At the beginning the 2015/2016 Premier League season, Spurs were priced at 100/1 to win the league after finishing 5th in the 2014/15 season. Finishing six points behind Manchester United, who finished fourth in the previous season, left Spurs with a lot of work to do heading into their new campaign if they were going to mount a serious title challenge.
Fall of Big Teams:
Spurs benefited somewhat in the 2015/16 season from having no real competition around them from the ‘big’ clubs. Both Manchester sides were inconsistent, and “horny” football really was not providing the goods for Louis van Gaal’s United. An injury to star striker Sergio Aguero, and the mid season appointment of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad for the 2016/17 season, left the dressing room rather unsettled at City. Liverpool had every right to be in the top four, but couldn’t string together results under new manager Jurgen Klopp. Arsenal were their usual self – putting in outstanding performances once every so often, but inconsistency and not having the drive to take the league by the scruff of the neck proved their downfall. Chelsea were relegation candidates early on, and finished in 10th, again providing no real worry for the fans at White Heart Lane. If Spurs were ever going to win the league, this would have to be the year.
There is no doubt in my mind that Harry Kane is the best English striker around. Worries of second ‘season syndrome’ were just that – worries. Kane not only continued his exceptional form from the previous season, but finished with 25 goals, winning the Golden Boot. Kane’s clinical finishing in front of goal, with his work rate and composure, dragged Spurs to a title push late on.
Another young English prodigy, Alli had a standout season for a 19/20 year old, netting 10 times and providing assists on nine occasions. His heart in the centre of Tottenham’s midfield brought a young, fresh feel to this vibrant team. With the likes of Eric Dier, Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela, and Kane all playing in midfield/attack, the future looks bright for Spurs. Winning the PFA Young Player of the Year solidifies Alli’s status as one of the best young players going around.
Toby had an outstanding season at the back for Spurs, and was a crucial part of a Spurs defensive unit that was the second best in the league, behind only Van Gaal’s United. Paired with the experienced Jan Vertonghen, Alderweireld had a debut season at a club of the highest order. A ball playing defender, Alderweirald’s accurate balls from the back, combined with his defensive capabilities, provided for a winning combo. His acquisition from Atletico Madrid for £11.5m proved to be a steal.
Leicester’s dominance at the top of the league left Tottenham often playing catch up through out the season. Dropping crucial points away to Liverpool and at home to West Brom late on in the campaign did themselves no favours, and they eventually finished 3rd after losing 5-1 away at St. James Park. This allowed bitter rivals Arsenal bragging rights for the 21st consecutive year, as they leapfrogged them into second place with a 4-0 win over Villa.
Having secured Champions League football, the future looks bright for Spurs. They have a young core of the team, which will only continue to grow stronger. Mauricio Pochettino is one of the best young managers around, and is bound to attract top quality players to White Heart Lane, should he decide to strengthen the squad. If they hang on to the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Toby Alderweirald and Hugo Lloris, they can become a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League for years to come.
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