Inside Lane: Tottenham have surpassed expectations this season... let’s just enjoy the ride now!
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Tottenham blogger Henry Tribe discusses the north London side’s run-in, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men still firmly in the title race heading into the final nine games of what has been an exhilirating Premier League campaign.
It’s a position I never dreamt we’d be in at the start of the season, but with nine games to go we remain in the race for a first league title in 55 years. The fact I’m able to write that sentence is ridiculous, and is reflective of the most bizarre Premier League season I’ve ever experienced. There’s no doubt the last two league results against West Ham and Arsenal have made that title tilt less likely, but we remain second favourites with the bookmakers and are five points off leaders Leicester.
The top four is by no means assured, but odds of 1/10 that we will secure a place in the Champions League next season suggests we’re not far away. Beating a terrible Villa side away, and turning over Bournemouth at home will go a long way to putting those lingering doubts aside.
Then we go to Liverpool, never easy, and take on Manchester United at home. Four points from those two games would be an excellent return.
Away at Stoke is tough, but winnable – and West Brom at home should (cough) be a gimme. After years of terrible results at Stamford Bridge, I could see us losing there. Then it’s Southampton at home and Newcastle away – hopefully another six points. Based on that decent run of results, we would end up on 77 points.
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The last side to win a title with a points total that low was Manchester United in 1996-97 who won it with 75 points.
If Spurs achieved that total, we’d need Leicester to drop 11 points in their last 9 games. Looking at their form and remaining fixtures I just can’t see them losing at least three games between now and the end of the season. But stranger things have happened, so we have to be the ones to take advantage if they do slip up.
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The other big prize on offer for us this season is to put an end to ‘St Totteringham’s Day’ and finally finish above that lot down the road. To break that hoodoo would be a massive achievement for Mauricio Pochettino in just his second season in charge, and endear him even further to the Spurs fans.
Whatever happens between now and May it’s been a season that has surpassed all expectations, and demonstrates just how bright the future is for such a young squad and talented manager. Let’s make sure we try, finger nails permitting, to enjoy the ride!
Follow me on Twitter @HenryTribe