Tottenham Hotspur have not won a league title since 1961 when the legendary Bill Nicholson guided the club to a domestic double. They have only finished higher than third in a top-flight league season twice in the 59 years since and have not won a major trophy of any kind since 2008.
But Jose Mourinho was brought in specifically to change that and he might just pull it off as Spurs appear well placed to take full advantage in this most bizarre of seasons.
Going into the November international break, Spurs are second in the Premier League table, level on points with third-placed Liverpool and just one behind leaders Leicester - the side who dramatically pipped them to the title in 2016. They have won three in a row thanks to grinding out a late 1-0 win against West Brom over the weekend and are unbeaten since a sluggish performance on the opening weekend of the season two months ago.
They can score goals at will and only Chelsea (20) have got more than Spurs’ 19 so far this season. In Harry Kane and Son Heung-min they have two of the league’s best forwards and arguably the most deadly partnership. Both could easily notch more than 20 in the league if they stay fit.
Spurs also have the joint best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding nine in six games. They are hardly bulletproof, but this season is already showing it is more about scoring goals and simply being less poor at the back than everyone else. So far, at least, that is the case.
Spurs are made for now in a way that no other ‘Big Six’ team currently is. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are all still in the building phase. Manchester City are also increasingly in between projects, while Liverpool are suffering from the type of injuries to key players they managed to avoid last season en route to the title.
The squad that Mourinho has shaped is not too old or too young, but just right. Toby Alderweireld, Moussa Sissoko and Gareth Bale are the only outfield players over 30, but at 31 are hardly on the finishing straight of their respective careers. Tanguy Ndombele, Steven Bergwijn and Sergio Reguilon are relative youngsters at the age of 23.
At 27 and 28 respectively, Kane and Son should be at their peak right now.
With the squad’s long-term prospects nothing particularly special, it is classic Mourinho.
His first year at Chelsea yielded a record breaking Premier League title, but his second brought another in similarly emphatic fashion, while the man himself maintains that finishing second in the Premier League in his second season with Manchester United in 2017/18 remains among his best achievements – in hindsight based on the clubs record since, he was probably right.
Now that he has his feet under the table at Spurs after arriving three months into last season, will his second in north London be another success story? Put it this way, it is Spurs' best chance since 2016 to be crowned Premier League champions.
Source : 90min