“Spursy” is a word that has entered the lexicon of most Premier League football fans. The internet identifies it as “to consistently and inevitably fail to live up to expectations. To bottle it.” While late season implosions under Marin Jol, Harry Redknapp and Andre Villas Boas suggested that the “Spursy Disease” went further than the dugout and was something that has become deep-rooted within the club, current gaffer Mauricio Pochettino has done his best to administer the vaccine.
The aggressive style that seems to smother opposition has yielded a consistent steam of performances that have rarely been witnessed in White Hart Lane. Arsenal and Manchester City have both been absurdly erratic in recent weeks, while every sane rationalisation would suggest that the Leicester bubble will burst. Tottenham have every justification to picture the image of the Premier
League trophy in their cabinet come the end of the season.
The option to push the self-destructed button is of course still there, however, you get the impression by the assured way Pochettino and his players carry themselves that, that possibility has never been more remote. Sunday’s home fixture against Swansea is the type of game that capricious Spurs sides of the past would have been prone to spontaneously combust in. It provides an excellent gauge into whether Pochetinno’s treatment has been a success.
Swansea will provide a tougher test than they may have a couple of months ago. Huw Jenkins, the chairman of the Swans board, has distanced the club from their roots with the sacking of club stalwart Garry Monk, however, the appointment of Italian veteran Francesco Guidolin has had a galvanising effect. In the five games since his arrival Swansea have lost just once, last time out in a 0-1 home defeat to Southampton.
While the picture in South Wales is brighter, there is still plenty of work needing done before they will feel safe in breaking out the cigars. Currently in 16th position, just three points above Norwich and Newcastle in 17th and 18th respectively, it is imperative that they can string together a few victories and aim to close the gap on Bournemouth, West Brom and even Crystal Palace above them.
After a refreshing fortnight break, Swansea should be primed and ready to make a concerted push for Premier League survival. Assistant manager Alan Tate agrees saying “We’re all putting pressure on ourselves and we know we have to up our game considerably and get on another run.”
Swansea have no injury concerns. Spurs can now add Moussa Dembele and Tom Carrol to the injury table and keep Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’jie company. Focal point, Harry Kane, is expected to join Diego Costa and Cesar Azpilicueta in playing with a superhero type facial mask, after sustaining a broken nose in the last round of games.
Buoyed with their midweek progression in the Europa League, and still relatively fresh thanks to Pochettino’s intelligent rotation policy, Spurs will be hoping that they can keep up their momentum in this unlikely title push.
Possible Spurs line-up: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Lamela, Son, Kane