Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested that it is Tottenham who are the best team to watch in the Premier League right now, and believes that they have a very real chance of winning the title come May. Praise indeed from the division’s greatest ever manager.
Spurs currently sit third in the table, with a game in hand. Those who reviews bookmakers note how they find themselves four points ahead of Chelsea who occupy the place just below them, and at the midway stage are comfortably within the Champions’ League qualification positions.
But what of Ferguson’s comments? Could they really spring a surprise and actually win the Premier League? At the start of the season you would have given them no chance. Their star players Gareth Bale and Luka Modric were being linked with moves elsewhere, all pointing towards a possible collapse for the Redknapp dynasty.
Furthermore, they hardly looked to have the most potent of strike forces. Yet, loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor has been prolific for them this season, and has more or less one over the boo boys who struggled to forget his Spurs crushing Arsenal past behind him.
It is true though, Tottenham have been the league’s great entertainers, and have a very real case for suggesting they are now the powerhouse in North London. They have left Arsenal in their wake, and not only that, they have done it in style.
Their win over Norwich is a clear representation of that. Whilst many had their doubts that Spurs could go to Carrow Road and take the three points, they went there and proved them wrong too.
Fair enough, Harry Redknapp’s men were always going to be the favourites in that particular encounter, and so they should have been. But on home territory the Canaries have claimed a few Premier League scalps of their own, as well as having made it a fortress in their previous two promotion campaigns.
They have become a notoriously hard side to beat with their combative, physical style combined with the dynamism that Paul Lambert has instilled. But Spurs were more than a match.
Still, they find themselves seven points adrift of the league leaders, Manchester City. By winning their game in hand they can cut that to four but with United also on the same points, you would have to accept that such a lead is going to be very difficult to close down. They may catch one of the Manchester sides, but can they really hope to close down both?
There is no doubt that Spurs have the confidence and ability within their squad to go on and get over 80 points in the Premier League this season, but the reality is, as Roberto Mancini has pointed out this season – 90 is what will be required this season. Ferguson had the audacity to reply by suggesting United would get 91.
Indeed, mathematically, Tottenham are on course for almost 85 points this season. Last campaign, that would have seen them to a comfortable title win by five clear points – indeed, 14 ahead of Chelsea who finished third. But it seems as though the bar has been raised this season, and Spurs will really have to kick on in the second half of the season if they really are to upset the odds.