Tottenham Hotspur have not won a league title since 1961 when the legendary Bill Nicholson led the club to a domestic double. They have only finished higher than third in a top-flight league season twice in 59 years and have not won a major trophy of any kind since 2008.
But Jose Mourinho was brought in specifically to change that and maybe he can pull it off as Spurs look well-placed to make the most of this strangest of seasons.
Jose Mourinho can deliver Tottenham’s first Premier League title / Clive Rose / Getty Images
Going into the November international break, Spurs are second in the Premier League table, level on points with third-placed Liverpool and just one behind leaders Leicester – the team who dramatically pipped them in 2016. Reached the title. They made it three wins in a row thanks to a late 1-0 win against West Brom at the weekend and are unbeaten since a sluggish opening weekend of the season two months ago.
They can score at will and only Chelsea (20) have conceded more than Spurs’ 19 so far this season. They have two of the best forwards in the league in Harry Kane and Son Heung-min and are a lethal partnership. Both can easily score 20+ in the league if they stay fit.
Spurs also have the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding nine in six games. They are hardly bulletproof, but this season is already showing that it is more about scoring goals and being less poor at the back than anything else. So far, at least, that’s the case.
Spurs have a formidable strike force Son & Kane / JASON CAIRNDUFF/Getty Images
The Spurs are built like no other ‘Big Six’ team right now. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are still in the build-up phase. Manchester City are also moving quickly between projects, while Liverpool are suffering from the type of key player injuries they managed to avoid last season en route to the title.
The squad that Mourinho has built is not too old or too young but just right. Toby Alderweireld, Moussa Sissoko and Gareth Bale are the only outfield players over 30, but at 31 are hardly finishing their respective careers. Tanguy Ndombele, Steven Bergwijn and Sergio Reguilon are relatively young at 23 years old.
At 27 and 28 respectively, Kane and Son should be at their peak right now.
Nothing particularly special with the squad’s long-term prospects, it’s classic Mourinho.
Mourinho’s second season record is well known. He won the Champions League in his second year at Porto, the treble in his second at Inter and the La Liga title in his second year at Real Madrid.
His first year at Chelsea brought a record-breaking Premier League title, but his second brought another in similarly emphatic fashion, while the man himself maintained that in 2017/18. A second-place finish in the Premier League in his second season with Manchester United is one of his best. Achievements – Based on the clubs record, he was probably right.
Now that his feet are under the table at Spurs after three months into last season, will he have another success story in north London? Put it this way, this is Spurs’ best chance to become Premier League champions since 2016.
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