Harry Redknapp clearly tried to put a positive slant on last night’s 1-1 home draw with Stoke City exclaiming it might be good point at the end of the season, but the Spurs fans excruciating frustration was clear for all to see. Tottenham are currently experiencing that sinking feeling once more, and following four games without a victory, have slipped below their arch-rivals Arsenal and will need to snap out of their self-misery before the weekend’s crunch game with Chelsea.
It is hard to put your finger upon the exact reasoning where Tottenham’s season has started to come off the rails, as they were nicely on track and assured in the eyes of many of that ever so coveted third Champions League qualification position. Now, Redknapp’s men face a gruelling 10 game fight to secure what their football has arguably deserved all season long with a safe passage through to the group stages of UEFA’s top competition. Tottenham must forget about bragging rights with their rivals Arsenal and pull out all the stops to finish in any order above the Europa League places.
Spurs’ recent slump could arguably be blamed upon the clubs inhibitions in the recent transfer window. The club were somewhat active in the window of opportunity to strengthen, bringing the surprise signings of Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha to the club, but in the eyes of particular Spurs fans, these signings weren’t up to scratch considering some of the players the club were linked with.
Most certainly, this season represents Spurs bet chance of finishing in their highest Premier League position and it would have been refreshing for chairman Daniel Levy to lay a marker down and truly strengthen an already asset-rich playing squad. The club were particularly linked with Christopher Samba and fans might be wishing the club broke the bank to get the big Congolese centre back, although it is comprehendible any price Spurs quoted could be trumped by the assets of Anzhi Makhachkala.
Tottenham’s troubles at the back have been well documented and with Michael Dawson out for the season and Ledley King’s long-term fitness an issue, Spurs have had to plug that gap with Younes Kaboul when fit, the ageing William Gallas and new boy Ryan Nelsen whom many Spurs fans are still sceptical about. The Spurs bench has looked much weaker in recent weeks than it did back in August and although Sebastian Bassong, Steven Pienaar, Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko may have been back-up players, there is far less experience in a thinner playing squad as a whole than there once was at an earlier stage this campaign.
If Tottenham fans retrace their thoughts back to last season also, the club were fairly inactive in the winter window, bringing in just Steven Pienaar and South African defensive colleague Bongani Khumalo who still awaits a first team debut. Although it is widely regarded by football people as a more difficult time to bring true quality players to the club, Spurs fans might be pondering just why Mr Levy hasn’t emphasised January as a window of opportunity in giving his squad that added boost to get the club over the line as so many clubs have highlighted the window for.
The club failed to secure a return to Champions League football last term and will be hoping to improve on last terms 5th placed finish this time round. If Spurs do achieve their well-known target then it will be a remarkable achievement for Harry Redknapp whose long-term destination is still at large. The manager still needs to decide what formation is best to employ and although reverting back to the 4-4-1-1 last night, has gone for a 4-4-2 in more recent times with Saha and Adebayor getting the nod, over Jermain Defoe, who is still regarded as ‘hard done by’ by many Spurs fans.
A reversion back to the 4-4-1-1 with Van Der Vaart in the hole may be read as Redknapp wanting to employ the successful early season rationale once more, but with the Dutchman experiencing injury concerns in recent times, there is more to it than a favourable addition of Saha in a front two.
Nevertheless, Tottenham fans might be wishing a few more new faces arrived at the club in January amidst the consistency required for the season’s big final push.
Can Spurs make the top four this season? Should they have spent big in January or is there enough quality to see them over the line? Follow me @ http://twitter.com/Taylor_Will1989
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