3 reasons Spurs' newfound success could be short-lived
Reuters / Dylan Martinez

While Tottenham deservedly enjoys the praise and plaudits for a stunning campaign, realistic fears in north London are quietly emerging that a window may be closing on a generational squad.

It's two best domestic seasons in decades have yielded nary a title while continental campaigns continue to come up short, and with an imaginary clock ticking down, Spurs could risk wasting it all unless it satisfies its player's aspirations.

Rife with potential or not, the longer dust continues to gather in Tottenham's trophy case, the greater the odds are of an exodus of the club's most influential pieces.

It's a harsh state of affairs, though such are the realities of English football.

With that in mind, here's a look at three variables that could wreak havoc on Tottenham's progression from a stellar 2016-17 season:

Managerial migration

After Mauricio Pochettino led Southampton to its highest-ever Premier League point total in 2013-14, the Argentine gaffer emerged as one to watch. After guiding Tottenham to its best season since 1960-61, the former defender has now reportedly become the object of interest for club's continent wide.

Now that Spurs finally have a manager to fit their lofty ambitions, the task becomes holding on to the inspiring tactician.

That begs the question, what happens if he is lured to one of Europe's marquee sides?

First-choice shot-stopper Hugo Lloris has conceded that Pochettino is the reason he remains at White Hart Lane, a sentiment likely shared by several in the squad. Like Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Pochettino has benefitted from instilling trust in his players, and Spurs have profitted in carving a niche as the Premier League's clear second-best club.

To Pochettino's credit, the Argentine has said all the right things to quell speculation. When photos of the Spurs gaffer and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu emerged over the international break, the former Espanyol boss admitted it was a run-in by chance, and that he was in the Catalan capital tending to a home he owns from his time with the Periquitos.

Despite his insistence that he will not take the Barcelona job soon to be vacated by Luis Enrique, there remain several marquee gigs that may compel Pochettino to ditch the north Londoners. Among the likely summer job openings are Inter Milan, Sevilla, and Paris Saint-Germain paired with potential appointments at Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.

Moving matters

If Tottenham's performances at Wembley Stadium this season are a precursor for the next, concerns about the 2017-18 campaign are warranted ones.

Unbeaten in the league at a crumbling and partially demolished White Hart Lane, Spurs were tasked with playing Champions League football at the national stadium, and considering Pochettino and Co. were bounced from Europe on two occasions this year, that may prove to be an undesirable omen.

In three Champions League fixtures at Wembley, Spurs won just once, a meaningless 3-1 victory over CSKA Moscow when Tottenham had already secured third place and a Europa League spot. And in Europe's second-tier tournament, Spurs drew 2-2 to Gent as the Belgians cemented the north London lot's continental exit courtesy of a 82nd-minute equaliser from Jeremy Perbet.

Pair that with seven successive FA Cup semi-final dismissals and League Cup victories in 1998-99 and 2007-08, and Tottenham has won just three of its last 13 matches in all competitions in the shadow of the Wembley Arch.

While that record is horrendous, Tottenham isn't the only side from the northern reaches of the capital to suffer when forced to play at Wembley.

Rival Arsenal played there during the 1988-99 and 1999-00 European campaigns after UEFA demanded higher advertising hoardings that limited the number of seats at Highbury, and the Gunners suffered a similar fate to their nemesis a 20-minute ride up Seven Sisters Road. In six Champions League matches at Wembley, Arsenal won just twice, going 2-1-3. Arsene Wenger's lot said "enough is enough" and headed back to the N5 the following season.

Tottenham will have no such luxury.

Potential player exits

When Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid for a then-record £85.1 million in September 2013, it marked the second successive season Spurs had sold its best player to the Spanish giant. With Bale joining midfield maestro Luka Modric at the Santiago Bernabeu, Tottenham sent an indisputable signal that it considered itself a selling club.

Four years on, and the Hotspur squad is littered with international mainstays and emerging stars, and so naturally there's talk of an exodus of first-team standouts amid a transitional phase for a club desperate to be considered among England's best.

While the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli continue pledging their futures to the club while shunning transfer speculation, there are clubs with far higher profiles and economic means that dwarf what Tottenham can shill out, especially with the ever-rising stadium costs looming large. For context, Christian Eriksen signed a new deal this season on £75,000 per week. Even notoriously stingy rival Arsenal has Theo Walcott on nearly twice that.

Not surprisingly, speculation linking members of the Spurs' core with high-profile transfers have followed suit.

Star right-back Kyle Walker is one of those names slated for an exit, with a reported falling out with Pochettino alerting clubs desperate for a two-way full-back including Manchester City, Manchester United, and Barcelona.

Toby Alderweireld is another first-team mainstay whose current situation is reason for concern. While 15 of his mates put pen to paper on new deals with the club this year, the Belgian's contract talks are reportedly at an impasse, with the former Atletico Madrid standout requesting weekly wages in excess of £100,000, similar to that of Hugo Lloris and Kane. There are several clubs in London, let alone England, that would be happy to pay the tough-tackling centre-back that amount.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

3 reasons Spurs' newfound success could be short-lived
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