Not so Spursy today. Pochettino told us—and his players—that this club is capable of winning titles. Today on his former ground on the south coast his eleven backed up his confidence with the type of victory that last Sunday seemed to render still beyond our reach. And the type of victory Manchester United—supposedly our stiffest competition for top four status—was unable to produce against lowly Norwich– at Old Trafford no less. Kane..Alli..Lamela..Dembele…Eriksen.. producing the chances and goals that mattered—with a solid back four plus Dier in front of a world class keeper—that’s the stuff of a side destined for greater glory.
Let’s discard any notion that the Foxes will be hunted down. Mahrez and Vardy are this year’s SAS—Leicester City has as good a chance at winning the league—maybe better—as they do of falling out of the top four. But both sides in Manchester are enigmas—waiting on the inevitable arrival of Pep Guardiola (can he manage them simultaneously?)— it is not beyond question that Spurs could finish ahead of the two of them. Giggs prowling the touchline in the rain while Van Gaal sat and festered spoke volumes. And our North London rivals may have more points but it does not appear to me they have more talent or resolve.
The bigger worry for Champions League placement may lie south of the Thames—a side that has now won away at the Etihad, Emirates and Britannia is not one to be scoffed at. Ranieri may be getting all the headlines—and Howe now wins the leftovers—but the quiet job Pardew has done since the middle of last season is equally impressive. Palace will not be disposed of so easily—truth is they have played better than both Merseyside clubs and United most of this year—why can’t they continue, now buffered by some Yankee financial clout?
The most basic truth about Spurs this season is this: only Arsenal—with a game against Man City Monday—have conceded fewer goals, and just by a difference of one. Poch has transformed this side into one of his image—pressing, tough, gritty. The only hiccough has been the late concessions—if that flaw is corrected, Spurs could easily go on another multi-game unbeaten run, only this time substituting wins for draws. And in this year of Premiership upheaval, anything is possible.
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