By the time January comes around, we usually have a fair idea of which two sides will realistically compete for the EPL title in May. We’re now in February and are non-the-wiser. The Premier League has become increasingly competitive in recent times; however, as the proliferation of television money is distributed evenly throughout the league and without prejudice.
This has left us with four realistic title contenders in January, from Leicester at the top, to Manchester City in fourth. The Foxes have somehow managed to keep their momentum following an impressive end to last season, whilst Spurs, well, their secretly plugging away and are also within touching distance of the title.
The young and energetic Tottenham side currently sit in second place and sit just five points off the top. They have also worked hard to establish themselves as one of the league’s most consistent sides, with just three defeats in 25 league games, an impressive 45 goals and the best defence in the top-flight. The only thing that has let Tottenham down in this time is an inability to convert draws into wins, while the lack of cover for striker Harry Kane has also caused concern.
Despite this, there are several factors that have set Tottenham apart this season. Mauricio Pochettino has created an exceptionally fit and high energy side, for example, which presses the ball as well as any side in the league. He has also continued his reputation for developing young, English players, many of whom have played a pivotal role in driving Tottenham’s title campaign. When allied with strong defensive organisation and a fluid passing game, Spurs have clearly laid the foundations for sustainable success this season.
We still consider Spurs to be relative outsiders for title, there is no doubt that Pochettino’s squad has the depth, quality and fitness to last the course in the EPL. The question will be whether they can address their minimal areas of concern, however, such as ability to win without playing well and finding support in attacking areas for Harry Kane. Whisper it quietly, but the addition of a skilful and predatory striker such as Saido Berahino could have enabled Spurs to rotate the precocious Kane and increase the firepower at the club.
In this respect, Spurs could look back on the January transfer window with regret, but fans can’t argue it’s been an incredible season for the club that should see them make the top four for the first time since Harry Redknapp was in charge.