Jim White says Tottenham winning the league would be 'greater than Leicester'
Spurs aiming to top Leicester's achievement?
In the era of hot takes, Jim White has given his contender for hottest take of the year after his statement this morning.
The talkSPORT and Sky Sports personality has claimed that should Tottenham go onto win the Premier League this season, that it would be a greater achievement than Leicester City when they won the title in 2016.
Spurs currently find themselves sat third in the Premier League table, four points behind Liverpool ahead of their trip to face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Monday night.
They briefly went second for just over 24 hours, before Manchester City defeated Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening. Listen below to hear White’s thoughts on the situation.
Making the case for Spurs
In fairness to Tottenham, it would be a pretty significant upset if they were able to win the title from here on in. They are set to be without both Dele Alli and Harry Kane until next month and also return to Champions League action this month as they face Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16.
This is also a side that has not signed a player in either of the last two transfer windows, with their last signing being Lucas Moura from PSG in January 2018, leaving them to play out this season with the same squad as they finished last term.
They have also lost influential midfielder Mousa Dembele, who left the club in January to move to China without a replacement being brought in.
It would also be reminiscent not to also note that the season in which Leicester stunned the world, they also did so in what was a far from vintage year for any of the current top six in the Premier League.
Champions Chelsea went into complete meltdown, as Jose Mourinho was sacked just six months after guiding the club to the title in the previous season. Liverpool were also in transition, as Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers and the side sacrificed their league campaign for the Europa League.
Both Manchester clubs were struggling, as Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United were embroidered in a race for the top four with Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City, which the latter came out on top in.
Elsewhere, both Arsenal and Tottenham were the closest challengers to Leicester taking the crown. The Gunners won both head-to-head meetings against Leicester in the season, being the only side in the league to do so, while Spurs were in the mix still heading into May.
Leicester also didn’t have the distraction of European football that other title winners have had, allowing them to focus solely on the Premier League and their domestic results and fixtures throughout.
If Tottenham are able to ride the wave of having both Alli and Kane missing for a prolonged period and overturn a seven-point deficit with 14 games to go, it would certainly be one of the more surprising title victories in Premier League history.
Does White have a point?
No, absolutely not. It is ludicrous to suggest that a Spurs victory would be a greater achievement.
Leicester were a 5000/1 outsider at the start of the 2015/16 season, coming from absolutely nowhere to somehow being crowned champions of England. The previous season they survived by the skin of their teeth after winning promotion to the Premier League and so easily could’ve been playing out that season in the Championship.
Right now, Spurs are 25/1 to go on and win the Premier League title and at the start of the season were around 16/1 with most bookmakers.
White has attempted to make the point that the champion Leicester side were able to sign Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth, Shinji Okazaki and N’Golo Kante in the summer of 2015 and spent £30m on new signings. Aside from Kante, none of those Leicester players would get into this Tottenham team and nobody foresaw the development of the team.
When he signed from Caen, Kante was not the Kante. Jamie Vardy was not the Jamie Vardy at the start of that season. Riyad Mahrez was not the Riyad Mahrez. The players went from average Premier League players to superstars in the space of months.
If you told somebody at the start of this season that Tottenham would win the league, it would not be a more than feasible concept. They have the World Cup Golden Boot winner, France World Cup winning captain, a Real Madrid-wanted midfielder, one of the brightest young prospects in world football and one of the best defensive partnerships in the Premier League in their squad.
Anybody that truly believed that Leicester would win the Premier League at the end of the season would’ve been laughed out of the room and those who ultimately did profit from it will have placed their bets in jest more than expectation.
Leicester’s title victory is the greatest achievement in Premier League history and it will take something miraculous for it to ever be upstaged.