Tottenham Hotspur strolled to an easy 4-1 win over London rivals West Ham United Sunday afternoon, and in doing so have found themselves two points away from Arsenal and Manchester City in fourth and third and just four points off top spot.
As the Premier League approaches it’s busiest period yet, it’s usually around this time that we start to see how the league table is shaping up heading into the new year. Obviously nothing is anywhere near set in stone at this stage, but in terms of predicting which clubs are for real this season, now isnt a bad time to take a look at who might be within a chance of Premiership glory.
With the likes of Leicester City sitting atop the Barclays Premier League at this stage of the season, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that Spurs are within a chance of contending for the title. What, with Chelsea nowhere to be seen, and the top 5 separated by just four points, nothing seems impossible this year.
To backup the idea of Tottenham winning the league, Mauricio Pochettino’s men haven’t lost a game since the opening day of the season. A 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford to Manchester United that saw Kyle Walker’s unfortunate own goal be the difference between the two sides, on a day that should have seen both teams leave with a point apiece.
Spurs’ have been a breath of fresh air this season, with Pochettino endorsing a young and energetic style at the club, once again Tottenham have become one of the most entertaining sides to watch. Youngsters such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier have been at the forefront of this, and show great promise for the future of Tottenham Hotspur and English football.
It hasn’t just been the younger players, from top to bottom Tottenham have been great this season. They look more solid now then they have in a very longtime, and that might have something to do with the defensive partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld at centre back. The Belgian duo have given Tottenham reassurance at the back once more, something they haven’t had in recent memory. How nice must it be for Spurs fans to finally see a top quality defender alongside Vertonghan, instead of the likes of Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches every game. The whole back four, full backs as well (Kyle Walker and Danny Rose), have been excellent and have very rarely been victims to silly mistakes, something that has plagued this team for many years. To reinforce how good the defense has been, the Lilly Whites own the second best defensive record in the league, conceding just eleven goals in thirteen games. Only Man United with nine have a better defensive record.
The above, on top of Harry Kane hitting form again should be another reason why Spurs shouldn’t be over looked, the so-called ‘one season wonder’ has notched eight goals in his last five appearances, and has an engine that a Bugatti would be proud of. This guy puts 100% into every performance, whether he ends up on the score sheet or not, theres no doubt Kane would have put in one hell of a shift in at the end of 90 minutes. He has proven this season that he’s becoming much more of an all-round player, and that has been more beneficial to Tottenham than people may think.
Despite the great run of form, it’s very easy to get carried away in this league, as many teams have found out it only takes a couple of results to go against you and before you know it, you’re fighting a losing battle. The Premier league is a very unforgiving division, making every single point vital. Every team in contention knows this and nobody wants to slip up.
Even though theres plenty of reasons for Spurs fans to be excited at the prospect of a league title, there are even more reasons as to why they won’t have a chance. They haven’t finished higher than fourth place since the 1989/90 season, and with such a young side, as great as all the ups have been so far, if and when things take a bit of a turn for the worst, how will such a young squad cope? Yes they have decent depth, but is the squad deeper or better than that of Manchester City’s, United’s, or even the injury riddled Arsenal? Probably not.
The lack of support behind Harry Kane is also a very concerning matter. Are the likes of Clinton N’Jie and Heung-Min Son capable of backing him up when needed? There are still too many unanswered questions for this Spurs side to say they are going to challenge for the league title. It’s not that they aren’t necessarily good enough. At the moment there probably isn’t a team in this league that are better than Tottenham right now. But further down the line, if they can’t keep up with the big guns, they’ll fall behind once again. It’s all about how the team handles being in contention when things really heat up.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Tottenham are playing some outstanding football right now, and should be in contention of a Champions League spot come seasons end, but winning the league seems a bit to far off right now. It’s more of a case that a team of Spurs’ immaturity simply aren’t ready to challenge the likes of Man City and the other serious contenders. If Daniel Levy and company can keep this group together, and perhaps add a couple of pieces here and there, and if Pochettino can keep his players playing to his tempo and style, this club will be in very good shape going forward.