After the 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland, Tottenham are currently the most in-form team of the last 6 games in the entire Premier League, earning a total of 13 points. It could easily be argued too that they could in fact have had five more, after dominating Everton in the shots department during a 1-1 draw and doing the same to Leicester despite losing 1-0 to The Foxes. The Lilywhites have been competitive in every single game, even when you consider the home upset to Newcastle after a 93rd minute goal that Hugo Lloris should have done better on and their opening day defeat at the hands of Manchester United. At the time of writing, Spurs are sitting on 39 points in 4th place, five points off their bitter rivals Arsenal who head the table by goal difference from Leicester City. Whether it seems unrealistic or not, Spurs are in with a genuine chance of winning the Premier League title this season, so what are the key factors which have sparked their dramatic improvement in recent times?
1 – Pochettino’s mentality has created an identity
Appointing Mauricio Pochettino has been an enormous blessing for everyone involved at White Hart Lane. The Spurs who in previous years employed “tactical geniuses” such as Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood were often considered pushovers both physically and mentally. The famous Sir Alex Ferguson story about motivating his team at half-time to the tune of “come on lads, it’s Tottenham” is but one example, and this is saying nothing of their long-standing Arsenal complex and ‘St Totteringham Day’.
The Argentine comes from the Marcelo Bielsa school of no-nonsense, hard working, heavy pressing, physical football, installing an ethos of resilience and giving Spurs an identity that was previously sorely lacking. It is clear for all to see that the players have taken to his ideology like a duck to water and as a result, everyone is reaping the rewards. Facing Tottenham is now a genuine ordeal and even when they are able to boast greater natural talent than their opponents, it is very rare that Spurs will be out-ran on the day.