Since the start of the Premier League era, no season has proved to be quite as unpredictable and topsy-turvy as the current one. Chelsea, who were 42 points ahead of Leicester City at the corresponding time last season, now trail the Foxes by 20 points.
Two points further back are the north London rivals, Arsenal and Tottenham, with Arsenal looking for their first title since their unbeaten season in 2003-04 and Tottenham since their famous double winning season of 1960-61.
Tottenham have been consistent in recent years, not finishing any of the last six seasons above fourth or below sixth. But under the exceptional managerial skills of Mauricio Pochettino they find themselves fighting to win the Premier League title.
They are currently the form team of the Premier League, boasting the meanest defence – nine clean sheet – and a goal difference superior to that of their rivals.
So what has Pochettino done to take Spurs to the next level, apart from demanding exceptional fitness from his players?
Is there a better balanced team in the Premier League than the one built by Pochettino?
In Lloris they have one of the best goalkeepers, ably backed up by Vorm.
They boast the best central defensive partnership in the league in Alderweireld and Vertonghen and despite the loss of Vertonghen through injury, Wimmer has fitted in seamlessly alongside Alderweireld.
Full backs Rose and Walker have been outstanding, supported by the equally accomplished Davies and Trippier. Whilst in midfield they possess a wealth of talent, both defensive – Dier, Dembele and Mason and attacking – Carroll, Bentaleb, Alli, Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela and Son. Whilst their attack is led by the lethal Harry Kane.
SportsMatrix examined the data for Tottenham both at team and individual level, comparing their players with those of the other Premier League teams in the same positions on the field, with the data revealing that Tottenham have some of the top performing players in the Premier League in the categories examined.
- Team captain Hugo Lloris is ranked 2nd best amongst all Premier League goalkeepers with the lowest percentage of goals conceded per on-target shot.
- When examining Premier League centre backs, Alderweireld and Vertonghen ranked first and fourth in their contribution to building their team’s attacks.
- Amongst Premier League full backs, Davies was ranked first, Rose third and Walker 21st in their performances in defending dangerous opposition attacks.
- Tottenham, above all other Premier League teams, with their wealth and variety of creative attacking talent, saw the prodigiously talented Delle Alli ranked seventh in the Premier League for the number of chances created per game.
- Mousa Dembélé provides an attacking threat with his sublime dribbling skills, but is a major contributor to Tottenham’s defensive solidity and is ranked as the sixth best midfielder in the Premier League for the number of times that he regains possession per game.
- After being written off as being wholly unsuitable for the Premier League, Erik Lamela has provided some outstanding performances and is ranked as the Premier League’s ninth best winger at converting chances into goals.
- Ranked as the fifth best forward in converting goal scoring chances into goals, how would Spurs cope if the mercurial Harry Kane were to pick up an injury?
Leicester City’s rise to the top has undoubtedly been the season’s most remarkable story; but if Tottenham can end the season as Premier League Champions, it would surely make Mauricio Pochettino into one of the world’s hottest managerial properties.