Inside Lane: Why exactly is it ‘now or never’ for Tottenham’s title ambitions?
Tottenham blogger Henry Tribe is confident Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be strong enough to fight for top spot again next season.
If there’s one thing that’s too often heard when fans discuss Spurs’ magnificent and unlikely season it is this: “We’ll never have a better chance to win a league title.” In other words, it’s now or never.
Chelsea and Manchester City will be much stronger under new managers next campaign. The same would probably apply of Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, and Jurgen Klopp will have had a summer to improve his Liverpool squad, so this season is just a freak and next year we’ll be scrapping for fifth again. That’s the theory anyway.
The ‘now or never’ idea isn’t a new one. I remember in 2012, when we finished fourth under Harry Redknapp, we were told it was a one-off as Chelsea struggled to a sixth-place finish in the league.
It was the same story in 2014 when Fergie had left Manchester United – that was our window of opportunity, but we blew it and Liverpool took advantage.
The truth is that every season presents an opportunity for Spurs as we are no longer uninvited interlopers at the top table of English football – we are there by our own right.
So even if we don’t manage to catch Leicester this season, can we still challenge for the title next term? Of course we can, and I believe we will.
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Rather than worry about the resurgence of sides like Chelsea and City under new managers, we must remember we are now two seasons ahead of these clubs in terms of our development.
We have had the first transitional season under a new manager, the big clear-out that inevitably follows and the addition of several key players. Now we have had a season of the team playing in the manager’s image and competing for the league title.
The foundations that have been built this season are extraordinary. We have scored the most goals (64), conceded the fewest (25) and our goal difference of +39 is the best in the league by some margin (City are next with +28).
We have also had the most shots on target (234), created the most amount of chances (449) and have restricted opposing attacks to 102 attempts on target all season – again, the best in the league.
We have the Premier League’s top scorer in Harry Kane (24) and his partnership with Deli Alli is also the most lethal combination in the division, with Alli providing seven assists for his team-mate this season.
If the league were won on statistics then Spurs would be champions. As it is, this young and talented squad may have to wait another year or two, but I feel confident we will have a better chance to win the Premier League title – and it may come next season.
Follow me on Twitter @henrytribe