For any football fan to come to the conclusion that Spurs have the best of any anything, no offence Tottenham, in the Premier League seems slightly more than unlikely, yet that is the prospect we are faced with. They might have qualified outside of the top four last year, but perhaps that was down to their maiden season in the Champions League rather than a poor squad. If their squad last year was good then the additions this year have taken it to the next level. In particular their midfield is arguably the best in the league. Last year I think it was Arsenal’s. Any midfield that had Nasri on his then form, Fabregas and Wilshere all playing in the centre was always going to be formidable, however this year Spurs have taken the mantle from their north London rivals.
It’s not just that Scott Parker has proved to be one of the best buys of the summer; it is that the players around him have grown as well. Parker may be the only addition to the Spurs midfield from last year but he has acted as a catalyst in the middle, liberating his team-mates, especially Luka Modric.
There weren’t many people, other than Daniel Levy, who wouldn’t have simply taken the £40m offered by Chelsea for Modric in the summer. It seemed an extortionately large sum for a player who whilst very good was never worth that much. I’m not saying that he is worth that now, but Modric’s performances this season have at least proved that Levy was right to hang on to him. Last season when Modric was playing beside Wilson Palacios or Tom Huddlestone on Sandro he was playing well but the sheer amount of work Parker does for the team means that Modric has been allowed to play with a sense of freedom that very few in Premier League midfields are allowed. As a result I don’t think that there is a team that Modric, on his current form, would not get in to.
They also have arguably the best winger in the league in Gareth Bale. David Silva’s form this season was untouchable for the first few months but that form has cooled in recent weeks and whilst Bale has a similar level of technical ability his physical attributes greatly outweigh those of Silva. Clearly on his day there doesn’t seem to be anyone better than Silva but for consistency in quality performances there are none better than Bale. He has also improved a lot this year from last. This season he has seven assists in the league. That is already more than his last three years put together.
Then you have Aaron Lennon on the right, he clearly isn’t the best right-winger in the league, but he has improved a lot. You have to watch Lennon regularly to realise just how consistent and valuable he is for the Tottenham team. Though his recent spell on the sidelines was only for a few weeks it was clear to see how much Spurs missed him. His acceleration, first touch and driving runs are crucial for opening up space in opposition teams and when you combine his presence with that of Gareth Bale on the other wing the partnership they have is ruthless. It may not be a conventional partnership in that very few passes are played between the two but both rely on the other. With both Bale and Lennon on the pitch it not only stops opposition full backs from attacking but it stretches them defensively.
So if you consider that midfield four of Bale, Modric, Parker and Lennon, then remember that Spurs have Van der Vaart, Huddlestone, Sandro, Pienaar and Kranjcar as reserves it is hard to argue against the fact that not only do Spurs have the best starting midfield players but also the best strength in depth. Clearly Man City has some very talented individuals. Samir Nasri, David Silva and Yaya Toure are all exceptional players. However Adam Johnson, Nigel de Jong and Gareth Barry are consistently underwhelming in their performances and even Silva and Nasri have been disappointing over the Christmas period. No other teams even come close, United have excellent wingers but the fact that they need to bring a 37-year-old Paul Scholes out of retirement is testament to the quality of their other central midfielders. Then you have Liverpool who have extravagantly assembled the most mediocre midfield in the league, Chelsea who lack a defensive midfielder or any real midfield partnerships and Arsenal who are desperately trying to deal with a season in which they lost Nasri, Fabregas and Wilshere all at the same time. Believe me, as an Arsenal fan, it took me a long time to come around to this conclusion, but ultimately you can’t really argue against it. Hopefully it won’t last.
FREE football app that pays you CASH