ottenham fans should know as well as any that pre-season sentiment counts for little when competitive action comes back around.
In summer 2008, for example, Juande Ramos’ Spurs scored 33 times in seven triumphant friendlies to suggest they were well-placed to build on winning the League Cup; Ramos was sacked after starting the campaign with two points from eight games.
By contrast, in summer 2016, a moody Mauricio Pochettino was forced to leave 14 senior players out of the trip to Australia in chaotic preparation for the season, but Spurs would go on to achieve their highest points total since 1961.
Now, then, is not the time to make rash predictions about Ange Postecoglou’s new era but certainly the mood music around the club has shifted from the cautious optimism of early last month.
The Greek-Australian’s energy and upbeat rhetoric gave everyone at Spurs a lift, and his appointment was quickly followed by the signings of Guglielmo Vicario, James Maddison and Manor Solomon — plugging three of the biggest holes in his squad.
With less than two weeks until Spurs begin the season at Brentford, however, apprehension is creeping back in amid the sense that some of the club’s early summer momentum has slowed.
Above all, Harry Kane’s future remains an open question, dominating Postecoglou’s planning for the campaign, following Daniel Levy’s latest meeting with Bayern Munich executives in London yesterday.
Kane could yet remain in north London this summer (or forever), with the clubs still some way apart in their valuation, but everyone connected to Spurs should now assume the brace position; it has never felt more likely that he could leave.
Postecoglou would back himself to create a new and successful dynamic without Kane but, for supporters, there would be no sugarcoating the departure of the greatest player in the club’s history. It would sting like nothing else, not least because Spurs have wasted the past four years of Kane’s prime on ill-conceived projects.
And regardless of whether the England captain stays or goes, there is still an enormous amount of work to do on Postecoglou’s bloated squad.
The new head coach still desperately needs at least one new centre-half but progress on targets, which include Wolfsburg’s Micky van de Ven and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba, has been slow.
So, too, has the club’s attempts to offloaded unwanted players; only Harry Winks has gone, leaving Postecoglou still working with an overlarge group of more than 30 senior players.
There is still a month to go until the close of the transfer window but with so much to do, there is an increasing chance that Postecoglou will be forced to begin the campaign with the future of Kane and the final makeup of his squad still up in the air.
There are, though, also reasons to be positive. With or without Kane, there is talent in this Spurs squad and their Asia-Pacific pre-season tour was a reminder that Giovani Lo Celso, Ivan Perisic and Richarlison, to name just three players, are still to show their best for the club.
Postecoglou is an optimist (certainly more so than his predecessor, Antonio Conte) and he will continue to look on the bright side as the club prepares for a crucial fortnight of preparations.