Gus Poyet believes his former club Tottenham are stronger than they were this time last year – but feels a Premier League title tilt is “too optimistic”.
Twelve months ago, Spurs had just finished a disappointing seventh in the table, but rose into the top four under head coach Antonio Conte last season.
However, their points tally of 71 was still some way behind title-chasers Manchester City and Liverpool, who managed 93 and 92 points, respectively.
And Poyet feels that the North Londoners should focus on battling Chelsea – who only finished three points ahead of them – for third place, rather than dreaming of winning the league.
Spurs Stronger But Not Contenders
Speaking exclusively to Lord Ping, he said: “It's too early to read into any club at the moment.
“Spurs are definitely stronger than they were this time last year and they'll be in a better position because of the players they're signing, because Antonio Conte knows them very well and they're going to bring something extra to the team.
“The only competition they have at the moment is Chelsea because it's to finish third, but for me right now, they can't compete with Liverpool or Man City – it's too optimistic to say they'll go from practically nothing to Premier League contenders.
“Tottenham's aim next season should be to continue [trying to] finish above Chelsea and I think the aim for title contention is too much.”
Spurs Will Test Richarlison
In pursuit of that goal, Tottenham look set to sign Brazilian forward Richarlison from Everton – and Poyet insists that move will test the 25-year-old’s ability.
“In my book of football, [moving from Everton to Spurs is] a step up,” he explained.
“Richarlison will go from finishing 16th to a team that finished fourth.
“If people want to say that Everton and Spurs are on the same level then I respect their opinion but the league table never lies and at the moment there's a big difference and it's a massive step up.
“It's another question whether Richarlison can compete with the players that are there or not.”
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