Sunday, May 28, 2017

Title a step too far for Tottenham this season

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 6 May 2017

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has refused to give up on the title this season

Tottenham have been one of the best teams to watch this season in the Premier League. Spurs have pushed London rivals, Chelsea, all the way for the title.

However, a 1-0 defeat at West Ham on Friday night seems to have ended any realistic chance of Mauricio Pochettino’s team winning the league.

The defeat leaves Tottenham four points behind Chelsea and the Blues have a game in hand against struggling Middlesbrough later today.

No matter what Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says it looks like the Spurs title challenge is now run.

Spurs deserve huge credit

Even if as expected Tottenham fail to win the title this season, the side from north London deserves immense credit this season. The likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have been an absolute pleasure to watch, even as a neutral.

Argentinian boss Mauricio Pochettino has slowly but surely built a very good team that play attractive football, with a very good solid foundation in defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Some have said that Tottenham ‘bottled it’ at West Ham. However, in truth, it looks like they have just run out of steam. Pochettino’s preferred style of play involves high intensity, which takes so much energy out of the players.

Pochettino has attempted to rotate his squad. However, he could not afford to rest any of key players in Kane, Alli or Eriksen. The Spurs squad just does not have the depth of quality to rest those key players.

Tottenham paying for poor summer signings

I keep harping back to Spurs summer signings being poor. However, in reality, only defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama has been a success. Dutch striker Vincent Janssen has looked like he couldn’t he a barn door with a banjo for much of the season.

Young French winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and compatriot Moussa Sissoko have struggled to make an impact since their arrival. Neither have managed to nail down starting roles at the club and in truth, there are questions about whether they ever will.

The Sissoko signing was a strange one. There were question marks about Sissoko’s style and if he was really needed at the club. The Sissoko signing almost felt like a signing for the sake of a signing. Everton looked to set to sign the midfielder, but Spurs hijacked the deal. The question at the moment is why?

This summer will be a key to whether Tottenham mounts a realistic title challenge next season, as will playing their home games at Wembley, but that conversation is for another day.

Spurs have a strong starting eleven, but as previously mentioned they do not have enough quality depth in the squad.

Title a step too far this season

Tottenham’s title odds have now drifted to 33/1, which illustrates perfectly that it looks like the title is now gone this season. Chelsea have been in the driving seat in the title race for much of the campaign.

However, Tottenham have done well to even challenge the Blues, as Antonio Conte’s side have been so consistent in recent months. The Blues now have relatively favourable fixtures, having got the trip to Everton out of the way last weekend. Tottenham fans will no doubt be disappointed that the race seems to over.

Spurs fans will know, though, that Pochettino is building something special at their club. For Tottenham to even be in the title race in the last few years while spending a comparatively small amount of money to their rivals must be applauded.

Tottenham are moving in the right direction under their highly rated Argentinian boss. Spurs may not win the Premier League title this season. However, their fans will not dismay as the future is bright for their highly talented young team.

Is Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge now over?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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