Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce doubts that Tottenham can “hold their nerve” to win the Premier League title.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are currently fourth, seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal, ahead of Saturday’s visit of the Black Cats to White Hart Lane.
Their brand of attacking football, spearheaded by Harry Kane and Dele Alli, has won them many admirers and led some to tout them as potential champions – they are currently fourth favourites with BetBright.
Having seen former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson successfully rebuild his team on several occasions, Allardyce knows how difficult it can be for a young team to go all the way, but is tipping Spurs to secure a top-four finish.
He said: “I’m not so sure they can hold their nerve – Brendan [Rodgers] couldn’t hold his nerve to win the title with Liverpool a few years ago.
“Right when they needed to be resilient or hold on to the result they got, they didn’t quite do it and that can be because of that lack of experience of what you need to do to win a title.
“Listening to my old mentor, Sir Alex, the hardest one is always winning the first one for your players, and particularly the players who are as young as Tottenham’s, so it would be nice if they did.
“But I think their main aim would be to finish in Champions League and if the title came around, that would be one of those seasons they dream about.”
If Tottenham do manage to upset the traditional big four – and Chelsea’s difficulties have made that eminently possible – they may not be alone with Allardyce warning people not to write off surprise package Leicester.
He said: “It would be great if Leicester and Tottenham finished in the top four. I don’t hear anybody talking about Leicester too much, they’re only talking about Tottenham. I don’t think you can write Leicester off either.”