Rewind to the start of 2023 and you’ll remember Tottenham Hotspur were completely in the doldrums.
They didn’t have a permanent manager, with Christian Stellini and Ryan Mason sharing the honor on an interim basis, and started the new year with three defeats in four games – conceding eight goals into the bargain. By May, they were languishing as low as eighth in the table.
A summer of comings and goings – Harry Kane packed his bags for Munich, while head coach Ange Postecoglou came in – may not have filled Spurs fans with positivity, given that the Australian manager did not have previous experience at Premier League level.
But Postecoglou has taken to life in the EPL with relish, while Kane is nothing but a distant memory as Tottenham knock on the door of the Champions League places. But how high can they go in 2024?
Viva La Revolución
The English Premier League betting odds confirm that Spurs are unlikely to win the title this season, however their hopes of returning to the Champions League in 2024/25 are in good heart.
The Premiership betting tips will favor Manchester City (-4000), Liverpool (-1400) and Arsenal (-1000) for a top-four finish, however Tottenham are not a million miles away at +190 – and in excellent form too.
They headed into the festive period inside the top five – ironically, finishing fifth could result in a Champions League place in 2024/25, depending on how England’s UEFA coefficient shapes up at the end of the season.
But Postecoglou will be eyeing the top four for his side, who have put behind them a derisory November in which they lost all three of their Premier League games, to enter the Christmas and New Year shenanigans in fine spirits.
A 4-1 demolition of Newcastle was followed by that 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest, where they would have to play the last 20 minutes or so with just ten men after Yves Bissouma was sent off.
Going somewhat under the radar has been the return to form of Richarlison, who scored three times in those two games mentioned to ensure Spurs had an end product to go with their outstanding attacking play.
Harry Kane? Who’s that?
Attack, Attack, Attack
Even neutral supporters have to feel a pang of sympathy for Tottenham fans, who not only had to sit through the conservative stylings of Jose Mourinho during his tenure as manager, but then had to endure the similarly-defensive Antonio Conte.
This was a football club in dire need of change, and they’ve well and truly got it thanks to Postecoglou, who has replicated the attacking style he deployed at Celtic in London as well.
Now, Spurs fans watch on as their heroes fly forward, with inverted full-backs providing the platform from which the midfielders in front of them can take up more advanced positions.
With Richarlison leading the line, Son Heung-min is given the freedom to roam from his starting position on the left-hand side of the pitch, and when James Maddison is fit to play Tottenham’s attacking play is sumptuous to watch.
The rollercoaster that is football unfortunately. Will need a period of time away from the pitch to get this one right. See you in the new year Spurs fans, I’ll be back better & stronger for sure, promise you that 🤝🤍 pic.twitter.com/8s9oQ4xIAJ— James Maddison (@Madders10) November 11, 2023
They were averaging more than two goals scored per game over the first half of the campaign, and while their offensive approach has left them vulnerable defensively at times, the scintillating style has won over the hearts and minds of Tottenham fans who were left nonplussed by the rigidity of Mourinho and Conte.
How far can this devil-may-care attitude take them? Only time will tell, although those betting odds suggest that a top-four finish – with Champions League football returning to Tottenham in 2024/25 – is very much on the table.