After eleven matches in the Premier league, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham sits top of the table. Bar some teams that have played one match less, we are close to a third of the season. Tottenham are looking like they are equipped for their first Premier League title, following in the footsteps of Liverpool, who also broke their Premier league duck last season. With the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City on their trail, can the Lillywhites see their title charge through this time?
Tottenham came close a number of times with Mauriccio Pochettino in charge. They ended up third in the 2015/16 season when Leicester defied the odds to win the title, Tottenham were in the race with them for a long time, till they dropped out. In some other cases, they have shown signs they could be up for the title but they always come up short. They also got to the Champions League final in 2018. They have been nearly men for some time.
However, there is a difference this time – Jose Mourinho. They have a manager that has won league titles before. He has won the league title at every club he has been at bar Manchester United. When Pochettino was sacked last season, despite his good job at the club, there were signs he may have taken them as far as he could. Constant qualification for the Champions League and being in the mix as one of the big boys. It is believed that Mourinho is the manager that can take Tottenham to the next level.
So far this season, they are playing with all the swagger of a potential champion. they have taken the scalp of the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal without breaking a sweat. They have also forced Chelsea to a goalless game at the Stamford Bridge. Like a typical Mourinho winning team, they are stable defensively and brutal in attack. Harry Kane and So Heung Min are the most potent attacking duo in the league today, they are players playing on top of their games. As we have seen so far, they can put any league team to the sword. In defence, they are finding balance. Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier are becoming a potent defensive pair, Sergio Reguillon and Serge Aurier are looking assured at full-back. Than the individuals in the defence, they are building a strong defensive structure, little wonder young Joe Rondon stepped in for the injured Alderweireld in central defence against Chelsea and they still kept a clean sheet. One of the keys to their defensive structure is Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has slotted into the midfield and given the team stability, a typical Mourinho player who works his socks off, winning the ball and keeping it simple and tidy in possession.
Agreed, they have ingredients of a title winning team. What could stop them?
They don’t look like they have enough quality cover for their first team players, which is important for a title winning team. They could struggle for good enough replacement if one or both of Kane and Son gets injured. As stated earlier, Hojbjerg is very important, can they replace him if he gets injured?
Beyond Tottenham, the performances of some of the other contenders is a huge factor. Liverpool had 97 points two seasons back and still did not win the league. A haul that could have won them the title in every other Premier League season. Jose’s men may still fall short because some teams can do better. We know the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City can still take it notches higher. They are not faraway for now, even with some of their key players out. Tottenham may not be able to stop them when they get into full flow. Chelsea are also looking good, they look like a team that could be better than Spurs.
There are signs Mourinho has gotten the perfect blend for his team. How to tackle the lesser opponents and the bigger teams. They look like they will be difficult to beat. In the opinion of this writer, Tottenham will do well but will end up short because the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City are more equipped and have what it takes to usurp Tottenham. Mourinho could still lead Spurs to glory but glory won’t be the Premier League title this season.