Currently fighting for the final Champions League spot, Aston Villa and Tottenham face pivotal summers. Both clubs view this summer as the one where their future as a top four club could be solidified. This landscape of the Premier League constantly shifts and neither club can let this chance slip. 


Many expected Brighton, Chelsea or United to be the team just outside of the top three positioning themselves as future contenders. Yes both clubs were tipped to have good seasons, but no one saw the gap these clubs created between them and others coming.

Losing Kane and hiring Postecoglou signaled an end of an era for Spurs. An unproven manager leading a squad in need of a revamp promised a tough season. Instead, Tottenham has barely missed a beat and look to be on the right path once more. 

Photo: Getty

Fraud watch was out for Emery and Villa. They played great football down the stretch of last season, but many still held reservations about Emery. Like Moyes, Emery proved that his most recent bad spell in the Prem didn’t define him as a manager.

The top four is in an interesting place going into next season. City and Arsenal will be favorites while Liverpool’s new era begins, another club will use this change to rise.


Postecoglou turned a scary situation into the club’s rebirth. The loss of Kane should have pushed this club back to midtable, but Spurs continue to excel.

Spurs enter this summer in a position that they have become accustomed to. A point where they must expand on their efforts to become contenders. Previous iterations of Spurs constantly failed with Kane.

In this current form, Spurs play good attacking football with a solid enough defense. However, outside of Son, they lack another true outlet. Richarlison is a threat, but flows in and out of form.

To the team’s credit, they’ve been much better defensively than predicted. There’s some great foundations with the pairing of Romero and Drăgușin looking promising. 

Photo: Getty

It’s not necessarily that the team needs a new cornerstone, but with Kulusevski’s regression, they need another creator. Postecoglou found a way to get this midfield working, but they want another consistent goal scorer. Using a baseball analogy, this team has its star hitter, now it must find the batter who hits  doubles and drives in runs.

A potential solution would be going after someone like Dušan Vlahović. Built to be a second option, Vlahović consistently bags double digits goals in Serie A. Having a striker like this next to Son can only open the offense more and make things easier for the star.

To the team’s credit, they’ve been much better defensively than predicted. There’s some great foundations with the pairing of Romero and Drăgușin looking promising. 

Tottenham has a really solid foundation, now they’re going to have to go second star shopping. A clear path to contention exists for Tottenham, but they can’t let this chance slip like they have so many others.


Aston Villa are trickier to diagnose. Emery is a better coach and the team is littered with great toolsy players, but they’re unlikely to land any star.

After their hot start to the season, Villa have waned in recent months. While they beat up on clubs below them, they constantly underperform against larger clubs. They’ve lost to terrible Chelsea and United sides and are unable to land blows on the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham.

Perhaps this is due to their congested schedule, as the Conference League Play run continues to go on. For that reason, fears are more easily dismissible. It’s still not a great sign, but fixable with more  experience, especially since they beat such teams early on.

There have been teams like Villa, who’ve escaped labels to become top half clubs. However, they run into a wall where they can’t take that next step.

Photo: Sky Sports

Avoiding this wall is the top concern for Villa heading into this summer. While they’re unlikely to land a star target, Villa have shown that they can still find games. Stealing Pau Torres from Juventus is the most recent example of Villa willingly spending money to land their top targets.

For a good portion of the 2010s, Everton and Spurs fell in the same case as Villa. Everton failed by constantly going after signings and managers without care, while Spurs trusted their system. It’s more likely that Villa will trust Emery and his system rather than chase a big fish.

Emery’s rebuild of Villa continues to yield rewards. The  club goes from peak to peak as they get closer to establishing themselves as a top four side.

Just about every season sees fluctuation in the Prem with clubs becoming contenders and pretenders in a second. With some changes happening at the top of the table, both Tottenham and Villa have a chance to solidify themselves as top four clubs. Spots are up for grabs, but both clubs need to nail this summer to take advantage of it.

 

Featured image: Getty

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