Can Tottenham Hotspur win the Premier League title?


A dynamic coach, an excellent summer, the current squad, money and ambition all indicate Spurs are a force, according to a former league winner.

While much of the pre-season debate has focused on whether Tottenham Hotspur will break alter the monopoly the traditional top four have on the respective Premier League places there are a growing number of, an admittedly still small collective, who regard the White Hart Lane outfit as 'genuine title contenders'.

That collective, led by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, point to the club's outstanding activity in the summer market, the stability within their current squad, the tactical nous of young manager Andre Villas-Boas, the health and wealth of the club as a whole and their overall ambition as reasons a top four finish should be regarded as a minimum requirement. Speaking recently, Mourinho declared: 'they can win the title.'

With a £60m outlay having already secured the services of squad members Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli and first-team talents Paulinho and Roberto Soldado, Mourinho believes Tottenham's recruitment drive to date has been second to none and believes Spurs fans should thank Franco Baldini for the Italian's canny scouting.

'Andre [Villas-Boas] knows the market and they have a new technical director who knows the market very, very well, too. They have the money and ambition to get there. And they have a fantastic squad,' said Jose, to the Mirror, in the hours following the revelation that Willian was in North London to attend a medical with the Lilywhite physios ahead of a £30m transfer.

Much is made of Tottenham's willingness to spend in the transfer markets. While this is true, they have traditionally done well out of player sales, which helps balance the books when it comes to import-export. Aside from the current summer, the table below shows that, combined, Spurs have a gross expenditure of just £1.5m having spent a total of £217m whilst recuperating £215.5m.

Season Spent Received Marquee player signed
2012-13 £60m £66.5m Jan Vertonghen (£9.5m)
2011-12 £5.5m £37.5m Brad Friedel (free)
2010-11 £18.5m £1m Rafael van der Vaart (£8.5m)
2009-10 £28.5m £31.75m Peter Crouch (£10m)
2008-09 £104.5m £78.75 Luka Modric (£16m)


Their record transfers are dominated by outgoing players, as chairman Daniel Levy, a shrewd negotiator, gets the highest price possible for their top assets. Only this summer's marquee signing, Roberto Soldado - bought for £26m, makes the top five list (see below).

Player -                  Fee From To Year
Dimitar Berbatov - £30.75m Spurs Man Utd 2008
Luka Modric - £30m Spurs Real Madrid 2012
Roberto Soldado - £26m Valencia Spurs 2013
Robbie Keane - £19m Spurs Liverpool 2008
Michael Carrick - £18.6m Spurs Man Utd 2006


On top of this, Spurs have a natural total revenue stream (£178.2m in 2011/12) that threatens to rival some of the biggest clubs in Europe such as Juventus (£195.4m), Borussia Dortmund (£189.1m), Internazionale (£185.9m) and far surpasses the next best English team in the Deloitte money league, Newcastle United (£115.3m).

The bulk of Tottenham's revenue for 2011/12 came from broadcasting deals (£112.4m), with £51.3m arriving via commercial means and £50.8 collected on matchdays. 

Tottenham have long had an infrastructure that lent itself as a comparison to the top 15 or 20 clubs in European football, however, their on-pitch results and success naturally differed to, say, last season's Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and the 2010 European Cup winners Inter.

That may soon be changing.

Last season, Tottenham possessed a triple-crowning individual in Gareth Bale, a 24-year-old who dropped jaws in Blighty and beyond for his dead-ball ability, effective dribbling and ghetto mugging of defenders.

While the club fell short in it's pursuit of a qualification place to this season's Champions League, their brand of exciting, on-the-floor football - championed by Andre Villas-Boas - has seen them attract a quartet of quality players, with more (Willian, Erik Lamela) potentially on the horizon.

Even if Bale does head out of Bill Nicholson Way, the club have already gone to great lengths in creating a more balanced roster. To use a local point of comparison, many thought Arsenal would begin clipping hurdles when Thierry Henry was sold in 2007 but the one-time club captain's absence acted as a liberation for some of the club's younger emerging stars.

While Bale's absence will be notable and there is no way any team can replace one of the top five players in world football, what they can address is, replacing one 20-25 goal-a-season forward, with three players banging in 20 per year.

Soldado, in his three seasons at Valencia, scored 25, 27 and finished his career in La Liga with 30. He has already opened his Premier League account with the game's sole goal in Tottenham's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. The striker will no doubt be one of the league's most prolific goal-getters, however, with Willian, Lamela and Gylfi Sigurdsson playing either side and behind, the latter three could feasibly haul in a combined 30.

The team, last season, were strong in defence, perhaps because of the perpetually improving form of versatile defender Jan Vertonghen and the reliability of French glovesman Hugo Lloris who beats balls away from his goal-line with a confident swag.

The squad is, as Mourinho says, fantastic. They are showing this season they have more market ambition than neighbours Arsenal and, in AVB, have a manager with experience of winning domestic and continental titles.

The question is, will they claim the crown this season?

Where will Spurs finish this season? Can they win the Premier League title? Let us know in the comment section below!

images: © Vladimir Maiorov, © Vladimir Maiorov

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