Tottenham have to seize their Premier League title opportunity
Tottenham have arguably never boasted a stronger squad in the Premier League era as they do in the current campaign. Jose Mourinho not only has quality in his starting line-up, but also the depth to overcome the demands of a gruelling campaign ahead to lift the crown.
Spurs are considered outsiders in the English Premier League odds at 17/2 to claim the title, with the bookies ranking them behind Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. City and Liverpool have been the best teams in the league over the last three years therefore their status as the top two contenders is justified. However, Tottenham appear to be a more complete side than their London rivals Chelsea, and with the experience of Mourinho they have the edge in the dugout.
To win the Premier League title, Liverpool and Manchester City have shown that goals are required in abundance. Tottenham have Harry Kane, who is good for at least 20 league goals in every season. The England captain has often lacked support from his team-mates, especially without a recognised back-up through the middle.
Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente have failed to make the grade behind Kane, even if he has had Son Heung-min operating alongside him in the final third. The burden on the forward has been too great at times, while he has also suffered injuries at inopportune times for the club.
Gareth Bale’s return from Real Madrid hands Spurs another high-quality option through the middle of the line. The Welshman opened his account for the campaign with a decisive strike in Tottenham’s win over Brighton and Hove Albion, displaying a clinical edge to match that of Kane.
Son is playing the best football of his career and is leading the goalscoring charts, while Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela, Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn and Carlos Vinicius are also vying for starting berths. Now that Mourinho can continue to throw attacking options at opponents, as well as boasting the Portuguese’s philosophy of keeping his teams tight at the back, Spurs have the right blend of attributes to make a serious challenge for the crown.
They should have won the title in the 2015/16 season when City, United, Chelsea and Liverpool were off the boil. Leicester City were the surprise package and beat out Tottenham down the stretch. At the time Spurs were an inexperienced outfit. On this occasion they have no excuse. Kane, Son, Lucas and Bale are all in the primes of their respective careers.
Manchester City have been weakened by injuries in the final third, while their defensive deficiencies continue to plague them. Liverpool have been robbed of their best two defenders for at least the majority of the campaign. Chelsea are still a work in progress following their additions in the summer. Now is the perfect time to strike for Spurs and Mourinho. They have goals aplenty in their team and have the ability to throw truly world-class operators off the bench.
Defensively they have always been a stout unit anyway, but Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld are now the best centre-back pairing in the league – or at least within the top two. The strength in depth at the back is so sufficient that Danny Rose cannot even get a squad number. Their only weakness is the middle of the park, but Mourinho’s system does not require a huge amount of creativity, allowing him to play Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Winks as a tandem.
Considering the issues the other elite teams in the Premier League are enduring this term, Tottenham have to capitalise and ensure they are in position to at least challenge for the crown in May.