Three weeks ago Tottenham were in 14th place in the Premier League on 14 points. Now fifth on 20 points, Tottenham again have their sights set on the top four.
Given a professional football season stretches over nine months, it is incredible how much can change in the space of just two to three weeks. Last season in the span of about two weeks in late February, Tottenham went from a legitimate part of a three team title race to hanging on to stay in the top four. We didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of the end of the Mauricio Pochettino era, as first Kane and then Dele were injured for the the rest of the season.
Fast forward nine months, Poch is out and Jose Mourinho is in, Dele and Kane are healthy, and Spurs are pushing to move from the bottom half of the table toward the top four. A fortnight ago Tottenham had just drawn with newly promoted Sheffield United in Pochettino’s last game. The Blades were in 5th place on 17 points, eight points out of fourth and just ahead of Arsenal on goal difference. Meanwhile Tottenham were 14th on 14 points, ahead of Everton on goal difference as the league broke for International play.
As the international games drew to an end news began to trickle out of London that things were not copacetic, as Levy and Pochettino, according to Danny Rose, were no longer on the same page. Just four days later, Pochettino was sacked and less than 24 hours after that Mourinho was appointed to lead Tottenham.
Just three days after Mourinho joined the club, Tottenham broke a road winless streak that started during those traumatic two weeks in February. That was followed by a win in the Champions League and qualification for the knockout stage with a match to spare. Just four days after the Champions League win, Spurs won their second straight in the league – third in a row in all competitions – pushing up to 20 points and 5th place in the Premier League.
As Tottenham benefited from the bounce of a new manager, Sheffield United, Arsenal, and Manchester United all tied two straight games, allowing Tottenham to jump into 5th. More importantly, Chelsea and Manchester City dropped points, cutting the overall deficit for 4th place.
Mourinho deserves a ton of credit for righting the ship. But Dele was starting to get healthy before he arrived. However, the change came just at the right time, so I guess the credit must go to Daniel Levy. Seriously, Levy took the reigns at just the right time and set Spurs on the current course of success.
Since hiring Mourinho, Watford and Arsenal have fired their coaches, meaning Levy beat both to the punch. Rather than hoping something might change, Levy acted. Juxtapose Levy’s actions with those over at Everton, who have still not pulled the plug on the Marco Silva reign. Just a few weeks ago, Silva and the Blues were tied with Tottenham on 14 points, 15th on goal differential. Two losses later they are still on 14 points, in 17th place and just two points above the drop.
It’s remarkable how much can change in just a couple of weeks. Let’s hope this Spurs revival lasts for the remainder of the season and beyond. We’ll soon find out as a tough December lies in wait.