Tottenham have the opportunity to go eight points ahead of their London rivals Chelsea on Sunday, which would all but kill off the Blues’ hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
A major psychological hurdle stands in their way; Spurs have not won at Stamford Bridge during the Premier League era. Gary Lineker got the winner the last time they won on a league visit to Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino has brought the club on leaps and bounds under his stewardship but he is still yet to win a trophy with the North London outfit.
Meanwhile, Chelsea oscillate between sublime Premier League title wins (2014/15 and 2016/17) and huge drop offs (2015/16 and this season) and that is quite the contrast with Tottenham’s steady, but as yet trophyless, improvement.
Which model is better? One man who is sure that the Blues have it right is their former captain Dennis Wise, who feels that players will join Chelsea over Spurs because of the increased opportunity to win trophies.
He told the Evening Standard:
“Spurs have built well, but I don’t think they’re near Chelsea as a club at the moment. They are batting above their weight. They haven’t won anything.
“It looks like resources have been saved for the stadium but as a player you want to win things – at Chelsea you do that. They may miss out one year but they’re back the next.
“Chelsea will always be there competing for honours. But for Spurs they’re at more of a crossroads of which way they’re going to go.
“If Manchester United beat them in the FA Cup semi-final and they finish fifth, then it’s another season where they have failed again.
They always seem to get themselves in a nice spot but fall short. They really do need to be consistent and stay in the Champions League spots constantly.
“If it doesn’t happen to Chelsea this season, it’s not a major problem. That’s the difference.”