Are they title challengers or not? That’s the question on the lips of Premier League fans and panellists up and down the country and across the world when it comes to Tottenham.
Whilst Manchester City are outstanding favourites for the crown once again and Liverpool also sporting an unbeaten record, Spurs are an unlikely outside bet to win their first PL title despite the weekend defeat to arch rivals Arsenal.
Ridiculed in the summer for becoming the first top flight club not to sign a player during the summer transfer window, they concentrated on signing their current stars to long term deals.
With Lucas Moura completing a full pre-season and the return to fitness of Eric Lamela, Spurs have almost had two new players added to the ranks and despite some fears of fatigue from their World Cup stars, they aren’t showing much sign of tiredness.
There is still the Achilles heel of consistent performances against their fellow title rivals, the marvellous dispatching of Manchester Utd in August and Chelsea last weekend is levelled by the tepid performances against Manchester City and Liverpool and that may well be their undoing.
The uncertainty over the New White Hart Lane has also been seen as a huge distraction to the season and with expectation that the club will remain at Wembley until the end of the season there is more of a calmness around that situation.
The strength in depth that Spurs possess when everyone is fit does give them more of an edge over Liverpool and Chelsea for options as shown over the past few weeks with sensible squad rotation whilst not weakening the side and still producing results.
One of the big successes of the season so far has been the emergence of Moussa Sissoko as a chief mainstay in the team. In the absence of Moussa Dembele with injury, Sissoko has shrugged of a season of poor form and cemented a place in the team, catching the eye with his ability to break up play and drive the team forward, releasing the front players to hurt the opposition in the final third.
If anything he is appearing to be as important to the success of this season as those netting goals or keeping clean sheets, something that wasn’t envisaged by many Spurs fans at the beginning of the season.
With a good run of fixtures coming up against the smaller teams, Spurs should be in a good position by mid-January to launch a challenge over the second half of the season although it is still a big ask to compete with the money from Manchester.
Yes, they are contenders but still a little way off from finding that spark which can reel off a set of unbeaten results to win that elusive first Premier League title.
Written by Trevor Knell
Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37
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