Tottenham Hotspur enter the Christmas fixture season having finally cracked the top four, and despite more draws than wins this season they are in a very good place. With three winnable fixtures against Norwich, Watford, and Everton heading into 2016, Spurs have a chance to make a statement of intent, and Mauricio Pochettino hasn't ruled out the possibility of a push for the Premier League crown.
"People don't realise the effort we make and how hard our players work because we are the youngest squad in the Premier League," he said.
"Sometimes they deserve more praise for the position they have. Maybe the team deserve more praise than we have so far.
"Can we win the title? In football, all is possible. The last 10 games are very important, and it's how you arrive there to attack different objectives or achieve important things."
This is a weird season. Leicester sits atop the table at Christmas, Chelsea are three points above the drop. Three of the EPL's blue-bloods are struggling, and there's a significant chance that Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United will all have made managerial changes before the new year. In a normal season, Spurs' current point total would normally make them favorites for fifth or sixth place, but this year they're playing well and are within striking distance of third.
I'm not sure Pochettino really believes that Spurs have a realistic chance at the title, but his comments suggest he thinks they should at minimum be a part of the conversation, as I argued a few weeks ago. And Poche's language has evolved slightly too, going from, essentially, "Naah, we need to do more" to "Hey, it's a weird year, who knows."
Tottenham have a relatively easy run in their remaining December fixtures (though a trip to in-form Watford looms on Monday). Arsenal and Manchester City should rightfully be at the top of the list for title consideration, but we've already seen a lot stranger things happen this year. With a few good results, this Christmas could be a Lloyd Christmas for Tottenham.