Comparison Of Tottenham’s Record Against Top-4 In Previous Seasons


Tottenham’s poor record against the four top teams has had a detrimental effect on their chances of finishing as one of that exalted company this season. How does it compare with previous seasons?

Each season, Tottenham set their sights on a top-4 finish but have only achieved that on two occasions – in 2009-10 and 2011-12. An important element in finishing among the top clubs is the ability to take points off those clubs around you who who are also challenging for a Champions League place. This season, Spurs’ failure to do that has again left them on the outside looking in enviously. While Manchester United have slipped from the high standards they set under Sir Alex Ferguson, Liverpool have recovered from their disappointments of the past four seasons to step into the void which Tottenham had high expectations of filling at the start of the season.

Tottenham in 7 games against the top-4 teams, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, have taken 1 point and scored only 2 goals while conceding 23. Yesterday’s article showed Tottenham as having one of the poorest records against those clubs with only Crystal Palace and Fulham below them. The greatest surprise of the season is that Spurs with such a poor record are so close to the top clubs.

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Tottenham’s Record Against Top-4 Compared With Rest Of PL – Read more

In Seasons Past

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Looking at the table, it’s clear that only once have Spurs done as well as we might have imagined against the top teams and that was last season. Spurs took 11 points from the 8 games when finishing 5th, once again just falling short. They did, however, record 3 wins against the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal, with draws against Chelsea and United. The defeats do include the capitulation at the Emirates which is a feature of the results over the past 5 seasons.

In 2011-12 when Spurs finished 4th, they managed to take only 3 points from the top-3 teams of United, City and Arsenal, that being a home win in the north London d Again, the record includes some heavy defeats against these teams, the season starting with a 3 – 0 loss at Old Trafford followed by the 5 -1 defeat at home by City. Later the 5 – 2 loss at the Emirates marked a turning point in the season with Spurs missing out on a 3rd-placed finish.

The previous seasons saw Spurs finish 5th, taking 7 points from the teams above them. They only lost 3 games but their one win was a memorable one, coming from 2 down to win 3 – 2 at the Emirates. They had 4 draws illustrating that they had become competitive against the top sides and and avoided any heavy defeats.

Can Tottenham live up to their motto? [photo: Jav The_DoC_66]In 2009-10 when they achieved their first top-4 finish, Spurs took 6 points with the wins over Arsenal and Chelsea at White Hart Lane being the launch pad for their climb into a Champions League qualification place. They lost 4 games, suffering 3 – 0 losses at both Stamford Bridge and the Emirates in the first half of the season but finished strongly to claim 4th with a win at 5th-placed Manchester City on that memorable night in early May when Peter Crouch scored the only goal of the game.

The task of breaking into the top-4 is becoming more difficult with every passing season as clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City have the spending power to buy which ever top player they wish. The clubs which pick up trophies every season and have regular Champions League football are a draw for top players while Tottenham in the current financial climate are more likely to lose top players who become impatient with the promise of ‘this time next year’.