With scores deadlocked as Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side searched high and low for a breakthrough against newly-promoted Fulham, it was Lucas Moura whose weak-footed strike from range gave Spurs the lead that pushed them on to win the match.
He proceeded to speak about opportunities and seizing them, laying down his early but admirable ambition to become a Premier League champion in Tottenham’s new stadium.
“I have to take advantage of the opportunities that show up. It’s my first season from the start here with Tottenham. I tried to work hard and strong in the pre-season to get started.
“And the opportunities are there. I have to take it, it’s a big one I’m having. I will work hard, I will do my utmost to be able to help the team, to gain my spot in the team.
“I believe [we can win the Premier League]. We are a very strong team. In the last two seasons we were always in the first places, qualifying for the Champions League.
“I think the important thing is that nobody left. I think we still have a very strong team, well intertwined, that’s very important, too. We have the full condition to fight at the top of the table.”
Crying out for a natural wide player to balance their plethora of talented central attacking midfielders, Spurs lured Lucas Moura from PSG in January, getting their hands on a right-winger who can frustrate at times but is a unique breed in the current football world.
Scoring 12 and assisting 5 in his final full season in Ligue 1, Pochettino will be delighted by the idea of another player who can hit double figures, but even more content with the fact that his side now have a complete variety of options when attempting to break opposition defences.
The ambition seems to be there for Moura to become a starter and a better footballer at his new club, while earning team accolades. The unfortunate situation at hand for Spurs is that they failed to strengthen their side at all this summer, making the Brazilian winger their only signing heading into the new season after strength was added to the ranks of every other team in the top six.
Only one side is currently a clear favourite to finish below Pochettino’s Spurs in the top six this season, and while being above Unai Emery’s Arsenal in the table over recent years has brought pleasure to the often-quiet half of North London, they will want more this season.
Chelsea are adapting to life under Maurizio Sarri much quicker than expected, Jürgen Klopp instilled a very high morale during Liverpool’s Champions League run before breaking the bank in the summer, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are stating their credentials as one of the best sides in Premier League history, and José Mourinho’s Manchester United are facing bumps but have shown their capability to grind their way through a season twice now.
Leicester City’s famous title win in 2016 had many believing in the idea of a low-budget side winning the Premier League in the modern era, but the chances of it happening again are very slim and Spurs, regardless of their stability and ambition, are likely to be victims of another domestic campaign in which they regret not being able to outspend their rivals.
Regardless, Pochettino should be proud of a project which has seen Spurs become a consistent European-calibre side, and perhaps the expansion of their stadium and the improvements of burgeoning world class players in the side will catalyze the club’s growth.
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