Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino needs to consider sacrificing the club's cup ambitions this season if he is to maximize his hopes of bringing the club its first English league title since 1961.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sport, Redknapp suggests Spurs are in prime position to challenge for the Premier League crown after the most open season in recent years, with the coach who guided Spurs to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2011 urging the man now sitting behind his old desk to be bold in the pursuit of glory.
“This is the year when Tottenham have a real chance to win the title and it may be their only chance for a long time to come and that is why I believe Mauricio Pochettino need to prioritise this season,” BT Sport pundit Redknapp told Yahoo Sport.
“I’d expect Manchester City to be twice as good next season under Pep Guardiola, Chelsea will come back strong and you’d expect Man Utd to be much better next season. The door is open for Spurs this season and they have to try and take it.
“It is getting to a point where Spurs have to decide what they want to go for this season. They have the Europa League and the FA Cup to look at and they have to start prioritising if they have a real chance to win the Premier League title.
“If they get a result at Man City this weekend, then the manager should sit down with his staff and make some big decisions. Spurs have to try and make the most of this opportunity because winning the title would be just amazing for the club.
“The chance is there for Tottenham to have a right go at winning this title because they have the players to do it this season, no doubt about that. A lot of the top teams are having problems and Spurs have a real chance to capitalise. They have to try and take it.
“I’ve been so impressed with this team, they are great to watch. Dele Alli is a wonderful young player, Harry Kane is now a proven striker, their centre-half pairing has looked really strong and I really like their manager Pochettino.
He is doing some great work at the club and I know there are rumours about him going, but I think he’ll stay. He is being given control over what’s happening with transfers and that is a good position for any manager to be in.”
While Redknapp believes Spurs could be crowned as champions this season, he has backed leaders Leicester to maintain their push for improbable Premier League title glory, even though he suggests the pressure will now increase as they get a genuine glimpse of what would be an historic triumph.
“I look at Leicester and they have every chance to win the title this season, every chance,” he added. “It is amazing to be saying that about a club that we all thought would probably be struggling at the other end of the table, but if they can go to Man City and beat them up like they did last weekend, then they have to be taken very seriously as title challengers.
“They have a five-point lead now and I fancy them to get something out of the Arsenal game this weekend. The way they play, hitting teams on the break with pace, will not be what Arsenal like. They will give them some problems and the only question is whether they can handle the pressure in the final weeks of the season.”
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @kpsundayworld
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