It’s not been a happy past few weeks at Tottenham, especially after James Maddison arrowed one home late on in Saturday’s early kick-off. It’s bad enough that Spurs have only one win in their last six games but it hurts more that their latest loss to Leicester is one to hurt their “pride”.
Tottenham, of course, are traditionally part of the top six but James Maddison has now claimed that Leicester City have sent out a message to the Premier League’s top six after their win against Tottenham. If Maddison says Leicester are now one of the “top” sides, is there any claim to further solidify his point?
Just maybe. The midfielder struck a late winner to seal a 2-1 victory for the Foxes on Saturday.
It came after Serge Aurier looked to have put Spurs 2-0 ahead in the second half only for VAR to disallow the goal with Son Heung-min fractionally offside.
Leicester currently sit third in the Premier League after the weekend’s results and Maddison believes they have proved their pedigree.
“We are a top side now – I think we have to be seen as one of those top sides,” he was quoted via the Telegraph. “Nobody will want to come to this place when it’s rocking like this.”
That could have come off as a plain statement but on closer look, it would appear the 22-year-old was taking a swipe at Tottenham and actually does have a point or a few to make in that regard.
Spurs might have a stadium and training ground that rank among the very best in the world. They might have kept a manager who was heavily linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United last season and their squad does include seven players who reached the World Cup semi-finals or better 12 months ago. But the question remains if they are actually a top side or have been praised for mediocrity.
And right now only two sides in the League have been better than Maddison’s Leicester City – so we take a bird’s eye view of what his comments could mean – or rather what thoughts could emerge from them.
Have Tottenham been praised for mediocrity?
It could be much of a claim to say Tottenham aren’t a big side and to further say Leicester are perhaps a bigger side would be making a statement with the power of a nuclear explosion. But what do the numbers say? What do the stats tell us in this narrative?
It has been 58 years since Tottenham last won the league – a time when the Beatles released their first single and England were half a decade away from winning their only World Cup.
Pochettino’s critics point to a lack of trophies since the 47-year-old joined the club from Southampton in 2014.
Yet it is hardly the case that the Argentine is failing where others have succeeded.
As per the BBC, since beating Anderlecht on penalties in the 1984 Uefa Cup final, Tottenham have won one FA Cup and two League Cups, the most recent of which came in 2008.
In the space of 2008 till date, all of the other top six members have at least a major trophy to their name including their fierce rivals Arsenal. Surprisingly, the only other team to have won the league asides a member of the “top six” since the past decade happens to be Maddison’s Leicester City. The fact that the Foxes did so in an era where the big six exercised their dominance and were able to achieve that feat with relatively unknown players makes it more applaudable.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have a crop of class players headlined by one of the biggest forwards in football right now in Harry Kane. Leicester City might have Jamie Vardy but imagine what a Harry Kane in their squad would have meant.
Going more recently, Tottenham’s loss to Leicester means they’ve only won one league game in their last five matches.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have only collected eight points from a possible 18 in the Premier League this season.
Thie poor form dates to last season and as per Whoscored, Spurs have only four wins in their last 16 competitive games. Similar circumstances saw bottom of the pile Watford sack ex-manager Javi Garcia earlier in the season. And you wonder if a club like Watford (with all respect) are not happy with those standards, why shouldn’t it be the same for Tottenham?- after all they are a “big” side.
For a side with no recent trophies, no recent history and only good “entertaining” performances to show for, are Tottenham really worth a mention in the top sides? It’s still too early for James Maddison to make such heavy claims but the fact remains that if Tottenham, as well as other members of the top four, don’t tie up their laces, Leicester City will indeed be considered as one of those “big sides” (as it stands).