The Premier League is known to be one of the most competitive and ruthless competitions in the whole world. Compared to its counterparts in Ligue 1, Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga, it is quite common to see the so-called big teams perish at the hands of the bottom half of the table, that too quite often. So, it is no surprise that Tottenham Hotspur has become an outside thought for most fans as to how they can challenge for the UCL spots on a season-to-season basis.
With so much that has changed over the past few seasons, this is expected to be no different. It is another up-and-down season with an experimental coach who may or may not turn the tide in north London. And to most extent, it has not been any different, apart from the few instances that have gone under the radar.
Surprisingly potent attack
Despite losing Harry Kane in the summer, Tottenham has refused to let their attacking fervor fade. The season is a testament to how the forwards of Spurs have stepped up to cover the gaping hole left behind by their former superstar. The 0.79 goals per 90 of the Bayern Munich man is now being adequately matched by the combined contributions of Son Heung Min and Richarlison with 1.23 goals per 90 between them.
Not just Son, but Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski have also aided the South Korean’s offensive efforts as Tottenham finds their feed under new management. Although the attack may fail to reach the heights it once delivered with Kane leading the line, their season which has witnessed almost two goals a game so far is proof that there still exists life beyond Harry Kane.
And their defensive turnaround is another key component as to how well they have managed to steady the ship in such a quick time. This in addition to their manager’s capabilities in bringing success could prove to be pivotal in the future.
Solid defensive contributions
Tottenham may have had a season that could fail to propel them into the Champions League immediately, but they have maintained a level of dominance that earmarks them as a future threat. They have conceded 27 goals in the league this season, the joint-seventh best in the division.
Although it is not the best figure given that they have played 21 games, it is far better when compared to last season where they conceded 1.63 goals per 90, holding the 15th-worst defensive record in the league. Credit must be given to the players as well as the head coach. However, one player who has caught the eye of the Lilywhites has been Destiny Udogie.
Although the transfer was arranged over a year ago, Udogie completed the move to Spurs this past summer. In a year where many were unsure of what to expect of the North Londoners, Tottenham have delivered an entertaining factor that was missing over the past couple of seasons. And Destiny Udogie is one of the key members of Ange Postecoglou’s side.
Destiny Udogie has played 17 matches so far this season, contributing to a goal and two assists. With that said, it is his defensive numbers where he shines brightly, as the former Udinese man has contributed heavily to the Tottenham defense. So far this season, he has made 43 tackles and 20 interceptions alongside 46 clearances. To put that into perspective, these are some of the best numbers he has contributed in his career when diving deeper and comparing his per 90 stats to that of his Udinese days.
Reduced inconsistency in results
We have all heard the famous adage, “Lads, it’s Tottenham” from Sir Alex Ferguson. It highlights one of the key and recurring problems that has plagued Tottenham over the years: inconsistency. In 2022/23, their best run of form came at the start of the season which saw them go seven games unbeaten. Yet they could not manage a similar string of form for the rest of the season, losing a game or more every 3-4 games throughout the season.
This season, however, under Postecoglou, they started the season off strongly, going 11 games unbeaten, but would crumble to three consecutive defeats in November. Although they have since turned their form around admirably, they have a long way to go, should they wish to rekindle the heights they once touched in 2018-2019.