If there is one team that no Premier League side will want to play at present – it is Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s been a strange season to say the least at White Hart Lane so far, the Lilywhites have been in very patchy form since Pochettino took over, but are starting to find their feet under the Argentine boss – having won five of their last six games in all competitions. It wasn’t too long ago when Spurs were booed off the pitch after a 2-1 home defeat to Mark Hughes’ Stoke City in early-November. But since then, Tottenham have only lost twice in 12 games to march up the Premier League table, move into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
So what has been the catalyst for Tottenham’s recent turnaround in fortunes? For starters, Harry Kane. The 21-year-old has broken onto the scene at White Hart Lane emphatically this season. The England U21 international has netted an incredible 16 times in just 25 league and cup games already this term, and is showing no signs of letting up his devastating form.
Some of Spurs’ senior players, who were struggling to find consistency at the start of the season, have certainly risen to the occasion. Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli – to name a few – have all been in outstanding form of late. Furthermore, the ever-impressive Hugo Lloris deserves a special mention, behind every successful team is a world-class goalkeeper, and Lloris is certainly that.
Spurs’ impressive form of late sent them to dizzy heights on New Years Day, as Pochettino’s side ran riot against the league-leaders Chelsea at White Hart Lane. Two goals from Harry Kane was added to by strikes from Danny Rose, Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli, giving the Lilywhites a famous 5-3 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Blues. The exceptional performance and result capped off an excellent finish to 2014, and kick-started the new year with a bang.
Spurs head into January with some very winnable upcoming fixtures. Tottenham kick-off their FA Cup exploits with a trip to Burnley tonight, before Premier League games against Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion follow shortly after. Sandwiched in between those vital matches is the two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final against Nigel Clough’s Sheffield United.
Despite the Blades proving they are a very good cup team in recent years, Tottenham should fancy their chances of reaching a Wembley final for the first time since winning the competition in 2008. It will also be very interesting to see if Daniel Levy will free up some funds for Pochettino to strengthen his squad this month, particularly with Spurs being heavily linked with Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
There seems to be a very good atmosphere around White Hart Lane at present, compared to a couple of months ago when the players and the manager were coming under serious criticism. Spurs will hope the feel-good factor will remain at the club for the foreseeable future, and maybe some silverware and a Champions League spot can be a possibility after all.