What is it about Tottenham? Everything they do seems to slip under the radar. Even when they qualified for the Champions League first time round, all eyes were on big-spending Manchester City, before Peter Crouch’s header at the City of Manchester Stadium pipped the Blues right at the death. Once again, it is the rise of the Blue Moon that is keeping the pressure off Harry’s boys this year. The way City are performing means no-one else gets a look in when the pundits air their views on this season’s Premier League, indeed the 6-1 win over rivals United sent most parts of the media into drooling overdrive, especially when discussing the likes of Aguero, Silva et all. Newcastle’s bright start has also caught the eye of many, Pardew’s revolution is no longer a quiet one and their good form has thrown them well into the spotlight.
So what about Spurs? They lie third, just two points off 2nd place with a game in hand and they are currently on a run of sparkling form that has propelled them into Champions League contention. Their exploits in that same tournament last season ensured the dazzling glare of the media focused firmly on them, and rightly so, their performances, most notably against the two Milan sides, were sensational. Their failure to qualify again this year has kept the pressure off and Redknapp appears to have forfeited a shot at Europa League glory for Premiership consistency, treating the competition with the same respect most managers reserve for the Carling Cup. Whether or not you agree with that policy, you can’t deny it’s success so far, as Spurs seem to have avoided the European hangovers that so badly damaged their chances of returning to Europe’s main stage last year.
The squad assembled at White Hart Lane is looking rather impressive as well, one that is superbly orchestrated in the middle of the park by a refocused Luka Modric, who is proving just why Chelsea were prepared to pay £40 million for him in the summer. Emmanuel Adebayor, despite a recent bout of Nicklas Bendtner-itus (needing 5 chances to score just once) is proving a very shrewd piece of business, chipping in 7 goals already, whilst also providing a decent target man to link up with the sensational Rafael Van Der Vaart. Daniel Levy should dip his hand deep into his pocket in January and fork out to make the big Togo frontman’s loan move from Manchester City permanent before someone else decides he’s worth a punt. Redknapp’s most inspired signing however, must be Scott Parker, whose £5 million price tag leaves you wondering just why he wasn’t snapped up earlier in the summer. Though Parker is now reaching the peak of his career at 31, he still won Player of the Month for November and has won rave reviews for both club and country in this calendar year. Any article about Tottenham wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a certain Mr G. Bale, and whilst the hype surrounding him is perhaps over-exaggerated, he certainly has the potential to become a world beater. Spurs’ right flank now looks far most explosive with Kyle Walker’s introduction to the side. He has added a new dimension at right-back, with Aaron Lennon in front of him recapturing some of the form that saw him nail down a regular spot in the England side two years ago. Strength-in-depth is something at Redknapp’s disposal as well, indeed when strikers like Defoe or Pavlyuchenko sit on the bench, you know competition for places is high. A lot of deadwood has been moved on, be it the unsettling dressing room influences like Geovanni Dos Santos or Alan Hutton, the lumbersome Peter Crouch or the simply useless Wilson Palacios. Who to put between the sticks still remains a problem though, Brad Friedel has provided a temporary solution but he isn’t exactly a spring chicken and Gomes certainly isn’t a reliable back-up. You get the impression Harry wouldn’t mind a new centre-back either, with Gary Cahill providing the most viable option.
Will the quiet climb up the table continue then? Well probably not. It is Tottenham after all. As fans will testify, they are prone to collapse or a sudden loss form and everyone is holding their breath, waiting for that moment to strike this year. Their rivals can only improve as well. Whilst one would expect Newcastle to drop off the pace, Chelsea can only improve under AVB or he’ll be out of a job for sure. Kenny Dalglish will also surely find a solution to Liverpool’s problems at home before too long. Bitter rivals Arsenal loom menacingly on the horizon as well, casting a Robin Van Persie shaped shadow over White Hart Lane. Spurs may have derby bragging rights so far this season thanks to Kyle Walker’s strike in October, but the Gunners have resolved early season issues and put together a string of good results since then. With Tottenham, well it’s a case of wait and see. With the squad they have assembled, you’d expect them to continue mounting a challenge to the Premiership’s elite, but I’m sure anyone in a white shirt would not be surprised to see it fall away.