Tottenham Hotspur: 8 Reasons Why Spurs Will Finish Above Arsenal
It's still early goings in the Premier League, but with each team having six games under their belts, it's never too early for bold predictions.
Here's one for you: Spurs will finish ahead of Arsenal this season.
There are a number of reasons why, and we'll get into those in a bit, but first let's see what each club has done so far.
Arsenal are currently in eighth place on the table with nine points.
While that's not much difference this early in the season, expect that gap to widen little by little each month.
This prediction isn't meant to say that Arsenal are rubbish by any means, only that Spurs are the side in the ascendancy. By season's end, the top five of the table will likely include Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs, in no particular order.
One of those teams has to be the odd man out, and this year it might just be United, as Spurs and the Gunners are two squads most definitely on the rise. There's a long season and many months of football yet to come, but as we sit now, anything is possible.
There likely won't be as big of a gap between the top squads this season as there has been in the past. It will be tight all the way through, and if we're lucky we might have a final match day as dramatic as last season's was. Expect Spurs and the Gunners to be key players when that time comes.
Andre Villas-Boas is the perfect fit for Spurs and will be as much a reason for the club's successes or failures as anyone.
He came over from a tenuous spell at Chelsea that didn't quite last an entire season. The reasons for his lack of early success at Stamford Bridge are ample and hotly debated, so we'll not touch on them too much.
The Portuguese manager has found success in his career over all, mostly in Portugal's Premeira Liga. He led FC Porto on a magnificent campaign in his lone season as manager.
The squad went undefeated in league play, won the league, the league cup and the Europa League that year. They allowed only 13 goals in the league and had completely dominated any and all comers by season's end.
And yet, on June 21, 2011, just over a year after he signed, he tendered his resignation. The next day he signed with Chelsea. The temptation of managing a top squad in the Premiership proved too great for AV-B.
With Spurs, he's been given a second chance in the EPL, and so far his squad has not disappointed. Along with beating United at Old Trafford, he's done quite a bit of shrewd business off the pitch as well.
He sold arguably the club's best player in Luca Modric to Real Madrid, and he sold him high. With the funds earned, he brought in talent at all levels on the pitch.
He locked up Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City, brought in an electric midfield tandem from Fulham in Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele, acquired one of the best up-and-coming goal keepers on the market in Hugo Lloris and his defensive signing in Jan Vertonghen is already paying dividends.
Villas-Boas will take this club as far as it can go, and no one is overlooking Spurs this season or for many seasons to come, if the early going is any indication.
Jermain Defoe will turn 30 when Spurs host Aston Villa at White Hart Lane this Sunday.
Defoe is off to the best start in his career. In six appearances this season, he's netted four goals and shows no signs of slowing down.
There was talk of Defoe being shipped out by the transfer deadline, but that's all but quelled now. Defoe is AV-B's main man up front, and like a good wine, his finish just seems to get better with age.
As long as he stays healthy and in form, Defoe is on pace to score more than 20 EPL goals this season. His best tally came in the 2009-2010 season when he bagged 18 in 34 caps.
Just like everyone else at White Hart Lane, Defoe has a chip on his shoulder this season, and it's not one of those flimsy flaky ones. This one's kettle cooked and extra salty.
Clint Dempsey has gotten significant playing time since he signed up on deadline day this year. He's played in all five matches since, and has started in four of them.
While he's not completely settled with his new club, he's starting to prove that last season's 23 goals was not a fluke.
It's hard to expect Dempsey to score as many this season, since Spurs are a lot more stacked at attacking options than Fulham were last season, but he's at it again, getting in the right place at the right time and scoring very important goals.
His first goal for Spurs came last weekend at Old Trafford. It proved to be the difference in a 3-2 victory over United and marked the first time Tottenham had won there in more than 20 years.
He's had a number of near misses, but as the season wears on and Dempsey gets more chances, his tally is sure to rise.
Deuce, as he has come to be known by way of his alter-ego rapping persona, has a propensity to not only score goals, but important ones for both club and country. Expect that to continue at White Hart Lane in what looks to be a promising career move.
Mark November 17 in your calendars as the day Spurs and Arsenal clash at the Emirates. Perhaps we'll see a Clint Dempsey special.
Is there a more threatening duo on the wings than Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon?
That's a rhetorical question. There isn't. Certainly not in the Premier League and perhaps the world. Unfortunately we won't get to test that this season, courtesy of Chelsea.
Their pace, touch and vision is extraordinary, or perhaps extraterrestrial. They can knife through a defense like butter, and with more attacking options in the middle like Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Moussa Dembele, they'll feast on opponents this season.
Who better than these two to provide service to Emmanuel Adebayor stalking his prey in the penalty area?
There aren't many defenders that can catch them if they let them by, and that forces opposing teams to play more cautious up front. Their speedsters up front can get caught up in trying to defend Spurs' speedy wingers, and that hampers their ability to mount quick counter attacks.
Bale and Lennon must stay in form all season long. Where ever they go, the fate of Spurs follows at their heels.
Spurs have found the back of the net in each of their six Premier League matches thus far, and have done so with good consistency against low, mid and top-tier competition.
In six matches, Spurs have hit pay dirt 11 times. Compared with Arsenal's 12, that doesn't seem too great, but six of those 12 came against Southampton, who are quickly becoming the league's new whipping boys.
Arsenal have been blanked twice by mid-table teams Sunderland and Stoke City. Against upper-echelon competition the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, they've scored four goals and finished 1-1-1 in the three matches.
Despite dropping the opener to Newcastle, Spurs haven't yet struggled to find the back of the net. With chemistry brewing between Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Tottenham's usual suspects, they aren't likely to struggle often this season.
Yes, Theo Walcott will also be a major factor in why Spurs will finish ahead of Arsenal.
Walcott and the Gunners haven't come to terms yet, and as the January transfer window nears with each passing day, so looms Walcott's exit.
He probably won't go to Spurs—not that Spurs need him—but his absence will be felt at Arsenal, despite how they feel about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Theo Walcott's speed, versatility and experience at Arsenal—or lack thereof come January—will most certainly have an impact on the Gunners' play down the stretch.
Andres Villas-Boas locked up the crown jewel of goal keepers during the transfer window.
Hugo Lloris is chomping at the bit, waiting in the wings behind an aging Brad Friedel.
Friedel is playing inspired football right now, in what could be his swan song, but Lloris' time will come, and soon.
Spurs have allowed eight goals in six games, compared to four by Arsenal. It certainly isn't all on Friedel, but as with any keeper, a fair share of the blame has to land on his shoulders.
Every goal that sails past Friedel moves Lloris closer to the starting position. Before this season is through, Lloris will be the man in the net for Spurs, and he isn't going to disappoint.
For my money, I'll wager we'll see Lloris between the sticks by the time Spurs and Gunners clash at the Emirates on November 17.
Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson
Luka Modric left very big shoes to fill in the Spurs midfield. Surely too big for one man to fill alone.
Andres Villas-Boas knew this, and along with goal-poaching Clint Dempsey, he brought in the powerful Moussa Dembele from Fulham and a young creative attacking midfielder in Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim, after his loan with Swansea came to an end.
Dembele found the back of the net in a dream debut against Norwich City, and has looked a force to be reckoned with when in the lineup.
Sigurdsson has struggled to live up to his place in the lineup, but Villas-Boas will continue to feed the young man. He has a ton of untapped potential, and even if it isn't employed immediately, Villas-Boas has planned accordingly by signing Dempsey and Dembele.
Spurs' midfield already looks threatening, but as the season wears on and new signings become more settled, they have the potential to be among the best units in the league.
Conversely, Arsenal signed Santi Cazorla from Malaga, and he has been a revelation for the Gunners. They aren't missing Samir Nasri any longer at the Emirates.
Unlike Arsenal, however, Spurs' goals came from all around last season. Arsenal has tried to replace Robin van Persie the best they can with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Grioud, but it will take time for the two to gel, and then there's no guarantee that they will ever be as good combined as van Persie alone.
Time will tell, but Tottenham Hotspur are clearly a side on the ascendancy this season, and the rest of the league has been put on notice. They may very well contend for the title this year, and the Manchesters and Arsenal could be in their rear view for a change.