Tottenham Flying High

Sitting on top of the Premier League table is not something Tottenham fans have had to savour too often and while it might not last another weekend nor the season, there is definitely something building at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In charge of Spurs for just over a year, Jose Mourinho is beginning to fashion a new Spurs out of the players who were close to better things under Mauricio Pochettino and shrewd summer signings that are starting to give the North London side more of an edge.

Sunday’s win over a troubled and under performing Manchester City divided a lot of fans. Some were content with the game plan Mourinho employed despite the visitors having far more possession and attempts at goal, others were complaining it’s not ‘the Spurs way’, but then that way hasn’t produced a trophy since 2008.

So far Tottenham have shown in this current eight game unbeaten run they can grind out 1-0 wins at Burnley, soak up pressure against City and simply blow away teams as they did to Manchester United.

Having a good mix like that is what will gain you the points to challenge for and also to win titles. Spurs might not be able to do it this season, nine games in is far too early to call it, but there are enough signs that Mourinho is working his magic, that winning mentality born out of hard work and desire is starting to show through on the pitch.

The North London club have been rightly criticised in recent years that when the going gets tough they turn ‘all Spursy’, a reference to crumbling under pressure when they need to turn it on the most. Under Jose they are turning that corner defensively, a back four now protecting Hugo Lloris and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s defensive work across the midfield adding extra support.

For those who’ve followed Tottenham for years, being solid defensively has never been a really strong point, but that steeliness must be in place to be able to challenge for cups and titles, out-scoring the opposition at this level can not be achieved week in week out.

The emergence this season of Tanguy Ndombele is fast becoming a big influence on the team, Mourinho and his coaching staff have spent the time to invest in him and the signs are far more encouraging than what everyone saw last season.

Whilst they are harder to break down it hasn’t diluted things at the other end of the pitch if anything they are more lethal thanks to the blossoming partnership between Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.

Kane is certainly revelling in a new role, dropping deep to defend, to collect the ball, but in the knowledge his team-mates around him will take up the mantle to attack. What’s more impressive is it hasn’t blunted his ability to find the back of the net with seven goals so far in the first nine games, more importantly he’s also assisted nine goals.

Alongside the England captain, Son is proving just how valuable he is to this team, only Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Everton has scored more goals so far this season. The quick thinking and movement from the South Korean is another edge to Tottenham’s game plan whether they play on the counter-attack or play with a higher tempo from the word go.

And when you add to that there is still a fully fit Gareth Bale to come to compliment these two and the short bursts of minutes we’ve seen from Carlos Vinicius makes you believe there are goals and assists whatever combination Mourinho chooses to employ.

A trip to big rivals Chelsea on Sunday will give everyone another indication of how far this Tottenham side have come, after Frank Lampard’s team got the better of his former boss last season, the Portuguese knows his team are better equipped this time around to take the game to the Blues.

The small matter of the North London derby follows Sunday’s game as the season heads into December, another crucial test in what is expected to be the first game open to fans attending since March at Premier League level, what better way can there be to welcome Spurs supporters back than three points against your local rivals.

Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37