It’s make or break for Tottenham Hotspur over the next 25 days.
In their next three league fixtures, Spurs will play Manchester United at Old Trafford and Arsenal at the Emirates, with a home clash against Crystal Palace and the international break sandwiched in between.
Much has been said of Tottenham’s form at Wembley – although it seems to be changing after their crushing win over Liverpool on Sunday – but what is important to note is how their away form against the top six last season effectively ended their chances of winning the title.
When Chelsea were crowned champions in May, Tottenham were seven points behind them in second place – but the damage was already done in 2016. At the end of November, Spurs fell to the Blues at Stamford Bridge and two weeks later, they suffered the same fate at Old Trafford against United. From their other trips to Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, they collected just two points.
Tottenham’s rise to become a Premier League contender, for now the third year in a row, is nothing short of extraordinary.
In a football world dominated by exorbitant fees and excessive wage bills, Spurs are an anomaly amongst Europe’s top clubs. There are many aspects of the club that can be praised; from Daniel Levy’s wage structure to Mauricio Pochettino‘s tactical nous, and the academy’s ability to produce world class talent like Harry Kane.
But as commendable as their approach is, the next month could spell the end.
As much pressure as the two Manchester clubs have to win silverware this season, the same can be said for Tottenham. Think about the chatter if Tottenham fail to win the league this season. Kane to Real Madrid? How about the future of Dele Alli? Or Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld?
Spurs have already got over their first hurdle. Sunday’s emphatic win over Liverpool proves they belong with United and City, but Old Trafford? Emirates? That’s a whole different ball game.
If Spurs win those two games they’ll solidify their status as genuine title contenders, and more importantly, head into the notoriously intense Christmas period full of momentum.