Mauricio Pochettino sees just one missing component preventing Tottenham Hotspur from becoming genuine Premier League title contenders: consistency.
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The way Tottenham have been going — in three straight seasons culminating in top-three finishes, and another one looking well within reach — the odd dip in form, even if for an afternoon, every month or two has been just enough to hand those titles to Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City instead.
How does a side in the PL achieve such consistency so as to avoid almost a single letdown over the course of 38 games en route to winning the title? It probably has something to do with the amount of money earmarked for transfers, but we’ll get to that momentarily — quotes from the BBC:
“We were so relaxed and kept calm, it was so important. We showed Wolves was just an accident.
“It’s a crazy fixture (list) — it’s normal that in some games we can drop our mental energy.
“The most important thing is to find a way to be consistent if we want to be a contender. We need to believe more in us. We are in a process of doing fantastic things.”
“We suffered with four games in 10 days. I want to congratulate the players. I’m so pleased with the effort.
“We felt disappointed (after the Wolves loss) and we wanted to show our energy from the beginning. After 20 minutes we showed how we wanted to play and were clinical.
“Today we showed great energy and maturity that we want. Now we need to keep that level and consistency throughout the season if we want to be there and fight for big things.”
The real question now is: what can make Pochettino stay at Spurs when Manchester United almost certainly come calling in the summer? With a net transfer spend of just $37 million over his four and a half seasons at the club — compared to figures of well over $300 million and $400 million for the sides they’re supposed to be competing with for the title — one has to wonder how much longer Pochettino can, or wants to, keep pulling off extraordinary feats despite the odds being stacked against him by his own bosses.