If you combined last and this season's tables together, guess who would be 1st? That's right, Tottenham. They're coming off the back of beating and finally overcoming Arsenal to be (for a season at least) the best team in North London. As you will all agree, now is clearly the best time to host them at the London Stadium!
Sean from our Spurs-supporting sister site Cartilage Free Captain was kind enough to take some time out of celebrating to answer a few questions so we can get the oppositions perspective before we obviously stop them from winning the title.
Definitely happy. Sunday was a high that hasn't gone away yet and probably won't for awhile. I know I'm not alone in taking enjoyment out of watching Arsenal fans try to downplay St. Totteringham's Day being thrown in the dumpster for the season. It's been an insanely fun season, and going into it, we knew that getting into the Top Four was going to be a dogfight. To say that, along with Chelsea, we've been head and shoulders above everyone else? That's a big feather in the cap. But, with four matches to go, I still want to catch Chelsea. I don't think they're going to drop four points along the way, but stranger things have happened.
2) Has there been a "powershift" in North London? Are Tottenham in control now?
I'm trying not to get caught up in any narratives or anything of the sorts when it comes to power shifts, but do I think the tables have turned for the time being? Absolutely. Spurs have a young squad that loves to play for their manager, their club, and their supporters. A new stadium is being erected that is going to be a gem in London, and there is Champions League football to look forward to next season while Arsenal are probably looking at Europa. It feels good.
3) What does the short term future hold for Tottenham? Can you challenge for the title next season?
I don't see why not. In the grand scheme of things, making the Champions League once is enough to get better players, but if a club can qualify consistently, then it attracts the top echelon of players wanting to play on the biggest stage. Spurs still have a wage structure that puts them at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting those players, but after two seasons of finishing third and more than likely second in the Premier League, there's no reason to think that Spurs can't patch the holes that need filled to make it third time's the charm in 2017-18.
4) How do we stop you from steam rolling us?
I was asked this by The Short Fuse last week and my answer will remain the same: Cause as much chaos in the midfield as possible. Arsenal didn't have to contend with Mousa Dembele in the midfield, and they failed to take advantage of it. Granted, that was mainly due to Victor Wanyama going Super Saiyan and essentially crushing anything that came near him. With the week to rest, I expect to see the standard Dembele/Wanyama pivot on Friday, so West Ham will need to find a way to disconnect them from the rest of Spurs. The last team to pull that off was Liverpool in February.
5) Do you have any weaknesses we can exploit?
It depends on how the squad is chosen, but right now? I don't know if Spurs have any glaring weaknesses. Hugo is in top form, the defense has never been better even missing Danny Rose and rotating Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier at RWB, and the attacking band basically acts as a boa constrictor until the ball pops free. Then there's the aforementioned midfield that is two panzer tanks wanting to just run over the top of you. I try not to show the bias, but I'm looking at this Spurs squad right now and I just don't see any weak spots.
6) Predicted line up and score?
I expect to see the 3-4-2-1 this week after Spurs started with a 4-2-3-1 against Arsenal. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Harry Winks, and Erik Lamela are out for the season. There are rumors that Danny Rose will be good enough to get into the eighteen, but he'll be on the bench in all likelihood. Spurs probably lineup like this:
Lloris; Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dier; Davies, Dembele, Wanyama, Walker; Eriksen, Dele; Kane
Spurs are flying high right now, and while trips to West Ham lately have been a bit of a butt clencher, this is a different season. West Ham aren't good, and Spurs are one of the two best teams in the league. I expect nothing but pain for the home said.
Spurs wax the Hammers, 3-0.
3-0? Little does he know, we have Calleri up front!
Big thank you to Sean. We did the same thing over on Cartilage Free Captain so make sure to head over there and check it out.