Tottenham are six points behind Manchester City and Liverpool and are well and truly in the title race, a position that could present a now or never scenario.
Of course, at some point Spurs will probably win their third league title, but we’re talking about the current squad and manager, and we believe there will be no greater opportunity than this season.
Since moving from Southampton in 2014, Mauricio Pochettino has built a squad who have finished fifth, third, second and then third – they’ve been there or thereabouts. Known for simply putting pressure on the eventual champions but never being near enough during the last few games.
During this time a number of stars have risen, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier particularly, and it feels this side are hitting somewhat of a crescendo, a peak. These players certainly won’t be past their sell-by date come next campaign, far from it, but instead they may outgrow the club.
Their performances haven’t been enough to earn them their first trophy since 2008, but they’ve certainly been good enough to have clubs like Real Madrid sniffing around their top talents, and the same goes for their manager. This isn’t surprising, and Tottenham know it.
This summer could see Spurs lose their manager to prospective title rivals Manchester United and their star players to Europe’s elite, where they’d earn much higher wages and win lots more trophies. Their stadium (what stadium?) will undoubtedly dent the already small, and sometimes non-existent, transfer budget handed down from Daniel Levy, so their ability to replace any players looks bleak too.
Even if they kept their players and their manager, it still seems added squad depth is required. The club will have tight purse strings over the next decade or so, if Arsenal’s move to the Emirates is anything to go by, and it won’t allow them to keep pace with Manchester City and other big six teams who will certainly dig deep in the summer.
This season, Liverpool’s squad depth isn’t as strong as previous champions’ have been, and Manchester City rely heavily on Fernandinho while only having one natural left-back at the club. Tottenham’s squad is similarly imperfect, but they’ve been able to deal with injuries to their top players, keeping pace with the front two despite two notable absentees, Harry Kane through injury and Son through international duty.
Liverpool and City are slipping up in games they should win and that should give Spurs confidence. Yes they’re relying on the top two to slip up even more, but if they keep earning wins in the background they could sneak up and win their first Premier League title just before the last five years of hard work is most probably pulled apart in the summer.
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