Tough Winter Schedule Gives Tottenham Chance to Cement Title Ambitions

Adam McGroarty
Spurs are currently second in the Premier League table
Spurs are currently second in the Premier League table / MATT DUNHAM/Getty Images

Whether you like it or not, Tottenham are title challengers.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been on fire, scoring the majority of Spurs' goals to take them up to second in the Premier League table, just one point off Leicester at the top - deja vu, eh?

The football has been free-flowing and mouthwatering at times, and in the biggest test of the season to date, Jose Mourinho's side hit Manchester United for six in their own backyard. It all sounds pretty exciting, doesn't it?

Well, recent Premier League performances haven't been so pretty. 1-0 victories against Burnley and West Brom either side of a plucky 2-1 win over Brighton saw Spurs pick up nine points from three games, when it could easily have been just three points.

Leicester beat Tottenham to the title in 2016
Leicester beat Tottenham to the title in 2016 / Clive Rose/Getty Images

Were these workmanlike displays that are associated with title winners? Or just pretty poor performances? Regardless of the answer, now is the real test against the league's 'big boys', and Tottenham need to ditch the sloppy displays and leap at the chance to cement their title ambitions.

The race for the title has been blown wide open this season with Liverpool hampered by injury, Manchester City looking defensively vulnerable, and Manchester United's defence up to its old tricks. Chelsea have been hit and miss so far this season as summer signings settle in, while Arsenal have suffered disappointing defeats. The opportunity is there for Tottenham to prevail in the hectic winter period, which is why they need to throw everything at it.

Mourinho's Spurs will face four of the top six before Christmas, and how they come out the other side of the busy period will set the tone for the remainder of the campaign. While Tottenham fans are apprehensive about the prospect of title dreams being crushed when faced with quality opposition, others are actually going to be fearing this Spurs side.

Kane and Son are in excellent form
Kane and Son are in excellent form / Pool/Getty Images

Forget the daunting prospect of going to Stamford Bridge or hosting Arsenal with all the pressure of a London derby - these sides are going to be just as frightened by this Spurs team, and we wouldn't have been saying that 12 months ago.

Tanguy Ndombele has been a breath of fresh air this season and looks a totally different player to the one who was struggling to get around the pitch during the previous campaign. His freedom has been unlocked by the arrival of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - arguably the best business Tottenham did this summer. The hard as nails Dane protects the defensive line and sweeps up the danger effortlessly.

We've mentioned Kane and Son, but let's throw Gareth Bale into the mix. The Welshman is starting to complete full matches as he looks to get his fitness up to scratch after becoming a part-time golfer in Madrid, and what better time is there to burst onto the scene? Bale pulled Spurs out of so many problems seven years ago, scoring decisive goals in huge matches. The rest of the top six know full well what he's capable of.

Hojbjerg has been outstanding for Spurs this season
Hojbjerg has been outstanding for Spurs this season / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

It's clear to see that the pieces are all there. Mourinho has all the tools at his disposal with an excellent run of form behind them to really make that transition from a 'top four team' to a 'title challenging team'. It was something former manager Mauricio Pochettino did manage a few seasons ago, but never has a Spurs team stamped their authority this early on during a season.

Mourinho should simply go for it in these big games - we don't want to be seeing any buses parked. Tottenham's attack can hurt any opposition, with Mourinho knowing his side could come out of this period near the top of the table having sent a real statement of intent to the rest of the league.