Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tottenham season underrated because of Leicester

Mauricio PochettinoIn a normal season Tottenham challenging for the Premier League title with just seven games to go would be big news. Spurs have been in and around the top six of the Premier League for a long time, but have never really looked like title challengers.

This no normal season though, as Leicester continue to sit top of the table, while reigning champions Chelsea remain stranded in midtable and West Ham challenge for a top four spot.

Exceeding expectations

Tottenham head into this weekend’s game at Liverpool five points behind Leicester in the race to be crowned English champions this season. In truth only really Arsenal could get near either of the leading two.

To say Spurs are exceeding expectations would be an understatement. The side from north London started the campaign as outsiders for the top four and a Champions League spot. Most Tottenham fans would no doubt have taken a top four finish this season if it was offered at the start of the campaign.

Those Tottenham fans must now be in dream land with their team still very much in the race for the title. It would have taken a very optimistic Tottenham fan to predict their team’s performance this season.

Spurs are now odds of 11/4 second favourites behind Leicester to be crowned English champions in May.

A top boss in Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has truly illustrated his managerial ability both in the summer transfer market and in his team’s performances this season.

The Argentine’s potential showed during his time at Espanyol and then Southampton, but it is at Spurs where he has fully flourished.

The former-Argentina international is now regarded as one of the top bosses in the English top-flight. He has turned Tottenham into title contenders on very little resources compared to some of the other teams in the league, Leicester apart of course.

According to the people that have worked with Pochettino, he works the players until they are exhausted, but that is how the players develop and improve. That is how they improve their stamina and therefore get better results.

Pochettino is a workaholic who looks at every fine detail of his team and that is probably the reason for his immense success in the Premier League. His ability to mould young players has also been impressive in his short time in England.

His work in the transfer market has proven pretty impressive with Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli proving to be two outstanding signings. Alderweireld continued his impressive form from last season on-loan at Southampton.

Alli has been one of best young players in the English top-flight this season and has even broke into the England squad, despite having only previously played in League One with the MK Dons prior to this season.

Something special is happening at Tottenham

There seems to be something special happening at Spurs at the moment. The atmosphere surrounding the club seems different. The club from north London used to be regarded as soft touches on the pitch.

They played nice football at times, but never really threatened the established order at the top of the table. Some had labelled them ‘bottlers’. This team is anything but bottlers. They can play, but they also seem to have a physical edge to them. Alli is a fine footballer, but he is no choir boy and can put his foot in when it is needed.

Tottenham seems to have the foundation to be a great team and with Pochettino at the helm they could achieve great things. Pochettino has been rumoured to be interesting Manchester United. However, the question would have to be asked, why would he leave Tottenham?

The Argentinian has two of the country’s best young players in his team in Alli and Harry Kane and is building a bright young team that could challenge for major honours, even if they do not win the title this season.

Leicester’s extraordinary emergence this season has slightly taken the shine off Tottenham’s displays. However, the north London clubs stellar campaign cannot be dismissed and Spurs look like they are now set-up to challenge on a regular basis at the top of the Premier League table.

Have Tottenham been underrated this season?

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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