3 Reasons why Tottenham Hotspur will finish in the top 4 this season | Premier League 2019-20
Tottenham Hotspur picked up arguably their biggest win of the season last weekend, as Jose Mourinho’s side defeated champions Manchester City 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following goals from Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min.
The result puts Spurs just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea going into the Premier League’s winter break, but can they manage to make it into the all-important Champions League qualifying spots by the end of the season?
It’ll take a lot of work, but it’s definitely possible.
Here are three reasons why Spurs will finish in the top 4 and qualify for the Champions League in 2019-20.
#1 Their rivals don’t look bulletproof
Liverpool’s massive lead at the top of the Premier League seems unassailable for any side now, and for Tottenham, it seems like catching either second-placed Manchester City or third-placed Leicester City would be equally impossible.
Spurs currently have 37 points – 12 less than Leicester and 14 less than City. But outside of those three clubs, the rest of the chasing pack has been massively flawed during this campaign.
Chelsea currently sit in 4th place, but they’ve lost as many games as Spurs, and for as many games as they’ve looked brilliant, they’ve had ones where they look terrible. Sheffield United have surprised everyone with their form this season and are in 6th, but they’ve scored far fewer goals than Mourinho’s men and it’s hard to shake off the idea that they could suddenly slump in form at any time.
Manchester United and Wolves are also within touching distance – just 2 points behind Spurs and 6 points off the top four – but they’ve been equally fallible during this campaign, United perpetually looking just one game away from a crisis and Wolves also attempting to negotiate the tough Europa League.
Essentially then, the team who manages to claim that all-important 4th place will need to be consistent more than anything – and amongst an inconsistent chasing pack, Spurs look best equipped to put together that late run of strong results.
#2 They have the most experienced boss
Outside of Liverpool and to a lesser extent, Manchester City and Leicester City, inconsistency has been the name of the game for the Premier League’s chasing pack this season, in particular for bigger clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea.
Given the relative inexperience of their managers, though, is that kind of inconsistency any surprise? That’s why, in a race between four or five clubs for the Premier League’s final Champions League spot, Spurs should be considered the favourites.
The Lilywhites, of course, appointed serial winner Jose Mourinho as their manager back in November, and while it’s taken some time for the Portuguese boss to settle into his new surroundings, the evidence now seems to suggest that Spurs are finally beginning to tick under ‘The Special One’, as they’ve beaten Norwich and Manchester City in their last two games.
Chelsea and Manchester United meanwhile are managed by Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer respectively, and while both men have shown flashes of greatness thus far, they’re still very unproven as top-level bosses, with Solskjaer, in particular, struggling for traction with United fans.
Outside of those two clubs, Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder is in the midst of his very first season managing in the Premier League, and while Wolves’ Nuno is a brilliant coach, his levels of experience also pale in comparison to those of Mourinho.
Essentially, Tottenham have the right man in charge to negotiate a rise up the table before the end of the season as compared to their closest rivals – which is why they’ll end up in the top four when all is said and done.
#3 They bought well during the January transfer window
The January transfer window was a largely quiet one for the majority of the Premier League’s clubs, and it’s safe to say that many of them failed to strengthen as much as they might’ve needed to. Tottenham can be included amongst that group; their failure to buy a new striker to stand in for the injured Harry Kane may yet return to haunt them.
However, Spurs at least spent well in other areas where they were short; Gedson Fernandes arrived from Benfica to provide Jose Mourinho with a replacement for the injured Moussa Sissoko, while Steven Bergwijn was brought in from PSV Eindhoven to give the team an extra weapon in attack. Suddenly, Mourinho’s side now seem to have options in all areas, particularly as summer buys Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele continue to embed themselves into the squad.
What’s more, a pair of potential disruptions in the form of wantaway stars Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose were finally moved on, giving Spurs the dressing room harmony that’s clearly been missing since the end of 2018-19.
But what of Spurs’ rivals for that Premier League 4th place? It’s safe to say that none of them did as well in the market as Mourinho’s side. Chelsea failed to bring in a single player, and while their squad has been boosted by the emergence of some outstanding young talent this season, they’re also a very inexperienced team who are short in a handful of areas, most notably upfront.
Manchester United meanwhile shipped out some more dead wood, but the signing of Bruno Fernandes alone can’t patch up the clear holes in their struggling midfield, with the likes of Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard continuing to struggle.
Essentially, analysts could pick fault with any of these clubs activity in the January window – but Spurs clearly did the best business of the chasing pack, and that’s another reason why it’ll be them who manage to finish in the top 4 at the end of the campaign.Published 06 Feb 2020, 17:34 IST