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Leicester City may have been crowned Champions of England for the 2015/16 Premier League season, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that they are the strongest team heading into next season. The Foxes won the Premier League because they were the most resilient, and managed to win or pick up vital points even when it just wasn’t their day.
Manager Claudio Ranieri openly admitted that his side doesn’t stand a chance of successfully defending the title next season; but then again he is just being Claudio Ranieri, the tinker man who blatantly refused to even admit they were in the title race with ten games left to the close of the season.
The big boys of the League are bound to strengthen their sides without a doubt. Chelsea and Manchester City already have with the acquisition of Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola respectively. Be that as it may, there is a side that may go unnoticed amidst the clamor of Leicester’s title celebrations and fanfare surrounding managerial switches by the big spenders…and that’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs may have fallen short this season, but here are three reasons why they are the strongest side in England right now.
Pochettino’s contract extension
If you’ve never heard of the name Mauricio Pochettino then you’ve probably heard of the name miracle worker, it’s the same thing; everything the Argentine touches blossoms. His first managerial stint was at La Liga side Espanyol whence he was once a player. Although Pochettino stayed there for three years, it wasn’t until he made a move to England that he found his breakthrough.
His season long stay at Southampton in 2013 saw the Saints equal their highest ever finish of eighth in the Premier League standings. It was then that suitors came knocking and in the summer of 2014, Mauricio Pochettino took over the reins of power at White Hart Lane.
His belief and trust of youthful players has paid off massively as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier formed the spine of the team that mounted the title challenge, albeit unsuccessful. At the tail end of April, the Club announced that the 44-year old had signed a two-year contract extension- on top of his previous contract- that will see him stay at the club until 2021.
Nothing will give players more confidence than knowing their manager will be around for another year, or five.
Free-scoring Harry Kane
Picking Harry Kane ahead of Roberto Soldado at the start of the 2014/15 season was a colossal gamble that was met with harsh criticism by Spurs loyalists, but the thing about colossal gambles it that the returns are equally huge.
Harry Kane has had two high flying years as a seasoned goal scorer, and is on course to win the 2015 Golden Boot with 25 goals. Kane will be of an invaluable contribution not only for Tottenham but also England in the years to come.
Managerial changes at rival clubs
Following an under par season Chelsea and Manchester City have already confirmed their managerial changes for next season, while Louis van Gaal’s future at Manchester United hangs in the balance after making Champions League qualification almost impossible.
Nevertheless, it may take a while before the newly set up teams gel, and this will unavoidably play out to Tottenham’s odds.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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