Betfair Premier League Title Betting: Can Spurs go all the way?

There was no more pressing matter this weekend than who would win the top two battle at White Hart Lane and the comprehensive manner in which Tottenham Hotspur dismantled Pep Guardiola's previously slick machine has inevitably resumed a conversation.

It's a conversation that began last season as people began to wake up to the undeniable fact that Mauricio Pochettino had forged a young, hungry side who had bought wholesale into his mandate while being greater than the sum of their parts. That in itself is not an uncommon phenomenon but when the parts in question are a truly outstanding goalkeeper; a defender in Toby Alderweireld whose calm authority made him a shoo-on for the PFA Team of the Year; the breath-taking emergence of Dier and Alli; and Harry Kane sweeping away fears of second season syndrome with another haul of goals then Spurs's title credentials soon went from being whispered on forums to openly discussed in pubs and television studios.

The last time the north London giants had won the league Dele Alli's grandad was a mere twinkle in his great-grandad's eye so their sustained challenge was thoroughly deserving of acres of coverage and high praise. In the event they largely only got the former with Leicester's incredible fairy tale understandably hogging the plaudits. In the event Spurs were cruelly and erroneously seen as 'bottlers'.

Aware that he had struck upon a winning formula Pochettino resisted change for its own sake this summer, and by targeting significant upgrades in his squad's weaker areas Spurs were only going to get better, stronger and become even more of a collective force to be reckoned with. So it was a surprise to see them priced around the 20-1 mark - twice that of Arsenal or Manchester United - as the new campaign loomed large, an under-estimation that can partly be explained by the strange habit we have in this country of closing the book on a completed season and immediately forgetting all the lessons it contained. As if three short months changes everything. As if continuity and shrewd improvement count for nothing.

Additionally a new story was unfolding with 2016/17 supposed to be the Pep v Jose show and Manchester centre stage. Spurs' sensible claim got in the way of this and because headlines that state the obvious are reductive the narrative twisted to the point of rewriting recent history. Granted they had been mightily impressive last term but their final tally was a single point less than in 2013 when they'd finished fifth. Didn't that suggest their title bid was achieved by default, as they benefitted from the unexpected failings of others? Besides, look at Kane's woeful displays at the Euros. He was a shattered force and without a fit and firing focal point Spurs are just a buzz of energy without an end product. Aren't they?

If any performance disproved such nonsense it was their recent accomplished victory over Middlesbrough that secured Spurs' best start in the top-flight for 51 years. In Kane's absence through injury his understudy Son Heung-min stepped in to score two excellent goals as Pochettino's men climbed to second in the table. Last season they would have drawn such a tricky away fixture. In fact they did, eight times.

Alarm bells then should have been ringing at that result alone, along with a tumbling of their odds to ultimately lift the Premier League trophy. That they didn't remain a mystery and even now, after Tottenham's highly impressive swatting away of Manchester City's supposed invincibility they continue to be priced at a tempting 8-1.

Anyone who witnessed Sunday's statement of intent at the Lane will see value here as Spurs' well-established press and pass methodology exposed City's similar approach for the work in progress it is. The home side were a relentless swarm of intensity with every player intuitively knowing their role and executing it ferociously, all lapped up by a passionate crowd who believe something very special is imminent. That last point should not be discarded. That last point can sometimes be enough to get you over the line.

Victor Wanyama was seemingly fitted with a third lung for the occasion as he bossed Fernandinho throughout while Son's work-rate made viewers watching at home in their comfortable armchairs puff out their cheeks in vicarious exhaustion. Highly organised and highly effective they were the side Pep Guardiola desperately hopes his own can one day become.

So it's right and just that we are resuming the conversation as to Tottenham's title credentials. It began last season as a whisper. On current form it's a great shout.