Reflecting on a successful season for Tottenham, which could have turned out even better.
Earlier this week on HITC Sport we asked if Tottenham's failure to finish in first place, or even second, was down to chairman Daniel Levy's lack of willingness to spend on an extra striker, either last summer or in January.
Statistically Tottenham were almost a class apart. They conceded the joint fewest goals (35) in the Premier League, level with Manchester United, and one less than champions Leicester. They would have had the best record outright had it not been for their nightmare final game, a 5-1 loss to relegated Newcastle.
In attack Tottenham actually scored the second highest number of goals, 69, one more than Leicester, and two below the prolific Manchester City, and their goal difference was the best in the league at +34.
On the face of it then an extra striker may be greedy, but Spurs were over reliant on Harry Kane last season, who scored 25 alone, and the counter argument is that Levy gambled by leaving them thin up top.
Teenage midfielder Dele Alli was the only player to join Kane in reaching double figures in the Premier League, scoring 10, and with a supersub type player, perhaps the like of a Chicharito, could have made a major difference, and added extra points to their tally by turning close games.
Supporters had split views on whether an extra striker would have made a difference; some of the responses to our article can be read below...
"Paul": Sorry but the measly haul of goals from our so called back up strikers totally convinces me Levy muffed up. And it's not about the money ..as Leicester have shown .. it's about Levy's stubborn approach to the January window which has cost us more than once!
Mark": Through pure luck he was right this past season, however, it's not a gamble we should repeat and a true backup Striker needs to be signed before preseason starts. Spurs were one bad injury to Harry Kane away from disaster, he survived, Spurs thrived...but we can't just put our heads in the sand like ostriches and hope that luck will hold again.
Think our other major need is a real backup for Dembele, I'd say his presence is just as vital as Kane's and the results with versus without him have born that out. Mason, etc are a major step down and we have to improve the quality of his back up if we're to maintain or improve next season.
Quality backups for Dier, Eriksen (for his predictable lulls) and a CB in that order would round out a perfect summer...maybe with a young backup to apprentice behind LLoris for the long term.
"Surespur": I don't think the lack of a 2nd striker hurt us that much in the end; and I don't think Kane ran out of steam. He's 22 and playing one game per week. no sour grapes here, but there were a lot of other factors running against us at towards the end of the season - Too many Monday night games; the Leicester City love-in (although fair play to them!); the unprofessional talk from the Cheatski camp and the intensity of that game.
I think the lads just lost their way in those last few games and stopped believing they could win it. Losing Dembele and Alli certainly did hurt us though. There was just not enough quality to back up the spine of the team. Additions in those positions is a must this summer, as well as a Striker.
I don't think it would be fair to expect Kane to lead the line alone again for another full season, following a major championship this summer. Come on Levy, get it done! COYS!
"Rospur": Ridiculous not to have any back up both up front and defensive mid, surely more important than another attacking mid like Njie. Massive risk that backfired ultimately. Kane,Dier and Toby all running on empty at the end. Wouldn't have hurt to have say Ricky Lambert and Cambiasso on the bench to ease the load.
Split opinion, but united heading into 2016/17
While views are split on whether not having an alternative to Harry Kane was costly for Spurs, there is a united view emerging heading into next season:
Tottenham cannot afford to be so over reliant on Kane next season, and must use this summer to strengthen and add to their options in attack.
The rest of the Premier League will be using the television money on offer to get stronger, and while there are other areas of the squad which also need attention, another striker should be viewed as a priority.
Spurs are keen to make an impact both domestically and in the Champions League, and extra quality will be needed to accomplish that mission.