spurs tries to dismiss Victor Wanyama, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Vincent Janssen (again), and will offer quotes for the first choice with full backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier.
Christian Eriksen watches what was probably his last game for Tottenham
After 18 months without signing sessions, the Tottenham team needs the tonic of new faces and the top priority is two new midfielders, with the club exhausted by Mousa Dembele & # 39; s exit in January, Wanyama & # 39; s unreliability and Eric Dier & # 39 ; s problems with injury and illness.
Tanguy Ndombele is the main target of the club and they are committed to working hard for this transfer, but the French international will not be cheap. Lyon wants more than £ 80 million, double record record from Tottenham.
Other clubs are also interested and that is rarely good for Spurs, who are thought to have a transfer kit of around £ 50 million, plus whatever they can get out of sale.
Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is the club's main target during the summer period
Real Betis is preparing to raise money for Giovani Lo Celson, who signed them for £ 20m from PSG
They are already working with Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who has a buy-out clause of £ 88 million, and Real Betis is preparing for the player they signed for £ 20 million with PSG in January. Summer offers for full backs Ryan Sessegnon, from Fulham and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, from Crystal Palace are also planned. A lack of & # 39; own players & # 39; left Spurs short in their UEFA team this season.
They will need inventions if they lose Eriksen, and will love Nicolo Zaniolo, from Roma, and Donny van de Beek, from Ajax. The model remains focused on young prospects with years ahead and potential resale value.
Wilfried Zaha, looking for a move from Palace, will probably cost too much, and the hope to sign Jack Grealish disappeared last summer with the promotion of Aston Villa. There is no interest in Andre Gomes, who was loaned to Everton from Barcelona last season, despite the continuing ties.
Summer offers for full backs Ryan Sessegnon, from Fulham (photo) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Tottenham has a lot of talent in the building and will hope that players return to shape after a summer vacation. No team was reduced by the efforts of the World Cup and it took its toll on the thinnest team of the big six clubs in the Premier League.
English stars Kane, Trippier, Dele Alli and Dier have suffered all injuries since they played in Russia. Hugo Lloris has been unusually erratic. She and others must let body and mind rest, but they will come back. & # 39; We have a great team & # 39 ;, Vertonghen said after the final. & # 39; Hopefully everyone can stay together and we can achieve great things.
& # 39; We can take confidence this season. We did very well, it was very exciting, it was great to experience this, but we did not come here as tourists. We wanted to win and we failed. Today we live with disappointment and we will see what happens in the summer. & # 39;
The will of midfielder Dele Alli will benefit enormously from having a full summer to rest
Building a defeat
Liverpool did it. Liverpool returned 12 months ago from disappointment in Kiev to produce a fantastic season in the biggest games and win back the European title. It was done with heavy recruitment, because Pochettino never indicates slow.
Keeper Alisson Becker (£ 65m) was in the lead in the final. Virgil van Dijk (£ 75 million) has undoubtedly been the world's best half in the middle since rising to the Anfield challenge. Fabinho (£ 43m) and Naby Keita (£ 53m) strengthen Liverpool's midfield.
If the recruitment policy is healthy, such huge amounts can still deliver good value and Pochettino feels that Spurs must compete in this market to be able to continue. But deep down there is the feeling that they are not going loose.
Harry Kane passes the Champions League trophy after Saturday's defeat
& # 39; It is difficult to compare both projects, & # 39; said Captain Lloris when asked about the example of Liverpool. & # 39; There is a club that is out to win every league they play in, and that's not the case with Tottenham.
& # 39; We work and try to stick to the philosophy of the board, the manager and the club. We want to improve every season and we've shown improvements year after year, so we can't throw everything in the trash after the last defeat of a Champions League.
& # 39; It has been a big step for the club and the only thing we can do is come back stronger next season. & # 39;
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