Last season, as Tottenham sat in the top three of the Premier League on the back of their eleven match undefeated run from September through to early December, Spurs fans took great delight in drawing comparisons with the previous year and the progress that had been made. It was a less popular pastime once the slump set in from the end of February and little has been said this season when the results have been less consistent.
After three successive wins, following three consecutive defeats in the Premier League, Tottenham spirits have again been lifted and the expectations raised, so how does this season under Andre Villas-Boas compare with the past two seasons when Harry Redknapp was in charge at White Hart Lane?
P 15 W 8 D 2 L 5 For 28 Ag 23 (+ 5) Pts 26 Pos 4th
P 15 W 11 D 1 L 3 For 31 Ag 18 Pts 34 (+ 13) Pos 3rd
P 15 W 7 D 4 L 4 For 23 Ag 20 Pts 25 (+ 3) Pos 5th
Last year, in mid-December, after 15 matches, Tottenham were third in the table, seven points adrift of the leading club but with a match in hand. Tottenham’s ten wins and a draw in their undefeated sequence had a dramatic effect on their overall standing. The previous season they were fifth with a record very similar to this season, although Manchester United have a ten point advantage this year, whereas Spurs were only 6 points behind the leaders (United) two seasons ago.
Looking at the statistics, no consideration is taken of the opposition played but one very surprising detail is the number of goals scored. This year, with only one recognised striker for much of the season, Tottenham have managed to score 28 goals, only three less than last year when the team was in such excellent form and that total is 5 more than in 2010-11. Jermain Defoe‘s sharpness in front of goal has been very beneficial to the team this season. Two years ago, Spurs were relying on most of their goals coming from midfield through Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart as the strikers, Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch had a less productive time in front of goal.
Tottenham are currently well placed in the League, considering the number of injuries they have suffered during the opening months of the season. December will be a busy month with seven matches – six in the Premier League and one in the Europa League. If they can maintain the recent form over the coming weeks they will be in a strong position come the beginning of January. With one game down, they now have a difficult visit to Everton next weekend after their Thursday Europa League match but then have two home matches against Swansea and Stoke who have shown improved form recently. Over the Christmas and New Year period they play teams fighting against relegation with games at Aston Villa and Sunderland followed by a home game against Reading on New Year’s Day. The holiday fixtures are notorious for throwing up unexpected results so if Spurs can avoid any such mishaps, the team could be looking at an interesting and challenging 2013.
How many points will Tottenham have after the match against Reading on 1st January, 2013?