They may be the outsiders in the Premier League title race, but Tottenham deserve plenty of praise for the “outstanding” effort from Mauricio Pochettino and his players to keep the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City.
That’s the view of former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
Pochettino’s men currently sit five points behind Manchester City and Liverpool, with Pep Guardiola’s men top of the table on goal difference, having played one game more than the Reds.
But Neville has been full of praise for the “incredible” job being done by Spurs, as he compared the challenges facing Pochettino and his squad without top scorer Harry Kane and influential midfielder Dele Alli, who have both been out injured in recent weeks.
“We watched the game [against Leicester], it was a struggle for them,” he said, speaking on the Gary Neville podcast on Sky Sports.
“[Jamie] Vardy missed the penalty, they got the goal late on which I think flattered them a little bit, making them look a little bit easier than it was.
“But with the injuries they’ve currently got and the challenges they’ve currently got, it’s such an outstanding performance from the players, Mauricio Pochettino, to be where they are.
“Looking at the table, Tottenham go two points behind Manchester City if they win their game in hand. That’s incredible. With no money spent, you look at the depth of that City squad [against Chelsea] – David Silva is on the bench, [Gabriel] Jesus is on the bench, [Leroy] Sane is on the bench, Danilo is on the bench, [Riyad] Mahrez is on the bench. £250m worth there?
“You look at the riches of that squad and then you think of what Mauricio Pochettino is achieving with a squad that hasn’t had any investment into it for 18 months and that’s a strength in terms of the stability and consistency they can generate.
“They need great credit, even though they are not at their best and they are scrapping through matches, but it’s a great quality to have especially when you haven’t got some of your best players on the pitch.”
Despite this, Neville still sees the title race being between Manchester City and Liverpool, with City laying down a marker with their 6-0 win against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium yesterday (Sunday).
And the former Manchester United man says he feels City are the favourites, as things stand.
“They’ve set themselves a standard,” he said.
“If they win the league, they are being challenged this season, they have to maintain that standard week in week out now. They can’t afford to make mistakes because Liverpool are a very good side themselves.
“Liverpool will start to realise they’re in for a major battle here. They were seven points clear a few weeks ago and still thought they were in a battle, for now City are definitely favourites to win the title.”
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