Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has warned Spurs’ London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea to forget any hopes of lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the season as their campaign is doomed to end in failure.
The two clubs are currently competing with Manchester City at the top of the table, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side currently favourites to take the spoils given their current ability to score goals at free will.
Sigurdsson has felt the wrath of City twice already this season, having featured in the 6-0 drubbing in November that cost Andre Villas-Boas his job before starting the 5-1 defeat at White Hart Lane last week. From what he saw, the Icelander believes that City have more than enough to see off their title rivals.
Reported in the Evening Standard, Sigurdsson said: “If I were to guess, I think City would be favourites for it. The other two clubs have fantastic squads and fantastic teams but I think with the experience and the players they’ve got, City will be the side who edge it out of those three.”
Before the fixture against City, Spurs had taken 16 points from a possible 18 under Tim Sherwood but that result demonstrated exactly how much work needs to be done before they can challenge for the title — an ambition of some among the club hierarchy last summer, when Gareth Bale was sold for a world-record £86million and replaced by seven players with no experience of the Premier League.
Even though Spurs were outclassed by City, the run of form before that match has convinced Sigurdsson that this team remain strong enough to finish in the top four and secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
Following Saturday’s draw at Hull, Sherwood’s team are only three points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool — albeit with a goal difference that is substantially inferior — and their next two matches are at home to Everton on Sunday and at Newcastle three days later.
Following the trip to St James’ Park, Spurs return to European football. Drawn against Ukrainian club Dnipro in the Europa League, Spurs are favourites to progress to the last 16 after two legs, away on February 20 and at the Lane on February 27.
Spurs reached the quarter-finals last season before losing on penalties to FC Basle and Sigurdsson is optimistic that they can advance further this year.
“We have the squad to cope,” he insisted. “It was a big disappointment to go out to Basle last year and, hopefully, we can go a bit further this season. The squad are even stronger now than this time last year and the new players are starting to settle in.
“The return of injured players [Jan] Vertonghen, Sandro, Paulinho, Younes Kaboul and Andros Townsend] will make the squad even stronger.
“Even though the City result was a setback, we’d done well in the games before that.
“When a new manager comes in, it can freshen the place up, so it’s not surprising that we’ve been doing well [since the managerial change in December]. The staff are very good now so we just want to forget the City game and build on what went before.
“By the end of February, we’ll have a better idea of who will be at the top and who will be competing for fourth place.
“We need to make sure we go on another run and hopefully that will ensure we’re in the top four at the end of the season.”