A chime ringed the bells of romanticism across the Premier League last season which will echo in the pages of history forever. Leicester City defied all odds, went past every stumble and left a galvanizing impact as they lifted the domestic league silverware of England. The Foxes have set themselves as an example that everything is achievable amidst the chaos, and if a small club like them can script a fairy-tale kind of season, should we start expecting more than just a mere top-four finish from Tottenham Hotspur?
The north London side were arguably the best team from London in the last campaign before they blew it in their final game. They were thrashed by a humiliating 5-1 score line by a relegated Newcastle United side which let their arch rivals Arsenal sneak past them and end their season as the runners-up to Claudio Ranieri’s men, while Spurs pushed themselves down to the third spot. Nonetheless, Mauricio Pochettino’s comrades should not be chastised for their debacle. Rather they should use the mishap as an impetus to rise to the occasion next season where they will head into as a prospective candidate for bagging the league trophy. But the question that lingers on is whether they have the mettle in them to be crowned as the champions next season.
If we take a closer look at them, we can derive a much better epitome of their credentials. The Lilywhites have a young passionate manager who has the zeal to win with this bunch of comrades which leaves very little to be desired manager wise. Their shot-stopper and skipper Hugo Lloris showed his worth in the Euro 2016 and there aren’t even a couple of goalkeepers ahead of him in the business. Moving to their defence, their central defensive pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have given marginal points to complain about with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose being outrageous and resilient at the same time in the right-back and left-back slots.
A tweak in their midfield was made recently as the solid defensive midfielder in the shape of Victor Wanyama was shipped all the way from St. Mary’s for €14.40 million which implied that the white half of north London will leave no room for complacency. Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele were revelations last season with pace, guile, creativity and tenacity they had on their trays.
Being blessed already with a number of sound attacking midfielders with the trio of Eric Lamela, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen bagging most of the appearances in the attacking midfield zone, Pochettino has added a proven solid ammunition to his midfield’s arsenal with the acquisition of Wanyama to bolster his team’s chances to kiss the heights of glory next season.
Of course, Pochettino has Champions League commitments to worry about and has done the needful job up front as well. Vincent Janssen has been signed by Spurs for a whopping €22.1 million from Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar to ease some pressure off Harry Kane which was arguably the final piece of the puzzle. Pochettino has sniffed an opportunity and has transformed his formidable team into a formidable squad owing to the fact that they will have tough fixtures week in and week out. The manager has assembled a squad that no longer has a soft underbelly and implemented stern tactics to introduce physicality in his troops.
Yes, the competition will be fiercer with all of José Mourinho, Claudio Ranieri, Antonio Conte, Jürgen Klopp, Arsène Wenger and Pep Guardiola aiming for the cake but Spurs can win the league if they don’t bottle it up like they did last season. If Pochettino yearns to be hailed in the merry month of May next year, he needs to make his squad tick, get his tactics spot on. He also has to make necessary ramifications in the January transfer window if things don’t go according to his plans and has to devise the rotational policy to sheer perfection to ink his side’s name on the prestigious Premier League trophy.
This article is written by Prasoon Sur.