How good may this get? What’s the sensible ceiling of Tottenham’s aspirations now? After probably the most sudden and dramatic days of Premier League soccer in latest reminiscence, nearly unnoticed amid the fury over Luis Díaz’s incorrectly disallowed objective and the 2 Liverpool crimson playing cards, Spurs lie second within the desk, nonetheless unbeaten. And on the finish, striding unflustered via the sulphur and the chaos, there was Ange Postecoglou to level out his facet ought to have diversified their assault extra towards depleted opponents however to not fear as a result of these are nonetheless early days.
And they’re early days. Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday was solely their seventh league recreation underneath Postecoglou however already he has generated extra recollections, extra moments that can be recalled fondly in 20 or 30 years, than his three predecessors mixed. The doubt 10 days in the past was that Spurs hadn’t performed anybody of any be aware but, that it’s one factor to see off a sickly Manchester United or outplay Bournemouth or thrash Burnley or rating twice in injury-time to beat Sheffield United, fairly one other to do it towards an in-form member of the elite. However they have been the higher facet after half-time in drawing at Arsenal and, whereas choices definitely went their manner towards Liverpool, there was no sense during which they have been outclassed. They appeared Liverpool’s equals when it was 11 towards 11.
Many puzzled how Postecoglou’s strategies would translate to the Premier League. There have been loads of in style managers prior to now who turned up with a glowing fame however discovered they didn’t fairly match within the Premier League, generally for trivial or superficial causes. What works in a single league doesn’t essentially translate. Managers from the US have discovered themselves undermined from the off by their accents; was there any cause why an Australian can be any completely different? And the way would an elite footballer address being talked to by somebody who feels like a standard human being, one thing they seem to come back throughout exceptionally hardly ever within the bubble?
It might be that the best present Antonio Conte gave Spurs, constructing on the work performed by Nuno Espírito Santo and José Mourinho, was to interrupt the spirit of the Spurs squad, to go away them so determined for any form of positivity that nobody was ever going to question the brand new bloke. And thus far it’s working. That first house recreation, towards United, was characterised by a way of unease. Postecoglou was greeted by an enormous tifo however the sense was that it may have gotten ugly fairly rapidly. Harry Kane was gone, and so too was a lot of the optimism that had characterised the Mauricio Pochettino reign earlier than its closing months. There have been protests outdoors about ticket costs that would have fused with a extra normal discontent into mass anti-board demonstrations.
These protests haven’t gone away, however they not really feel like an imminent risk. Three house video games, slightly, have introduced three wins, two of them snatched deep into injury-time, and an ideal outpouring of nicely, what’s it precisely? Gratitude? Aid? Love? On the coronary heart of which stands Postecoglou.
How far may he take them? There are apparent areas that require enchancment. Two clear sheets in seven league video games have to be a priority. They’ve gone behind 4 occasions this season and, whereas resilience and Postecoglou’s capability to vary the momentum of video games along with his substitutions are each admirable qualities, it’s a threat to go to these wells too typically. The limp efficiency in going out of the Carabao Cup at Fulham recommended the restrictions of the squad. What if Son Heung-min have been injured? Or James Maddison? Might Pierre-Emile Højbjerg or Oliver Skipp supply cowl for Yves Bissouma or Pape Sarr?
Up to now every part is optimistic. Son has solid off no matter malaise bothered him final season and his end towards Liverpool, again to its deft and correct finest, has introduced six objectives already. Guglielmo Vicario is an improve on late-period Hugo Lloris. Future Udogie is a correct attacking full-back. Richarlison is exhibiting indicators of starting to rediscover his kind. Bissouma appears the participant he was at Brighton. That’s uncommon sufficient; the record of those that have faltered since leaving Brighton is sort of so long as those that have performed so since leaving Ajax.
However what if there’s a setback? What if Spurs are like a bicycle, depending on ahead momentum to maintain going? There can be occasions when fortune or officiating goes towards them. Can this type be sustained? Early-season giddiness could be intoxicating and harmful. However United and Chelsea have been hopeless. Newcastle are but to hit the heights of final season. Brighton and Aston Villa are inconsistent. Qualifying for the Champions League definitely appears attainable, and few would have mentioned that two months in the past.
Past that, Liverpool have stored even fewer clear sheets this season than Spurs. Arsenal are nonetheless feeling their manner. Even Manchester Metropolis out of the blue look fallible after back-to-back defeats (and their league programme thus far has been comparatively mild). Might they? Absolutely not … And but …
A top-four place can be a exceptional achievement for Spurs and the euphoria of this begin shouldn’t disguise that. And if giddier followers are starting to think about one thing extraordinary, that in itself is testomony to the change Postecoglou has wrought. It’s some time since anyone’s been doing a lot dreaming spherical White Hart Lane.