The Tottenham Hotspur 2022/23 season preview and prediction was originally printed in the Season Preview edition of FourFourTwo. Subscribe today!
‘Spursy’ no longer. Twelve months on from last summer’s disastrous hiring process, Tottenham now have one of the world’s best managers at the helm, held their nerve in the run-in to pip Arsenal to the final Champions League spot, had the Premier League’s joint-top scorer – who wasn’t even Harry Kane – and, at the end of it all, revealed a £150m transfer kitty. It just doesn’t sound like Spurs.
Now the plan is to put all of their eggs in the Antonio Conte basket and construct a side in his well-disciplined image. Armed with one of Europe’s most fearsome attacks – Kane, Golden Boot winner Son Heung- min, Dejan Kulusevski and recent pick-ups Ivan Perisic and Richarlison – plus £25m midfielder Yves Bissouma and defender Clement Lenglet, they should really be targeting a top-three finish.
Tottenham Hotspur 2022/23 season preview and prediction: The lesson from last year
Failure to land your first choice isn’t necessarily a disaster. Yes, the process to replace Jose Mourinho was a study in how not to appoint a new manager, but Spurs got the right man eventually.
And January looked similarly shaky, with director of football Fabio Paratici failing to secure the signatures of Luis Diaz (whose transfer to Liverpool was triggered by Tottenham’s interest) and Wolves’ Adama Traore, before settling on Rodrigo Bentancur and Kulusevski – two players brought to Juventus by Paratici, and available because they had both fallen out of favour in Turin. Yet the pair were among the team’s best performers in the latter half of the season.
Kulusevski – then just 21, joining on an 18-month loan – was especially vital in securing a top-four spot, with five goals and eight assists.
The coach: Antonio Conte
The worry with Antonio Conte is that he could up and leave at any moment, as he threatened to do at certain sticky points of the last campaign. This season, however, with the Italian promised some big backing in the transfer market, the mood among supporters would be against him if he does.
The owner: Daniel Levy
Daniel Levy’s long-term investment in infrastructure now appears to be paying off: Spurs have the best stadium in the country, and can finally start throwing their weight around in the transfer market after investment from major shareholder ENIC. After last year’s nadir, Levy’s popularity might be at its peak.
The mood around Tottenham…
It’s as good as it was in the aftermath of the 2019 Champions League Final. The futures of Conte and Kane were in doubt right until the end of the season – now they look settled again. Plus the stadium is starting to generate money, helping towards long-awaited funds for the playing squad.
The one to watch
Eric Dier had a renaissance in 2021/22. Solid even during the short-lived Nuno Espirito Santo spell, the 28-year-old has been instrumental in easing Spurs’ switch to a back three under Conte. His absence from Gareth Southgate’s recent England plans remains a source of bemusement around N17.
Most likely to…
Endure a resignation in a January fit of pique. Expect Conte to slam intolerable working conditions and claim that no other manager could have avoided an FA Cup Third Round defeat to Luton without signing six new players in the transfer window.
Least likely to…
Make it to November’s World Cup break injury-free. It just wouldn’t be a major tournament without England’s leading man sparking a nationwide panic and tabloid pleas to place hands on photos of Kane’s metatarsals. Is Uri Geller still around these days?
The fan's view: Tom Hayward (@TheTottenhamWay)
Last season was bizarre. When we were good, we were brilliant. When we were bad, notably under Nuno, we were the worst we’ve been to watch since Christian Gross managed us. It’s hilarious we finished 4th. Cheers, Arsenal!
The big talking point is how much Conte – or really, Fabio Paratici – is given to bolster a squad in dire need of some creativity and depth.
This season will be different because we won’t waste a third of a season being terrified of troubling an opponent’s goalkeeper.
Our key player will be Harry Kane. Son shared the Golden Boot but Spurs were devoid of character and class for the first three months, when Kane’s head was elsewhere.
Our most underrated player is Eric Dier. He had a dodgy couple of years but is flourishing under Conte. It is laughable that Southgate still picks Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady ahead of him.
The opposition player who grinds my gears is Bruno Fernandes. Get up and shut up, mate.
I’m least looking forward to playing Chelsea. One goal and zero points in our last seven league games against them – the hoodoo is back.
The fans’ opinion of the gaffer is sky-high and deservedly so, given what he achieved with an average squad – though personally I could do without the ‘you need me more than I need you’ stuff (even if it’s true).
The player I’d happily drive to another club is Gio Lo Celso: a pathetic spectacle on the rare occasions he was fit enough to even play.
The one change I’d make would be the season ticket prices. We know we need to compete financially, but ours are consistently among the highest in the country.
We’ll finish 4th.
FFT'S VERDICT… 3rd
With an angry Conte in full edit mode, key signings sorted and no Kane fiasco this time, Spurs look best of the rest.
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