Levy and co face a Summer where they must decide whether Spurs are contenders or pretenders

To coin a phrase from the NFL, each team has a championship window and in spurs’ case that window appears to be diminishing. With yet another semi final defeat, it is another season which will end without a trophy.

Similar to the Juventus game it all started so well, but once Spurs suffered the set back of the equaliser they looked devoid of attacking ideas and Utd ran out clear and deserved winners.

The most worrying aspect of the defeat was Pochettino’s remarks about the future being “with him or another. ”

I don’t doubt that he will be there at the start of next season but this was the first indication that Pochettino was sending a message to his chairman.

Pochettino, has been a dream appointment for Levy. He has returned Tottenham to the top 4, has overseen vast improvement and has done this on a shoe string of a budget in comparison to his rivals.

However what Pochettino has also done is given Tottenham fans a taste of competing at the top end of the league and it’s a feeling Spurs fans don’t want to lose.

This season has shown that they are a team that on their day can compete and beat the very best, but are still a little way off from being touted as genuine contenders.

Spurs want to be seen as winners but the infrastructure of the club is still that of a club that would hope to win the odd cup here or there rather than be challengers year in and year out.

To make that next step , will they buy or even try to compete to sign genuine world class talent? No.

What they will do is continue to be savvy and hope Pochettino can work his magic with another band of rough diamonds. Names banded about like Evans and Rodriguez hardly indicate a willingness to buy top rate talent.

It will also be interesting to see if Levy comes good on a promise to get his business done early – giving Pochettino a full pre season with his signings rather than nervously waiting by the phone with two minutes of the window to go.

Will Spurs fight tooth and nail to try and keep hold of their best talent? Again. No.

Toby Alderweireld is already on his way out – our best defender. We have probably seen the last of Danny Rose in a Spurs shirt and I fear Spurs will do very well to keep hold of Dembele and Eriksen.

Will Spurs start paying their players so that they are on a parity with their top 4 rivals? Potentially.

If the rumours are true, Kane is due to sign a bumper new deal that will see Spurs smash through their existing wage barrier. Alli, Eriksen and Pochettino himself have all been rumoured to follow.

But, what must be disheartening for the players is to see themselves operating at a high level but not get the rewards that players from other lesser performing clubs are getting.

The sad fact is, that a guy like Jonjo Shelvey, is probably earning more than most of the current Spurs squad. That simply has to change.

If we want Spurs to become winners then surely we have to pay them like it?

Like the majority of Spurs fans – Pochettino’s comments about the FA cup in the build up to Saturdays match were concerning. Yes, we all want Spurs to win the league and champions league but surely before we make that leap we have to know what winning titles feels like? The fans are desperate for some sort of silverware. For all the crowing from pundits and fans about the great style of play, we need something tangible to show for it. Pochettino might downplay the significance of winning the league and FA Cups but realistically this is what Tottenham should be aiming at. To win the league or champions league is still a very lofty target, one that needs sizeable investment and the addition of world class players. Something I think that Levy and co will be unwilling to pay top dollar for.I feel that Spurs have one or two more years at trying to achieve something big with this talented group. However this squad needs to be supported by the board. Now is the time for them to make a decision. With real solid investment, Spurs could try and make the leap. I feel that we are close to something special. However, if the model continues as it is, I only feel the task will get harder and harder. It is clear that Spurs are a hungry bunch, desperate to win. But Levy must now realise that although Spurs have been fantastic for the last few years what they have isn’t quite enough. We could be on the verge of something really special or alternatively if things don’t change we could find ourselves back at square one.

Daniel, its over to you.

24 wins out of 26, but is England’s sweet chariot in danger of losing a wheel?

Two consecutive 6 nations titles,  a clean sweep away against Australia and a possible 24 wins out of 26 matches – nobody can argue that Eddie Jones 2 year tenure as England coach hasn’t been successful.

But why does England’s trip to Paris this weekend feel like it is a must win match?

There has been a sense that Englands 6 nations campaign has provided more questions than answers.

Handed a comfortable start away against the Italians, England’s next matches against Wales and Scotland have produced scratchy, questionable performances suggesting that England’s sweet chariot is in danger of losing a wheel.

Goong into the Wales match the expectation was that England would comfortably outclass a patched up Welsh side – the result, a narrow victory where England were clearly hanging on. Without a very dubious decision from the TMO, England couldn’t have had too many complaints if they had emerged on the losing side.

Fast forward two weeks and a first half humbling against Scotland depicted an unravelling of a structured game plan and a defence that simply could not get to grips with Scotlands energy and chaos.

As an Englishman who calls Scotland his home – trust me there is no scalp that the Scots want more than a win over England. However England knew this.

As the game was quickly slipping away there didn’t seem to be any recognition of the way the game was going or an answer to the Scottish defence. England seemed jittery, unable to manage the pivotal situations and unable to cope with the boisterous Murrayfield crowd.

For the first time in the Jones era, England looked lost and poorly prepared.

The thing I love most about Eddie Jones is his personality and spiky attitude, I think he has made his England team embrace the “arrogance” label that is attached to the them by their 6 nation rivals.

Under Stuart Lancaster the impression was that England were too nice. They were a team that seeked public reapproval following a spate of controversies through the Martin Johnson era. They were a side that was too nice to win the big matches and overcome the big moments.

Jones’ England are different, they snarl, they bite and they swagger. Often embodying the very image that their rivals hate. However despite this, there is a sense that England are still very much a WIP.

As an ardent England fan I often find Englands lack of discipline frustrating. This years championship has seen England commit 32 penalties. Compare this to 30 by France, 13 by Ireland, 25 by Scotland and 18 by Wales. Through ill discipline, England are struggling to gain an advantage in the territory battle and put the squeeze on their opponents.

Rewind to the start of the second half at Murrayfield. England got the start they wanted through an Owen Farrell try but for the next twenty minutes they were often camped in their own half. Any forward progress quickly erased by silly errors, poor decision making and costly penalties. This wasn’t the England side we had become accustomed to watching.

There seems to be several issues hanging over the team.

Does Jones know his best centre partnership? Jonathan Joesph seems to be constantly in and out of the side and Ben Teo is still to produce a commanding performance that would see him shift his “finisher” tag.

Do England have a game changing back row? As Martin Johnson bluntly put it after the Scotland game. Games of test match rugby are won and lost at the breakdown.

John Barclay simply dominated the game line winning numerous turnovers. Do England have a player able to do this? Rewind to the 2015 World Cup and the work done by David Pocock and Michael Hooper. There furraging work was the foundation of their success. England at the moment don’t have the game changers to win the turnover battle.

Lastly, do England have the flair to produce moments of magic?

Englands dominance under Jones has come about through their ability to control rugby matches. The Italy game aside – England have struggled to assert consistent pressure on their opponents. It almost seems that every England game is planned and plotted by the minute. X substitution will be made at this minute, if less than 40 metres from the posts we kick for goal etc…. This is all well and good when England are on top and dominating, but as showed against the Scots a few weeks ago, when they are behind the 8 ball and losing control, this England side started to question themselves and seemed to lack ideas and a plan B to get back into the game.

Fast forward to this weekend and England probably couldn’t have wished to play anybody worse. France in the process of what seems like a countless rebuild will be a sticky prospect.

France will certainly feel like they can trouble England in front of what will be a vociferous Paris crowd. There unpredictability and formidable pack could cause England major headaches.

Remember France were only one swing of a Jonny Sexton boot away  from a memorable victory over Ireland and they will be after something similar when England rock into town.

England will be favourites and they should win. However like the Scotland game it is a lose lose situation. They are expected to win  but if they lose this will be the first time that Jones and his side will be under real scrutiny. World Cup success in 2019 will seem an uphill task.

With Ireland still to play who might be chasing a grand slam, this feels like a pivotal weekend if England are to keep their faint dreams of a 3rd 6 nations title alive and their World Cup preparations on course.