Are Spurs the Biggest Threat to Liverpool?
At the weekend, I watched Tottenham move to the top of the Premier League, as their away trip to Luton saw a 0-1 win take them to a very impressive twenty points. Liverpool played Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, which created a critical weekend for how the league table shaped up before the international break. Spurs have been subject to continual jibes as the consistent nearly men of the Premier League era. The sale of perhaps their greatest ever player, Harry Kane, was seen as the disastrous decision which could see them slide into mid-table mediocrity. What many did not consider, however, was the impact that their new manager, Ange Postecoglou, would have. The charismatic Australian has quickly become a firm favourite for the North London fan base, having already implemented a firm identity into his team. One of the more notable facets that allows them a chance of overachieving this year is that they have no European competition (to add to their fixture list) and can concentrate solely on their desire to finish somewhere in the top four.
Tottenham now have the longest current unbeaten run in the Premier League:
Ange Postecoglou is top of the league. 🔝 pic.twitter.com/K80C6Qv7qM
— Squawka (@Squawka) October 7, 2023
Who Are the Likely Top Four Contenders Thus Far…?
That is how I believe the top four Premier League positions will end up, leaving Newcastle, Brighton, and Aston Villa to fight it out for fifth spot. When considering each of those top four teams, I would not bank on Pep Guardiola making any substantial signings in January. Kevin De Bruyne will be back by that point, which means unless there is an unexpected injury, they will remain the same entity, which is undoubtedly the side to beat. Liverpool will almost certainly do business in the winter months, as that elusive defensive midfielder will be top of Jürgen Klopp’s Christmas list. Wataru Endō should be heading to the Asian Cup at the turn of the year, which means even the short-term fix will not be available for selection. It is currently unknown whether a permanent Sporting Director will be in place by this point, as the role of the Ibiza-based Jörg Schmadtke remains unclear. Below is a list of the most viable midfield candidates.
Lucas Gourna Douath
I shall be writing about these options during the international week, as the break in our domestic and European calendar creates a footballing black hole. Ultimately, it is unknown whether any of those above will be targeted, much less recruited. The way in which the Reds navigated the summer transfer window was haphazard and at times based upon opportunistic fortune. The unknown future that surrounds Mohamed Salah also adds to the uncertainty, which is something that can harm the morale and form of a tight-knit group. With that, I get the sense that Spurs could sneak in and grab their opportunity, much like when Leicester City won the Premier League in extraordinary circumstances back in 2016.
🚨 Ivan Toney is considering leaving Brentford in January, with Tottenham or Chelsea likely destinations for the striker.
(Source: Football Insider) pic.twitter.com/se8kyvCZnp
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) October 5, 2023
I have long hoped that Liverpool would consider a move for Ivan Toney. The suspended England striker is hot property and will almost certainly move to a top-tier club in the new year. His array of talents would make him a great signing for just about any team, which is why the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea are so heavily linked. One would imagine that the continuing struggles and strange operating model at Stamford Bridge will see him prefer a move to Daniel Levy’s club, something that would undoubtedly take them closer towards the complete package. The exciting start of the season has seen a handful of clubs start strongly, with Manchester United floundering to keep pace. Liverpool themselves have an opportunity season, given their relegation from Europe’s premier event. Manchester City remain the true target to overcome, however, with their own squad perhaps struggling with the weight of expectation and sheer volume of games, Tottenham and Liverpool could become the battle that decides the 2023/24 season.