James Maddison reveals mixed emotions on 'amazing' Premier League title race

  • Tottenham could play huge role in title race with games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City still to come
  • James Maddison unbothered by Spurs' impact on who wins Premier League but wants to fight for title next season
  • Midfielder also determined to secure Champions League football despite Ange Postecoglou's warnings
Maddison is keeping an eye on the title race but doesn't care about Spurs' role as potential kingmakers
Maddison is keeping an eye on the title race but doesn't care about Spurs' role as potential kingmakers / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Tottenham Hotspur vice-captain James Maddison has played up the entertainment in this season's Premier League title race, but is gutted not to be involved in it himself.

Arsenal moved to the top of the table after beating Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday before Liverpool were held to a draw at rivals Manchester United 24 hours later. The Gunners are ahead of the Reds on goal difference only, while Manchester City are just a point behind the pair.

During the first half of the season, Spurs were tipped as a dark-horse for the title having sat in first place for a couple of weeks and gone unbeaten for their opening 10 Premier League games under Ange Postecoglou.

Speaking after Tottenham's 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening, Maddison revealed he and his teammates plan to be in the title picture next season.

"For sure, that's definitely the feeling," he replied when asked if Spurs want to be in the title race. "That's filtered down from the manager, to be fair.

"It's annoying, man, really listening to three teams go at it for the title and we're not in it, especially after the start of the season we had but frustrating.

"How exciting is the title race this season? It's amazing, it's brilliant for a neutral. My friends and family, everyone is locked into the Premier League every week at the minute because it's such a good title race. Frustrating not to be a part of that but it is what it is. We are where we are and we have our own job to do."

Son Heung-min, James Maddison
Maddison grabbed two assists in Tottenham's draw at Arsenal earlier this season / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Tottenham could end up having a huge say on where the title heads this season as they still have all three of Arsenal, Liverpool and City left to play.

But when asked if he relishes the role as potential kingmakers in this year's race, Maddison replied: "I've got no interest, to be honest. We've got our own aspirations, our own goals for the season and I'm not bothered. If we end up winning games against teams that are in that race, it makes no difference. We've got a job to do."

Spurs' win over Forest saw them climb back into fourth place ahead of Aston Villa. With the Premier League likely to receive an extra fifth spot for qualification into next season's Champions League, they may be closing in on a return to Europe's top table.

Postecoglou has routinely stressed he is more focused on the development of his young team rather than an obsession to reach the Champions League, but Maddison admitted it is a personal motivation of his to play in the competition.

"I completely get the manager not wanting to talk about it but I am not going to lie to your face and say you don't think about that, because we want to be in the Champions League," he said. "This club needs to be in the Champions League, non-negotiable really and that's the aim. That's why we'll try to finish strong and get that. That's the goal for me."