Tottenham challenged for the title last season. They are the only side still unbeaten in the top flight and have just defeated the league leaders and title favourites.
When you put all those facts together, you might think that Spurs would be at least the second favourites to win the league. You’d be wrong. Try fourth favourites instead.
Rated at around 25/1 to win the title before beating Manchester City, Tottenham’s odds came in to 9/1 after their 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane. That price sees them still behind the likes of City, Liverpool and Arsenal in the betting.
Manchester City are worthy favourites considering that the squad has plenty of title-winning experience and a manager in Pep Guardiola who has won everything. Yet they were clearly beaten by Spurs in a match in which Mauricio Pochettino’s side were always in control.
Tottenham should be just behind City in the betting, but instead Liverpool and Arsenal are more-fancied. Why?
Spurs have finished above Liverpool in six of the last seven seasons and are currently two places in front of Jurgen Klopp’s fourth-placed side. Tottenham have not won the league since 1961, but Liverpool’s last title parade was in 1990. Though more recent, it’s equally irrelevant.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League in twelve years. Yes, they always finish above Spurs - who somehow conspired to finish third in a two horse race last season - but it’s worth remembering that though Arsenal eventually finished second, they were never really in the title race.
The Gunners only found consistency when the league was out of reach and the pressure was off. They eventually surpassed a mentally-shot Tottenham team that fell apart once their dream of winning the title slipped away. Only the most biased Arsenal fan could claim that they were the better side last season, regardless of what the final table might suggest.
Spurs have the best defence in the country and in Harry Kane, have last season’s Premier League top scorer within their ranks. That alone should make them convincing title contenders.
For now they are passing under the radar. That might suit the understated Pochettino, but if his team’s unbeaten run continues, it won’t be long before the spotlight shines upon them.