The name Tottenham Hotspurs has become synonymous with flattering to deceive in recent seasons, with Martin Jol's brave new word having been undermined by Ramos' ill-fated reign. Well, that and an undercooked lasagne! However, as we have seen in the last 18 months, there is no fear at White Hart Lane these days. To go to the San Siro as they did, and turn a 4-0 deficit into a brave 4-3 defeat where your left-winger makes the jump from potential to fulfillment - that takes some guts. And this current Spurs side has that in abundance.
This may all be true, but does this really add up to a title challenge? Harry Redknapp may have built a side that rivals Arsenal in terms of entertainment, but they also rival Arsenal in terms of dropping points against weaker opposition. Swashbuckling wins over Liverpool and Arsenal, plus some slick European displays in topping their group are one thing, but do they have the necessary steel to consistently dispose of lower-order physical sides? Such a quality is imperative if any club wishes to finish top of the pile. The recent 2-1 defeat to Everton would suggest they have some work to do.
In my opinion, Spurs still lack a reliable midfield presence. Modric, Bale, and Van Der Vaart are all great players, and their bullets are perfect for the likes of Defoe and Crouch to finish off, but are Palacios and Huddlestone really the foundations on which to build a solid base? Not to mention the injury-prone King and Woodgate. A top-class centre-half is a must, because for all the entertainment in the world, the history books only measure success in trophies won. I'm sure many neutrals would love to see Spurs win the title this season, but for all Redknapp's public statements of optimism, and all Fergie's polite mind games, they remain 8 points behind. Having played a game more. Remember, Man United are yet to hit top form, and if/when they do, their rivals will be left for dust - Spurs included. The top four again would represent quite an achievement this season.