When the full-time whistle blew on Saturday afternoon, Spurs fans around the world felt a sense of extreme pride at their team of youthful exuberance dismantling the league leaders. Prior to kick-off, they had barely been given a chance, yet two hours later, here they were, victorious, having outplayed the most expensively assembled group of players in England.
Naysayers and disgruntled Manchester City fans may believe the offside decision leading to Eric Dier’s goal was the turning point of the match, yet it would be foolish to discredit Spurs’ sheer brilliance throughout the second half. Harrying and hassling their opponents on their way to three unanswered goals, Spurs were largely comfortable and once they went ahead, at no point did they look like surrendering their lead. From the attackers, to the defenders and midfielders, everyone pulled together to ensure they emerged emphatic victors as was deserved. The final score line was 4-1, a reverse of the humiliating defeat Spurs suffered at the Etihad in October last year. The fact that no-one saw it coming makes it all the more pleasurable and now, denying how prolific Spurs can be on their home turf would be extremely foolish. As was seen with victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City at White Hart Lane in 2015, Spurs can triumph over any rival when they perform at their peak.
It is worth noting that the elation elicited from that glorious City success would dissipate somewhat should they succumb to defeat against Swansea on Sunday. While Spurs do have the tendency to produce spectacular performances, they also regularly follow those up with disappointing, unnecessary defeats. Who can forget the 2-1 capitulation against Crystal Palace which came after the New Years’ Day demolition of Chelsea? Or that Balotelli winner in the Anfield loss after spirits were lifted by the amazing February 7th North London Derby triumph?
Both of these came at a point when the players were brimming with confidence and were disheartening defeats which could and should have been avoided. As pointed out by Toby Alderweireld, it is essential that they do not get too carried away by the victory and “stay with two feet on the ground and work hard.” Building on such brilliance is key and maintaining that high level of performance will go a long way to ensuring consistency is built.
Consistency is key for Bourgeoning Spurs Side
While the word ‘consistency’ has never been one associated with Spurs, the players and coach all understand the need to “work hard” with the belief that if they do everything they have to, they have the quality to make the difference. Pochettino’s comments post-City that “we need to keep calm, we have a long way ahead,” proved that he is well aware that consistency is required and with three victories in a row having been attained in the Premier League, he is already showing that they are capable of it.
While Spurs have historically been the epitome of inconsistency, supporters can now begin to believe that this may finally change, all starting with a practically unheard of fourth consecutive Premier League victory at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Ahead of them are the challenging prospect of Swansea. While they started strongly with a credible draw against Chelsea and most notably, the significant scalp of Manchester United, recent matches have left much to be desired with their last victory coming back in August. They will thus be desperate to beat Spurs in front of their home crowd and give their supporters something to shout about. Having never been defeated by Swansea in the Premier League, the onus is on Spurs to defend that record and come out of the tough conquest victorious. It may not be the simplest of tasks, but if they perform anything like they did on Saturday, victory will almost certainly be theirs.
There is a little matter of a glamour tie with Monaco in the Europa League tonight to get through before this though and Spurs will hope their momentum can be maintained even within this fixture. While emerging as victors in both will be quite difficult, with Spurs’ enthusiastic, energetic squad, surely no-one would bet against them again this time. With youth and fitness on their side, if they keep stringing together impressive results, that outside chance of top four may become significantly more than a mere pipe dream.