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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Can Spurs be serious title contenders?

Tottenham Hotspur went into Sunday's game against Stoke on the back of one of their best starts ever to a Premier League season. They had won their last six league games, holding an unbeaten run that stretched from the end of August. Spurs sit fourth in the table, only seven points behind leaders Manchester City. This impeccable attitude has certainly showed that Harry Redknapp's side can go toe-to-toe with the big boys of the league, but do they have what it takes to finish top of the pile come May?

This season, Spurs' squad seems to be the strongest it has ever been in recent years. Their midfield is possibly the best in the country; Lennon and Bale on the wings, Parker and Modric in the centre with Van Der Vaart playing in the CAM position. Between them, they have netted a total of 18 goals in all competitions. Aaron Lennon has the blistering pace that has seen him score incredible solo goals in recent weeks whilst Bale is also good with his movement and crossing. Scott Parker, former PFA players player of the year, and £40m valued Luka Modric have the ability to control the game with such ease. Whilst VDV is always a goal scoring threat and can provide the passes for the striker up front or even joining the attack as a second attacker.

It is also evident that they have depth in striking roles. Adebayor currently has the edge over his closest rivals, but they would easily be able to fill his boots if needed. Jermaine Defoe is a pacy striker who is able to cause some trouble to any defence that he comes into contact with, whilst Pavlychenko is a well-established international striker for his home country of Russia. Depending on what team they are facing, each player has his strengths that will accommodate for their style of play.

In addition, there is the manager. Harry Redknapp is one of the most experienced managers in the league, who has successfully taken Spurs from relegation candidates to Champions League quarter finalist in three years, so who knows what he is capable of during this season. Redknapp is also a wise spender in the transfer market, one of his best signings being Rafael Van Der Vaart (a Real Madrid, Dutch international) for a measly £8 million. During the January transfer market, he is quoted saying that he will make a "big signing" for the north London club, so that can only be good news for their title hopes.

Finally, unlike the other league contenders (namely Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea) Tottenham do not need to face the exhausting prospect of European football in the coming weeks and months, after being knocked out of the competition a few hours ago. The Manchester clubs will be playing their trade in the Europa League (Thursday nights, channel five if you need reminding) whilst the Blues are still in the hunt for that elusive Champions League trophy. Spurs' players will be much more rested when it comes to decisive games, so maybe their Europe exit was a blessing in disguise.

In conclusion, it will be tough for the north Londoners to try and fight their way to lead the table until the end of the season, but something tells me that they will be able to give it a good go, as long as they are able to bounce back quickly from that stoking on Sunday (which in their defence, they should have won).

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