Jose Mourinho has turned Tottenham into genuine Premier League title contenders, according to former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Mourinho's men host bitter rivals Arsenal on Monday (AEST) and sit top of the table heading into the weekend, making them clear favourites to cement their bragging rights.
It was widely regarded as a controversial move when Spurs swapped Mauricio Pochettino for Mourinho in November 2019, but the Portuguese has proven his worth.
With 19 victories from 36 top-flight games, he has a win percentage of 52.8, with Tottenham's lofty position a vast improvement on the 14th spot they occupied when he took charge.
And former England international Robinson, who played for Spurs between 2004 and 2008, paid credit to chairman Daniel Levy for making the bold decision to bring Mourinho in, insisting the club could now be considered among the front-runners for the title.
"I think there were a lot of questions asked when Pochettino was sacked when he was," Robinson told Stats Perform News.
"Eyebrows were raised when Mourinho came in, but I think Daniel Levy has to take a lot of credit.
"He's employed a world-class manager, a winner of a manager, someone who knows how to win trophies, a certain mentality that's needed in the dressing room.
"Jose was brought to Spurs for a reason. Pochettino took them so far but couldn't get them over the line.
"He [Mourinho] has got that mentality, that cutting edge, he's not afraid to make big decisions and he's been heavily backed in the transfer market again by the chairman, which was fantastic to see.
"You look at the squad they've got now, they've got a real serious chance of winning the title this year."
Spurs' only league defeat this season came in their opening game against Everton, with their subsequent nine-match unbeaten run the longest ongoing streak in the division.
Recent history against the Gunners weighs heavily in the hosts' favour too, as Spurs have not lost in their past six home games against their rivals.
Mourinho's personal record against Arsenal also provides cause for optimism, with the 57-year-old having tasted defeat only once in 17 Premier League games against them.
After overseeing a 2-1 victory in July's meeting, he is aiming to become only the second Spurs manager to win his first two north London derbies, Jimmy Anderson the first to do so in the 1955-56 campaign.
The former Chelsea boss expects to be able call on Harry Kane, who did not feature in the midweek Europa League draw at LASK, with the Tottenham talisman having scored 10 goals against Arsenal – he needs one more to become the fixture's all-time leading scorer.