Paul Merson on why it is not impossible for Spurs to win the title

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson seems to have done a complete 180 on his previous assertion about Jose’s Mourinho’s Spurs last season and has now claimed that the Portuguese coach could well be the man to lead the North Londoners to their first league title in almost 60 years.

Merson was hyper-critical of the Tottenham’s style of football under Mourinho last season and claimed that Harry Kane was unlikely to score a lot of goals under the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.

However, the pundit has since admitted that he was wrong to say what he did about Kane.

He has now gone even further and suggested that one cannot rule out the Lilywhites from the title race, with Mourinho at the helm.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s a hard question to answer (can Spurs win the league?). They are going to be very reliant on Harry Kane.

“But, to be fair, results like the win at West Brom, they win you league titles. You look back on results like that and come what may, you remember it as a difficult game against one of the teams down at the bottom, who couldn’t win a game but turned up on the day, and it turns out to be an important win.

“Can Spurs go on and win the title? It’s not impossible and that’s because they’ve got a serial winner as a manager. They’ve got a chance because Mourinho is in charge and has won it before. He knows what it takes to get over the line.

“Can the players keep producing week in, week out? Only time will tell, but having Mourinho at the club gives them an advantage.

“Mauricio Pochettino was a good manager, don’t get me wrong. However, they’ve now got more chance of winning the title because of Mourinho. He knows what you have to do week in, week out and then all over again.

“You have to be there or thereabouts all the time. You cannot be giving teams six, seven or eight-point head starts, and they are right in the mix at the moment.

“I’m one of Mourinho’s biggest fans, but I have been critical of him.

“When I was critical, it wasn’t about him as a manager, because you cannot knock someone who has won all those trophies. It doesn’t matter when he won those trophies, he’s won them. They are on the CV.

“My only question mark was whether Kane would be able to get 30 goals in a season being in a Mourinho team.

“Mourinho is a winner. He doesn’t mind winning games 1-0. He’s not there to entertain people, he’s there to win football matches. If they entertain and end up winning 3-0, then fair enough, but he is one of those managers that wins a game 1-0, puts it into the back pocket and moves on to the next.”

The former England midfielder praised the way that Kane has adapted his game and suggested that the Tottenham striker was an Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham rolled into one.

Merson added: “Kane is a special player. He’s changed his game a bit now as well. He starts drifting off into the No 10 position and he can spray the ball around the park. He’s showing he’s got vision and it is like he’s the all-round package.

“There are not many players about who can go up front and be a target man, be strong, put his body in the way, score goals and then in the game, he can drop off and hit a 30-yard ball through the eye of a needle and knit play together.

“There are not many of those players around, if any. Kane is a special player. He’s changed his game a bit now as well. He starts drifting off into the No 10 position and he can spray the ball around the park. He’s showing he’s got vision and it is like he’s the all-round package.

“There are not many players about who can go up front and be a target man, be strong, put his body in the way, score goals and then in the game, he can drop off and hit a 30-yard ball through the eye of a needle and knit play together.

“There are not many of those players around, if any.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It looks like Merson has come full circle on Tottenham and Mourinho. From suggesting that we have no chance of top four a few months ago to now backing us to push for the league, is testament to how impressive Spurs have been at the start of this campaign. At least, the former Arsenal man is big enough to admit that he was wrong and change his mind, which some other pundits seem completely incapable of.

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