As the season wound up last season, Tottenham were right on Leicester City’s heels and they had a shot at the title with 4 games to go. West Brom, Chelsea, Southampton, and Newcastle being the last four hurdles to cross, Spurs failed to pick up a single win, losing 2 games and drawing 2.
Not many would have predicted everything falling apart for Mauricio Pochettino’s men right at the finish line in May. This term, Tottenham have put last season’s disappointment behind and started their campaign on a great note, recording 5 wins and 8 draws.
These results make them the only team to have maintained a perfect start to the season till date. But only the victory against Manchester City – a title contender can be regarded as a pass of a tough test and challenge for the White Hart Lane outfit.
The fixtures for November will be the real test of Tottenham’s strength. One word for the 6 encounters Spurs have got coming across all competitions; mountainous, and it could prove to be a defining period in Tottenham’s title challenge for 2016-17.
After hosting Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley on Champions League matchday 3 come November 2, the north London Derby goes down 4 days later. Arsenal will play host to the Spurs on November 6, and there isn’t a chance both sides will settle for a share of the spoils like the case was over last season’s both legs.
Following the clash is an international break, and upon resumption a West Ham side that should have seen a host of its injured key players return will pay White Hart Lane a visit on Saturday, November 19. Having thrashed them by 4 goals to 1 at home last time out, and given the contrasting forms of both sides, Tottenham might be able to repeat a victory and record back to back home wins against the Hammers since 2009.
By midweek, Pochettino and his lads travel to France to face off with Monaco in the 2nd leg of their Champions League group stage fixtures on November 22. Next stop will be Stamford Bridge on the 26th, finally bringing a grueling round of fixtures to an end.
In Europe, sealing maximum points from 2 of their remaining 4 group fixtures will secure their qualifications to the round of 16. And if they do top group E at the end having acquired 6 valuable points to the 3 on ground, they have the chance of getting paired against a favourable opponent in the draws.
Perhaps it’s wide imagination to think that considering the competition in Europe, but getting it right in the league or not could be determined by the results of Tottenham’s clashes against Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea.
Emphatic and consecutive victories against 2 title contenders, and a team that finished 7th last term will send a message to other title rivals. Just like the Manchester City’s defeat did. Only that this time around, no one will see them as lucky to have won those games like many considered them against City.
On the other hand, failure to pick up at least 4 or 6 points from the November fixtures and that fear-factor will be long gone. Nobody in England wants to face Tottenham on their day, and they must maintain that consistency if they are to be regarded as being capable of mounting a very strong title challenge. November will either make or break Tottenham’s season, and all eyes are on them to see how they fare.
The whole football world is waiting.