Are Tottenham in a position to go for the Premier League title?
This season we could see one of the tightest finishes in the Premier League title race since Manchester City beat their city rivals United on goal difference. City, Arsenal and Manchester United are seen by many as the main the contenders for the title, with many a pundit stating that this could be Arsenal’s beat chance of the winning the Premier League title for a long-time. Though they have always finished in the top four in recent years, Arsenal have never really been contenders for the title. One team that hasn’t really been talked about as contenders is Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham. It is my belief that Tottenham actually have a better chance than Arsenal of lifting the Premier League title come May.
Leaner, Fitter and Hungrier Spurs
In his second year in charge at White Hart Lane, Mauricio Pochettino has developed a strong squad with cover in pretty much every position. He has moved players out of the club that are surplus to his requirements. The Argentinian also brought in young hungry players and he has also got his squad a lot fitter than they have been in previous seasons. Teams that are in the Europa League have often struggled with playing on a Thursday night then playing on Sunday. This does not apply to just Tottenham but we have seen teams struggling near the bottom of the table when they are competing in the Europa League.
That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Tottenham this season. In recent weeks, they have faced big London derbies on the Sunday after playing in Europa League, playing both Arsenal and Chelsea after Europa League games. Although they didn’t win these games, they weren’t outclassed in either game and I think it would be fair to say they were the better team in both games, looking fitter and stronger than their opponents. This hasn’t been the case in previous years with Tottenham, not just after Europa League games but in general.
Promotion of Young Players
Before taking over at Tottenham, Pochettino was of course manager of Premier League rivals Southampton. At Southampton, he wasn’t afraid of promoting young English talent and he is showing the same at Tottenham, with Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane all becoming important players in the Tottenham starting XI. Tottenham could actually provide the back-bone of the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Last season we saw Pochettino giving Ryan Mason and Harry Kane an extended run in the first-team at White Hart Lane and they didn’t let their manager down, with both forcing their way into Roy Hodgson’s England squad last season. Eric Dier was used in a number of positions along the back-line this season but has really excelled this term as a defensive midfielder. The young starlet did not just show his ability to break up the play of opponents but also showing a good passing range going forward for his team.
One of the star performers for Tottenham this year has been 19 year old Dele Alli. He moved to Tottenham in the January transfer of last season before being loaned back to home-town club MK Dons, where he came through the youth ranks. After helping MK Dons to promotion he arrived at White Hart Lane with many believing he may be loaned out once again, maybe even returning to Milton Keynes. Since this point though, he has forced his way into the Tottenham starting line-up, making 18 appearances in all competitions and his performances have seen him called up to England squad for recent games.
Kane and Eriksen Partnership
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Harry Kane has returned to form in front goal since the return from injury of Danish International Christian Eriksen. The attacking midfielder who has the ability to either from the left or right and in the No.10 role behind the striker. Eriksen appeared in the first few games of the season but once he returned to the starting line-up against Manchester City in late September. Harry Kane has returned to his scoring ways of last season.
The potent forward has scored eight goals in eight games, starting by scoring Tottenham’s third goal in their 4-1 win over Manchester City. That victory signalled the fact that Tottenham could be real contenders for winning the Premier League title this season. If Tottenham are going to challenge for the major honours they will need to keep both Kane and Eriksen fit.
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