As we near the start of the 17/18 season, people are beginning to make their predictions on who will win the Premier League.
Along with champions Chelsea, both Manchester clubs (who are being moulded more in Mourinho’s and Guardiola’s images respectively), Liverpool and North London rivals Arsenal, Spurs are one of the sides touted with a chance of lifting the title in May.
Every fan of a Premier League club will be backing their side to succeed and hoping their rivals fail. Not since Leicester City in 2015/16 have the neutrals – and even some fans from what would have been rival clubs – backed one side.
It wasn’t so much because of the Foxes’ playing style that the public backed them – after all, would such a counter-attacking approach really have been praised had it come from Chelsea or United’s camp?
It was Spurs who were battling the Foxes for most of the season and while most wanted to see Claudio Ranieri’s men lift the trophy, many felt it was Pochettino’s boys who played the best football and took the right approach.
As Spurs climbed one more place to second last year, we saw them continue their attractive, high-pressing style while also favouring developing younger, English players.
This season it’s unlikely we’ll see a 5000-1 challenger, or even most likely a challenger outside the big six. If this is the case, there is a case that the neutral should back Spurs to go one better this year.
For a start, there are few sides who can boast such an impressive English core. Along with top scorer Harry Kane, the Lilywhite’s will have Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier in their first eleven with the likes of Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and Kyle Walker-Peters hoping to break through. And that’s even with the fact they just sold Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
Unlike the likes of City, Chelsea and United who have spent vast sums recruiting foreign talent in order to build a star-laden side, wouldn’t it be nice to see one that favoured developing youth?
Who knows, it might even inspire Guardiola and company to look within their own academies and produce young English talent – something which England needs greatly when you compare them to the likes of Spain, Germany and even French sides like Monaco.
In an age of oligarchs, businessman and transfer windows where astronomical fees are being paid for players, it would be nice to see the game return to its roots and reward a side that puts the wellbeing of it’s local lads on a par with trophies.
That’s why every neutral should be supporting Spurs this season.