Martin Keown heaps huge praise on Tottenham, delivers title verdict
By Dominic Toner
Martin Keown claims that Tottenham have been the most consistent side in the Premier League in the last 18 months, but feels they will fall short of the tittle this season due to their European campaign.
Spurs are currently fifth-placed in the league table and are 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, who have won their last 12 matches in the division.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are trying to compete at the top-end of the table again after finishing third in the Premier League last season.
The north London club will have their Europa League knockout matches to contend with in 2017 and that will surely test their squad, while league rivals Chelsea and Liverpool are not competing in Europe and can focus on domestic fixtures.
Ex-Arsenal defender Keown was asked whether Spurs could win the title this season and feels that their European commitments could derail their challenge, but is highly impressed by the club.
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“I don’t think anyone has been as consistent over the last 18 months as Tottenham,” Keown told the Mail. “I have been immensely impressed with the way that they play and the calmness of their manager, Mauricio Pochettino. He has an unstinting belief in his players.
“However I do feel that playing on a Thursday night in the Europa League will not help them in the second half of the season.”
Spurs’ first priority will be ensuing a top four spot and they are currently a point behind rivals Arsenal in fourth.
Pochettino’s side will be boosted by a comfortable 4-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday night and will be hoping to force their way into the top four.
They travel to Watford in their next game in search of a fourth consecutive victory and they have responded extremely well after a defeat to Manchester United on 11 December.
In other Tottenham news, Paul Merson has predicted the club’s upcoming match against Watford.