Premier League - Opinion: This could finally be Tottenham's year to win the Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur pulled off an impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester City on Saturday night in the Premier League. In a deeply unusual season, Jose Mourinho's side could have the quality to win the league outright for the first time in decades.
Published 21/11/2020 at 20:58 GMT | Updated 22/11/2020 at 12:50 GMT
Tottenham will finish a day top of the Premier League table for the first time since August 2014 and could finally go all the way in a unique season.
In such a topsy turvy campaign where we had have freak results like Liverpool shipping seven against Aston Villa, teams dogged by injuries and positive tests for coronavirus, a shorter pre-season and home advantage counting for little with no crowds, this is the perfect season for a side like Spurs to do like Leicester did and win the title.
Their squad is packed with quality and depth to deal with the long slog ahead after some shrewd summer signings including Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius, Joe Rodon and Sergio Reguilon, who was outstanding against City. With the experience on their substitute bench they look better prepared to deal with injuries to their star names which hampered Mauricio Pochettino's time in charge.
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And in the big games so far they have more than turned up. Trouncing Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford and today outclassing Manchester City with their counter attacks and work rate. Yes there were more accusations of being 'Spursy' after blowing a 3-0 lead to draw with West Ham but they have racked up four wins since then.
Then there is the Mourinho factor. Friday marked his one year anniversary at the club and after a patchy start, he looks to have got his mojo back and winning over the sceptics.
His digs at Gareth Southgate and Raheem Sterling's injury withdrawal from England in the build up to the City game. Criticising everything from the fixture schedule to VAR, classic Jose, controlling the narrative.
Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso (2nd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image credit: Getty Images
Spurs have won back-to-back league games against Man City for the first time since a run of three between September 2015-October 2016 which shows rumours of his demise may have been exaggerated. He is gradually building something exciting in North London, they are heading in the right direction - their is a clear direction - unlike at Man City and Manchester United.
At United he was branded a tactical dinosaur with many saying football had moved on and that he was finished as a top level coach despite his second-placed finish in 2017/18.
After an 11 month break from the game he is showing his methods still have merit. Harry Kane thrived again against Man City in a deeper role, Serge Aurier is playing out of his skin, Eric Dier is looking like a prime Nemanja Matic. Without the ball Tottenham look far stronger, they know how to win ugly.
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Under Poch they played some scintillating football times but won zip. The more flashier players like Dele Alli and Ryan Sessegnon are out, the grafters who are less easy on the eye are in. Substance over style as Spurs look to win their first trophy since 2008 under Harry Redknapp.
Today's performance was straight out of Chapter 1 of the Mourinho coaching manual. The sort of tactical masterclass that we used to see in his title winning campaigns at Chelsea. Soaking up the pressure, taking less risks, being clinical in the final third.
What must United be thinking? They failed to give Mourinho the defenders he wanted in the summer of 2018, he publicly voiced his frustration and was sacked a few months later. With the lack of progress the club has made with Ole at the wheel and with the jury still out on Mourinho's nemesis Paul Pogba, some fans will no doubt be wanting the Portuguese coach back.
It is only nine games into the Premier League season. But without the distraction of a Champions league campaign, Mourinho is turning Spurs into a force to be reckoned with and capable of winning a trophy.
And as we saw with Leicester in 2016, stranger things have happened. And this season is the perfect storm to create history.