Why are Tottenham the Dark Horses?

When quizzed on who will win the Premier League very few people will have come out with the response of Tottenham Hotspur, although there is no reason why?

Granted, they didn’t finish inside the top four last season, but almost ironically  that was down to their impressive Champions League campaign from qualification the season before, with Spurs exceeding themselves and understandably, focusing some of their attention on the lucrative European competition. 

Although they aren’t in the top four they compete with the top sides in England and abroad both on and off the pitch, with that being highlighted no more so than with the saga involving starlet Luka Modric. If Chelsea bid for any other player in any other team outside of the top four there would be no hesitation in a deal being agreed – as shown by Bolton agreeing to sell Gary Cahill – but despite a summer’s worth of courting, Modric remained at White Hart Lane (largely thanks to Daniel Levy), something they have reaped dividends from. 

In fact, if the season started after the end of the summer transfer window in September, Spurs would be sat demonstratively at the top of the Premier League table, and not on goal difference like Manchester City, Tottenham would be six points clear of the second placed team (which incidentally would be the Manchester side). 

The phrase football ‘isn’t played on paper’ is often said, but the footballing world is more than eager to base its title winning team predictions based purely on that; the squad a team boasts. It is this that has led to many a pundit and fan putting their money on money-bags Manchester City, who lay claim to the likes of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri. Understandable. Or is it? 

Spurs possess quite possibly the best squad in the Premier League, not solely for their starting eleven, but for their squad as a whole. Whilst City stutter without David Silva and Vincent Kompany, Spurs chug on regardless without Modric (as rare a scenario as it is) and captain Ledley King – who with a healthy pair of knees could be England captain – and why? Strength in depth. Harry Redknapp can bring in the likes of Brazilian international Sandro, or Niko Kranjcar, whilst King at the back is replaced by title winner at Chelsea William Gallas. We thought Man City had this attribute too, but it appears not as Stefan Savic showed last night against Liverpool. 

Harry Redknapp is sure to have his car window wound down casually talking to the media about the transfer market as he always does, and as always he is sure to deny any involvement in transfers, much like August 2010 when with “no players coming in” Rafael van der Vaart rocked up with two hours remaining on deadline day.  

If any more personnel are recruited it will only strengthen Tottenham’s chance of winning the title as they already lie just three points off of City and eight points clear of fourth placed Chelsea. And with City and United both waning slightly, Spurs have the chance to pounce, but whether or not they have that killer instinct remains to be seen.  

Alex O’Loughlin @AlexOLoughlin18        

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