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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 03/07/2012

Although it was a much improved performance against Man Utd, Spurs have lost their last two league games, conceding eight goals in the process. This has had the effect of narrowing both the points and goal difference gap over the side in fourth, who themselves will have been buoyed not only by their recent victories in the Premiership but also by nearly pulling off a miracle in the Champions League.

While the other team from north London are not exactly breathing down Spurs' neck, it would appear that they are now the main challengers to usurp third place, especially given the turmoil at Stamford Bridge. Four points is by no means an unassailable gap but a glance at the fixture list would seem to suggest that it can not only be maintained but built upon.

While the other team still have to play three of the top six before the end of the season, eight of Spurs' remaining eleven games are against sides in the bottom half of the table. A pessimist will suggest that some of these clubs will be fighting for their Premier League lives as the campaign draws to a close, but if the table really doesn't lie, Spurs are surely more than capable of holding on to their current position. The manager certainly appears to think so:

"We're still in pole position. I still fancy us to finish third. That 10-point lead has suddenly become four points and we've got some hard games to come. We go to Everton and we've got Chelsea away. It's going to be tight but I'd still rather be where we are than Arsenal. We're four points in front and we've still got a big chance."

One chance that has gone - if it ever really existed in the first place - is the title, which is now a two horse race between the Manchester clubs. Yet Spurs still have a very good prospect of lifting silverware this season, namely the FA Cup. The draw has certainly not been unkind. Assuming that Stevenage will be overcome in the replay - surely a good assumption - Spurs will face Bolton in the quarter-finals at White Hart Lane. And with a number of the big guns already out of the competition, Spurs could well lift the trophy for a ninth time.

Third place and the cup would be a fitting way for Harry to wind up his time at the club, if he does take up the reins of the England team. While this seems like an almost inevitable outcome, it's vital that Spurs do not lose momentum in the run-in to the end of the season. A good result in the next league game at Goodison would go a long way towards steadying the ship.

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Posted by Mike in USA on 03/07/2012

4 points doesn't give anyone a warm fuzzy feeling, especially since it was 10 a couple weeks ago.

The one thing that makes me feel better is the fixture list. Chelsea will be tough and Fulham has been incredibly dangerous recently (we have them the final week, hopefully we've wrapped up 3rd by them).

The good thing? Arsenal face Newcastle, Chelsea, and ManCity - all dangerous teams. Like we said, we have the advantage. We don't screw the pooch, we're in.

We played well against United. Didn't deserve the 3-1 loss, but lets hope we bounce back.


Posted by JOHN ADAM on 03/07/2012

Spurs cannot afford making costly defensive errors again and conceding silly goals. Friedel should be told to leave his goal line at times to punch away the ball from dangerous corners or crosses or to try to smother the ball in a melee.

Posted by Curtis on 03/07/2012

I think your tone was exactly right, Colin. Our schedule has been incredibly front-loaded with the tough matches in both halves of the schedule. We got into third place by dominating the teams in the middle and bottom of the table, and so all we need to do is maintain that form.

Since the PL went to 20 teams, the third place team has averaged about 73 points, and only one time would a team with 73 have finished in fourth. (The number for fourth place is 67 points - about the average, and only once would have finished in 5th.)

Seven wins in the last eleven will likely see us safely into third place, and merely five wins will likely see us in fourth. We will be highly favored in all five home matches, and road trips to Bolton, QPR, Villa, and Sunderland in particular are hardly intimidating.

So we have had a couple of disappointing results. But we were the consensus pick for sixth in the table in August, and in pole position for third. COYS.

Posted by dazzwater on 03/07/2012

One game at a time. We can beat Everton. we can beat a Chelsea in turmoil. We can beat Villa with or without Bent. We went through the toughest stretch of our season with 4 points out of 12, which isn't optimal but also not exactly a disaster. No reason for us to drop more points than the other London clubs in the run-in. COYS

Posted by andy on 03/07/2012

The fixtures I'm most worried about are Everton, Sunderland, and Chelsea all away. if we could get 5 points from that lot, then our run in is easy enough that we can make up the points again

Posted by dave lush on 03/07/2012

I have always been a big fan of friedel but we must look for another keeper I think for next year as he is not very good at crosses which unfortunately Spurs defence is also not good. I also think Defoe is getting a bad deal as he looks so sharp but Harry put Saha right in ahead of him when he arrived.Spurs have so many great midfielders that maybe they could trade to get a really good sharp shooter as we can't go on outplaying teams and still loose.Except for Chesea away we should have a good run in to the end of the season I sure hope so

Posted by Leo ( Malaysia ) on 03/08/2012

S long s we playing good football, we ll b up at 3rd place at the end of the season..

But by doing this i think harry really need to do something on our defence..But now it seems harder bcs dawson is out ( probarly the rest of the season ) aft stevenage match..Ledley seems horrible for me for the past 2matches, he is lack of pace n concentration..Really not the one tat we always knew, so again a world class new signing for CB is a must for coming new season.. Then probarly now a bit relief for us is Gallas is fit again. So hope to c him battle for us on the field soon rather later.

Then is it free role for bale r the best for him n the team ??? S far s i can c is NO, bcs he is totally miserable when he is in the right flank centre n middle right!! so harry put him bk to left flank n encourage him to cut into middle left n damage the opposition defence.

S for our Park Keeper ( Scott Parker ) he ios just fantastic but it seems nobody r able to fill up his role wen he is not

Posted by Leo ( Malaysia ) on 03/08/2012

available for us..Sandro seems one level behind parker in terms in protecting our defence n dedicate the tempo of our game..He not suppose just like tat may b he is not playing tat much so lack of match fitness..while livermore r 2 level behind parker, so hopefully harry either get new signing for us or push them into the same level s parker soon ( especially sandro ).

While on our right flank lennon is out again aft stevenage game so hopefully he ll fit again for everton game.Bcs otherwise tats nobody can provide us the pace on our right flank.Bcs GDV is not even hadling a game even wen lennon is out. But anyway i m quite happy to c Kranjcar play quiet often lately.Bcs he just have tat kind of standard, but he is best in the middle of the park. So again at least one top class new signing tat can play at both flank.

While on attack, i still favoured defoe rather than Saha..S u can c on stevenage match, on Ade he seems a bit out of goal instinct lately.So get him sharper. COYS

Posted by david on 03/08/2012

that sounds goodd but remember the major threats are normally teams struggling to remain in the league but much we say arsenal have three of the top six all these matches are at their homeground-emirates and it is unlikely they would not want to really get to third.

Posted by Zwink on 03/08/2012

I've been preaching this for the past couple days and no one believes me. Glad to see that I have the support of the Tottenham blogger to prove my point.

All things considered, past Tottenham teams would have dropped points to lower table outfits (see last year, when we took 3/9 points from the relegated teams). This year, we've been winning those games, but the only thing we haven't been able to check off is winning against the bigger teams (a necessity to win a title).

I like our FA cup chances this year as well, and one crucial error that 'Arry makes is not using all his available players when he needs to do that more. Or build a better supporting cast of players.

I know that the Manchester derby will probably decide the title, but looking at the Arsenal's schedule as well as ours, I think our third place might be solidified by then.

Personally, I'd like to see Newcastle usurp Arsenal for the 4th spot. A dreamer can dream.

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