With four fixtures gone, the Premier League table is slowly starting to take shape. There is little doubt that some of the high flyers, such as Stoke City (currently fourth) will fade away and some of the struggler’s such as Everton (currently bottom) will improve. But what of Tottenham? They have enjoyed a perfect start and yet most people are happy to write them off without a moments thought. What some may forget is that Spurs have a manager with a history of defying the Premier League football odds.
Harry Redknapp has been in management for 25 years and has consistently overachieved with limited resources. At Bournemouth he led the team to promotion and a famous cup victory over Manchester United, at West Ham he consistently finished in the top half of the Premier League and at Portsmouth he won promotion and then, unbelievably, the FA Cup in 2008.
Tottenham meanwhile have consistently underachieved, finishing fifth or lower every year since the Premier League’s inception, despite spending large amounts of money at regular intervals; their potential has been talked about for a long time but never fulfilled. However, with Redknapp at the helm there is a renewed sense of optimism at White Hart Lane.
Of course, early season performances can be deceptive, but Tottenham’s form cannot be put down to a kind fixture list, nor a lot of good fortune. Redknapp’s men have outplayed last year’s runners-up, destroyed a Hull team that pushed Chelsea all the way, picked up three impressive points at Upton Park and showcased a new found persistence in Saturday’s late win over Birmingham.
Whether they can last the distance and claim a place in the top four, or even challenge for the title, remains to be seen but with a proven manager at the helm, plenty of momentum and an impressive depth to their squad, Spurs should not be written off so casually.
They were 100/1 shots pre-season to win the title, compared to an over-hyped Manchester City, who were backed in to 14/1. With a history of being made to look silly by Redknapp, the bookmakers may just be ready to rethink those odds.