Football FanCast columnist Kavit Majithia looks at the three factors that have changed Tottenham's fortunes this season.
After a flying start to the season Spurs go into the international break sitting pretty and proud in third, two places above our good old neighbours. From what we have seen so far, despite a bit of a beating at Chelsea and a bad second half against United, Harry and his boys seem to have established a flowing, free moving tactical prowess which the smaller teams in particular simply cannot cope with. I therefore pose this question…are Tottenham finally good enough to break the status quo?
I feel there are 3 key factors why Spurs have started so well. Despite a good end to last season, for once there was no focus on Spurs in the summer. Harry went about his business and bought well, he brought Crouch who, excuse the contradiction, isn't the biggest of signings in the world. Bassong was a solid acquisition and Krancjar was cheap as chips. Everyone focused on City in the summer, and to an extent Villa and Everton were regarded to have a stronger chance than the lilywhites. Yet, Harry was very aware that, with the squad we have, Tottenham underperformed in a big way last year. The squad is as strong as it's been since Jol brought in Davids and the safe was almost cracked, this time it was not expected, but the squad is better, the club appears stable and there is a new found swagger about Spurs that suggests we can go anywhere and score at will.
The Europa League. Now don't get me wrong, I wanted us to get into Europe as much as anyone, but in hindsight the absence of this little distraction appears a blessing in disguise. No doubt I will be slated for this, but we needed this season to show the world that our good seasons finishing 5th was not just an upstart. Spurs are back, and the Europa league was a Thursday night distraction that simply was not needed. The Champions League is what we want, the elite is where Spurs want to be, and to get there the Europa League is something we can do without, at least this season.
Modric, Keane, Defoe, Lennon- Xavi, Iniesta, Messi. No I have not gone mad, nor am I suggesting that our fab four is anywhere near as good as those three that won the Champions League for Barcelona last year. But as Harry has already suggested this year, the concept is the same. The quick little players that can press a team to death. There is a lot to be learnt from the way Barcelona play, the way these three players in particular play their football, and Spurs have the foundations and the players to do just that. It definitely appears Jermain has stepped up his game this year, Modric, was class last year and can pull all the strings he needs to in the middle this year, Keane is solid and Aaron appears to have picked up exactly where he left off last season. The tactics, the approach and the idea is spot on, the execution will determine whether we can pip City and Arsenal into that fourth place.
One thing is for sure, it is an exciting time to be a Spurs fan, you are always guaranteed a show, and the Tottenham Hotspur will be there.