Andy Gray: Tottenham can make a real statement against Chelsea
Andre Villas-Boas' exciting Tottenham side will pose a real threat to Chelsea on Saturday, writes Andy Gray
All eyes will no doubt be on Chelsea when they travel to Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime – but for me it is the home side that will pose the real danger.
Chelsea have already proven their own title credentials this season. There’s no doubt their start to the season has been excellent, and I don’t expect to see them drop off the pace in the way they did last year and finish sixth, like many seem to think will happen.
They’ll push on and at the very least be in the top four all season, though I don’t think it’s Chelsea who make the game at White Hart Lane interesting – Tottenham are who people need to take notice of now.
In the wake of Harry Redknapp’s departure there was doom and gloom around the club but now it’s looking like there is a very bright future that awaits them under Andre Villas-Boas, and this is a wonderful chance for them to prove it again.
They’ve already gone and got a win at Old Trafford, something that Harry couldn’t do with Tottenham. They will be in good body and mind going in to that tie and they definitely could beat Chelsea at the weekend.
I didn’t agree with the stick Villas-Boas was taking at the start of the season, I thought it was ridiculous, quite frankly. Every manager takes time to settle. I don’t know what people thought he was going to do, walk into Tottenham and wave a magic wand?
As far as I can see he’s only lost one Premier League game this season, and that was the opening day of the season up at St James’ Park, apart from that his team remain unbeaten.
They are slowly climbing up the league and if they win at the weekend they will jump to second, albeit for a couple of hours at least – and that is a big incentive.
They will be looking to do to Chelsea what Atletico Madrid did – really hurt them when they have possession. Although Chelsea are excellent when they have the ball themselves they are vulnerable when players keep the ball against them.
The Juan Matas, the Oscars, the Eden Hazards – they aren’t good if they don’t have the ball so that needs to be Spurs’ game plan.
It’s too early to say with certainty whether Chelsea are the team to beat, but 19 points from 21 speaks volumes.
Carlo Ancelotti won his first seven games and then Chelsea hung on in there so they will be looking to do the same again this year under Roberto Di Matteo.
There are big tests ahead for this side, especially the next four games coming up without John Terry after he decided to not appeal The FA’s decision.
There’s the double header against Manchester United in the league and League Cup and the Spurs game, so they need to show they can cope without their skipper for the next four games.
If they can do they will be in a great position to launch a proper assault on the title, but Tottenham will be a tough test to start with.
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store.