Harry Redknapp has taken Spurs to a whole new level, turning them from mid-table Premier League dwellers to a side that can defeat AC Milan in a Champions League knock-out stage with an on aggregate clean sheet.
However, can it be said that Tottenham can mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title next season? It is a question sitting in the back of everyone’s mind but no-one can predict what will happen. Is Tottenham’s squad strength and depth the main factor for their climb? Or could it be the decline of the top four that is seeing their climb up the table?
There is no doubt that Tottenham are a strong team this year, with players such as Van der Vaart becoming one of the top goal scorers in the league and Gareth Bale becoming one of the hottest-rated left sided players in the world, let alone the country. They are sound in all areas on the field, with a varied strike force from 6ft 7in Peter Crouch down to 5ft 6in Jermain Defoe – both regular England strikers.
However, with this strength come several weaknesses. Consistency is a huge issue for Tottenham this season with results varying from a 4-0 defeat to Fulham to a 3-3 draw with Wolves. Defensively, Tottenham are a lot weaker which is detrimental to their strong final third. The play needs to be swift and strong with service to the front men being of an excellent standard. These results have left Tottenham sitting fourteen points off of top spot in fifth place for this season.
Sitting directly below Tottenham are Liverpool, who have seen a rollercoaster few years leave them falling away from Champions League football and desperately seeking to at least earn the qualifying spot for the Europa League this season. Aston Villa have also fallen from their pedestal to a relegation dogfight, where usually they would be up fighting for Europe. The question out there is whether Tottenham would still be in the position they are in now if teams like Liverpool and Aston Villa had not slumped themselves. The breakdown of the top four is crucial to the rise of teams like Tottenham and Manchester City; seeing them become part of a new elite crop of top six teams, rather than the once illustrious top four.
Then of course there is the obvious question of teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea who have been at the fore front of English and World football for decades. Manchester United and Arsenal have dominated the season, with Chelsea having a minor slump in form which has left the title in the balance coming into the final two months. Tottenham do not have the same resources or world status and in all honesty, it does not seem realistic that any of those teams will realistically be giving up their positions at the top of the league.
If Tottenham want to seriously challenge for the title next season, there will need to be investment in creating a squad with more depth of a higher ability. The defence and midfield are areas of concern in order to supply the front men and the creation of a strong style of play that creates consistency for the team is needed if Tottenham want to be taken seriously. A Champions League spot this season would be an ideal starting point to build upon for next season, but the growing Manchester City empire will need to be rivalled in some form or another. Losing out on the Olympic Stadium to West Ham United was a major blow to Tottenham’s future hopes, but prosperity is certainly a key word glowing around the dressing room.
Considering the newfound inconsistency of the Premier League, it could be a very interesting development over the next few years. Next year is probably not the time for Tottenham, but in a decade, it could be a completely different story.