Premier League

Heavily criticised Tottenham are on course for their most impressive season in years

No team in the Premier League has dithered on the line between a good season and a bad season as much as Tottenham have this term. Seemingly on a week-by-week basis, the Lilywhites have bounced between title contenders and top-four challengers, and all the while, Mauricio Pochettino has kept his head down and remained focused on the task at hand.

Even over the last week, following poor results against Burnley and Chelsea, Tottenham’s prospects have been deemed to be bleak by most despite their current, very respectable Premier League standing. The last week, you could argue, have served as the perfect microcosm of Tottenham’s season, with criticism following their loss to Chelsea contrasted with the ecstasy following their win against Borussia Dortmund.

Now, there’s no way around it, Spurs have been somewhat inconsistent at points this term, but those short periods of drought have been contrasted by sustained periods of success, and all of a sudden, it’s quickly looking to be Tottenham’s best season in recent memory – both on home turf and on continental soil.

It’s best to start with the most recent event in Tottenham’s season – their progression into the last eight of the Champions League.  It’s a feat that they’ve achieved before, but not for nearly a decade, and the manner in which Spurs dispatched of Borussia Dortmund was simply remarkable. They were in control throughout, and whilst there were clear signs of panic against Juventus last season, there was nothing that resembled any lack of confidence either in Germany or in London against the Bundesliga brutes. Their run thus far has been a fantastic achievement, and it’s still on course to get even better.

That’s not where their success this season ends, however. Though it’s a longshot, the Lilywhites are still in the Premier League title race, though a faultless season from here on out will be required for them to even get close to Man City and Liverpool. That said, even if they fail in that regard, their Premier League campaign has been far from a waste. A top-four finish is still likely, whilst the club are still on course to beat their best ever Premier League points tally. Indeed, over the last few years, only the 2016/17 campaign has seen Spurs register a higher points tally after 29 games; and the fact that Spurs have won 20 of their fixtures thus far speaks volumes about their offensive flair. This is all, let’s not forget, despite Tottenham having a poor run of 3 games without a win against Burnley, Chelsea and Arsenal.

It’s also important to recognise the context behind Tottenham’s season. They haven’t signed a single player in over a year, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men having to rely on what they’ve already got in contrast to many of their Premier League and, indeed, European rivals. In addition, they’ve also been dealing with a plethora of injury issues, namely to core players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, which has limited their pool of resources even further. There has also been continued drama with regards to the move to their new stadium, with uncertainty over where home games will be played on a monthly basis. Recognising all of that, it’s remarkable that Tottenham have been able to remain as consistent as they have.

Tottenham can improve considerably, and under Mauricio Pochettino, you’d expect them to do exactly that. Sure, this season hasn’t been perfect, and it may well end without a trophy yet again, but make no mistake, Tottenham’s first team is improving, and by the time the end of the season rolls around, Pochettino will be able to look back on a job well done.

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