PRETEND THERE WERE A GIGANTIC TABLE OF THE LEAGUE TABLE HERE!
At just a little over the quarter mark for the season, Spurs, I think, has exceeded everyone's expectations. We have 22 out of 30 possible points in the league. We have only dropped points against the Top Two teams in the league, Manchester City and Manchester United. We drew with a Newcastle side that is back to its former glory and third in the league. We took all six points in our matches so far with Arsenal and Liverpool. We are playing the best early season football that I can ever remember Spurs playing. For that reason, I have now shifted my aspirations for Spurs from taking fourth place and a Champions League playoff spot to winning the entire Barclays Premier League.
You all think I'm crazy, don't you? Manchester City has 31 points, and looks like a juggernaut. Manchester United is as solid as always. However, I think this Spurs team has the ability to stand up with those teams. Ever since our debacle performances against those two teams, Spurs have played as good as either team. With each and every passing day I find those first two matches less and less relevant to the true picture of the Premier League, as at the time we were mired in the Luka Modric situation and had major depth issues at center back (we still do, but not nearly as bad as before).
PRETEND THERE WERE A GIANT TABLE OF OUR FIXTURE LIST HERE!
The key, as illustrated here, is our upcoming stretch of matches. For our next ten matches until we play Manchester City away, we play the, respectively, 8th, 14th, 18th, 12th, 15th, 4th, 9th, 10th, 14th, and 13th placed teams. We get our toughest opponents (Chelsea and Aston Villa) at home, and the only other top half teams are recently promoted Norwich and Swansea, playing above their heads at the moment. This carries us all the way to January 22nd, and through the nasty New Year's fixture schedule. I am ecstatic at our schedule. Not a single match looks unwinnable, and I would not be surprised to see Spurs favored in every single one. Newcastle has shown they have the ability to not drop points against such a slate of competition, and there is no reason Spurs cannot do the same.
At the same time, the main opponent to League glory, Man City, goes through a very tough slate in the same stretch, playing Liverpool twice, Arsenal twice, Chelsea, and Newcastle. There is an incredibly amount of opportunity to be had between now and the end of January. Being realistic about Man City through this stretch, they get 20 points out of 10 matches. Obviously, they could easily get much more, but I see a congested fixture schedule and the quality of opponent slowing them down. Meanwhile, being optimistic about Spurs (and this is what this post is all about) I could see us getting 25 points out of 10 matches. That would mean, going in to our second match against Man City, we could have 47 points on the league to Man City's 51 points.
Obviously, there is a lot to poke at in what I'm saying. For all we know Spurs have been playing way above their heads. Man City might not slow down at all and have the best season a team has had since The Invincible's. The absence of Harry Redknapp causes us to slide. Yet right now, it doesn't matter to me. We found the missing piece at striker with Adebayor. Defoe is finishing touch has come back. The addition of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe return of form has taken the scoring pressure off of Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart who are scoring even more with more space to work with. Parker has given us a stalwart central mid to rotate with Sandro, and Kyle Walker has fixed our woes at right back. This is the best Spurs team I have ever seen, and I don't doubt that could take all 30 points over the next ten matches.
So I leave it to you, men and women of Cartilage Free Captain. Are you with me in now looking at League Title aspirations? Or do you still believe we should keep our expectations of simply qualifying for a Champions League spot?