Festive Cheer or Fear for Spurs

There is no doubt about it – the next 6 league fixtures will go a long way in defining Spurs’ season.

As the cliché goes, the title isn’t won at Christmas. But successfully navigating through this miserable slate of games will support those lofty aspirations.

Spurs currently sit second, one point off current leaders Leicester. Being top of the recent form league has propelled Jose’s men above potential contenders who all have problems of their own.

Mourinho put his new squad through their paces at Hotspur Way on Wednesday morning following the shock sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday evening. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD.

Defending champions Liverpool have men dropping like flies. Man City has struggled to find any rhythm and looks short in the attacking department – unheard of in previous years. Arsenal and Chelsea can almost be banded together.

Two teams who seem unsure of their best starting XI, and two teams led by managers who still have their own doubters even within the fanbase.

It is easy for Spurs supporters to feel upbeat about their chances. After all, in the uncertainty and bizarre year that is 2020, there’s nothing that says the Premier League can’t follow suit and throw out a few surprises.

Saturday sees an evening duel with Man City. Back in February, before the world was turned upside down, Spurs ran out 2-0 winners in a game fondly remembered thanks to a Steven Bergwijn debut goal. More of the same would be nice although this time there will not be a partisan Tottenham crowd. In fact, there won’t be anybody.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: Steven Bergwijn of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 02, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY CATHERINE IVILL/GETTY IMAGES.

This game is followed by Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H), Palace (A), Liverpool (A), and Leicester (H). It’s worth adding there are also 3 Europa League fixtures in there, with one being an away trip to Austria just two days before the visit of Arsenal.

Not ideal but these are the cards that teams are being dealt with. How teams handle them, and how Spurs handle them, will be telling.

What’s a good return from those games? It’s hard to say. But one positive titbit is that these teams carry clout and therefore should give it a go when they play Spurs. If recent events have told us anything, the teams that are more expansive and open usually play into the hands of Kane, Son, and co.

Heung-Min Son headed home from Harry Kane’s flick-on to give Tottenham a 1-0 win over Burnley on Monday Night Football; The pair have now combined for nine goals in the Premier League this season and 29 in total. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

The Southampton and Man Utd games this year are the blueprint.

Jose Mourinho is no stranger to success and the desire to win something with Spurs will be raging stronger than ever. He will know better than anyone the opportunity being presented to him and his players right now. If his men are still in the hunt next time this month, it is time to start believing.

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