Living under the shadow of their rivals for more than two decades, it has been tough for Tottenham Hotspurs. However, recently, things have started to look up for the white half of North London. On course to finish above Arsenal for the first time in over 22 years, it has certainly been a while since the Gooners were denied their annual St. Totteringham Day celebrations. And they have Mauricio Pochettino to thank for that. The Spurs manger, appointed in 2014, injected fresh blood into the squad which seemed to have lost its confidence after they lost their star man, Gareth Bale, to Real Madrid, and failed to make optimum use of the funds that were freed up. Pochettino built a squad with a strong English core, with the likes of Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Harry Kane being first team regulars, supported by the defensive steel of Alderweireld and playmaking skills of Eriksen. And it has paid its dividends. They made a strong run for the Premier League title for the better part of the 2015-16 season, and are still in contention for this season’s title. However, are things as rosy as they seem in White Hart Lane?
The recent result against West Ham seems to say otherwise. Losing 1-0, it was a game that they absolutely had to win to maintain pressure on the league leaders, Chelsea. On the back of a 2-0 derby win against Arsenal, they failed, however, to keep their nerves against another London team. Something similar happened in the previous season too. Playing against Chelsea, who had an abysmal season, they behaved more like spoiled brats than potential champions. Feeling the need to catch up on Leicester, the eventual champions, they lost their cool in the match, which culminated in a full-fledged brawl between the players. They drew the game and lost all momentum and any hopes of winning the title. On the last match day, they choked against already relegated Newcastle and practically gifted Arsenal the 2nd spot.
Coming back to the current season, because of Spurs stumbling, Chelsea need to win just two of their last four games to seal their victory. With their title hopes fading away, the only thing they can take away from this season is that it was better than their fiercest rival’s, Arsenal’s. Or was it? Suffering arguably their worst season since Arsene Wenger joined, Arsenal still have hope for silverware, with the F.A. Cup Final still left to be played. On the other hand, enjoying one of their best seasons in a long time, Tottenham are already seeing their only chance for a trophy slowly slipping away. Add to that the fact that they crashed out of the Champions League Group Stage and the Europa League Round of 32, while Arsenal made it till the Champions League Round of 16 again this year. Surely, securing a better league position than Arsenal should not be the sole goal of such a young and talented squad? However, unless Chelsea falter too, it seems like that is all they will achieve this year. And unless they manage to improve their mentality, standing up to the success of their city neighbors will prove to be a tough job indeed. However, with Pochettino as their manager, and the exciting talents that they possess, they can hope that that day will come sooner rather than later.
Pic Credits: goal.com
Article Contribution- Anirban Bhattacharya