Tottenham Hotspur have had a very good start to the season but the make or break period is still to come.
Tottenham Hotspur have gone under the radar to mount a title challenge as we reach the halfway point in the season.
A slightly rocky start had Mauricio Pochettino's side looking inconsistent and highlighted the decision to sign no one in the summer.
Now, however, they sit just two points behind Manchester City and six behind Liverpool. It is still a long shot, but Spurs are firmly in this race.
They have even managed to pull off qualification to the Champions League knockout round despite that poor start and despite a very strong group; fighting on all fronts after failing to strengthen their squad looked virtually impossible but they have pulled it off.
The biggest challenge facing them over the second half of the season is a pretty unique one and has come about thanks to other sides having very poor starts.
Real Madrid and Manchester United have kicked the season off poorly, enough so that both have sacked their managers. It is not the sackings themselves that should worry Spurs, though, but the fact that neither hired a permanent replacement.
Pochettino may well be the top target for both clubs, his work at Spurs has earned him that position, and that is a potential problem for his current club.
Spurs will surely look to do business in the January window, much like they did last year with Lucas Moura, but now any potential signing will look at the club with uncertainty surrounding the manager.
The Tottenham players, too, will naturally have doubts over his future and potentially their own if change is on its way this summer, and that nagging doubt in their minds could be enough to hold Spurs back this season.
We saw in 2016 the way Manchester City fell away after it was announced that Manuel Pellegrini would be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season. The future was more obvious then but the focus still faded.
It will not matter how often Pochettino dismisses reports. We have seen far too many players and coaches say one thing and change their mind down the years, and the way this is all managed will make and break their year.
It is a strange situation for everyone at Tottenham but if Pochettino and co. can find their focus, they could still have a very special season.
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