Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Where Tottenham realistic title contenders this season?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 27 Aug 2019

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On Sunday afternoon, Tottenham suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat against Newcastle in the Premier League. Despite the fact that the league campaign is only three games old, some have already written Spurs off in the Premier League title race. However, in truth were Tottenham really equipped to challenge last season’s top-two Manchester City and Liverpool?

Improved slightly in the summer

Tottenham strengthened their squad slightly in the summer by bringing in Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon. The three players all add something to the Spurs squad.

However, such is the gulf between Mauricio Pochettino’s team and the top-two, there was very little that Spurs could do in the transfer market. Their transfer policy restricts Pochettino from going out and spending mega amounts on individual players.

Even the club-record fee paid to sign Ndombele is no longer considered a big fee by modern crazy standards. That is what Spurs are up against when it comes to improving their squad to challenge the big two.

The likes of Lo Celso and Ndombele will need to time to adapt to their new teammates and surroundings. The latter is currently sidelined due to injury, while Lo Celso has only enjoyed limited playing time since his summer arrival from Real Betis.

Top two just too far ahead

Looking at the Premier League table you would be forgiven for thinking that Spurs are not far behind City in terms of points and quality. The team from north London recently earned a 2-2 draw at the home of the champions.

In truth, though, they were highly fortunate to escape Manchester with a point. Pep Guardiola’s endured one of those off-days, despite having the better of possession and having a mountain of shots.

Tottenham are still light years behind the top two teams in the Premier League. Granted they have not splash out the same amount of money as City or Liverpool, but they seem like the most likely team to get near the two in the near future.

Unfortunately, Tottenham have started their campaign in an inconsistent fashion. Already they are five points behind league leaders Liverpool. However, it is not just the poor results that are concerning for Spurs, it is their performances at times.

Boss Pochettino has stated that his squad is unsettled with the European transfer window still open. However, that does not apply to the majority of players in the Tottenham squad.

The only player this statement that seems relevant is Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen. The former Ajax star had been linked with moves to Juventus and Real Madrid. However, at this late stage of the campaign, he looks to be staying at the club from the capital until January at least.

Major outsiders for the Premier League title

Tottenham kicked off the campaign as outsiders for the Premier League title. The north London outfit are now major outsiders at odds of 33/1 to finish the season as English champions.

Spurs only finished a point ahead of Arsenal last season in the race for a Champions League spot. This season they should enjoy a better campaign and aim to finish closer to the teams that finished above them last season.

At this early stage of the campaign, the signs are not great that the team from north London will finish any closer to City or Liverpool this season. They certainly do not look like potential title challengers that’s for sure.

Did many people actually believe Tottenham were title challengers at the start of the season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer 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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