Tottenham Hotspur Need to Start November Strong

Tottenham (Photo by CARL RECINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham (Photo by CARL RECINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur are coming off a tough defeat, but have little time to feel sorry for themselves, as three games in the next eight days will help define the season.

With all the international breaks and different obligations that impact the footballing calendar, the season is often broken into chunks. Right now, Tottenham Hotspur are in their second little chunk of the season having already had one international break with another forthcoming Monday November 9. Between now and Monday November 9, Tottenham play three games in two competitions that will either have the team well positioned for a brutal December or longing for points that should not have been dropped.

Tottenham in Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur have two more Premier League games prior to the November break, with Brighton coming first. While Brighton did give Pochettino’s Spurs fits last season, Mourinho’s crew managed to win the second meeting between the two sides. Brighton has not been great this season, but has been better on the road, whereas Spurs have not been as good at home. All this adds up to a potential trap game.

Spurs need to be on their focused best defensively and look to take advantage of an often-undisciplined Brighton side. If Tottenham can get on the front foot, they should be fine and be able to handle the Seagulls minus Lewis Dunk. Assuming Tottenham get by Brighton, they have another winnable Premier League match-up.

Combined Brighton and West Bromwich Albion – Tottenham’s opponents next Sunday – have 8 points in the League. That is 3 points less than Spurs coming into the Matchday 7 game with Brighton. While Brighton have managed to win one match and draw two more, West Brom have yet to win this season, managing just three draws for their three points.

That said, West Brom does not play their 7th game until Monday, taking on Fulham, one of the three teams below them in the table. In other words, by the time Spurs travel to The Hawthorns next Sunday, West Brom could be on six points and have some budding confidence. The bottom line with both Brighton and West Brom, they are both struggling right now and Tottenham need to do themselves a favor and not allow struggling sides any belief, which could come back and bite Spurs as we have see several times this season.

While it is WAY too early to be talking about the title, a win against Brighton can put Tottenham into second place. Then looking ahead in the schedule next weekend, Liverpool play Manchester City and Everton play Manchester United. In other words, some major rivals have a chance to be dropping points while Tottenham should be picking them up. Spurs do not need to be in first or second at the next break, but if they are not in at least second, something has gone wrong.

Tottenham in Europa League

Tottenham Hotspur did themselves no favors last week losing at Royal Antwerp and ceding control of their Europa League Group to Antwerp in the process. While one loss is not the end of the road in a six-match rotation, dropping points now, while the schedule is manageable is going to leave a mark. Tottenham travel to Bulgaria on Thursday to play their third and final opening match in the group. The trip to Ludogorets will not be easy. However, regardless of the logistics or difficulty it is a match Tottenham must win, as the next three Group Stage games are in the middle of a murderous stretch for Spurs.

Once back from breck, Spurs play Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal Palace over four weekends. Between those games, are the final three Group Stage games. Any thought of using the Premier League to rest anyone during that stretch is out, as Spurs play 7 matches between Saturday November 21 and Saturday December 12.

Those seven matches are then followed by the ever-busy holiday schedule. Liverpool, Leicester City, Wolves, Fulham, and Leeds all are on tap in League for Tottenham before the next holiday break in the New Year. Add in a trip to Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke in the Carabao Cup and it is safe to say Tottenham have a full plate.

Ultimately, with 13 matches over 42 days between November 21 and January 2, Tottenham will have little margin for error or time for rest. With that schedule looming the nine points ahead over the next eight days are a must. For its Tottenham cannot take nine points from the three games in front of them, I harken to think how many points will be gained in the 40+ days that follow as the schedule gets infinitely more difficult. Thus, while Tottenham cannot win the title or the Europa League in the next eight days, they could sure leave themselves in a position to lose them both if they do not take care of business.