With seven games to go, and only sitting in sixth, Tottenham look like missing out on Champions League football once again. A goalless draw away to Burnley on Saturday was not exactly the kind of result that the north London team need to be producing if they want to make one last push for the top four. Honestly, it seems like Spurs have given up and switched off.
A top four finish has been the goal for many seasons now. Manager Mauricio Pochettino was brought in to White Hart Lane for that very reason. After all, previous manager Tim Sherwood could have led them to sixth again and done it on a cheaper salary.
They did achieve their ambition back in 2010 making it all the way to the quarter finals of the tournament but were ultimately knocked out by Real Madrid. Since then they haven’t quite made it and competition for places has become even fiercer. Their inability to climb the table coincided with the loss of super winger and now Real Madrid punching bag Gareth Bale. Their failure to find a replacement for the Welshman has greatly hindered the Lilywhites and it is only now, with the emergence of Harry Kane onto the big stage, that Spurs look like their fortunes may be changing.
To be honest, it is not that Spurs didn’t try to replace Bale it is just that the signings they made in his wake have all been a massive disappointment.
Paulinho, Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado and the ever unreliable Emmanuel Adebayor have all been unable to live up to their own hype. The once decent players seem to lose their talent and ability as soon as they arrived at White Hart Lane. Pochettino has done well under the circumstances to even get them to a Europa League position – though that is probably in no small part down to incredible performances by Harry Kane.
Kane is in contention for Player of the Year due to what can only be described as a golden season. He currently sits joint top along with Chelsea’s Diego Costa as the Premier Leagues highest goal scorer and with the Brazilian’s form going off the boil recently there is every chance that he could pinch it.
How long Kane will stay loyal to the Lane is unknown but if Spurs continue to miss out on the top four and limp once again across the finish line then no one would blame the young forward for setting his sights elsewhere. And then where would they be?
Tottenham next play relegation threatened Aston Villa and before the seasons end must overcome Manchester City and a newly resurgent Everton. They are on equal points as Liverpool so they can jump to fifth but that surely will be of no comfort. Seven points separate Spurs and fourth place which, with only a handful of games left, is not an impossible task but it does appear unlikely. The Champions League places look all but decided and anything but a minor miracle will need to take place to change that.
Tottenham instead need to look to the future. Clear out the deadweight this summer and start new with emphasis on building a team around main man Harry Kane. His good season looks likely to be more than a one off and he might just be the key to finally infiltrating those precious four places for many years to come.