Another weekend, and another fantastic win for Tottenham Hotspur.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth once again showcased something that we’ve all known for a few months now – this Tottenham side really is rather good.
The trouble is, so are the Leicester outfit currently sitting five points clear of them.
In recent weeks I’ve written about the fact that on paper, Arsenal have never had a better opportunity to win the league than they have done this season; and also highlighted that in true Arsenal fashion, they’ve wasted the opportunity.
And now, as I glance over to the white half of North London, I’m inclined to come to the same conclusion about Spurs.
At this stage, I’d be very surprised if Leicester didn’t go on to win the league.
With just eight games to go, and Claudio Ranieri’s side in this sort of form, it seems highly improbable that five points will be dropped whilst one of Leicester’s title rivals doesn’t drop any.
It just isn’t going to happen.
So, Leicester will – almost certainly – be crowned Champions.
For Arsene Wenger, it’s yet another case of ‘what might have been’.
For Mauricio Pochettino, it’s probably his first taste. And potentially his last for a while, too.
You see, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a season like this again for a very, very long time.
Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal have all underachieved.
Every single one of them.
For the last couple of decades, the aforementioned clubs have belonged to a select group, a group that Spurs have aspired to be part of.
They’ve knocked on the door a couple of times; they’ve even got into the group for one brief period. But generally speaking, they’ve been banging on the glass ceiling just below them.
But this year, that ceiling’s been smashed, and for all of the superlatives one can use to describe Tottenham, we can’t pretend that they’ve taken enough of advantage of it.
In August, they lost 1-0 to a poor Manchester United side.
In December, they lost to a dismal Newcastle side.
In January, they lost to Leicester City.
Turn those three losses into draws, and the table would look pretty different.
Leicester would have two points less and be sitting on 64 points.
Tottenham would have three points more and be sitting on 64 points, with a vastly superior goal difference to Leicester.
In short, had they not lost those three games that they really shouldn’t have, they’d be in pole position to win the title, their first since 1961.
Statistics like this highlight the fact that football is a game of fine margins, but from a Tottenham perspective, this must be heartbreaking.
Unless something unexpected happens, Spurs will be pipped at the post by Leicester, and with all of the aforementioned elite teams sure to spend significantly this summer, Tottenham may never get another opportunity like this.
So whilst we must congratulate Spurs for their terrific run of form, we must remember that if it wasn’t for three little blips, they’d be on their way to the league now.