In the second part of our study on the English Premier League’s “Big Six” clubs, we take a look at 2016-17’s runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur.
The first article discussed league-leaders Liverpool as we go through how the six biggest teams in the Premier League have fared so far – Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
Looking at their form, how their players have competed so far and their upcoming opponents in the Premier League, we try to give a rating early in the season.
This time it’s Mauricio Pochettino’s men on the hot seat.
After solid performances in the recent Premier League seasons, many believed that Tottenham’s time may be near, soon they may be league champions.
The closest they had in the last few years was a second-place finish two seasons ago, and they settled for third behind the Manchester teams last year.
To start this season, it appeared that Spurs were poised for another positive run to the top of the table, getting a big 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in their season opener. The big victory away from home pushed them forward to win their second game, their first at home at Wembley, in a 3-1 thrashing of Fulham.
Their first real test came in their third game when they travelled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and Jose Mourinho. Many believed this would be a great match-up between two title contenders but Spurs had other ideas.
They completely outplayed the Red Devils and sealed the game in the second half with three goals en route to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Unfortunately, they could not keep their unblemished record for long as they faced a red-hot Watford team who were also unbeaten in as many Premier League matches as they played in the season. They lost 2-1 and only registered in the score-sheet after an own goal by Abdoulaye Doucoure.
With the loss they currently find themselves fifth in the table, three points behind league leaders Liverpool and one point behind Manchester City in fourth place.
HOW TRANSFERS HAVE FARED
Surprisingly, Spurs were very quiet throughout the summer that they did not make one transaction to the shock of their fans.
Tottenham boss Daniel Levy is known for being a tough businessman and a very shrewd spender. However, most were waiting on at least one signing especially after they came up just short as runners-up two years ago to sliding down a spot a year later.
They certainly had reported targets like Frenkie De Jong but nothing really came to fruition. Fortunately, Spurs are a very strong outfit and have done well so far outside of their latest Premier League outing.
Much are already expected with Harry Kane, Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen, but Pochettino is getting excellent performances from Lucas Moura as the Brazilian already has three Premier League goals in four appearances.
With most of his players clicking on all cylinders so far in the season, not adding a new name to the list may still work out for Tottenham as their current core have the chemistry.
HOW THEY MAY FARE IN THE COMING MATCHES
After a loss to Watford, things are certainly not going to be easier for Tottenham when they get back from the international break as Liverpool await. The two teams drew their last meeting but Spurs also hold a big 4-1 victory over the Reds back in October. If they can replicate that result they will be level on points with the Reds and can possibly climb higher in the table.
Next up are Brighton Hove & Albion where Spurs have lost to in over 30 years. Their last clash may have ended 1-1 but Spurs have won four of their last five meetings so a win should be Tottenham’s only target.
After Brighton are Huddersfield Town who have been struggling so far in the Premier League. Still without a win so far, they are 17th in the table at the moment. In two meetings last year, Tottenham won both without conceding a signal goal.
Finally, Spurs welcome newcomers Cardiff City and the latter are pretty much in a similar form with Huddersfield Town as Cardiff have yet to get a win so far. After Liverpool, Tottenham are expected to win their next three matches and that should greatly help them in keeping close with the teams on top of the table.
SEASON SO FAR: 3.75/5