From top of the table to ninth and now sixth place, Premier League season has already been a rollercoaster for Tottenham Hotspur. Now, though, they have the chance to make top four a reality, starting with a home match against Norwich City.
Tottenham Hotspur Have the Chance to Turn a Corner
Difficult Season May Yet Blossom for Spurs
When Tottenham started the season at home to Manchester City, all the talk had been around Harry Kane and his proposed move to City. The irony of the first game of the season being against them was not lost on anyone. Nuno Espírito Santo had replaced Jose Mourinho and the mood around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was nervous.
Yet, Espírito Santo guided Spurs to three consecutive 1-0 victories, taking them top of the table and earning himself the first manager of the month award of the season. That, however, turned out to be a cursed award as things quickly turned for the worse.
The wheels fell off with 3-0 reverses to Crystal Palace and Chelsea, as well as an embarrassing 3-1 home defeat to North London rivals Arsenal. Manchester United put another three past Spurs in a woeful performance and Espírito Santo was sacked, as Daniel Levy and Spurs looked a club in a total mess.
Now, they are eyeing the top four and they have a chance to put their season on a very different course to the one it seemed to be on just one month ago.
One Defeat Could be a Blessing in Disguise
Courted in the summer, Antonio Conte finally became Spurs boss, and after a 2-1 home win over Leeds United and a goalless away draw at Everton, he was quickly brought back to reality when he selected fringe players to travel to Slovenia and take on NS Mura in the Europa Conference League. Mura won, leaving Spurs’ Conference League progression in doubt, with Conte afterwards making it very clear that he now knows the size of the task he has to turn Tottenham into winners.
Yet the defeat may turn out to be a small blessing in disguise for Tottenham’s new manager, as he was able to identify the players that simply will not fit into his methodology or his squad. While in the short term it leaves him with a lack of depth to his squad that he can rely on, coming so early in his tenure means he can go into the next two transfer windows knowing the type of player he wants to help achieve success.
Brentford Win Reveals Early Signs of Conte’s Message Getting Through
Tottenham have been guilty this season of being too laboured in possession and almost static without the ball, but against Brentford there were clear signs that Conte is starting to get his message across. Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both pressed from the front and the energy from the whole team was far removed from the almost walking pace of Espírito Santo’s Spurs.
Whilst the first goal came from an own goal, the second goal embodied the Conte style of play. Kane picked the ball up, played a superbly weighted pass to a marauding Sergio Reguilon who whipped in a low cross for Son to finish. It was fast, it was precise and it was deadly. Conte likes his wing backs to get forward at pace and both Reguilon and Emerson Royal did so in this game to great effect.
Tottenham Hotspur Have the Chance for Top Four
After the loss to Manchester United, the top four looked like a challenge that had already passed Spurs, but a win against Norwich would potentially take them into the top four.
If Conte can get his new club to January in or around the top four and then strengthen his squad to his liking, he can get a top four finish and bring Champions League football back to the club. There is still a long way to go, but the Conte effect is slowly making its mark and Tottenham have a great chance to change the direction of their season.
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