The North London club are still a far cry for winning a Premier League title at the present time, but recent years have shown massive improvements for Tottenham Hotspur that have seen them become a force to be reckoned with. As we all know, the ‘beautiful game’ is not one for sticking to the norm. Take Manchester City’s title winning season last year and the last minute circumstances in which it happened. The game is full of surprises and it would be silly to rule Tottenham out of winning a Premier League title in the near future. The typical top four of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea should be cautiously looking over their shoulder.
That’s not to say Spurs are not a top 4 side already. They have performed remarkably this season and have surged to their current after a shaky start. A lot of it comes down to the teams performances but Andre Villas-Boas has come in and brought quite attractive football to White Hart Lane and he finally looks settled into the Premier League after his time at Chelsea which he himself will happily admit did not go to plan. Quite a lot of the plaudits and praise should go to the Portuguese manager but we all know who has been the starlet of Spurs season. The ‘Welsh Wizard’, Gareth Bale.
Bale has been unequivocally outstanding this season being the key man to Spurs Champions League push and is deservedly a contender for Player of the Season. Only players such as Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez have matched his performance and had similar impact which is remarkable in itself with both players held in such high regard as world class. He has amassed an incredible 22 goals from midfield this season and has been both gracefully and technically in his new central role just behind the striker. Unfortunately, his injury against Basel might see him spend some time on the sidelines which could be detrimental to Spurs Champions League push.
Bale’s rise in form has led to some ridicule saying the Spurs are a one man team but it could be construed as a symbol of Tottenham’s intent. He is now one of the most sought after players in Europe with reports indicating Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are keeping tabs on him. This could mean Tottenham are on the rise to compete with these types of teams. After all, they have beaten Manchester United this season in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Old Trafford and have pulled off a last-gasp 1-1 draw against them at White Hart Lane.
Bale isn’t the only player to have earned the plaudits this season within the Spurs squad. Jermain Defoe has had a typical season by his standards showing that he is a proven goalscorer with a total of 14 goals, which is a good return considering he has had several injury problems this season. Mousa Dembele has settled in well to the midfield after the departure of Luka Modric in the summer and Aaron Lennon looks back to his lightening quick self and is back in contention for another England call-up. But the defensive starlet that has looked very impressive in his first season in the Premier League is Belgian stalwart, Jan Vertonghen.
Vertonghen has been a rock at the back in the absence of retired Ledley King and has proved to be a worthy replacement. He easily been Tottenham’s best defender this season and is very versatile as he can be utilised at left-back. He has also chipped in with 7 goals from the back in all competitions this season and was recently awarded Premier League Player of the Month for March. He is a very classy defender, comfortable with the ball at his feet and composed at the back and at the age of 25, he has his whole career ahead of him and is a regular for the Belgian national side.
Vertonghen’s in the prime of his career at 25 and this follows a trend at Spurs. They have a variation of age and plenty of experience throughout the squad which provides a good balance for a strong starting 11. Players such as Gareth Bale, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon, Mousa Dembele, Lewis Holtby, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker are all 25 an under and all key players within the squad. The more experienced players of the squad such as Jermain Defoe, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson and Emmanuel Adebayor provide that balance for a future at Tottenham so it looks like it will be a bright future.
Tottenham’s rise up the football charts has seen a possible rephrasing of the cliched ‘top four’ of the Premier League. They may now be the part of the elite of the Premier League as in the past 3 season they have finished in the top five and, on two occasions, in the top four. The topsy turvy order of the top of the PL has led to some rethinking of who will be the elite. In that time, Chelsea and Manchester City have finished outside the top four which could mean a change to the order. Its without argument that White Hart Lane hosts some of the most attractive and entertaining games in the Premier League and is worthy of hosting Champions League games.
Their most recent Champions League stint of the 2010-2011 season showed what Tottenham are capable of achieving. A campaign which saw a remarkable group stage with them only losing one game in close fashion and knock out AC Milan in the last 16. They fell at the hand of Real Madrid in the quarter final stage but they were the heavy underdogs and were not expecting to even come close to the quarter finals of the competition. If they want to emulate that kind of campaign, they will have to hold on until the end of the season with big games coming up against Everton and Manchester City.
So Champions League qualification looks like a real possibility, but what about the Premier League? Do they have the financial power, depth in squad and most of all enough talent to bring a Premier League title to White Hart Lane? If they are to do so, they must be prepared to dip into their pockets and spend big on some top quality players. Rumours indicated they very close to signing Joao Moutinho for £20 million+ in the summer, which is exactly the kind of ambition the club should be showing. They have the ability to bring in some big names with the lure of Champions League football a big attraction. They could do with a proven goalscorer in the Premier League to add to the lack of numbers up front. Defoe, Adebayor and Clint Dempsey are the only figureheads in attack but the goalscoring responsibility has lied mostly with Gareth Bale this season.
With the lure of some big names and holding onto their key players such as Bale, the Spurs faithful could be looking at a more positive outlook in the future. In the last year, they have come devastatingly close to getting a Champions League spot. Now they sit in the top four and it’s all theirs to lose. They are definitely capable of winning a title within the next 5 years but there needs to be more ambition shown if they are to do so. Granted it will be tough to beat the top four teams but with some big names in the near future, it could give them a huge push to becoming, not only a force in the Premier League, but a force in Europe.