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Paul Merson: 'Tottenham Hotspur already out of title race'

Merson: 'Spurs already out of title race'
© Reuters
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson claims that Tottenham Hotspur are already out of the Premier League title race after losing at home to Newcastle United.

Paul Merson has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur are already out of this season's Premier League title race.

The former Arsenal midfielder believes that Spurs' unexpected home loss to Newcastle United, which puts them five points behind league leaders Liverpool, has ended their hopes of being champions this term.

Merson points to the consistency of Liverpool and Manchester City, who finished on 97 and 98 points respectively last term, and insists that Spurs' early-season form means they are now top-four contenders rather than title challengers.

"I must admit, I didn't see this coming - Tottenham losing at home to Newcastle," Merson told Sky Sports News.

"Spurs look in disarray, a worrying sign this early in the season. They are out of the title race already, five points behind Liverpool with three games played. That may sound harsh, but would you back Spurs to win the league over Liverpool if Liverpool had a five-point head start?

"People go on and on about there being 35 games left but I'm fed up with that rhetoric, five points is a lot of points to make up. As a general rule, it takes five games to make up five points, Liverpool lost once last season and have won every game so far this, so where are Spurs going to bridge the gap?

"Before a ball was kicked, I thought Spurs were a dead cert to finish in the top three, now they look in the equation for top four football after their performances.

"They fell over the line against Aston Villa, somehow got a point at Manchester City after the biggest run-around you're likely to see and then they never looked like scoring against Newcastle. Their blatant lack of urgency when trailing Newcastle with minutes remaining was startling and left me thinking 'do they know how long is left here?'.

"Something isn't right at Spurs but what is clear is that Mauricio Pochettino hasn't got his team right yet. Christian Eriksen is their most creative player but he's been on the bench. I mean, who else have Spurs got that can put the ball through the eye of a needle?

"I rate Tottenham highly as a team - they were Champions League finalists less than three months ago after all - but they have shocked me, they have been my biggest disappointment this season so far, and I'm not just saying that because I used to play for Arsenal.

"Pochettino's comments that he has never seen so much unrest at a football club the other day were concerning and eye-opening. He doesn't normally speak so strongly, he always looks after the club's interests and gets on with the job at hand. But his comment suggests things are unravelling at the moment."

Tottenham's next match comes against Arsenal in the North London derby on Sunday.

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Euro 2020 Groups header
ABCDEF
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 Italy Italy11003033
2 Switzerland Switzerland10101101
3 Wales flag Wales10101101
4 Turkey Turkey100103-30
Euro 2020 fixtures
Saturday, June 12, 2021
 
8pm
Sunday, June 13, 2021
 
2pm
Monday, June 14, 2021
 
5pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
 
8pm
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
 
2pm
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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