Shearer tips Spurs to stay in title race

Former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers striker Alan Shearer, writing in his BBC Sport column, believes Tottenham Hotspur have the ability to stay the course in the Premier League title race, and believes they deserve more respect than they are perhaps getting.

Spurs beat Leicester City 3-1 on Sunday to stay five points behind both Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.

What he said

Shearer, who won the title with Blackburn in the 1994-95 season, has given his thoughts on the weekend fixtures, with Spurs, City and Liverpool all winning.

City, of course, ran up the most eye-catching score, thumping Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium, while the Reds beat AFC Bournemouth 3-0 on Saturday.

Shearer, though, insists that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are candidates alongside the Reds and the Blues.

He wrote: “It is a little disrespectful that not many people are talking about Tottenham as potential Premier League winners because they are in the title race – and they have shown they are not going away.

“It was typical really that, on a day where Manchester City were sensational and made the headlines with the way they demolished Chelsea to go back above Liverpool at the top of the table, Spurs ground out another unspectacular victory.

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“Mauricio Pochettino’s side have done something similar in each of their past four league games, but it is actually very impressive that they keep getting results when none of those performances have been particularly great.”

Shearer believes that Spurs will have to improve when they face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but he maintains that they have the mentality needed to keep going in the title race.

He added: “Yes, in an ideal world Tottenham would be doing what City did on Sunday, and tearing teams apart, but they are at a stage of their season when their squad is stretched and getting results is the only thing that matters.

“We know they can play much better than they have done recently, but the fact they are still winning at all with two of their best players in Harry Kane and Dele Alli injured, shows the character of Pochettino and his team.

“City and Liverpool might be playing the better football but Spurs have got a great attitude, which is more evidence of how good their manager is.”

Spot on from Shearer

Shearer is absolutely right to mark Spurs out as genuine contenders.

They are five points back but look well-placed to capitalise on any slips from either City or Liverpool.

Of course, Shearer is correct in his assertion that the Reds and the Blues are playing the better football, but that matters little when the results are coming in.

If Spurs win every game 1-0 between now and the end of the season, they will likely win the league.

Few fans would criticise that approach – at the end of the day you get the same number of points for squeaking past Leicester as you do for battering Chelsea.