Tottenham have 6 games to play to the end of what has turned out to be a very disappointing season. Starting with such optimism, Spurs, while maintaining a place close to the top teams, were not playing in a style that was acceptable or enjoyable to watch with goals at a premium. It quickly became clear that the 7 summer signings were, and still are, struggling to adapt to the Premier League. There were fleeting glimpses of why Spurs had invested so much money for them but there was no consistency.Andre Villas-Boas went, Tim Sherwood took over and there was a limited recovery but it was also short lived as when Spurs faced top class opposition, they folded like a pack of cards. In recent weeks the chance of a top-4 finish has slipped away as has the opportunity to finish 5th. In Tottenham’s current form, it is likely that Manchester United will overtake them for 6th with 7th probably being the highest finish that Spurs can expect.
7th would mean missing out on the Europa League and some would say that was good enabling Spurs to focus on finishing as high as possible in the Premier League and putting in a sustained challenge for a Champions League place. Fans look towards Liverpool and how their team has benefited from missing out on European football this season due to finishing 7th last year.
No Magic Wand
[Apologies for once again using Liverpool as a comparison but the two clubs have been in a similar position over the past few seasons and while Spurs had the upper hand it is now Liverpool who are flying with Spurs lagging behind]
Just because Liverpool have had an outstanding season, sitting on top of the Premier League table with 6 games to play, doesn’t mean that Tottenham will follow a similar path in 2014-15. Not playing in the Europa League is not a magic wand to resolve all of Tottenham’s ailments.
At present the Tottenham team is a shambles – lacking fight, direction and any desire to perform for themselves, the manager, the club or the fans. Almost very time Spurs have faced top class opponents this season, they have capitulated. One point, two goals in 8 games against the top 4 teams with 27 goals conceded says it all.
At a similar time last season while Liverpool were out of the battle for a European place, they were bringing together a team which finished the season with only one defeat in their last 12 games. Of their 7 wins in that run, they had a 4 – 0 win at Wigan, a 5 – 0 home success over Swansea and a 6 – 0 win at Newcastle. They have carried that form into this season maintaining a remarkable consistency. Liverpool had the bonus of retaining Luis Suarez but other players have stepped up as they have produced a string of outstanding results, scoring 88 goals in the process. They have belief in themselves, their manager, their system and the club. They played with a smile at Anfield last Sunday, probably totally amazed that Spurs had made it so easy for them.
Tottenham are limping to the season’s end, with many players giving the impression that they want it finished as quickly as possible. Who of the current Tottenham squad could you build a successful team around? Some of those who you would want to have in the team next season, like Hugo Lloris, could well be off to a new club where they have a chance of winning trophies and playing Champions League football.Tottenham have needed stability for decades but here we are again, coming to the end of the season, with the expectation that there will be a new manager appointed in the summer. This will bring further change in playing personnel and another season of transition as the players adapt to the new manager’s ideas.
The last few months have been like the year David Pleat took over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Glenn Hoddle. The club has lacked direction and purpose – it’s been in limbo. Daniel Levy needs to make a clear decision and announcement on who will be manager next season as soon as possible so that the club can focus on the future with a purpose.
Remarkable, as it may seem, after all I have written, if somehow Spurs were to win their 6 remaining games, they would finish with 74 points, a record total, 2 more than last season. Even, if that were to happen, it must not be used to cover over Tottenham’s many failings this season.
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