Opinion: Tottenham’s title hopes and why it is still too soon to write them off

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The question that has plagued everyone’s mind for the last month or so, who are the actual contenders for the 2020/21 English Premier League title?

Surely Liverpool are still right up there and one can never really discount Manchester City without the risk of looking like a complete fool, corroborated by their recent strides up the Premier League table.

What of Manchester United? Can Leicester spring another surprise? And of course, can The Special One whip up one of his magical seasons and finally bring home the big prize?

Spurs, in particular, remain an interesting prospect. None can deny the obvious wealth of world-class talent at José Mourinho’s disposal.

Kane and Son have been untouchable when fit, Lloris has looked back at his best barring those mistakes against Liverpool and Ndombele has been weaving circles around opposition players like a ballerina.

But, for one reason or another, Spurs seem to always be found wanting when it comes to crucial matches.

That’s been a regular feature of the Tottenham teams of the last couple of years, dropping points in games that would take us clear of the competition and continue the momentum. The 3-1 defeat to Liverpool is a prime example. 

Many blamed players, the club held our beloved Pochettino responsible, much to the writer’s dismay. But now, halfway through this season, have we really addressed the issues?

I believe that it’s a little bit of a stretch to pin the nail of sure-shot contenders on Spurs this season for a couple of reasons.

For starters, we’re almost entirely dependent on two players for our goal threat and creating chances, which is unsustainable for a title challenge, even though they keep coming up trumps time and again. With Kane now injured, they could come unstuck.

Secondly, we have a stubborn manager who is creating stubborn players. Now hear me out here, stubbornness is good, some may say vital for champions, but that depends on what and why you’re stubborn.

José Mourinho is famed for his teams’ defensive solidity and their annoying habit of grinding out tough wins, but at what point does it become a hindrance?

Of late it has become a disturbing trend for Spurs to sit on a lead, a one-goal lead more often than not, and then go on to concede a sloppy late goal to drop points against opposition any champion team should be dispatching.

Be it the catastrophic collapse at the London Stadium or the late late show at Fulham and Wolves, we have sat back, defended and lost precious points, points that, if won, would taken us to top of the pile.

Of course, it must also be mentioned that teams all around us have been faltering and nothing seems beyond reach in this topsy-turvy season but things need to change, and fast, if José and his men are to launch a serious challenge for the title.

So let us wait and see, for no man has seen tomorrow, and until May declares for all who the best team in England is, I shall sit in that famed Lilywhite jersey and continue to chant, COME ON YOU SPURS!

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