Here goes: Five reasons why Spurs could definitely win the Premier League

Dave Tickner
London, UK. 24th Sep, 2023. Ange Postecoglou, manager of Tottenham Hotspur after the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham manager

You only need one reason why Spurs will not win the league. They are Spurs.

A second equally compelling reason is that Manchester City are a football team that exists. Yet further reasons would be that Arsenal and Liverpool and even bloody Brighton are also football teams and also exist.

But James Maddison has decreed that Spurs are no longer Spursy. That’s a bold claim to make and feels like it isn’t really one Spurs players should get to decide, but also what if they aren’t? Viewed objectively and trying to forget that they are Spurs, they suddenly look as capable as anyone of trailing in 15 points behind City in second place. They certainly don’t look worse than Arsenal did at this point last season. So what if they actually could win the league or at the very least bottle it in April and May? 

Here are five reasons that are almost enough for us to convince ourselves it could, theoretically, in some dimension of space, be a thing that happens.


1) Workload
This is a big one. We’re still quite fundamentally p***ed off with the way Spurs just sacked off the Carabao – one of two competitions this season they might actually have had a proper chance at winning, not this made-up one we’re coming up with here – but there are undoubted upsides.

For one thing, if you’re going to get knocked out of a cup competition then the cold and brutal truth is that it’s best to do it straight away before you’ve invested a bunch of physical and emotional energy. Spurs certainly haven’t been guilty of that.

The upshot of their Carabao surrender and rare lack of European football is that they will be, at the very least until the new year, the most lightly raced team in the Premier League. Other benefits of the once-a-week schedule obviously include greater time on the training ground for players to fully immerse themselves in Angeball and for what remains a really quite strikingly new-look team to gel more and more.


2) Vibes
This is probably the biggest yet vaguest one. Spurs have good vibes. For the last few years, even when things have been going well – which they often have for quite strikingly long periods in between the truly abject misery of the rest of it – they’ve never really had good vibes. Not since Poch have the vibes been truly good.

We’re not about to suggest losing Harry Kane was a good thing – this piece would have a far more compelling ring if they still had a bloke who could even score 30 goals in a team as moribund as last year’s – but we are pretty sure the vibes wouldn’t be as good if he were still here.

Not that he was a mood hoover or a bad presence, but just that The Harry Kane Saga is over now, for a couple of years at least until the rumours of his return start in earnest, and that is in a strange way a weight lifted for this group. The can concentrate on themselves now, and as much as anything the temptation to just Leave It To Harry as they did for much of last season – certainly after Rodrigo Bentancur’s injury – is no longer there.

This is a new football team with new vibes, and those vibes are golden. Spurs are riding a wave of optimism right now under an inspirational new manager and captain who both seem happy to be there – not to be underestimated, that – and the constant negging and gaslighting of recent years is a thing of the past. ‘Snice.


3) The First XI
This is also, along with The Existence Of Manchester City, the most significant reason Spurs won’t win the league. They don’t have the depth. But they do have the first XI.

New signings and recent arrivals such as Guglielmo Vicario, Micky van de Ven, James Maddison, Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro are all exceeding expectations and now that Son Heung-min has been shifted in to the central starting position (outcome: five goals in three games) and Richarlison returned to his most useful position of chaos-merchant substitute (outcome: injury-time goal and assist to burgle absurd victory from jaws of defeat) the starting XI is one that can go toe to toe with absolutely anyone in the division.

There is no obvious weak link, and the conspicuous areas of strength are ones that rival any other team in the division. As long as Spurs can get through the whole season without Yves Bissouma, Pape Sarr, Cristian Romero, Van de Ven, Maddison, Udogie and Vicario all avoiding injury and suspension then they’re going to be absolutely fine. Simple.


4) Things Can Only Get Better
Doesn’t really feel like it, sure, but in theory we should be seeing Angeball at its worst. It took a little while for his methods to take hold at Celtic, but take hold they did and the results were stunning. What if we’re still looking at only the prototype of what Angeball can eventually be with this group of players? What if in a couple of months they’re playing better than they are now? What then?

We can’t actually think about it too much because we go all dizzy and have to have a bit of a lie down, but it’s not illogical to suggest that this new manager with his wildly new (for this squad of players) ideas might need more than half-a-dozen games for it all to really take and properly gel. The counterpoint is that other teams will also get better at dealing with it. But they really might have to get an awful lot better.


5) Fixture list
This one’s kind of related to point one, but Spurs don’t just have a strikingly light fixture list; it’s also one that appears conducive to momentum bubbling up and them Getting On A Run. Whatever happens against Liverpool this weekend – and Spurs’ recent record against Liverpool is dreadful – they are going to have at worst 14 points from seven games having already met the three of the Big Seven against whom their recent record is weakest. Spurs then have a really quite friendly fixture list all the way into April.

After this weekend, Spurs only have five games against the Big Seven before mid-April, and two of those are against Chelsea.

Spurs do then admittedly have to play back-to-back games against Newcastle, City, Arsenal and Liverpool, but by that point all bets are off anyway if they’ve managed to capitalise on the relatively kindly fixture list before that. You’d rather have points on the board than an easy run-in, when anything can and does happen as pressure tells on title and European contenders and relegation battlers traditionally overperform. Arsenal blew their title chance against your West Hams, your Southamptons and your Brightons.

There are two obviously Spursy ways this fixture list can backfire. They can entirely fail to take advantage of the easier games through the mid-season, or they can bottle it horribly against the good teams at the end. This being Spurs, they can probably somehow manage to do both. But on balance, you’d rather have the fixtures Spurs’ way round. Especially given the fact they should be significantly fresher than all those teams they have to face in April and May, at least three of which are likely to have been through significant European endeavour.

The title is, essentially, in the bag.