Tanguy Ndombele the great centre-mid hope

by Conner Green

Many Spurs fans have again shown their fickle nature by writing Ndombele off as a flop, someone who’s not up to it, someone who needs to be sold to a less physical league whilst they’re still yearning for the return of Gareth Bale. A man who had a notoriously difficult start to life at Spurs.

Tanguy Ndombele, the great centre-mid hope, after over a year of no transfer activity – the signing of Ndombele felt like the ushering in of a new era at Spurs. Sure, we lost the biggest game in our history with a little more than a whimper, but look who we’ve just signed – Tanguy Ndombele.

He’d battered City’s midfield, he’d taken over the French league at the tender age of twenty-two, he’s bursting into the France national team, what could possibly go wrong? Don’t answer that. Spurs right?

With Pochettino at the helm and Tanguy in midfield things can only get better. Fast-forward a year and Ndombele splits our fanbase right down the middle. Just like the departure of Pochettino, the appointment of Mourinho, the chairmanship of Daniel Levy and pretty much everything else about Tottenham right now.

Ndombele has been a fitting metaphor for the season as whole; in parts brilliant, a lot of the time underwhelming and a few times borderline unwatchable. But how much of it is his fault? Tanguy came into a squad that was screaming out for a decent centre-midfielder. Dembele’s replacement, a new engine someone to get stuck right in and stop us being subjected to ninety minutes of the ball bouncing off Dier’s thighs.

Sadly for Tottenham and Ndombele this has not been the case. When he has played Tanguy has looked like a proper world-beater but the form has been inconsistent to say the least. Even the most ardent Ndombele supporter has to admit when a fully fit club-record signing is left out of the match-day squad, something has to be wrong.

Maybe that ‘something’ isn’t Ndombele. Perhaps the man has been a victim of circumstance not seen at Spurs in a long time. Ndombele joined what we thought was a squad in transition but turned out to be a squad collapsing in on itself like a dying star. The manager who signed him was gone. The feel good factor around the club was gone. The new man in charge is less of an arm round the shoulder type manager and more of a cold-shoulder in public type. What could be truly expected?

Many Spurs fans have again shown their fickle nature by writing Ndombele off as a flop, someone who’s not up to it, someone who needs to be sold to a less physical league whilst they’re still yearning for the return of Gareth Bale. A man who had a notoriously difficult start to life at Spurs.

The circumstances for Ndombele couldn’t have been much worse; the feel around the club, the change in manager or the fact that it’s very tough to decide what is Tottenham’s strongest midfield pairing.

Sissoko and Ndombele works on paper, but do we need the recycling of possession Winks can offer? Is there still a serious role for Eric Dier in this team? With everything happening at Tottenham right now Ndombele has done exceptionally well to come out the season performing at the level he has.

There’s no denying that Ndombele’s first season hasn’t been perfect. It has of course been a bit of a disappointment but if you look at Tottenham’s recent history this seems to be a bit of a pattern. Son had an okay debut season. We all know what Sisssoko was like and even the great man himself Mauricio Pochettino led us to an average fifth place finish in his first season.

This season was supposed to build on the Champions League final, make that final step but in true Spurs fashion. Six months on from our greatest result in Amsterdam we were languishing in fourteenth place with our manager on his way out. It seems Ndombele has had to shoulder a lot of the burden for an extremely underwhelming season.

He hasn’t performed at the heights that we expected but neither has the rest of the squad, and in truth nor has the appointment of Mourinho had the effect we wanted. This season has been a calamity of errors, a constant conveyor-belt of disappointment after disappointment and it is not fair to level this all at Tanguy.

The past week has seen Ndombele as the subject of various transfer rumours leading to many Spurs fans claiming he should be part of a swap deal for Samuel Umiti and Nelson Semedo. Samuel Umtiti has a knee problem Ledley King would empathise with and Semedo does everything Aurier does but without the loveable nutter bit.

Whilst some Spurs fans were readying Umtiti’s welcome party, Tanguy Ndombele was posting a video on Instagram of his seasons highlights with the caption “noting to report”. In modern football terms he has basically just kissed the badge a million times.

It’s not definitive but it at least looks like he’s ready to give it his all and after this absolute shambles of a season maybe a club-record-singing-with-a-point-to-prove could work out well for us. After all its Spurs and a big money signing. What’s the worst that could happen?

Author

Conner Green

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